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Andy Prest: Honk if you remember all these crazy things that happened in 2022

The death of a beloved Queen, the Tweets of a bewildering billionaire, and a honking big mess on the streets of Ottawa. Here's a look back at a very weird year.
2022-02-09 truck protest 1
Ottawa truck convoy protest on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. | Nigel Newlove

Honk! Honk!! Honk!!!

It’s almost time to leave 2022 in the rear view mirror, but not before we look back at the highs and lows of a year that saw a pandemic continue, a royal reign end, and Canada make international headlines for one very annoying thing. Let’s go!

Politics

When I was just learning to drive, my father taught me that a car’s horn should only be used for one thing: to let everyone at your big, dumb protest know that the hot tub needs a refill.

No, that’s not it! My father told me to use the horn only to alert others of an impending collision. Following that sound reasoning, the horn should not be used to protest “mask mandates” or to “send the government a message” or to declare your “freedom” or to let everyone know that you are a “jerk.” That’s what happened in early 2022 though, as a few thousand people came to Ottawa, jammed up the downtown core for nearly a month, and honked. Authorities were utterly unequipped to deal with such a sophisticated honking strategy, and we all came away looking like honking idiots.

But the lasting memory of the whole thing was the Ottawa resident who snapped, unleashing an epic balcony rant that would have made the Trailer Park Boys blush. Here’s a snippet, with a few unprintable words honked out: “You walk around with your honking tailgate party and your honk honk nonsense. Nobody honking cares…. Put your honking camera away and shove it up your honking honk, you piece of honk.”

Holy honk, what a hero.

Elsewhere, Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, once again proving that he is really not a good person and probably should not have been allowed to run the United States for four years. Also, Queen Elizabeth II died at age 96 after an incredible 70 years on the throne. The United Kingdom mourned her loss by firing 21 prime ministers into the sun.

Healthcare

Speaking of things that have been around for 70 years, COVID-19 is still here. OK, maybe it hasn’t been that long, but everyone’s least-favourite pandemic was still lurking in 2022, making people feel awkward for wearing a mask, or not wearing a mask, or still forgetting to unmute themselves on the Zoom, or trying not to die.

Also, the screenwriters of 2022 thought it would be interesting to introduce a new pandemic character called “monkey pox,” but most people disregarded it as they were too busy already ignoring COVID.

Media

Elon Musk, who resembles a bag full of wet money, said he wanted to buy the website Twitter for $44 billion. Then he didn’t want to buy it. Then he actually did buy it, and promptly started driving it into the ground. Then he basically went full crazy. Sheesh, what a ride. It makes you wonder if he really was in charge during that spectacular crash, or if it was just a Tesla on autopilot.

Elsewhere, the game Wordle became an instant hit in 2022 and was purchased by the New York Times. The game remains culturally relevant – you can still lose friends by posting your score, or gain friends by asking anyone over 35 “what’s your opening word?”

Up here in Canada, one of our three major communications companies sent the country into chaos when they suffered a service outage in July, forcing more than 10 million people to stop looking at their phones and talk to each other. LOL, just kidding. Phones have apps you can use offline.

Sports

The Winter Olympics Games happened in 2022, and I’ll give you $5 right now if you can remember where they were held. Time’s up! The Games were held in that noted winter wonderland, Beijing.

The Stanley Cup was claimed this year by the Colorado Avalanche, making it 29 years since a team from Canada has won it. Canada did, however, make its first appearance at the FIFA men’s World Cup in 36 years in 2022, scoring two goals, one critically acclaimed loss, two normal losses, a few moral victories and no actual victories. Argentina won it all, with the world’s collective joy at seeing Lionel Messi lift the trophy overshadowing the world’s collective confusion that the tournament was hosted by Qatar.

Of course many other notable things happened in 2022. Citizens rose up against an oppressive regime in Iran, and Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars. One of those events prompted soul-searching introspection across North America and around the world. I'll let you guess which one. 

Yes, 2022 was a wild one. Whatever happens next year, we know this much: it can’t get much worse than this year, and I sincerely hope it gets a whole lot better for you, dear reader of the North Shore News. You honking deserve it.

Happy New Year!

Andy Prest is the assistant editor of the North Shore News. His lifestyle/humour column runs biweekly. aprest@nsnews.com

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