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Year End Stuff

Web posted on December 29, 2016

A Curmudgeon's View

By Les Enekes

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas.

If you are still feeling a little fowl, it's probably that last piece of undigested turkey. It could be that nog of egg, or other spirits of Christmas coming back to visit you. Perhaps it's the remnants of that Christmas (fruit) cake you should have resisted. These shall all pass. Those extra pounds you picked up are now the ghosts of Christmas past and will probably haunt you until spring. As for some of your credit card bills, they will haunt you even longer.

Those of you who went to the Boxing Day/Week/Month sales, and got taken in by all the marketing hype, you won't be getting any of my sympathy. The concept of getting up at some ridiculous hour, driving to a store or mall, standing in line, and fighting the crowds just to save a few dollars baffles me. As you know by now I tend to be somewhat thrifty, but I have better things to do on Boxing Day, and I refuse to give up my comfort. The thought of acting like a lemming just does not appeal to me. Staying home was still too close, come to think of it a Caribbean island would have been the right distance from the sales.

It's almost safe to turn on the TV, all the Christmas specials and movies are now over until next November. Our regular programs will soon return. Of course, these days shows don't take Christmas breaks, they have fall finales and winter premiers. What a bunch of marketing nonsense. We can now look forward to all the televised award shows. There used to be three major entertainment award shows. Now we have so many of them it's almost impossible to keep up with. This is just a plot to keep the people in the trophy industry employed. It's reaching the point where you get an award for just showing up. You know, like kids get for participating. Maybe I can get the Lumpies televised.

It's the time of year when almost everyone makes up all sorts of resolutions, many of which will fail for one reason or another. For the most part they include giving up the usual vices or shedding a few pounds. If you make your resolutions much less ambitious, you have a much better chance of success. Last year I made some New Years Resolutions that were very easy to keep. I went after as many politicians as I could. I commented on issues local and beyond. I played nice a few times and I dropped a lot of bad puns and one liners.

So this year my resolutions will be pretty well the same as last year. I will have a whole bunch of new targets for next year, and there will be several revisits of issues that need updating. I am looking forward to the Conservative (too many candidates) and NDP (not enough candidates) leadership races heating up. It's rather boring on that front right now. I guess that after the American primaries anything would be considered boring. There will be much more of my very dry humour, bad one liners and really bad puns.

Almost every supermarket tabloid has predictions somewhere on the front cover this time of year. I figured that I could do the same but with a much better success rate. Last year I made some very generic and some very safe predictions. Most of my predictions came true. The Leafs did not win the Stanley Cup, a Toronto sports team choked (you have several choices), they did not find Jimmy Hoffa, Young Trudeau did not walk on water, and Mythbusters went out with a big bang. There were the expected natural and unnatural disasters (not counting the American election), there were terror attacks, scandals, and all the usual stuff.

I did not predict the Donald Trump winning but should have seen it coming, and Brexit slipped by under my radar. It is nice to know that there are a few real surprises every year.

Safe predictions for next year include all the usual stuff about disasters, terror attacks, mass shootings down south, and so on. I will go out on a limb and say it will not be a good year for Toronto sports fans. Young Trudeau will not walk on water, nor will he find Jimmy Hoffa. Politicians at all levels will do stupid things and there will be more scandals. It will be an interesting time for our American friends once Donald Trump gets inaugurated. There are several elections coming up in Europe that will probably not turn out as expected or predicted. It will be nice to have a year off from elections on this side of the pond. We will be subjected to a bunch of mediocre hero movies and sequels. TV shows will continue to decline into unreality. It's safe to say that I will have no shortage of material to write about.

As for our weather, Mother Nature will again do what she does best, no matter what those rodents will predict in about a month. Spring will get here when she says so. I am already tired of winter and spring can't get here soon enough.

Another year end tradition is to remind us of all the things that happened during the course of the year. I will let others come up with their list of top stories. The way I see it, there are too many things that happened this year that are best left forgotten.

I do want to thank all the politicians, marketing people, planning departments, and their ilk out there for all the wonderful material you have given me. Without you I would actually have to look for things to write about.

We will be celebrating 150 years as a nation next year. We have a lot to be proud of, so let the party begin.

Wishing you all the best for the New Year, and as always if you plan to indulge in the adult beverage of your choice, don't drive.

Rest in Peace Carrie Fisher and may the Force be with you.

Les Enekes can be reached directly by owl. For those not owl equipped, he can be reached at

The views of columnists in The Fountain Pen do not necessarily represent the views of the principals of the publication.

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