2020's the most 2020-est year ever
Hey, you, 2020.
Make like a tree and blow.
Make like the wind and leave.
As in yesterday.
Scram. Skedaddle. Beat it. Scat. Take a powder. Vamoose. Go jump in the lake.
And don’t let the door hit you in the buttocks on the way out.
My father used to say that (although he didn’t use “buttocks”), and I would spend a moment on my way out contemplating the unlikely physics — before adding it to the list of his colorful but illogical suggestions ... along with “Shut you mouth and eat” and one involving a rolling donut that shouldn’t be repeated in polite company.
Or even here.
Still, if any year (at least since 1968) deserves to be treated with such scorn, it’s 2020 and we don’t even have to wait until it’s over to realize that in hindsight.
I mean, we needed a placeholder between 2019 and (if we make it there) 2021 — but did if have to be this one, a year only Screwtape could love?
Walking back to the office (adorned in pandemic masks that didn’t prevent wildfire smoke from stinging our eyes) from the afternoon trek for caffeine, the conversation turned to the health of President Trump — particularly the political fallout and inevitable conspiracy theories.
It is, we agreed, yet another perfect storm among so many that have made 2020 a most imperfect year.
“And,” one trekker suggested in between sips of his almond-milk accented espresso, “there’s still three-quarters of it to go.”
At first, we were willing to chalk it up to the truism about “journalists doing math.” But the more I thought about what he’d said, the more I realized he had stumbled onto a point.
2020 might not be another 27 months, but it sure feels as though it will — unless, of course, that meteor scheduled for a near-miss Nov. 2 changes course ever so slightly.
With the way our luck is going, though, it’ll miss and wouldn’t that be “The Most 2020 Thing Ever.”
You’re familiar by now with that ubiquitous phrase, I take it. Every oddity, every calamity, every ignoble moment through the math-challenged first quarter of 2020 has been attributed to the upside-down horseshoe hanging over our heads.
An intensive, exhaustive 0.39-second search on the googles registered 2,320,000,000 links related to “the most oops ... The Most 2020 Thing Ever.”
Mike Tyson fighting a shark was TM2020TE. Frequent-fliers who missed the comfort of the seats paying airlines as much as $4,000 for “Flights to Nowhere” was TM2020TE. The Seattle school board voting to give every student an “A” in every class this spring was TM2020TE.
That was until just before midnight Thursday ... when Ananke, the Greek Goddess of Inevitability, said “Hold My Beer.”
I mean, really, nothing says “2020” — with its inumerable, inherent ironies in tow — quite like the country, the government and the election hitting Pause while the President of the United States is treated with experimental drugs after contracting the coronavirus.
Unless, that is, the wellspring of conspiracy theories to have arisen over the past 72 hours.
Go ahead type “Trump COVID conspiracy theories” into your search engine of choice. Just moments before typing this sentence, my effort took 0.68 seconds to come up with 52,800,000 possible links.
Here in Jackson County, we have enough to worry about without wading into that morass.
At some point, whether in nine months or 88 days — whichever (barring asteroids) comes first — 2020 will end and a new year will be upon us.
Maybe the pandemic will have receded. Maybe the push for social justice reforms will have borne fruit. Maybe the community efforts to rebuild the communities devastated by the Almeda and South Obenchain fires will have gathered a full head of steam.
Maybe even, if we’re lucky, the election will have been decided.
But what then? What, in our post-holidays stupor, comes after this year of events that have been The Most 2020 Things Ever?
It was another co-worker — the evocative wordsmith Joe Zavala — who ventured into the Twitterverse this week and pondered an escape hatch for this unrelenting turmoil:
“I wonder if when this is all over,” he mused, “we’ll all kind of awkwardly look at each other like at the end of ‘Lord of the Flies,’ and be like ‘Hey, sorry about almost killing you back there but, man, how about this crazy weather we’ve been having? Gosh, where did spring go, am I right?’”
Then again, Joe’s always had faith in humanity. Me I’m tracking that asteroid.
Mail Tribune news editor Robert Galvin always backs out the door when leaving email@example.com the day.