I don’t typically submit a blog post to my team of editors in the wee hours of New Year's Day, unless I want a black eye. Even with no parties to attend, these fixers of my scribblings have by now already toasted farewell to 2020 by donning celebratory lampshades, and are in no mood to try to make sense of the words I’ve splashed haphazardly onto the page for another 36 or so hours.
So let's bypass the editors today and use the opportunity to denigrate the shit year that was 2020 without their interference.
Yeah, OK, 2020 started off just fine. The impeachment of a sitting president may sound inauspicious, but I must admit it lifted my spirits, especially whenever Adam Schiff took the mic. From there it went downhill. The president was found not guilty, continued to ignore or not bother to read intelligence reports, and played down the new virus, which had secretly boarded a plane from China in order to attend a Biogen conference.
The rest of the year is a total blur. Stuck in our homes, unable to give hugs to our friends and family, watching helplessly as our favorite bars and restaurants closed, seeing people lose their jobs, remote school that barely resembled actual school … Ech. The year was a complete disaster before we even started counting all the dead bodies.
The only thing that has kept me from flinging myself off a tall building this year is that no tall buildings are allowing me in. I exaggerate of course. Having the best family anyone could hope to have, a meaningful job, and friends who are masterful optimists with great senses of humor have also kept me mostly sane. Not to mention that I've gotten better at brewing beer.
For 2021, my hope is to retain the family, friends, work, and beer and jettison everything else.
When I die, and you and other friends are gathering ‘round to drink all the beer I left behind, I want you to know that I would prefer it if you drank my beer from real glassware.
It’s the least you could do for me, for crying out loud. Look, I left you all this beer, most of it in kegs. What, you’re going to drink it out of plastic cups? Or coffee mugs?
I know some of you are just chomping at the bit to go under the tap when I die, while people around are chanting “drink, drink, drink…”, but I think you can be slightly more dignified about it. How about tapping 8 ounces into a short-stemmed glass and admiring each beer’s character? If you have chin whiskers, now's the time to massage them while striking a deep, contemplative pose.
On the other hand, I’ll be dead, so it doesn’t really matter what I want. Nevertheless, I thought you might want to know what I’m hoping for.
Still in the mid-late portion of the early segment of my life, I consider myself lucky to never have been evicted from a residence. But I seriously worry for many other people these days. In better times, moderately-employed people of all stripes seemed able to keep rooves over their heads, despite the lack of safety nets under their feet, by delivering pizzas, waiting tables, and laundering strangers’ underthings. Then, this damnable coronavirus came along, wrecking it all. Now masked people eagerly willing to serve you and your tipsy friends hazy IPAs until you are too drunk to drive are poised to be thrown into the mean streets during the cold winter months, unless our very brave politicians with their excellent healthcare are willing to do something to help them. Not because the masked folk are unwilling to serve your drunk buddies hazy IPAs, but because there is nowhere for beer drinkers to congregate around kegs safely these days.
As someone who has delivered many a pizza and laundered many a strangers’ underthings in my checkered past, I wonder what it must feel like to find that you can no longer pull yourself up by the bootstraps, try as you might.
I’m not suggesting, as some do, that the burden should rest upon the shoulders of the landlords, who owe mortgage payments to banks. Here in the Parkway region of Boston, lots of “landlords” happen to be ordinary folk who might prefer a single family home but opted for a “three-deckah” to make ends meet. These people are in a bind as well.
Which brings us to our soon-to-be Squatter-in-Chief. Let’s be clear: this is not a person who deserves one iota of your sympathy. That he is likely to be removed from the Weiss Haus by the local Sheriffs is at once hilarious and a little scary. Sorry that you don’t want to leave, but there are many people who don’t want to leave their homes either who have better excuses for staying in their apartments than you have for staying in a mansion.
Some people worry that the president’s refusal to leave the White House will be awkward for America, and to them I say, “Yeah, probably.” But there is a lot of awkward to go around. Alas, with the inauguration’s social distancing rules, we’ll not be able to appreciate the further awkwardness of having a single, vacant chair just behind our President, Joe Biden, where the outgoing president would traditionally sit. Thanks to social distancing, there will be many vacant chairs. But at least we won’t have a man-child making faces, rolling his eyes, and sulking while we peacefully transfer power from one administration to another.
A lot of my friends have been complaining that Donald Trump has been unwilling to accept that more people voted for Joe Biden than they did for him. I totally get that. But look at it from the president’s vantage point: it’s really embarrassing for a guy who “never loses,” except, basically, all the time, to lose an election when the under-ballot candidates in his party seemed to succeed admirably.
Personally, I think the president isn’t looking on the bright side of this election outcome: that he garnered any votes at all is truly astounding. Who votes for someone who so clearly botched the coronavirus pandemic response? Or blackmails an ally who is at war with an enemy? Or alleges that the only questionable votes are the ones cast against him?
Honestly, this should have been 159,795 votes for Biden, and 5 for Trump, conceding that Trump himself, Junior, Eric, Ivanka, and Jared all voted for the president. Melania abstained is my guess. She likely enjoys life in the White House, but she’d prefer to divorce this clown’s stupid ass and take some of his money before he goes bankrupt.
Of course, many of us Biden supporters aren’t appreciating the silver lining of Trump staying in the White House: we’ve never had a dictator in our country’s long and distinguished history, and it might be interesting to see what that’s like. Imagine how cool political poisonings would be on the nightly news! Maybe the administration could get hold of some of some Soviet-era toxins and “lose” a few electoral college electors (wink wink). Cue the alternates who’ll vote for whomever they please, or rather whomever the President tells them to vote for.
So much more exciting than accepting the will of the voters.