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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump


Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum