One of the things that 2016 has thrown at us could be explained. But all of them? All of the things? No. No.
How do you think I died on January 1st, 2016? I think a car hit me and my neck broke instantly from the force. I have been crossing roads very sloppily lately and I think that's what it's trying to tell me. That on January 1st, still drunk and merry from the night's excess, a seven-seater taxi skidded to a halt in front of me but was going too fast, on tarmac that was too wet, and I died. Or: sometimes, when I think of death, I think a moment of exhilaration is going to be necessary to blot my brain from feeling the sheer unrelenting dread of shutting down into infinite blackness always, forever, the second before death surely the most terrifying of your life, a moment of pure realisation (that death is coming) and fear (of death, coming) and the knowledge that you are powerless, a maggot squirming under a hammer, and what I am saying essentially is if I fall off a multistorey car park legs-first then that adrenalin-cum-terror is going to counteract that – a stomach lurch to overwhelm a brain lurch, the perfect way to die – so maybe that's what happened. An alternate theory is I tried vaping for the first time and something went wrong with it and through a series of complicated disasters I died. That would explain vaping. Or: hold on, where was I on January 1st, 2016, the night I died? I ended up in a McDonald's in Essex, a McDonald's in Essex that got Extremely Lairy, and maybe— maybe that's it, you know. Maybe I got punched to death by a lad with a polo neck jumper on and white jeans and a slick back. I've always thought this about myself. I've always thought: 'I have the exact vibe of someone who would die in a simple end-of-the-night fight because one single punch to the skull was enough to kill him.' I just think that about myself. I think I could be killed with one punch. You can see the Standard headlines now, can't you. 'Promising If Ultimately Unfulfilling Writer Killed In Street Fight,' it says, under that photo of me holding two beers. Sub: 'VICE Will Recruit New Staff Writer "From The Comments Section On Facebook"'. No funeral. That is it. That is how I died. We've cracked it.
The overwhelming theory, though, is that I died, or that I am currently in the process of dying, it is still January 1st and I have just been impacted by a taxi or I am whooshing towards the concrete looking at my feet or I am handing a vape pen back going "are you sure that's gingerbread?" or Diags from The Only Way Is Essex has just said to me "were you looking at my bird, mate?", and it is still January 1st 2016 and I am seconds away from the abyss, and this year as I/we know it has been an illusion caused by the synapses in my brain dying one by one by one.
2016 isn't real. 2016 is a myth. Here is concrete evidence as to why.
CHEWBACCA MOM BEING ALLOWED TO BE A THING
WHAT: Chewbacca Mom is a mum who laughed until she gurgled in a plastic mask in her car and filmed it and we made her famous. We made her famous for that. She went on Carpool Karaoke because we made her famous. She got college scholarships for herself and her husband and her kids because we made her famous. My brain is rattling into my skull so hard it will eventually bleed out, and the last thing it wanted me to think was that Chewbacca Mom could be a thing,
HOW ISN'T THIS REAL: I was prepared to accept that Chewbacca Mom was A Thing and legitimately happening because I could see the theory behind Chewbacca Mom despite not feeling the emotion – her original video was a pure expression of joy, and in turn a lot of people who aren't emotionally dead inside (and possibly actually dead outside) like me got joy in turn from that, and we all want joy, don't we, we all like joy – but then she did a heartfelt shit 'Heal The World' cover in support of Blue Lives Matter and I was like: okay, actually, Chewbacca Mom is definitely not real, she is either a cosmic joke or evidence that I am a couple of layers below the actual universe I thought I was in, and my physical body is on life support while everyone crowds around me and watches my brain die.
PERCENTAGE THAT CHEWBACCA MOM IS NOT REAL: 100%. Chewbacca Mom is 100% not real. There is not even one single per cent of Chewbacca Mom that is real.
LEICESTER WINNING THE PREMIER LEAGUE
WHAT: Leicester won the Premier League last season and this year, fuelled by Jamie Vardy, a port-drunk striker who lopes around the pitch like a kid running from the police for stealing copper cable from a scrapyard; N'Golo Kante, who moves as if someone told him to do laps of the track once and never told him to stop so he didn't; Claudio Ranieri, who perennially looks like a kindly uncle confused to awake from a nap to find he is at his own surprise birthday party; and Riyad Mahrez, who is actually good and I haven't got a joke for him. But, like: Riyad Mahrez isn't actually enough to win the Premier League with, is he? Against the petromillions of Manchester City, the megacorporation of Manchester United, Mourinho's Chelsea defence, a slowly stirring giant in the form of Liverpool? Arsenal, if we have to include them? Really? Is it?
HOW ISN'T THIS REAL: The reason this isn't real is nobody is even talking about it anymore. Sometimes I just have to stop and take a breath when the realisation that Leicester won the Premier League hits me again – I realised it while I was riding my bike the other day and genuinely had to pull off to the side for a minute so I wouldn't just wobble off into a canal with the enormity of it – and nobody else seems to be experiencing this psychic pain. Leicester City, right, in the most hotly-contested league in the world, with the most expensively assembled squads, in the era of hyperfootball, Leicester City won the Premier League. And everybody is reacting to this as if it's normal. Leicester City winning the Premier League is such an anomaly it makes me feel nauseous to think about it.
PERCENTAGE THAT LEICESTER CITY WINNING THE PREMIER LEAGUE IS NOT REAL: 95%. This is almost certainly the stirrings of a delirious mind weakly lashing out with abnormal brain activity in the millisecond before total death, but there's like a 5% chance that yeah, Jamie Vardy is a Premier League winner. Marc Albrighton is a Premier League winner. Sure.
STEVEN WOOLFE GETTING PUNCHED SO HARD HIS BRAIN BLED BY A MAN CALLED *MIKE HOOKEM*
WHAT: I have to couch this with lots of uses of the word "allegedly" because Mike Hookem – a man with the face and demeanour of a former police officer who has just started shagging your nan and the name of a turn-of-the-century haybailer who tours with circuses challenging local men to fights and goes 800 for 0 before eventually being killed after punching a bull – has denied a lot of what has gone on, but the rough story seems to be: UKIP parliamentary hopeful Steven Woolfe got into an altercation with UKIP MEP Hookem and then Mike Hookem punched or at least pushed him and he fell over so hard his brain started bleeding.
HOW ISN'T THIS REAL: Because this happened at a European Parliament meeting and as such Woolfe was taken to hospital in Strasbourg and the morning after, when he woke up without any lasting damage, fellow MEP Nathan Gill released a statement saying, "He is sick of croissants and is looking forward to having a full English breakfast", which patently proves this didn't happen and my own personal brain is bleeding because i. how many croissants did a French hospital feed him in an eight-hour period and ii. who, after being assaulted violently enough to nearly die by a fellow parliamentary representative, wakes up and is immediately racist again about breakfast?
PERCENTAGE THAT THE WOOLFE ATTACK IS NOT REAL: 110%. It is so not real I had to invent a percentage that is not real to aptly describe how little this actually happened. If the doctors treating me in whatever reality I am currently dying in can read this: please, lads, pull the plug, I cannot take this pain anymore.
POLITICS IN GENERAL
WHAT: Reminder that Nigel Farage floated down the Thames in a flotilla before telling the UK to leave Europe so Boris Johnson could become Prime Minister, and we listened to him, and we did what he said. Reminder that Donald Trump – a man constantly on the cusp of shouting, "no! NOOOOOOOO!" while a ragtag band of kids run away from his Tower before it explodes, thwarting his plans – is in with a good 50:50 chance of being leader of the free world as of next month.
HOW THIS ISN'T REAL: This just isn't real. This just isn't real. Somewhere there is an alternate 2016 where we are still part of the EU and Trump lost to Cruz in the debates or whatever and normal politicians are doing normal things, and this is a nightmare that is only bouncing around inside my own head, inside my own dying brain, a hell unique to me.
PERCENTAGE THAT POLITICS IN GENERAL IS NOT REAL: 70%
AN UNNAMED LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT QUIZ GENIUS BEING ARRESTED FOR A MURDER HE CONFESSED TO IN HIS OWN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
WHAT: For legal reasons it is advisable not to state which light entertainment quiz genius was arrested by Dutch police for a murder he confessed to in his own autobiography but if you want to know who just work out 'which light entertainment stars were arrested for murders they confessed to in their own autobiographies' this year and then figure out which one of them was on Eggheads.
HOW IS THIS NOT REAL: A light entertainment quiz genius whose name rhymes with 'DJ the boy!' got arrested by Dutch police after confessing to pushing a man in a canal in the '80s, for no reason, in his own autobiography. Ask me again why I think 2016 is a fake idea.
PERCENTAGE THAT U/L/E/Q/G/B/A/F/A/M/H/C/T/I/H/O/A IS NOT REAL: 100,000%. That's ONE HUNDRED, THOUSAND PER CENT.
OTHER THINGS THAT MIGHT PROVE THAT I AM DYING AND THAT THIS IS ALL JUST THE ASBURD FANTASY OF A BRAIN GONE AWRY
David Bowie dying, which in the grand scheme of things was actually one of the more normal things to happen this year, even though now in death he has almost instantly gone from 'immortal, immoveable icon' to 'face that is really easy to put on tea towels and sell tea towels of'; the world's shittest rock star bathing alone in blood; pen-pineapple apple-pen, which can't be real, absolutely not; Lindsay Lohan ripping her finger off on Mean Girls Day and then saying it was a "sign from god" not to get back with her ex; everything Ryan Lochte has done from June onwards, from dying his hair blue by accident through to saying he was held up at gunpoint through to Dancing with the Stars; Kim Kardashian actually getting held up at gunpoint; Ed Balls dressing as The Mask and dancing like a nightmare become real on Strictly; a guy in Swindon tried to hide a load of cocaine up his dick; the UK launched two – two – entire TV shows in which the contestants have to entirely undress; Noel Edmonds legitimately started a business where he will talk on the phone to your cat, months after he claimed he'd cured his own cancer with a heatpack; The Pope blessed some vloggers; we all watched a puddle on a webcam. There is absolutely no way 2016, no way. No other year compares to this year. This year is absolutely a lie.
PERCENTAGE CHANCE THAT 2016, IN ITS ENTIRETY, IS NOT REAL, AND EITHER I AM BLEEDING OUT ON THE TILES ON THE FLOOR OF AN ESSEX McDONALD'S RIGHT NOW OR WE ARE ALL PART OF SOME COLLECTIVE UNCONCIOUSNESS, LIKE THE MATRIX OR WHATEVER, WE ARE ALL PLUGGED INTO THE SAME REALITY, ALL OF IT ABSURD BUT NONE OF IT REAL: 1,000,0000,0000000,0000000,0000000,000,000000,00000%
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