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“And the award for the worst year ever goes to...” Lucy Mangan doles out her annual awards


It’s my final column of the year so put on your glad rags, grab a cocktail and settle down next to a cardboard cut-out of the star of your choice, as the curtain rises on this year’s coveted Mangan Awards For Various Things.

Best News

A library hotel has opened in Tokyo. Sleeping compartments are hidden behind book-stuffed shelves, basically. It took about a year for the UK to open its first cat cafe after that concept hit the headlines, so I am looking forward to late 2017.

Also, Topshop shoes now come in a size two. I’m a size one, but anything that can take an insole is mine for the asking.

Worst News

We are sorry to announce that this prize has collapsed under the weight of possibilities and has been withdrawn until next year.

Best News That Turned Out To Be Fake But I’m Pretending It’s Not

That China’s Jinhua Zoo named its new gorilla Harambe McHarambeface after it topped their online poll.

Most Unanswerable Question Posed By A Deviant Friend Across Wine

The door is locked, the apocalypse is at hand and the salvation of the known world rests on you shagging either Farage or Trump. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO? It turns out I’m quite happy to let the world burn under these circumstances, so it’s not so unanswerable.

Best Quote

Serena Williams replying to a question after winning Wimbledon about how it felt to be one of the greatest female athletes of all time with, “I prefer the words ‘one of the greatest athletes of all time’.” A verbal grand slam. Runner-up: the placard carried by a protester in New York the day after Trump was elected. It read: “Not usually a sign guy but geez”.

Best Invention To Give You A Genuine If Fleeting Sense Of Human History As A Tale Of Progress Instead Of Relentless Massive F**kery

The World Economic Forum’s farm-in-a-box – basically, a big shipping container carrying everything you need (pump, solar panels, irrigation system) to run a sustainable two-acre farm however stricken your environment. The first one is up and running in Ethiopia’s Rift Valley now.

Thing That Made Me Laugh Most In Real Life

My friend reading a book about wombats to his little boy and realising for the first time in his 42-year-long life that wombats are real.

Most WTF? Moment (Apart From The Obvious)

Learning from an interview with Rod Stewart’s wife Penny Lancaster that she wears a red bracelet during her period to avoid confrontation with him. Also – all of Westworld.

So there you have it. An array of worthy recipients, I’m sure you agree. Now, after the crappest year since records began that didn’t actually involve the outbreak of a world war, let us set our faces bravely towards 2017 and pray for a return to better days. Ideally like the one on April 18 1930, when so little of actual import occurred that the BBC radio news announced “There is no news today” and played piano music instead.

Have a good one, all of you.

Illustration: Clym Evernden


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