It was the year that brought us mask-wearing, the death of the handshake and government by creeping assumption.
So as we farewell 2020 and hope we never see anything like it again, let’s look over it to ensure that it really has gone.
In sports news, Australia clinched a 3-0 win over New Zealand, although the Kiwis cited foul play.
“It isn’t fair,” Captain Tom Latham said. “Marnus Labuschagne kept using the bat to stop the ball from hitting the wickets; since when has that been a thing?”
In the world of science, a rare circumbinary planet is discovered, inspiring much of the Australia population to google ‘circumbinary’ to see if it is actually a word. Representatives of the BDS movement release a statement condemning astronomers for assuming the new planet is Jewish, before astronomers gently point out that ‘circumbinary’ means a planet that orbits two stars instead of one.
This was the month that the first rumbles of COVID-19 began to reach the world, getting the attention of the World Health Organisation.
The WHO sprang into action and, after consulting with experts such as the Chinese Communist Party and General Secretary Xi Jinping, announced that the virus was not a problem, did not come from China, did not constitute a pandemic and, if you asked them, China was the correct owner of the South China Sea.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who was not exactly born yesterday if you get my drift, went ahead and declared a pandemic. China retaliated by imposing sanctions, chiefly that it would no longer allow Kevin Rudd to visit. In a rare moment of bipartisanship, both Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese beg China to reconsider.
In the legal world, the High Court of Australia hands down its infamous Love decision, finding that anyone who has ever flown over Australia, or can spell most of it in three attempts, is an Australian citizen. The Australian Rugby Union team breathes a collective sigh of relief.
A pivotal month in which, infamously, while the entire Victorian Government and all its public servants were at a morning tea to celebrate Left-handed Marsupial Appreciators Awareness Day, a security company spontaneously hired itself and began handling Victoria’s COVID-19 quarantine procedures.
Unfortunately, they did it the way security guards handle nightclub door duties, letting anyone in as long as they had money or were attractive (or walked through while the guards were distracted by somebody who had money/was attractive).
It was also the month in which it was discovered that COVID caused amnesia even in those who had not been exposed to it, as various Victorian public servants and politicians spontaneously lost all memory of any decision-making process around the quarantine system. The emails around the decision also proved elusive, sightings being somewhat similar to those around Tasmanian Tigers and Yowies.
“I saw the email once, and so did Jim,” one public servant said under the condition of anonymity, “but when we tried to get closer it heard us and ran off under the sofa.”
Facing a world health crisis of unprecedented proportions posing a threat to civilisation as we know it, and sensing that the world was looking to the US for guidance, President Donald Trump suspends funding to the World Health Organisation.
Ironically, this suspension is over the WHO’s handling of the pandemic, which is a bit like a Kardashian unfriending some because they over-share on social media.
Trump justifies the position by pointing out that the coronavirus is just a mild flu, and that the people dying from it were all Democrats doing it deliberately to make the President look bad in an election year. He also notes that it can be cured by a combination of Dettol injections, fake tans and two cups of covfefe per day. Australian celebrity chef Pete Evans immediately endorses the treatment.
Also, the world got a little less good with Tim Brooke-Taylor succumbing to COVID, and yet Adam Sandler remains in rude good health. How is that fair?
The Queensland border remains shut to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but fortunately for sports fans Australian Rugby League Chair Peter V’landys mentions to the Queensland Premier that Donald Trump told him footballers and their families are immune to COVID-19.
This allows the NRL season to resume after a two-month suspension due to the pandemic, with Brisbane playing Parramatta at Lang Park. Unfortunately for Brisbane fans, nobody informed the Broncos and they did not turn up, resulting in a 34-6 Parramatta victory. Eels coach Brad Arthur admits to being disappointed that Brisbane managed six points in the circumstances.
In international news, the WHO holds its annual assembly using videoconferencing. Unfortunately, progress was limited by the fact that the entire first day was spent translating the words ‘you’re on mute’ into 270 languages. The delegates made up for lost time on the second and final day by resolving that ‘Sweden had the coolest Teams background’. The WHO Director-General closes the conference by announcing, while flanked by 17 close friends from the People’s Liberation Army, that COVID-19 probably originated at Mar-a-lingo from an improperly-stored fake tan agent.
As working from home and home schooling become the new normal, families spend more time together and learn many things about one another, chief among them being that there is a very good reason they don’t spend more time together normally.
Gatherings of more than two people – even in parks – are banned, unless they are protesting, in which case the ratio is slightly higher, being about 10,000 people per block.
A large-scale cyberattack is believed to have been perpetrated on the Australian Government, when the words, “Scott Morrison is a poopy pants!” appear on the official parliamentary website. Morrison holds a press conference in which he is diplomatic about the event, noting he was, “so not” a poopy pants. He refuses to name the nation responsible, saying only that the attack originated, “further north than Indonesia but not quite so far as Russia.” The PM is buoyed by a supportive tweet from Donald Trump: “SCOMO IS RIGHT! COVID COMES FROM MEXICO! TRUE FACT!”
In sports, just when the world thought 2020 could not get any worse, Liverpool wins the English Premier League for the first time; top football scientists confirm that this was “probably due to cheating”. Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp seems to confirm this, when he says the club’s best strategy was to sneak out and play games while the other clubs were in quarantine.
Early in the month, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announces that initial attempts to combat coronavirus – which consist largely of him fronting a televised press conference every day – have failed, and some Victorians would now have to wear masks.
Initial excitement fades as it transpires that it wasn’t just going to be people from Collingwood.
In its ongoing efforts to find a vaccine for the virus, CSIRO names five species of fly after Marvel comic book superheroes and their creator (honestly, this really happened): Thor (Daptolestes bronteflavus), Loki (Daptolestes illusiolautus), Black Widow (Daptolestes feminategus), Deadpool (Humorolethalis sergius), and Stan Lee (Daptolestes leei).
In world news, Russia holds a referendum on whether or not Vladimir Putin should be able to extend his term as President until, as near as we can tell, the Earth is consumed by the Sun. The referendum is a success, with Putin securing 217% of the vote. Donald Trump’s lawyers file a motion seeking a Supreme Court ruling that the referendum is also valid in the United States, seeing as most Russians voted in the 2016 US Presidential election anyway.
On the COVID-19 front, Queensland health authorities achieve a major breakthrough, finding that AFL players who re-locate to Queensland and bring truckloads of money with them, are unable to spread the virus. The entire AFL, their families, dogs and BFFs move to Queensland – although officials make it clear that, should they be injured, they will need to return to their home states, as Queensland hospitals are for Queenslanders.
In global politics, an election in Belarus returns controversial President Alexander Lukashenko, with the incumbent securing 20 million votes, or just over twice the country’s population.
Confronted by sceptical journalists, Lukashenko defends the result, pointing out that he arranged for Russia’s best scrutineers to oversee the vote. Asked about the Belarus situation, US President Donald Trump responds, “Bella Ruse? Never slept with anyone named Bella, never paid her a cent.”
In Victoria, the ever-worsening COVID crisis pushes the state to even stricter measures, with Premier Daniel Andrews announcing that from now on, masks are mandatory even while watching TV, and looking sideways at another person will carry a $5000 fine.
Meanwhile, Russia approves the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine. Responding to questions on whether or not the vaccine works, President Putin replies,” Works? What does that matter? We came first!” Nervous Russians begin to stockpile Dettol.
Typhoon Haishen slams into Japan, South Korea and North Korea, because what 2020 really needed was a destructive storm.
Also, scientists detect phosphine (which is a real thing) in the atmosphere of Venus, indicating there may be life there despite the temperature averaging 480 degrees Celsius. On hearing the news, North Queenslanders snort derisively and note “wouldn’t even put the aircon on for that”.
US social media platform Facebook (perhaps you have heard of it?) announces that, in retaliation for PM Scott Morrison suggesting that they should perhaps pay news organisations for the content stolen – sorry, ‘shared’ – on its pages, it will release Morrison’s high-school yearbook photos. Humour writers everywhere hope this does not become a thing.
Working hard to cement its reputation as the suckiest year ever, 2020 ends September with the deaths of Helen Reddy and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Reddy was famous for the song I am Woman, a feminist anthem so cool that even tattooed men with redneck beards couldn’t help belting out the chorus. Ginsberg – better known as ‘Notorious RBG’ – was an island of sanity in the bedlam that is the US legal system. Her death allows Donald Trump the chance to pick her successor; the President is disappointed when his first choice, Homer Simpson, is vetoed by his wife who points out that he is a cartoon character; we are pretty sure she was referring to Homer.
The Mighty Richmond Tigers defeat the Geelong Cats 12.9 (81) to 7.8 (50) at the 2020 AFL Grand Final. Nothing else of any import happened.
OK, so other things did happen, they just weren’t as important. The AFL final was played outside of Melbourne for the first time, due to the fact that coronavirus was spreading through Victoria faster than Daniel Andrews could hold press conferences. Stung by criticism that allowing 30,000 people to attend the Gabba in the middle of a pandemic may not have been a great idea, Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young explains the decision in scientific terms: “They had a lot of money.”
Also, Combined Islands A and Combined Islands B (affectionately known to their fans as ‘New Zealand’ and ‘Australia’) face off in Rugby Union’s Bledisloe Cup. With border restrictions relaxed following the release of the money vaccine, the third game is able to be played in Australia – an emotional moment for many of the Australian team, as it is the first time they have visited the country.
Meanwhile, just when we needed him most, James Bond – better known by his stage name, Sean Connery – shakes his last martini and finally – after 56 years – fulfils Goldfinger’s expectations.
Donald Trump loses the 2020 Presidential election and graciously accepts defeat, wishing President-elect Biden all the best.
Ha ha! That is of course a joke; Trump reacted with the same overall decorum and reserve one expects from professional tennis players, and in a move as American as apple pie, sues everyone in sight.
Trump’s lawyer, friend and fellow citizen of Planet Nutbag, Rudolph Giuliani, leaps to the President’s defence and gives an impassioned oration which is lauded by professional journalists as “the least coherent speech since Sylvester Stallone played Hamlet”. Onlookers at one point fear for Giuliani’s health, when it appears brain fluid is leaking down his face; all are relieved when Dr Anthony Fauci points out that to leak brain fluid, you must first have a brain.
Speaking of that, in an effort to illustrate the fact that following a rugby league career with a boxing career isn’t exactly a tonic for one’s intellectual faculties, former NSW footballer Paul Gallen calls Queensland’s State of Origin team the worst ever. The Queensland team promptly wins the series, but Gallen doubles down on his comments, saying, “They’re still the worst, but we are even worser! So there!” NSW coach Brad Fittler offers Gallen $1000 to switch to supporting Queensland.
The entertainment world mourns David Prowse, who played Darth Vader in the Star Wars films, and finally went over to the really, really dark side. Fans across the globe unite in heartfelt voice, “Why him? Why not Jar Jar?”
Relations between Australia and China remain on a tense footing, with the CCCP issuing a press release saying Scott Morrison is too a poopy pants, and the Prime Minister firing back with the observation that it takes one to know one.
China hikes up the tariff on Australian wines to approximately the cost of a space shuttle per bottle, although the only immediate effect is that the CCCP Christmas party is forced to serve paraffin mixed with red cordial with the main course. “It’s still better than French wine,” observes a senior member of the party.
Within Parliament, opinion is divided as to how best to respond to the trade war with China. Maverick MP Bob Katter calls for a massive cull of crocodiles, but no one pays any attention as he does this every Tuesday anyway. Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese suggests that, if Scott Morrison just gives China our lunch money, they’ll leave us alone; Bill Shorten offers him $1000 to switch to the LNP.
In local news, the QLS holds its staff Christmas party, socialising as a team for the first time since the start of the pandemic. They note that, despite all the challenges of the year, they are buoyed by the fact that they work with a bloody good group of people who performed spectacularly during the crisis.
They wish all their members (and readers) a sensational Christmas and a prosperous and fun-filled New Year.