Elvis popped in to visit the other day. I hadn’t seen him for a while, mainly because he spends most of his time on Mars disguised as a walrus, apparently to avoid having to pay his annual Elvis Impersonators Anonymous sub. He had a burger from the slider joint down the road and took a mouthful before asking me how 2016 had gone for me.
“To quote Helen Mirren, it’s been a big pile of shit.”
“Generically or personally?”
“So what happened?” He took another bite of his burger.
“I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice to say it was the worst year ever for me. Massive collapse, one thing after another and no time to deal with each emergency before the next was on me. My life’s a wreck. Don’t know what to do. And that’s without the rest of the world.”
“Which has gone to hell in a handbasket.”
“Precisely,” I said.
“But look at the positives – Tove Lo released a new album. And a short movie.” He crumpled the burger wrapper and tossed it into the rubbish bin. “And we got the best Star Wars movie since Empire Strikes Back.”
“Yes,” I said “there’s that.”
“And it could have been worse – you could have had severe earthquakes.”
“We did,” I said. “As for the wider world… well, what worries me is that while we’ve been mourning the loss of our favourite celebrities – and what a loss – there’s been political upheaval in Britain and the US that’s likely to shape the next few decades, one way or another – and not in a good way. There’s a lot of angry polemic about it, of the kind I last saw when I was a student. Reason’s fled – all I’m seeing is people asserting their personal truths against each other and snarling. The conflicts in the Middle East are getting worse, there’s the Spratly Islands… and nobody’s mentioned the Mosul Dam which is apparently about to collapse even if ISIS don’t vandalise it, and that’ll be a cataclysm for Iraq. I know what just happened always looms largest… but things are brewing up and all I can see is people fighting each other. If we can’t see reason as a species and start being nice to each other, worldwide, we’re fucked. And it’s an own goal.”
“And that,” said Elvis “is why I live on Mars. Which is where I must go. See you in 2017.”
“See you next year,” I said.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2016