I like to think of this week as the year’s perineum. In 2023 we’re either going to hit the sweet spot or find ourselves even deeper in the … okay, that’s about as far as I’m going with that particular analogy.
I can’t say I feel thrilled that this year is over. After all, there’s another one starting this weekend. There’s just no end to it. One after the other, they keep on coming. The only way to stop the dreadful cycle is to die, and I’m not ready for that. Yes, I know it’s not entirely up to me, given the proliferation of homicidal maniacs, deadly viruses and unroadworthy taxis, but my life hasn’t yet become entirely intolerable.
This year was better than most because I didn’t get divorced or remarried. My liver is ticking along nicely and on good days my brain fires on at least three cylinders. At optimal performance, the finely tuned brain fires on eight. Three works for me, though. Given the state of the planet and the brutalist architecture of humanity, you really don’t want to be too intelligent. Stupid people are generally the happiest, mostly because they’re too stupid to know they are stupid and they think the world is just fine as it is.
You’ve heard of endogenous neurogenesis, right? Actually, if you think the world is fine and people are great, you probably haven’t. Basically, it’s the process whereby brain cells regenerate. It’s the primary reason I drink. The faster they regenerate, the smarter and more depressed I get. So I have to keep drinking to kill off the new cells to avoid fully grasping the futility and awfulness of it all.
So, yes. I’m all for a bit of shrinkage in the old hippocampus. Obviously, the trick is to strike a balance. You don’t want to outstrip regeneration to such an extent that you end up like Carl Niehaus.
Anyway. I have good news and bad news. The good news is that 500 babies were born across SA between midnight and midday on Christmas Day. That’s also the bad news.
The United Nations said that on 15 November this year, the world’s population reached eight billion. Okay, the UN isn’t the most trustworthy organisation, what with their retaining Russia as a member of the Security Council, but they are quite good at counting. They have entire departments devoted to counting all sorts of things – money, mostly. But also people.
The general consensus was that eight billion is quite a lot. Some felt the planet wasn’t really designed to have this many people pooping and mining and polluting around the clock.
So when that festering swamp of incompetence and corruption known as the Gauteng Department of Health congratulated the parents of these mewling consequences, I easily resisted the urge to break open the champagne and dance in the street.
Every year, these numbers are proudly trotted out. Hurrah and well done, say the authorities. The implication being that babies born on Christmas Day are somehow special. Well, they’re not. That only ever happened once and it ended badly. It’s not like the parents of the 500 were deliberately aiming for a birth on 25 December. These babies were conceived on April Fools’ Day. It was a Friday. There was enough money left over from payday to go out for dinner or drugs or whatever. Covid was still killing people and the government had its head firmly up its ass. The new moon was in Aries and, according to astrologers, among the organs that were especially sensitive on this particular night were the tongue, gall bladder and penis. True story. Don’t believe me? Do your own research.
I can’t remember if I had sex on 1 April this year. Now that I think about it, I can’t remember ever having had sex. Clearly one of the less rewarding spinoffs of my cunning reverse neurogenesis strategy.
However, had I made the Catholic beast with a fecund young vixen on that balmy Friday nine months ago, there is a very good chance that mine would have been among the 500 born on Christmas Day. And the glasses through which I view the oncoming year would not be rose-tinted. Oh, no. They would be tainted with the terrible vision of a geriatric and penniless me being wheeled into the spawn’s matric awards ceremony, drooling down my shirtfront and leering openly at the nubile young ushers.
Oh, dear. I meant to write about the highlights and lowlights of 2022. Hard to tell them apart, though. An arsonist set fire to parliament – a bad thing and yet also a good thing. Covid restrictions were lifted – some applauded, others died. Phala Phala? Could turn out to be the best and the worst thing for the country.
Glad I went with the babies.