362 days to go, and I'm already sick of it

HERE WE go again. Another new year, and isn't it amazing how they just keep coming along, one after another? I live in hope. Each year as the clock strikes midnight and the wan pawky shade of Andy Stewart mums and gurns in the spinning airwaves like something nasty out of A Christmas Carol, I think, This year we'll be all right; this year there'll just be a soft click on the last stroke of 12 and everything will be suspended forever, or at least as long as it takes to get things sorted out, and there'll just be a gentle dove-grey silence, like cigarette-smoke or ambergris or the lost resonance of bells.

There's not, of course. There's tumult and injury, imbecile pronouncements from Sergeant Buzzfuzz and the fountains boarded up in Trafalgar Square; a conga-line of malfeasants, blotto; sick on the pavements, skirts up, knickers down and a minatory headache hatching in 20 million dazed and rattling skulls. Happy New Year, you fools! Here we go again!

But next time, it will be different. It will, it will. This is the last year and then the Millennium. These are the End Days. Only 362 to go and then all the computers will go down and Jesus will come again to judge both the quick and the dead, a task I can't envy him, what with the computers all going down and everything, but "Play it as it lays" has always been my motto and I expect it's His too, although it must be said that He doesn't have to put up with the sort of shit I do.

Three hundred and sixty two days, and so much to do. We'll all be sick of it by the time it arrives. Some of us are sick of it already; some of us are so sick of it already that we had forgotten or repressed just how sick we were, but thanks to the Millennium Dome advertising campaign we can start being sick of it all over again. The main thing, though, is not to get so sick of it as to forget to take elementary precautions against everything, so I offer you this handy Timetable of Millennium Dome, Bug & Second Coming Preparations for you to tear out, drill a hole through the top left-hand corner, and hang in the khazi because I'll tell you what, if you think Andrex is going to keep churning the stuff out roll-by-roll despite computer failure and the End of Time, you are in serious ontological trouble. So light a fougere-scented candle, take a handful of delicious Nurofen Plus, and settle down to see what's what.

JANUARY This is a time for mulching and consolidation. "What is mulching?" you may ask. I say, if you don't know, why should I tell you? But seeing as we're all going to die, I will make an exception. Mulching is a technical term for nastiness in the garden, and everyone is agreed it's essential. So get on with it.

FEBRUARY Make a list of things you will need to stockpile throughout the coming months. There won't be any in the shops because everyone else will be after the same things. You don't believe me? Think of an odd number between one and 10. Think of a vegetable. See? You thought "seven" and you thought "carrot". Just like everyone else. We are in the same boat and we are headed for the bottom.

MARCH You will need to build a dugout, get a shotgun, brush up on your survival skills. (a) To build a dugout, dig. Move the earth from the entrance. Go in. Hide. (b) To get a shotgun, hang around dodgy pubs until you meet someone who talks very quietly out of the corner of his mouth. Go up to him, saying "Hello, I believe you may be a criminal, I wish to buy a shotgun, here is some money or I shall go to the police." (c) Survival skills. The most valuable survival skill is: not dying. Practice it. The pub is a good place to start.

APRIL Consider your religious beliefs. Scientific surveys show that it takes at least nine months of diligent belief to be able to establish a robust and vigorous faith with the first green shoots of bigotry, intolerance etc. If you do not believe in Jesus, now would be a good time to start. You might also wish to begin backing up your computerised "data". Alternatively you could just not bother, since it's all bollocks anyway. I mean, how many personal finance programs do you have? And how many are up-to-date? Exactly.

MAY Spring is here, the sap is rising and now is the time to do all those things you always meant to do, eg that Mrs Plovdiv next door. And don't worry about Mr Plovdiv. He is away earning a fortune advising companies on what to do when the Millennium Bug strikes.

JUNE If you are wise, you will form a religious cult around yourself when everyone gets back from holiday and starts worrying about the imminent End of the World as we Know It. Now, therefore, would be a good time to work on your charisma. (Hint: to improve your charisma, just watch Mr Mandelson closely and do the opposite.)

JULY Begin withdrawing all your money from the bank over the coming months. Come January it'll all go up in smoke anyway. Do not keep it in the form of cash, which will be useless. Buy things of inherent value, eg Viagra, penicillin, absolute of jasmine, lap-dancers.

AUGUST Now is the time to hang around airports, preaching. Buttonhole strangers and tell them that Jesus is behind the Millennium Bug, also the Devil is behind the Millennium Dome. Ask them which side they want to be on. Then sign them up.

SEPTEMBER You left it too late, didn't you? Well you'll just have to put up with Bronco and that's that. (It'll give you something to think about in the long dark eternity to come, ie, who the hell had the idea of inventing shiny lavatory paper?)

OCTOBER Gather your disciples in your dugout. Keep shtum.

NOVEMBER Memorise John Donne's "Nocturnall Upon St Lucies Day". You will need it. Get Mrs Plovdiv in tip-top shape.

DECEMBER Blast your computer equipment to smithereens with your shotgun. Buy the tin-opener you forgot. (Price: 2,000 Viagra 100mg and Mrs Plovdiv.) Hunker down. Suppress schismatic disciples. Wait.

JANUARY 2000 Nothing happens. Feel stupid. Emerge blinking into sunlight. Try to re-build life.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week