The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Some Things That Didn’t Go Wrong in 2021

The container ship Ever Given is no longer stuck in the Suez Canal. But wait, there's more! (AP)
Comment

Lots of things transpired in 2021, which, say what you will about it, was certainly a year that happened. Most year-end reflections dwell on the things, good or bad, that actually occurred in the preceding 12 months. But in the interest of not dragging us through the agony again, I thought it might be nice to just focus on a few bad things that, at least, did not happen this year.

– The ice at the North Pole did not melt and release the Unspeakable, Nameless Thing that has been trapped there for a thousand generations, which did not begin slithering on its hideous belly toward civilization, unhinging the minds of everyone who encountered it and leaving only devastation in its wake.

– No big meteors!

– Something did not suddenly go wrong with all the bananas, causing people who opened them to scream in horror and afterward be unable to describe what it was that they had seen.

– Nobody pressed any civilization-ending wrong buttons by mistake. Can’t always take that for granted!

Follow Alexandra Petri's opinionsFollow

– Did not learn more than two new letters of the Greek alphabet.

– Many areas of public life were not disrupted by major scandals that undermined everyone’s confidence in the people they had trusted and placed in positions of power!

– The Mona Lisa did not briefly disappear from the Louvre and return covered with a coat of dark and swarming flies whose buzzing, increasingly, began to sound like a voice uttering words, unintelligible at first, and then suddenly, terrifyingly, hideously clear, and full of ominous meaning.

– The Ever Given is not still in the Suez Canal.

– In the course of unsticking the Ever Given from the Suez Canal we did not bump a box labeled “ghosts” and thus the air is not now thick with restive, lamenting voices seeking vengeance or justice that eluded them in life.

– This was not the year it became impossible to wake up from dreams without first successfully solving a riddle!

– Still don’t know what cats are really thinking.

– We did not all suddenly discover in the middle of July that we remembered a man named Wrinkly Greg and when we tried in more detail to recollect what it was we knew him from or what exactly he had done, were not forced to conclude “he just sat there and did his knitting."

– We did not all hear the cry of the gulls after which we had ineluctably to proceed to the West and could not remain contented here any longer.

– Only the 10-minute “All Too Well (Taylor Swift’s Version)” was released, not the 50-minute “All Too Well” that would have obliged every rat in the United States, even domesticated rats from reputable ratteries, to proceed to Jake Gyllenhaal’s home and just sit there watching him, not threateningly, but not un-threateningly, either.

– No pop songs this year opened a portal to any sinister dimensions!

– When the Billionaires (one of whom, Jeff Bezos, also owns The Post) went to space, they did not discover on the following day that they were developing warm, thick pelts, and when someone in a room near one of them said, “Laika!" “Belka!” or “Strelka!” they did not perk up, suddenly convulsed with an overwhelming sense of memories of a different shape.

– Didn’t fall asleep listening to radio static and awaken to discover that everyone had a small beard and was Different, Somehow.

– Book-banning efforts still not entirely successful in all places!

– Opening the time capsule beneath the dethroned Robert E. Lee statue did not send something like electricity sizzling through the air and transport us to a universe where the “Game of Thrones” creators’ alternate Confederate history TV series made it to air.

– Yellowfin tuna did not send a delegation to the United Nations informing us that they are actually sentient beings with a complex civilization of their own and demanding to be treated accordingly and offered a seat on the Security Council.

– No small meteors!

– Some bad tweets happened, but you should see the bad tweets that didn’t happen!

We did not awaken on January 1 and discover that it was 2020 again, but more. Still not refusing to accept the results of elections, but then again there weren’t very many elections this year!

– The year did not inexplicably restart each time something went wrong, forcing us to compress lifetimes into the span of what should have been 365 days.

– 2022 still scheduled to arrive at midnight on Dec. 31!

Loading...