The Second City: A year-end wrap-up from everyone's nemesis, the year 2016

Do you have any idea how hard it is to be a year? There’s a reason the job only lasts 365 days (or, for overachievers like me, 366). It’s tough to be compared with all the great ones that came before you, like 2008. And when I realized I’d never be the best, I realized I could be something else: the worst. So that’s exactly what I did.

I wanted to come in hot and make a definitive statement right away, so I killed David Bowie on Jan. 10. While it did send the world reeling, I got this annoying sense that people were trying to rebound—like no one wanted to admit their year was unsalvageable just 10 days in. So I sat around playing video games for four days, and then I killed Alan Rickman.Not so buoyant now, are we, gang?

I knew that in order for this year to truly make a foul stink, it couldn’t just be about killing off assorted beloved public icons. Don’t get me wrong—that has been a cornerstone of my strategy: Garry Shandling, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Anton Yelchin, Arnold Palmer, Gene Wilder, Merle Haggard, Gordie Howe, Pat Summitt, Elie Wiesel, Gwen Ifill, Leonard Cohen, Florence Henderson, John Glenn, Alan Thicke … I thought, “Who do people really have a special soft spot for, a truly earned reverence?” Then I sent the Grim Reaper a snapshot of the whiteboard and $100’s worth of really good weed.

Look, even I have a soul. There was a moment in May when the flowers bloomed and I hesitated. I considered changing tack. But did anyone notice? Did anyone send me a quick text to say, “So excited Mark-Paul Gosselaar is still alive!”? Or, “Thanks so much for making a Cleveland sports team win something!”? No.

You still got all the Beyoncé and “Hamilton” and resurrected Jon Snow you could binge-stream, but all anyone could talk about is what a disappointment “Batman v Superman” was and how much this year needed to eat a butt. Wow, thank you so much for your feedback. Here’s Brexit. And #Harambe.

I doubled down and got serious by quickly ruining the Olympics. Do you know how difficult it is to suck the joy out of a global unifier like the Olympic Games? Jeah, you do now.

Then came the U.S. election, which I had every intention to tamper with, but Putin beat me to it. Isn’t that bonkers? But I digress. I left an anonymous memo on Trump’s desk with a bunch of gag Cabinet picks. You know, oil and gas tycoons and Goldman Sachs billionaires who actively spent their careers trying to undermine the agencies they’d be leading. I did it just to agitate PEOTUS in an effort to make him go on more asinine, vitriolic Twitter rants, but then he actually picked some of them up.

Now that my reign is almost over, I’ve taken pains to ensure you won’t forget about me soon. If you honestly think 2017 is going to be one big global Coachella, you probably don’t read the news. Or the fake news—ha, “fake news.” I did that. Good times.

There are still a few days of me left. Get ready for a grand finale of suck, culminating in gathering around the holiday table with relatives to talk politics.

I’ll see you all in hell or Florida,
The Year 2016

Brooke Preston (@bigu, brookeprestoncomedy.com) is a comedy writer and storyteller. Get more from The Second City at secondcity.com.

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