The year 2021 has been admitted to The Priory’s Laurence Fox attention-dependency wing after suffering a sudden collapse under the weight of expectation of being better than 2020.
‘After the arsenado that was 2020, I could have galloped in as a putrid horse skeleton cobbled together from bat droppings, the Millennium Bug, the Black Death and Priti Patel’s charisma, jockeyed by a naked Chris Grayling in a tricorn hat, and still nailed it,’ said 2021. ‘But you lot are somehow expecting me to magic away your self-created apocalyptic levels of shit: Covid, Brexit, climate change, Matt Hancock, banana sourdough, the threat of a rescheduled Mrs Brown’s Boys national theatre tour.
‘All that, and keep Joe Biden’s hologram running for another 365 days? It’s too much for one simple annus doingonesbestus,’ the nascent year sobbed piteously, leading suspiciously attractive ‘nurses’ to step in and wheel it back to the Rita Ora party annexe for an emergency intravenous double Valium cocktail with morphine chaser.
Government strategy for Operation Quick-whip-up-something-in-papier-mâché is reassuringly non-existent, with Michael Gove insisting that the New Year will absolutely be behind its desk ready for the start of term. Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak is warning the escalating cost of 2021’s treatment will have to be met by a tax on shoes, oxygen and hope, and Boris Johnson has accused reporters of being ‘Auld Lang Syne-dodging pinko naysayers’ before sinking into another Jeroboam of fizzy Night Nurse.
With bids in from Mike Ashley, Huawei’s Mindbot division, and an attractive brand consultant the Prime Minister once rubbed up against in a sauna, the replacement New Year contract is expected to be awarded by the time-honoured ‘dartboard, bribe and chum-rating’ method at a squeak past 11:59 p.m. Sometime in February. Meanwhile, Priory staff warn that 2021’s condition remains critical and cannot risk being exposed to further stress or trauma, such as discovering Katie Price is currently occupying the suite next door.