It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Oh dear, it has started already. Not the snow, at least not in these parts. And the Christmas music started way back before there was frost on the pumpkins. What’s started now is the annual ‘best of the year’ lists and prizes. I guess there is no point whatsoever in doing anything list-worthy in December because you will have missed the boat. Better to wait until January, although you will probably also escape notice because by the time November rolls around no one will remember what happened before June. I guess this is due to winter-induced brain fog. But I digress.

I am pretty sure I am not going to be Time’s person of the year, but I can’t be certain until they announce it next week, unlike Donald Trump who is certain he won’t be because he has already turned it down (or something like that). I am also pretty sure I’m not going to win the 2017 Giller prize for fiction, partly because it was already awarded last week but mostly because I did not write a novel this year (or probably any year, for that matter).

Anyhow, if the rest of the world is going to cut the year off after eleven months then I guess I should follow suit to avoid getting scooped. Here are some things that I think are award worthy or at least note-worthy for this year.

I think the most difficult to predict ‘award’ this year is who will top the list of most egregious misogynistic or otherwise unacceptable power-mongering behaviour by (male) public figures. On the other hand, maybe the award most contested will be the best example of a ‘non-apology’ apology. Kevin Spacey, I’m looking at you.

In other news, a group of Spanish researchers have determined that coffee is a fountain of youth (or at least, a preventer of death, which is probably not the same thing). According to study results presented at the European Society of Cardiology, if you drink at least four cups of coffee a day you reduce your chances of dying from a heart attack or stroke by 64%. I guess I am out of luck there since I don’t drink coffee, but maybe I shouldn’t spend all my money just yet. If you look closer at this kind of statistic, you will learn that decreasing your lifetime chance of a heart attack from 2% to just under 1.5% does not justify spending $30 a week at Starbucks. Come to think of it, I didn’t look closely at who funded this ‘study’.

We have just passed Back Friday and are motoring on towards Cyber Monday. In case you missed the origin story, Black Friday (AKA the day after American Thanksgiving) is traditionally the day that retailers move into profitability, courtesy of our neighbours to the south who are casting about for things to do after turkey day. Those of us who ate our turkey weeks ago have now embraced this tradition whole heartedly, as our Canadian version of Black Friday deals (which, if you haven’t been paying attention actually started a week ago) have now surpassed Boxing Day in dollar volume of sales. If this continues, all that will be left to buy after Christmas will be sad looking plastic trees and dubious day-glow ornaments. I think this should get the award for worst U.S. influence. Oh wait, maybe there are more worthy contenders out there…

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