Twenty-Sixteen is no more! Huzzah And Yahoo!

Bonus Column | by Jay R.R. Toking

Free peoples of Saskatchewan, rejoice! The shadow that once darkened our land (and lands across all Earth) is no more. The corrupt spirit of 2016 has been vanquished forever, and cast into the eternal void from whence there is no return.

It was not an easy battle and many brave souls were lost.

On the tenth of January, 2016, the mighty Elven King Bowie was the first to fall, and gentle folk everywhere wept. None suspected at the time that a sinister intelligence disguised as a simple journey around the sun was to blame for his passing. But as we now know, it was.

Nor did anyone glean the wicked designs at play when beloved thespian Alan Rickman passed a mere four days later. And yes, it was shocking when musician Glen Frey died on Jan. 18, but when oft-deceased Abe Vigoda took a final journey into darkness Jan. 26, none sensed anything out of the ordinary, for he had lived a long life.

On the 13 of February, despicable U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia evaporated in a sulphurous cloud of racist, homophobic smoke and plummeted into hell. That was good.

Umberto Ecco and Harper Lee died in February. Beatles producer George Martin followed in March, as did Nancy Reagan and Rob Ford. But it was the fall of Prince on April 21 that finally revealed The Enemy, and made its homicidal intentions clear.

An Alliance formed, brave and sarcastic, and sworn to stand against the tyranny of Twenty-Sixteen, as the foe was named. But despite their sharp-tongued comments on Facebook, still the valiant fell like tenpins — Muhammad Ali and Gordie Howe in June, along with young Anton Yelchin; Gene Wilder and R2D2 himself, Kenny Baker, in August; character actor Jon Polito in September, and of course legendary songwriter Leonard Cohen in November — a month in which The Enemy, just to be a dick, made an evil orange gourd president.

Before the end of the year we lost Fidel Castro, Zsa Zsa Gabor and, shockingly, Alan Thicke, who battled The Enemy with a hockey stick like the heroic Canadian he was.

But when Carrie Fisher succumbed to the evil on Dec. 27, it was enough. The villain was captured and chained, and on the stroke of midnight on the last day of the year, his feet were hewed from under him and he was cast into the void where he can spend all eternity with other jerk years, such as Nineteen-Fourteen, Nineteen-Thirty-Nine and Nineteen-Eighty Through Eighty-Nine.

Let the good people of the world relax, for Twenty-Seventeen can surely not also be a total douche? Nah.

Jay R. R. Toking is a terrible dungeon master.