This isn’t actually a post from Melbourne. I’m writing it from a sparse and ambiently-lit hotel room in Christchurch. So that little ‘Melbourne, Australia’ tagline is a lie.

But that’s 2009 for you.

Dear 2009,

Fuck you. And fuck the horse you rode in on.

There’s less than a month to go until you’re gone, 2009, and let me tell you, I’m really looking forward to your inevitable demise.

Maybe you think I’m being unkind. Maybe you think I’m being unfair. Maybe you think I’m letting my emotions get the better of me. Well, frankly, I don’t care what you think any more. Not. One. Bit.

I had such high, high hopes for us, 2009. You kicked off at 12:00:01 on January 1 (2009) and things were already looking up. I had a new job, a new country, new friends – I had just about a new everything. Finally, I thought. Finally, everything’s gonna work out for ol’ Simon. 2009, you’re the year for me! You’ll treat me right, I’ll treat you right – I think at long last, I’ve found a year I can trust. Together, we’ll grow. Together, we’ll laugh. Sure, we’ll argue from time to time, but it will only be over silly misunderstandings, and once we’ve got it all sorted out, we’ll laugh again. We’ll go for long walks in the country, we’ll stay up late at hip and arty downtown coffee houses, we’ll watch The Sopranos together and have conversations that ripple between seriously discussing the very human monsters that dwell within us all and laughing over the quote ‘Cunnilingus and psychiatry brought us to this!’

We were going to do so much laughing, 2009. Oh, and don’t get me started on the sex! When we first met, you were wild, and mysterious, and promisingly flexible, and I thought that maybe – just maybe – you were the year that had it all.

But no.

During your tenure the Global Financial Crisis went from push to shove to hit-you-over-the-head-with-a-shovel. Sarah Palin became a best-selling author.Transformers 2 came out.

At this juncture, 2009, I’d like to teach you a saying. A saying that has become near and dear to my heart, that has become a mantra – a creed, if you will – that I hope and pray I am man enough to live by.

There’s no need to be a dick about it.

Never quite got the hang of that one, did you, guy?

Look, I know, I’m not perfect. Believe it or not, there have been times when I, too, have been a dick about things. I can’t say I’ve handled everything that’s happened throughout the last 339 days as well as I could have. All I can say is, I always did my very, very best to make sure people understand how attractive I am.

But you, 2009. You made promises, and then you broke them. Sure, you delivered a little. At first. You tantalised, and you teased. And then you snatched it all away and then some. In a way that felt kind of like you telling me you were going to give me a million dollars, giving me the first hundred, and then eating my pet cat¹.

And as I stood, shocked and slack-jawed in the well-appointed kitchen of my imagination, watching you pick your teeth, I summoned the courage to ask: where’s my million dollars?

You mumbled something vague about the cheque being in the mail, then said you felt we needed to take some space. On your way past me, you asked ‘We cool?’ and put up your hand for a high five.

I’m not quite sure when the high five of hope left my heart, 2009. But somewhere in there, it did. I think it was the morning I woke to find you drunk and naked, face down on my couch, moaning about Jagermeister and leaving my car in a bad neighbourhood.

Subsequently I found you had relieved yourself in my dishwasher.

Which isn’t to say you were a total write-off. There were some real high points in there (Hey. TNB. Consider this a shout-out). Even the low points have helped me face things that are probably better off faced.

But really, you probably could have come through with some more on the win front, 2009. And I’m also kinda sick of growing as a person through hardships and confrontational experiences. If personal growth has to be on the menu, then, for the love of God, just make Deepak Chopra fall out of the sky and land on my house.

I feel owed. More so than usual, I mean. Yes, I’ll admit, I suffocated you a little. Yes, I could have made fewer loud references to how much I enjoyed 2003. Yes, I tried to shank you one time.

But that, and you, will all soon be in the past.

So here’s the deal. In 2010, I will happily bear my share of the load. I will face my fears, exorcise my demons, and return my friend Dean’s DVDs. I will happily humble myself at the feet of the people I have treated badly and beg for their forgiveness (OK, I don’t mean I’ll be happy as I do it, because then they might mistake the smile on my face for insincerity, and they’d get upset, and it would turn into a whole thing, and it would probably be a bad scene).

What I ask for in return – your end of the deal – will be simple. All I ask for is millions and millions of dollars. And I’ll handle the rest.

Baby.


¹ Oh, right, that’s not just a metaphor. You killed my pet cat, 2009.²

² You know who else eats pet cats, and is much better than you? The Alien Life Form from Planet Melmac. That’s right, 2009. I preferred goddamn ALF to you in your entirety.

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SIMON SMITHSON is an Australian writer and editor. He is currently based in Melbourne, Australia, but frequently finds himself in Los Angeles and San Francisco. His work has appeared on both sides of the globe in print and online in publications such as BLIP, Every Day Fiction, Beat, The Loop, My Sinking Boat, and more. He has a tumblr at www.simonsmithson.com and he runs a lifestyle experiment at www.selfhelpless.net.

191 responses to “Dear 2009: Fuck You”

  1. Mary says:

    Oh, honey, I am SO with you on this. Jeeze. What a flippin year. People like to say that misfortunes are just blessings in disguise. Many of my supposed blessings this year turned out to be curses in disguise. When’s that trend gonna die?

    • Man, how much has this year just plain sucked? I want that trend over and done with. Like how I want 2009.

      And I’m so with you on the blessings = curses. I think the idea is to try to turn them into blessings again.

      In the meantime, I’m going to bitch.

  2. Zara Potts says:

    You had me at ‘Dear 2009 -Fuck you.”

    I think maybe you should make this a group letter. I’m sure you’ll find lots of us who are willing to sign their name to this particular petition!

    You are bloody funny, brew. This had me laughing out loud. Boy, do I sympathise! (I almost wrote ‘smithasise.’)

    Roll on 2010!

  3. Brilliant! After hearing you read on that YouTube video, I can actually hear your voice when I read this. Get out of my head! No, wait…

  4. Richard Cox says:

    “Sarah Palin became a bestselling author.”

    That statement doesn’t simply qualify 2009 as a bad year but the low point of human existence.

    However, 2009 is the year Obama was sworn in. So it almost evens out.

    • Yep. As humanity’s belt notches go, Palin is not a good one.

      The Obama swear-in was a great moment. But it was 2008 who gave us the Prez.

      Then again, it was 2008 that gave us Palin, too.

      • Richard Cox says:

        Well, he was elected in 2008 but sworn in January 2009. Right?

        Not to split hairs but I just want to make sure I’m not crazy.

        2009 is also the most recent year that you and Zara and anyone reading this are alive. So it’s not a completely bad year.

        • You’re not crazy. He got sworn in in 2009.

          It’s not a total loss at all. It just really could have gone a lot better.

          For instance: Zara and I met in person this year (along with a bunch of other TNB cadre types). And there’s a big win right there.

        • Zara Potts says:

          awww brew.
          and awww Richrob!
          Right back at both you.

  5. Erika Rae says:

    2009 was indeed rough. Which is strange, because I have always thought of myself as being an “odd-year” kind of gal. It’s the even years that are supposed to suck. What gives?

    And even so, good things HAVE happened this year. I have a healthy 5 month old son. I have amazing friends. I am in good health. It just feels like they are happening within the setting of an oppressive grey cloud.

    Within the vortex of the abysmal failure that was and is 2009.

    I’m so excited for a new year, I can hardly stand it. I don’t even care if it’s a rebound year or whatev. 2k10 and I are going to rock it hard. I would even take 2k10 to Cabo if 2009 hadn’t skipped the county line with all my money. Whatever the case, 2010 and I are going to get serious and fast.

    So yeah. Fuck you, 2009. You’re just jealous Prince didn’t write you a song.

    • I haven’t spoken to anyone who has had a good year this year. I’m not saying they’re not out there, just that the chorus so far has been very much in favour of ‘Oh, 2009? Fuck that!’

      I don’t known what gives, Erika. I wish I did. But I’m glad there are some bright spots to brighten the gloom of this year for you.

      ‘Within the vortex of abysmal failure that was and is 2009’.

      You said it, sister.

  6. Carrie says:

    I believe it was Phil Hartman, playing Bill McNeal on the very under-rated ‘Newsradio’ who said, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade and then toss it in the face of the person who gave you the lemons until they give you the oranges you asked for in the first place.”

    So, yes. 2009 can certainly go suck on THAT big fat lemon and die already.

    • I haven’t actually seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall but I think there’s a line which says ‘When life gives you lemons, say, fuck the lemons! I’m bailing.’

      Words to live by.

      The countdown is on. 2009 doesn’t have long to go…

  7. D.R. Haney says:

    Do I smell something burning? Simon, you haven’t sitting too close to a candle or anything, are you?

    • D.R. Haney says:

      Er, that’s *aren’t*.

      I blame 2009!

      • The way this year’s going, our NYE countdown will be interrupted by my spontaneously bursting into flames.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Don’t worry. If I’m living Down Under by then, I’ll be sure to bring a fire extinguisher. Let’s just hope I don’t die of swine flu before the move, as seems likely.

        • Isn’t there some kind of swap we can do? You want out of the States. I want in. Couldn’t we just fake each others’s identities?

          You’d have to start mentally referring to yourself as Simon, of course.

          Swine Flu. Another dick move, 2009.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Oh, for fuck’s sake, are you still going to want to leave if I’m around? Simon (that is I) says no.

        • Can you bring some thundering misters for our supermarkets? That would certainly be a heady inducement to stay.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          It always comes down to supermarkets.

          What if I stand by the produce section and cry? Will that work?

        • Hmmm.

          I insist that you impersonate thunder first.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Anything so that I don’t lack an Australian little brother on South Pacific turf.

          How’s Christchurch, by the way? Did you know BFL was reviewed on Christchurch radio today? I’m world famous in NZ, according to Z. (It took a minute for the joke to hit me.)

        • If ‘The Thunder Down Under’ wasn’t such an over-used term, that could be us.

          Christchurch is beautiful. It’s fantastic for day trips – Hanmar, Akaroa, Lyttelton… and everyone’s so friendly here. It makes me hugely suspicious.

          Oh! Z told me about the radio review, but as I was out and about, I didn’t get the chance to hear it. Is there a podcast?

        • Zara Potts says:

          Come on, Simon. Everyone knows that Christchurch is bogan central.
          It might be friendly but that’s because they’re either looking to rob you or root you.
          That’s the friendly bogan way.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I don’t think so. But Z can tell you what was said, which I could also, though she could do a much better job of it than could I. Beautiful words they were, with Fugazi playing behind them. Nothing could have pleased me more. Well, except for a photograph of Captain Scott Road, taken exclusively for me.

        • My God, the bogans. There are so many of them. It’s so wonderful. I told you about that other guy, Z – I’m not sure I’m brave enough to share his story with the internet.

          Duke, I’m glad to hear it went so well. I’m very glad also that Zara and I could get that photo for you, and that you liked it. We’ll have to get the BFL photos on the next trip.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Simon, I don’t think there’s a podcast. It was funny to hear it though and know that you were listening, Duke, all the way across the ocean!
          Ah and Captain Scott. The picture could be a collectors item one day.

        • No podcast? Aw, nu!

          God, that Captain Scott story’s a good one. Hey Americans – do you know about this?

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Get out your handkerchiefs.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Shush! People will learn about it soon enough.

        • Oops. Ixnay on the Aptaincay Cottsay.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Yes. Heerfulcay Ickday.

        • Ha!

          You forgot nsufferableiay.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Amnday.

        • Matt says:

          Wait. Don’t taunt me like this. I want to know about Captain Scott, damn it!

        • He was quite a man. As were all his team.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Oh dear. Now I have the theme song to Daniel Boone in my head…

        • It’s OK. I’ve had Bon Jovi for the last two days.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Please say Bon Jovi has gone? Please? Don’t let the ChCh bogan influence take you hostage…

        • You and my neighbours are both saying that.

          And you’re both just going to have to wait for this strange river to run its course… ’cause I’m a cowboy – on a steel horse I ride.

        • Don Mitchell says:

          Simon – thanks for the bogan explanation. There’s a guy from Oz who’s living on Bougainville as an adviser of some kind and his blog’s titled “A Bogan on Bougainville.” I thought it was a play on Bougainville — now I know better.

          Do you know where the term came from?

        • Zara Potts says:

          I don’t know where the term came from. But you can easily spot one. They have black jeans and mullets and like to drink bourbon from a can.

        • Simone says:

          I play for keeps, ’cause I might not make it back
          I been everywhere, and I’m standing tall
          I’ve seen a million faces an I’ve rocked them all …

          Admittedly I’m a HUGE Bon Jovi fan.

          Rock on Simon.

          Ride that steel horse till the sun don’t shine!

        • Don and Zara: here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the subject:

          The origin of the term ‘bogan’ as a pejorative is unclear; both the Macquarie Dictionary and the Australian Oxford Dictionary cite its origin as unknown. Comparison might be made with the Scots Gaelic bòcan or the Manx buggane, mythological creatures with elements of mischief, nuisance and/or malice.

          The Australian National Dictionary Centre (ANDC) included the word in its Australian dictionary project[2] in 1991, attributing the earliest known reference to a 1985 surfing magazine. The 1902 poem “City of Dreadful Thirst” by Australian poet Banjo Paterson makes reference to a “Bogan shower” as a term meaning “three raindrops and some dust”. However this is clearly a reference to the dry region around the Bogan River in Central Western NSW.[3] There are places in western New South Wales that contain ‘bogan’ in their name — including Bogan Shire, the Bogan River and the rural village of Bogan Gate — but they are not regarded as the source of the term.[2]

          The term’s popular usage emerged in Melbourne’s suburbs in the late 1970s and early 1980s as a non-pejorative term, used by fans of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock music to describe themselves, and was used almost interchangeably with “head-banger”. Bogans typically wore “acid wash” jeans, moccasins, and band T-shirts; had “mullet” style haircuts; and lived in the suburbs. The usage of the term has since changed to indicate someone generally suburban and poorly educated, and has little relation to the original usage which was specific to Heavy Metal and Hard Rock fans. Also, the usage has changed to include females. Female bogans were known as “mocca chicks” for the moccasins which were customarily worn as footwear.

          Simone: I was going to have a Jovi-free day today, and then I read your comment. So I’m listening to Wanted Dead or Alive right now.

          We are just going to have to have a TNB karaoke event.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Oh I didn’t see you had posted that! Excellent.
          I was nearly right with my bogan description. I forget about the acid wash jeans.
          But female bogans? White boots with tassles and Stevie Nicks dresses. Oh and a root perm.

        • Oh! I forgot about the white boots and tassles!

        • Zara Potts says:

          Damn you Simon Smithson. I have been singing that stupid song all morning. It is impossible to shift. I am going to get you back.

        • Isn’t it just? I think I just listened to it for about the third time running. I can’t stop myself!

  8. Simone says:

    Simon, you took the words right out of my mouth! I echo the others in saying that 2009 was a really shitty year.

    May 2010 put 2009 in it’s place!

    • Fucking 2009, man. Did anyone have a good year?

      I can’t wait for 2010. I’d very much like to sleep my way through until January 1.

      • Simone says:

        Hibernating for a few weeks sound like a plan! But somehow I don’t think 2009 will let it happen, being 2009 and all.

        *Sigh*

        It’s almost over. Hell Fuck Yeah!

        • Shoulda stayed in bed for all of 2009, really. Maybe this is why bears do it. They poke their heads out – “Is it still 2009 out there?” “Yup.” “Fuck it. I’m going back to bed, my man.”

  9. Matt says:

    Hermanito,

    Let’s see here. In 2009: my girlfriend of almost 7 years moved out and took the dog; I officially became the black sheep of the family; I interviewed for four awesome jobs, all of which turned me down; I became bogged down in crippling debt because my student loans came due; and the city of Oakland has sicked a collections agency on me for unpaid parking tickets accrued in 2007, even though I reported that car destroyed in 2005–because surely, Hurricane Katrina is the Bitch That Keeps On Giving.

    But you know what else? I learned there’s this dude in Australia who is a lot like me, to a very frightening degree, and is also not like me in some very cool ways. And for one awesome weekend I got to hang with him, and Zara, and Lenore and Duke.

    You know what?

    Fair trade.

    Viva 2010.

  10. I’ll sign the petition. But in the meantime, I’m so glad you told that dick off. He’s had it coming for a long time, and yet he kept strutting around here like, ‘What? Whadid I do?’ Thank you for setting him straight. I doubt he’ll learn anything, or change his ways. But at least now it’s been said.

  11. Darian Arky says:

    Well, 2009 did bring us “2012”, and that was pretty awful. I also heard rumors that 2009 was hanging out in shishah bars in Cairo and going under the name 1430. Just be glad you’re not on Mars, because then you’d be stuck with 2009 for almost another year.

  12. Greg Olear says:

    Funny as hell…or should I say, as 2009.

    As for me…

    2008 – George W. Bush
    2009 – Barack Obama

    2008 – my LARGEREGO blog, read by seven of my closest friends
    2009 – TNB, and then TNB 3.0

    2008 – Prue poops in diapers
    2009 – Prue poops in toilet

    2008 – down the shore for a long weekend
    2009 – NYC, DC, and LA (!) for the book tour

    2008 – guy with a book deal
    2009 – published author

    I’ll take it, warts (and debt) and all.

    But 2010 promises to be even better. Hey, T-Pac (and T-La) rolls to NYC in the 1-0, right? Woo-hoo!

    (Do you hear that, 2010 and Janeane Garofalo? Smithson will be in Gotham in June…get the silk sheets and mood lighting ready).

  13. James D. Irwin says:

    I think, on balance, I’m with you man.

    Sure 2009 has seen some pretty dizzying highs— TNB, a bit of (unpaid) magazine work and a mostly-finished novel. Not to mention my move down here and the cool new friends I’ve made. I’ve chased a hedgehog through a graveyard and heckled a pop-opera band. I’ve stood on Hitler’s podium at Nurenburg.

    But everything else has kind of sucked, from the miserable first few months of the year, the long dull days of unemployment and being treated like shit at the job centre… the stunning realization that my debt stands at well over £4000 and I have less than £10 to my name. And thus, I won’t be going to the US in the summer as I hoped.

    2009 was like a bad game show. It wouldn’t have been too bad, but for the cheesy host pulling back the curtain and yelling ‘Here’s what you could have won!’

    Still, it was probably all worth it just for TNB… just about…

    • That being said, there’s probably a traumatised hedgehog in a burrow somewhere grimly swigging down Scotch and writing a 2010 to-do list:

      1. Be a hedgehog
      2. Take revenge on J. ‘Jim’ ‘Jedi’ ‘James D.’ Irwin
      3. Write best-selling suspense novel

      2009 had some wonderful, wonderful highs. It really did. There were some fantastic moments in there. But on the whole, it’s been something of a downer.

      And by ‘something of a downer’, I mean, I wouldn’t brake if I saw it crossing the street.

      • James D. Irwin says:

        I just chased a cat too— the first Saturday night I’ve ever spent chasing pussy…

        I think that’s why 2009 sucked so much, it’s beause of the awesome high points. If it hd just been a dull year it would have been fine. But the expectations were raised.

        A constant sort of roller coaster of raised expectations and dramatic falls.

        I’m already focusing all my energy on 2010.

  14. What happens in 2009 stays in 2009. In a few weeks, we’ll totally be like “2009? That’s so last year!”

    Also, thanks to you and Zara for using one of my favourite words, bogan. Bogan bogan bogan.

  15. Hilarious!

    Three important questions:

    1. What was the old country if Australia is the new country?

    2. What happened in 2003?

    3. Can I borrow Luke’s DVDs before you return them to him? I promise I’ll forward them to Luke as soon as I’m done watching (six months to a year from now, give or take a few days).

    • Thanks Jessica!

      OK.

      1. Australia is actually the old country. The USA was the new country. Then the people I was working for refused to pay their staff, and, after three months of trying to find a job, I realised that I’d be violating my working visa conditions and so I had to leave. Which was no fun at all.

      2. Oh, 2003! Fun year. I turned 21, was working at one of my favourite jobs ever, and studying. It was a license to get drunk and have fun, really.

      3. Shhh. Don’t tell. I’ll totally slip them to you.

  16. I’ll sign my name to this – absolutely!

    Except…

    2009, astrologically speaking, was to be *my* year. (I’m sure Greg can clarify the particulars.) And loads of good things *did* happen — maybe not what I directly wanted, but indirectly, some amazing building blocks were laid (even if other bits… ahem… weren’t).

    So I’m still clinging to these last 26 days for Susan Miller’s predictions of my *best year ever* to hit.

    No Whammies! No Whammies! No Whammies!

  17. 2009 was harsh, it took Michael Jackson and Faraah Fawcett. Along with Walter Cronkite and my dog Juno. On New Years eve I’ll bitch slap this year good bye but you know what? I’ve had worse! Onward.

    • Oh, I’m sorry about Juno!

      Yeah, this was a bad year to be a celebrity.

      Onward and upwards, my man. We’ll beat those Ruskis to the moon yet!

      (a question, for those in the know. Is it russ-keys or roos-keys? We don’t use that term in Australia).

  18. It’s funny; besides the hope with which 2008 ended (Obama, I mean), 2009 was supposed to be some new-agey year of fruity goodness and hand-holding. I think I saw some woman tell Oprah that. Or maybe Montel Jordan. Or was that a juicer commercial? Fuck, who can remember?

    And then it just wasn’t. I mean, it seriously wasn’t.

    I was thinking about this the other day, though, at the end of October. A little upset I didn’t have millions of dollars. A little bitter Palin’s book was about to come out.

    But then I realized, I was doing it at home. And whatever ill 2009 brought, however bad it might have been or badly it failed to meet my expectations, I’m still here. 2009 brought me home. It brought me a better relationship with my parents. It brought me a kick-ass roommate in an awesome apartment, and it brought me a good teaching position at my old college.

    It also brought me here. My first post around August. I met Kimberly. I’m reading on Friday night in fantastic company.

    So thanks, everyone, for making it brighter. And no worries; 2010 will be better. I mean, it’ll have to be, right?

    • I think there’s a lot to be said for remaining standing. And lessons have certainly been learned.

      2009’s great strength was in people, for me. I’ve met so many fantastic people – and TNB is certainly replete with those. TNB has certainly been a big part of 2009 for me, as have the people I’ve met through the site. Good eggs, the whole bunch.

      Straight on to 20 ten!

  19. angela says:

    hilarious! “high five of hope” – just one of many awesome gems.

    also, i’m sorry about your cat. 🙁

  20. Ronlyn Domingue says:

    A-frickin-men, Mr. Victory. 2010 owes you big time. Fingers crossed, candles burned, rabbit’s foot rubbed, etc. P.S. Thanks for the laughs. P.P.S. Personally, I can’t wait for the decade to be over.

    • And I intend to get what’s mine!

      I may take a little of what belongs to other people as well. Not anyone we know, so it’s OK. A victimless crime, if you will.

      PS – You’re welcome

      PPS – Wow, your sights are set a lot higher than mine!

  21. Amen to that one, brother. I’m so over 2009 already. We can even skip over my birthday if it means this horrid year will be over more quickly. Really, I don’t mind. Let’s make it happen.

    Best of 2010 to you!

    • And amen to you, sister.

      Damn it! I still owe you a package. That’s 2009 for ya. See, it’s the year’s fault. Not mine. Not mine at all.

      And best of 2010 to you too!

      • Don’t worry about the package until February. If you send it now, it won’t arrive before I leave Istanbul. Plus, I trust the American postal system to actually get the package to me (STILL waiting on packages from Zara, Matt and my sister). I’ll send you my California address as soon as I have one…and then I expect Vegemite to appear as if by magic. Also, please send something delicious to make up for the Vegemite. 😉

        • Don’t worry. Check. Done and done!

          I love the American postal system. It’s my favourite postal system.

          God, what could possible make up for Vegemite? That stuff is Beelzebub’s breakfast spread.

  22. Mary McMyne says:

    I, too, think ALF is awesome.
    And I am ever so sorry about your pet cat.
    My cat was eaten by 2008.

  23. Such a hater. 2009 has been my friend. I say you bring 2010 and we all meet in an alley with knives and sticks…

  24. JB says:

    I’ve been so distracted I hadn’t thought about how royally badass this New Year’s Eve is gonna be. 2010! I can’t believe I’m still alive!

    I assume that 2009 is going to write back in reply? Don’t leave me hanging, bro…

  25. Don Mitchell says:

    I’m with Will.

    2009 brought me TNB (or is it me to TNB?) and for that alone, it deserves my thanks.

  26. J.E. Fishman says:

    Thanks for making me laugh when I’ve just finished a week that was, well, 2009 distilled.

  27. jmblaine says:

    In 2009
    Double S
    went from
    zero to
    the sort of guy
    who gets 110
    comments.

    (onTNB)

    Bring it on ’10.

  28. Ducky says:

    I’m sorry Simon. You can’t have 2010. It’s totally mine.

    I’ll be happy to give you 2012.

  29. samuel lovitt says:

    2009 was great!
    Year of the redundancy payout!!
    The year i only worked 4 months. mmm, hoping this casual-sex relationship kinda thing i have with 2009 continues into 2010. Bring it!

    • Samuel Lovitt, I hate you.

      Ah, I’m just kidding. You’re all right!

      But better be careful. Before you know it, 2010 will be asking if it can leave some stuff in a drawer at your place, then wondering why haven’t stayed over any nights in the last week, then going a bit quiet every time you mention another year…

  30. Amanda says:

    If your letter were a petition, I would totally my support. 2009 is a dickweed who insinuated itself into my life, peed in my sink (at least you could run the dishwasher on “extra hot”, but I had to swab out the sink with bare hands), and has overstayed its welcome.

    • I know so few people who have had a good year this year. As this comment board has kinda illustrated. I’m very sorry to hear about your sink.

      And I hear you on the overstaying its welcome. Now it’s the awkward last few moments where 2009 is gathering up its CDs and trying to make jokes that aren’t that funny to alleviate the tension.

      Frankly, 2009, I don’t give a damn.

  31. Gloria says:

    Yes, 2009 is a suckah and if I ever meet it alone, in a back alley, so help me…

    I, too, am done with all of these fucking Character Building Experiences. Dear 2010, I have enough character. Give me money as well. Love, Gloria

  32. Sarah says:

    “And I’m also kinda sick of growing as a person through hardships and confrontational experiences. If personal growth has to be on the menu, then, for the love of God, just make Deepak Chopra fall out of the sky and land on my house.”

    That’s been my year exactly. I can’t grow anymore. No room left. I don’t want to have to duck walking through doorways or, worse, turn sideways to walk through doorways. Growth sucks. Especially outward since I’m pretty sure I’m done with the upward part.

    2010: Cautiously optimistic but falling just short of, “Hey, at least it can’t get any worse.”

    • Oh, Sarah. Don’t worry. Sooner or later, we’ll be drunk on watery beer at a Redsox game and prank-calling Will and Carrie and Erinn and Jon.

      I have a mental inbox a mile high of notes I’ve taken about things this year that have taught me about my flaws and fixer-upper parts of my personality. And yes, yes, I know, it’s worth it, and the hard thing to do and the right thing to do are usually one and the same. But seriously. Enough.

      2010: Cautiously optimistic that I and everyone I love will have everything they’ve ever wanted. And I’ll:

      a) be a cowboy
      b) ride a steel horse (with a loaded six-string on my back)
      c) ride all night, just to get back home.

      • Sarah says:

        I always say that if something is hard to do it means it’s worth it.

        Dammit! Why can’t I just be filthy rich instead of being so frickin’ wise?

      • Sarah says:

        And another reason ’09 can bite me. Simon, I’m sure you’ll appreciate this:

        The Pats didn’t even make the playoffs, the Sox got swept in the first round, and the Celtics and Bruins both got bounced in the second round.

        Suck it, 2009!

        • I figure I’ve got enough wisdom. Now I just need the funding to put it into practice. I’ll be the monk who bought the Ferrari from the monk who sold his Ferrari.

          Damn straight, suck it 2009!

      • Well, I want to join this club cause all the fun people are in it, but 2009 wasn’t that bad for me. For starters, it was the first year of 4 running years that neither of my parents were in the hospital and I didn’t have to help either of them shower or change their diaper. So, yeah, pretty fucking good year by my count in that regard. Worst part about this year for me was ME. I was a little nuts this year, on an emotional roller coaster, but it seems to have been one mostly of my own making.
        Best thing about 2010: meeting more TNBers while on my book tour! Looking forward to it!

        • The very best people are in this club. So come on in and join! You can be the one who disagrees with the club on everything but who we buy drinks for anyway.

          2009, really, was the year when I zigged every single time I should have zagged. And couldn’t dodge the bullet that came along with it. Which, I guess, was supposed to teach me a variety of lessons.

          Little nuts? Emotional roller coaster? Own making?

          Preach it, sister.

    • Gloria says:

      Yes, 2010 is the Barack Obama of New Years (with the implication that 2009 has been as bad a George Bush presidency)

  33. In the immortal words of that old crooner gambler turned plastic surgery nightmare: Kenny Rogers – you gotta know when to fold ’em. You, Simon, have played your hand. 2010 has been adequately warned.

  34. Simone says:

    TNB karaoke event… Ooh, count me in!

  35. Lauz says:

    2009 may have only given you 100 dollars, but “K-Rudd” gave you 900, which means you have $1000 more than I do, Simon.

    How about lending your friend Laura a couple of bucks?

    2010: Best year ever. Hopefully 🙂

    • How odd, I was just reading a quote from Dave Grohl that I liked very much. It was about his reasoning for getting involved with Them Crooked Vultures:

      Grohl: Pssh, no — the MONEY! What are you, crazy?! You know how rich we are? Whoo!

      I love you, Dave Grohl.

      The stimulus money is a dim memory. Sure was nice, though. Except for that… unpleasantness… with the magic beans.

  36. Rachel Pollon says:

    I’m so excited for 2010 now! xo and thanks for the laughs, Simon.

  37. Marni Grossman says:

    2003 WAS a good year. Even better year? 1999. Excellent. This made me laugh so hard I peed. And then I cried. But then, that’s 2009 for you.

    • 1999…

      Let’s see… Will Smith’s Will2K came out, I had my first girlfriend, and I listened to a lot of Beastie Boys. So yes, in a lot of ways, it was an excellent year.

      Oh, and I learned the phrase ‘I gambled, and I lost.’ Good phrase.

      Three weeks to go before 2009 is over. C’mon baby. I want to trust you. I want to love you. But what have you done for me lately?

  38. ditto, simon. 2009 totally bitch slapped me. and 2008 kicked me in the shin. let us all have a happy new year. i’m new here but i want in on the karaoke thing.

  39. Brin Friesen says:

    What exactly made 2009 such a jinx year? Nearly everybody I know in a relationship bit the dust.

    Explain it to me Simon!

    • God, I wish I knew. It was a bad year for relationships, I know that. A whole bunch of them crashed and burned.

      I don’t know… people just seem to have had a bad year. That being said, I was talking to someone the other night who said ‘Are you kidding? 2009 was great!’

      I found this news upsetting.

  40. JEMMA says:

    It’s so funny that you wrote this I was writing along the same lines starting point to my observation being Christmas; Thank God and his doings its Christmas. Graphics were to be credit cards and twig like bendy fashionable illustrations of shoppers.

    It came to mind how everyone is just going all out for Christmas;

    Delia is making reindeer cookies in November, faceache is full of jolly messages and cards.
    My friend is planning on home in the country making simple chapatis her shoulders are low and happy as she tells me her plans.
    Sarah is reading all my books and lapping up the sun at the pool and for the first time this single Mother of two is looking gentle and her eyes not so wild. Questioning me on how many books she should read, a question she would never have asked as she bristled past in suits and manicures. I stare at my feet. Laugh gently and ask about the book, not how many or how old the book is. Kenya is fiercely competitive and she had proudly adored a book on Waris Dirie with a friend of hers, a smart friend out to tea in the Norfolk Hotel a grand austere colonial place in need of lighting, had told her “I read it five years ago.”

    My Christmas tree has become a shrine to the end of 09 decorated with painfully sourced baubles in vintage Enid Blyton style paper, golden crackers we are having the most elaborate poolside take away from with friends comrades through the year. Living in apartments is a fascinating way to study people. And people throughout 2009 have been glorious comrades.one of our fellow block b families leaves on Monday and their is a deep ache that I doubt would have been there in recession free years.
    Little Eric, Alice their fat happy baby girl, their gentle brave Father who informed on a World Bank thief, always smiling, their bodygaurds.Years of smiles or glances or kind words, our children playing together.
    There is always balance; a year that bought made us value many things. A test we have passed, the bells ring.

    • JEMMA says:

      Typo forgive me, its 3 am;

      “the takeaway being from three favorite Nairobi restaurants,”

      • Delia is going to share on the reindeer cookies, right? Ol’ Simon ain’t gonna be left behind, right?

        It sounds like balance is well and truly present, and that’s a good thing. You are, of course, forgiven for the 3am typo. Thanks for reading, Jemma!

        • JEMMA says:

          Delia I don’t think so she is shy. We meet by the pool. Chat a little. Both fourth generation Kenyan with Uk wavering roots. She reminds me of home I remind her of home she floats I float culturally happily. A gentle friendship of no ties.

          Balance you really again threw me on that one; its my biggest project. Reaction equals action. Feel fat become fat. Feel thin become thin. Feel poised are poised ( poize amazing physics term). In a larger sense; balance; I argue that our President has the death of many people on his hands and I try to convince my cynical husband that this President must feel terrible each and every time he looks in the mirror this burden he carries. That balance will bring it onto his physical body to, that it has. Faceology and balance.

          “But he is not that moral Jemma.” he says with Cambridge Political Sciences authority. He stresses the last syllable of my Italian name which I hate for the very reason it ends in a vowel and is phonetic and maybe constantly stressed. He thinks Nairobi is the Godfather part 2. He grew up in a political dynasty in a harsh economy.
          But I think he is I think we all are I have not met an evil baby, toddler intent on hurting others. And I am a late Bernie Mac in that episode where out at a dinner party all he can answer is in kiddy terms. So I have been fortunate enough to study new people. And we all begin with goodness desire to walk with our pack to be a pack.
          So when you break the rules your face and body show this. He is not at all pretty. Neither is his comrade. People bow to them, but in their eyes there is no true respect.
          Anyway balance; excellent again. My favorite.

        • There’s a lot to be said for gentle friendships. And gentle people.

          Yeah, I agree on the idea of reaction equalling action, or action becoming reaction. I think the image you have of yourself creates the world around you in a lot of ways – especially the way you interpret it.

          It’s interesting – just this morning I was thinking of how no one is born bad – I’ve certainly never met an evil baby either. The world shapes us, and not always well.

  41. Tom Hansen says:

    Your 2009 sounds like my summer of 2008. That was the summer I found an agent who was hot for my book and assured me she could sell it for a fortune in NY. She’d been an agent for thirty years and from all accounts knew what she was doing. Then the roller coaster began. The book was sent to NY. It was summer and I was advised by my agent that things would take awhile, as people were on vacation etc. Within a week, five editors got hold of her and said they wanted it, not to sell it anywhere else while they got the green light for a six figure deal. I was on a cloud. A week passed. And another. And then the auction was over and none of the editors could get the green light to make an offer. Why? That damned global financial crisis.

    2009 was/is bizarre. And it seems to be headed for some kind of critical mass too, as the year drags to a train wreck of an end, many people here in Seattle are losing their minds. I sure hope something breaks soon before mine goes. Here’s to hoping what’s on the other side is better. Cheers mate!

    Your friend Luke: As in Davies? If so, tell him the author of American Junkie just read Candy and loved it.

    • Oh, man. That sucks. I’m sorry to hear it, Tom. Talk about crushing your hopes…

      Yep. The GFC took a big bite out of me as well. When you’re trying to find jobs in the US and 300 people turn up for one bartending gig… yeah. Not so good.

      Twenty ten, Tom. Twenty ten and victory.

      Nope, not Luke Davies. Sorry! If I should ever meet him, though, I’ll pass on the praise.

  42. Meg says:

    I think my favorite part was when you discovered 2009 had relieved itself in your dishwasher.

    Here’s hoping 2010 thinks to use the toilet. 🙂

  43. Comfortably Numb says:

    a lonesome amen

  44. […] 4. Dear 2009: Fuck You, Simon Smithson […]

  45. […] Texas, twenty-ten, […]

  46. […] after the train wreck that was 2009, it was time to switch up my style. Not only did I swear to myself I wasn’t going to wake up […]

  47. Vacuum Breaker…

    The Nervous Breakdown…

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