Yes, you deciphered those words correctly, simpleton news-reader: Every human in the year two thousand and twelve—beyond myself, of course—was not only unworthy of this news-paper’s Person of the Year distinction but deserved my very deepest scorn and contempt. Reader, did you really harbor the thought, somewhere in your porridge-stuffed head, that your favorite photo-play actress, law-maker, or pious holy man might actually be worthy of special commendation? Your childlike naïveté amuses me almost to the point of laughter, a sensation I have not physically experienced since the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915.
There is no Person of the Year. How dare you even presume there might be?
The task of choosing a Person of the Year has vexed me since I first invented the honor in 1896, and each year subsequent has filled me with an ever-increasing dread. Why, I recall 1938, when the mule-brained busybodies who laughably refer to themselves as my editorial staff recommended three candidates for The Onion’s Person of the Year: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, and Jesse Owens. Understandably enraged at the prospect of choosing between a meddling, blue-blood cripple, a proof-scribbling Kraut, and a grotesquely expeditious Negro, I did the only sensible thing and awarded the prize to Adolf Hitler, and proudly so. If Mr. Hitler were breathing today, I would likely bestow the honor on him again, but, regrettably, the wheels of history had other plans.
The choices offered me this year were no more auspicious, I assure you, not least of all because I had not heard of a damned blasted one of them. Only this Bashar al-Assad gentleman intrigued me, although I have determined he is still another year away from unleashing his full potential. The rest could be swept into the dustbin of history and none would be the poorer. The proliferation of women, Negroes, Irish, Jews, Jewesses, and Chinee on the short-list of “nominees” was enough to send me into an apoplexy requiring half a dozen nurse-maids to contain.
Oh, I suppose I could award the honor to myself, as I have on 83 separate occasions in the past 115-odd years, but the thrill of favoritism wore off decades ago. As did the temptation of a supple bribe. And besides, from what little sense I could gather from the laudanum-dazed confines of my bed-chamber, it would appear the 12th year of this confounded century was quite an abhorrent year indeed, filled with abhorrent people doing abhorrent things. At the rate things are going now, this staggering mess we insist on calling civilization will be but a pile of ash in a century’s time, and this news-paper will never again have to publish this annual feature. One can only hope, and dream.
Yours in misery,
T. Herman Zweibel