To reflect on a year when our heroes fell like purple rain and an orange-tinted demagogue rose ... a poem

The great thing about the holiday season is that no news happens, so you're on safe ground pre-writing columns, often in September or October, and just taking off the rest of the year. So, let me present The Happy Poem of 2016. (Pre-written 11 months ago, like a pro, way back in Jan.) Ahem. (That's me clearing my throat.) Here goes.

This piece was pre-written, when the world's biggest news, was a cricket star smitten, with a girl who refused.
His name was Chris Gayle, his heart, it was mush, his courtship did fail, the baby did blush.
What an innocent time, we could over-react, that a guy being slime, didn't get his ass sacked.
Soon it became clear, though, that 2016, was not flowers and chocolate. In fact it was mean.
2016, a bitch, put the bitch in obituary. The famous, the rich, headed straight to the mortuary.

The first shock was Bowie, then Rickman, then Prince.
We were still mourning one, when the next, he was since.
Erased just like that, without warning or hints.
The guy from the Eagles, and Earth, Wind and Fire. Why couldn't it be Smeagol, or some bad pariah?
Our sound track, our mix tape, our heroes, our Snape. Our guardian hero, took off his cape.

It seemed OTT, surely out of the norm, though an actuary, might say, you know, perfect storm.
These things they do happen: humans, fatality. There's more famous peeps, now that TV's reality.
So it shouldn't surprise, the plot doesn't thicken. Your teen hero dies, your spring isn't chicken.
But still, this was crazy, surely something's suspicious. And then, Abe Vigoda, he sleeps with the fishes.

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OK, 94, that's a pretty good knock. Harper Lee, 89, shouldn't be such a shock.
But the author of everyone's favourite book, Mockingbird, still surprised us, alive she was took.
Old and older, regardless, still it was sad. Was celebrity death notice this year's new fad?
Muhammad Ali, who made medicine sick. Liesl from The Sound of Music.
Garry Shandling, the Buddha, well almost, not quite. Still striving, still searching, so his comedy could bite.
For comic relief, we threw a flag referendum. All those fish bones and leaves, to the bin we did send 'em.

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films. Photo / File
Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films. Photo / File

Why run a design contest without any knowledge? On the bright side, we weren't the Electoral College.
But more on that later, other countries did poll. Great Britain went first, and scored an own-goal.
What were they thinking, that Brexit was smarter? Like suicide bombers, they voted to martyr.
Scammed by Boris, who lied on the side of a bus. Instead of union with Europe, it was them versus us.
Britain voted to leave, while Elizabeth purred, the pound hit the floor, their world will be third.

If this year wasn't already a fire in a dump, disgusting Nigel Farage went to campaign for Trump.
Trump wants a wall and to dismantle Nato, to champion supremacy for skin tone: potato.
And who pulls the strings of this tangerine gremlin? No clues, but the puppet belongs to the Kremlin.
The second amendment will upgrade to first, as freedom of speech gets removed in a hearse.
The GOP adores Voldemort Putin, as long as the NRA's armed and keep shootin.
Trump will plunder and scam, and deny what he earns, but that's fiction at best, without tax returns.

Donald Trump. Photo / AP
Donald Trump. Photo / AP

And when Presidential power, he begins invoking, we hope America says: we were only joking.
Could we just wipe the year, wash it in a spin cycle? Once we took our eye off, then was taken George Michael.
Carrie Fisher was spared, just to give us some hope, then only days later, the universe said: nope.
In the Matrix, there's plenty of errors and glitches. Drugs claim so many lives, except for Keith Richards.
So many brilliant people, such lights in the sky. How was this fair? How could they all die?
But life's funny like that. We know it all ends. Yet it's still disconcerting, when a celeb's name trends.
Leonard Cohen, goin', gone, some kind of contagion? Not to mention the nameless, without fame or an agent.

So how to put 2016 in perspective? Worst year ever? Or invective?

Surely this year couldn't make anyone pine, for gems like Year Zero, or 1939.
Whether Star Man, or Doves Cry was your favourite song, you're forgiven for asking: What could possibly go wrong?