Much of what’s sloshing around in your daily information trough this time of year involves recaps of 2017 and rankings of the best this or that from the year that’s about to end.
What’s lacking, I believe, is a sensible, level-headed look at the things that didn’t happen in 2017 but should have.
I’m going to fill that void with the following roundup, which I have cleverly titled: Rex Huppke’s First Annual Guide to All that Should Have Happened This Year, But Didn’t.
1. Jetpacks: Yes, I know that technically there are jetpacks in existence, but they aren’t widely available yet, and that’s a travesty. When I was growing up, if you told me that by the year 2017 I would still be unable to fly around the city with an easy-to-use jetpack, I would have laughed in your jetpack-hating face. Yet here I stand, jetpack-less. American exceptionalism is dead to me.
2. The nationalization of Dairy Queens: It is troubling that here, in the wealthiest nation in the world, we are still unable to provide all Americans with free and fair access to delicious soft-serve ice cream. While some scoff at my idea, writing it off as “dairy socialism,” I remain committed to a future in which no child will have to live without twist cones.
3. An alien takeover of Earth: Frankly, if there was ever a year for one, this was it. While we can’t be sure how this alien race would rule, it seems likely they would do a better job of things than we’ve been doing. And if we’re being totally honest, some light probing and mild enslavement would be a small price to pay for more responsible leadership.
4. A ban on kale: This leafy weed continues to find its way into the food chain, despite ample evidence that eating it is as enjoyable as sucking on a wet lily pad. While a ban might cause a temporary disturbance in the foodie community, it would be beneficial to all of humanity, as well as to any aliens who arrive to take over the planet.
5. A ban on foodies: The aforementioned kale-related disturbance would actually be welcome, as anything that disturbs foodies is a net positive for society. The government’s unwillingness to outlaw this grotesque subculture is striking, particularly given the hideous things foodies keep doing to otherwise good hamburgers. Here’s hoping for some action in 2018.
6. A full global appreciation of my finely sculpted man-calves: As many regular readers know, my calves are my greatest asset and, arguably, two of the world’s unsung treasures. Appearing as though they were forged by dwarven blacksmiths as a gift for the Norse gods, these artlike leg muscles continue to wallow in obscurity, despite my aggressive social media marketing campaign.
7. The deportation of all members of Mannheim Steamroller: This synthesizer-heavy new-age group is to Christmas what asbestos is to children’s cereal. For several holiday seasons, I’ve engaged in a Twitter war with Mannheim Steamroller, and while I’m clearly winning — based solely on the fact that I’m not a super-annoying band — it’s not enough to drive them away. I had hoped they would be shipped to Siberia to hang out with their Yuletide-decimating comrades in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but no dice. Looks like another year of Christmas music that sounds like it was emitted by a rogue Casio keyboard coming off a cocaine bender.
8. The end of the term “binge-watching”: That term has an inherently negative connotation and is insulting to television enthusiasts like myself. If someone goes on a long walk, you don’t hear me saying the person is “binge-ambulating.” So if I decide to watch nine consecutive episodes of a new Netflix show, that just means I’m immersing myself in pop culture. Or I’m achieving a heightened state of staring. Let’s try to be more respectful next year.
9. The invention of a phone that stares at my phone for me: You need only glance around a commuter train or any public space for a moment to see that the demands of staring at our phones have become too great. It’s basically all we do, so in order to free us up to do whatever it is we used to do prior to all the phone staring, we need new phones designed to stare at our other phone for us. A staring phone would relay any important information that comes from our other phone, but since nothing important has ever actually come from a stared-at phone, it would mainly just sit there and be quiet.
That covers the most important things 2017 failed to deliver. As we prepare to welcome in the new year, let’s keep our collective fingers crossed that 2018 will do better. At least on the jetpack front. I mean, c’mon — why is that taking so long?!