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Monday, December 31, 2012

A Brief History of What Didn't Happen This Year

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The Earth has made another 584,020,177-mile sojourn around the sun (give or take 3 inches), which compels us annually to mark the occasion. We have to by fiat, and because it’s in our genetic makeup to dutifully mark anniversaries as if they meant something vital to our survival. Other than orbital patterns and their accompanying seasonal changes, a 365.25-day period itself is rather arbitrary, and I’m sure the constellations had no intention of our looking to them for our frequency of paying taxes, having birthdays, or demarcating school years or football seasons. Oh no, we’ve gone around the sun again! That means we have to crown a new Super Bowl champion! See, we tend to be that way and things.

Now we’re ready to start a new compartment of days with a new number. Then when we’ve got ten of those, we’ll call it a neat little decade. That way, we’ll know kind of music we’re talking about. Everybody goes home contented as clams and happy as cows. (Larks are happy too, aren't they?)

Arbitrary chronomatic designations? Of course. But then so is any time period, be it an hour, a day, or a millennium. They’re just pretty numbers, and that’s precisely why we can’t resist them. They seem to us to carry inherent meaning in them, if not for the fact that they were contrived by us, with us, for us and on behalf of us. Otherwise, they’re virtually dripping in intrinsicness. (Note: It would appear that my lexicon is more extensive than spell checker’s, so sue me)

At any rate, what was the big deal about this 2012 glob we just encountered? We want to feel a heightened level of importance, thus we want to attach some degree of legitimacy to our experiences, particular the more recent ones, and so we want to encapsulate and memorialize our latest journal of entries. Our accomplishments, our memories, our veritable legacy, as it were. At the essence of the matter, we want to come more in touch with our core identities, thinking we can throw a lasso around a set of unrelated random occurrences and associate ourselves with it in some adroit metaphysical maneuver. Or at least that's my initial impression at face value. And with that, we now look at a list of things that didn’t happen in the past 12 orbits of our unassuming yet ever-chronicling moon.

2012 — The Year That Wasn't

What didn’t happen: Siegfried & Roy didn’t perform complex algorithms at a Bon Jovi concert.
Why it didn’t happen: Siegfried perhaps did, but definitely not Roy. Somebody has to keep the operation with its feet firmly planted on the ground, and that would be the aforementioned ever-resolute Roy. Side note: Siegfried is admittedly partial to Rage Against the Machine.

What didn’t happen: The world didn’t end*. (*-except in strategic parts of New Jersey)
Why it didn’t happen: The Mayans were instead merely trying to predict when Desperate Housewives would be going into syndication, and everybody gets their knickers in a bundle.

What didn’t happen: Dick Clark didn’t do the New Year’s Eve countdown.
Why it didn’t happen: He’s grown bored of the whole saga and feigned his death so he could enter the witness protection program and live out the rest of his days with high school buddies Elvis and George Burns in Bora Bora.

What didn’t happen: The Cubs didn’t win the World Series.
Why it didn’t happen: So 1908 wasn’t good enough for you greedy Cubs fans?

What didn’t happen: You didn’t win the lottery. OK, so I got lucky guessing on that one.
Why it didn’t happen: Because nobody wins the lottery except for imaginary people and incredibly lucky zombies.

What didn’t happen: Penn & Teller didn’t invade Belgium.
Why it didn’t happen: Penn ran into complications communicating by walkie talkie with Teller, plus they ran out of army tanks.

What didn’t happen: A news anchor didn’t act nonchalantly about an incredibly unextraordinary occurrence while donning a King Kong suit, doing the backstroke on the newsdesk and singing the full lyrics to “Moving in Stereo.”
Why it didn’t happen: Like they would ever act nonchalantly about something.

What didn’t happen: A mass exodus of squeegee operators didn’t infiltrate a laundromat at closing time.
Why it didn’t happen: Philosophically speaking, feasible if but only for a glut of factors coming together in a perfect storm, so they’d be just as likely to infiltrate an auto parts store at an undisclosed location in the Alps. Stay tuned, because this could get quiet intriguing.

What didn’t happen: A diva once again didn’t make a noteworthy song. Webster’s: noteworthy, n. — something that’s either worth writing home about or that will matter to anyone on the planet in ten years besides their mother.
Why it didn’t happen: See also: duh.

What didn’t happen: Soccer moms didn’t traverse the Serengeti on mopeds.
Why it didn’t happen: They wouldn’t be caught dead out of a mini-van, their natural habitat. So the imagination winces to consider the unlikelihood of the event, let alone its reality.

What didn’t happen: The fiscal cliff wasn’t averted, as lemmings catapulted to their ultimate demise.
Why it didn’t happen: Um, the government is in charge.

What didn’t happen: People didn’t read blogs while looking at this sentence without having déjà vu or flashbacks. People didn’t read blogs while looking at that last sentence.
Why it didn’t happen: Just would never happen. Too pie-in-the-sky for my pragmatic propensities. (Did I read that already? I didn’t think so. For a minute there, I thought I might be hallucinating. Hmm. Is it safe to come out of the parentheses yet?) Ah, thanks. A little stuffy in there. Feel like I can breathe now…

What didn’t happen: We didn’t see the first woman U.S. president.
Why it didn’t happen: Women are too smart to mess with such tomfoolery or chuckwoolery.

What didn’t happen: Metallica didn’t write a song called “Smurfs Are Our Friends.”
Why it didn’t happen: Because Smurfs aren’t their friends. Like it took a neurosurgeon to analyze that one.

What didn’t happen: I didn’t get rich and move to Paris.
Why it didn’t happen: Paris, meh. Furthermore, Eiffel Schmeiffel.

What didn’t happen: Gerunds were not expanded to include the word “Peking.”
Why it didn’t happen: Asiatic linguists were heard all around to be saying “No Peking.” Actually, they were just in a grumpy mood. OK, so linguists are always in a grumpy mood, but that’s beside the point.

What didn’t happen: Hell didn’t freeze over.
Why it didn’t happen: Global warming.

What didn’t happen: Reality shows didn’t exist.
Why it didn’t happen: I continued to fail to recognize them as part of my perpetual moratorium against inanity.

What didn’t happen: Monkeys didn’t create the complete works of Shakespeare.
Why it didn’t happen: They were busy writing popular romance novels.

What didn’t happen: Hypnosis wasn’t added to general health insurance premiums.
Why it didn’t happen: All in good time, once there's money in it.

What didn’t happen: Pigs didn’t fly.
Why it didn’t happen: They were engineered for taste.

What didn’t happen: The Cowboys didn’t make the playoffs.
Why it didn’t happen: Global warming.

What didn’t happen: We didn’t change to a Base-17 numbering system.
Why it didn’t happen: People are too firmly ensconced in tradition. And it doesn’t match our toes.

What didn’t happen: There was no “Land Before Time” animated dinosaur video release.
Why it didn’t happen: It was an even-numbered year. 2013: Fossil Retaliation.

And there you have it, the things that we unfortunately didn’t see happen in our illustrious 52-week period of non-events. That’s what we were missing, in case we start to pat ourselves on the back with an overinflated false sense of accomplishment. It’s now quite evident we could’ve done much better.

And then my annual predictions of the coming year…


Gee, I sure hope I’m right.

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