Good riddance, 2021.

Sure there were some happy times this past year, but I think we can all agree that a raging global pandemic can put a damper on things. Our anxiety level was on a constant roller coaster, starting the year with “I think I’m going to avoid this thing” and ending with “OMG! I don’t think I can avoid this thing.”

Like everyone, I now have some familiarity with basic Covid-related medical terms, which find their way into too many conversations. (I have no idea what I’m talking about, by the way.) It’s interesting, I guess, but I would’ve been quite content to never know the difference between an antibody and an antigen or be able to spot a good N95 mask from three aisles away.

But as I ready myself for a wild New Years Eve night — sweat pants, slippers, couch, football — I came upon a number of bizarre and absurd news stories from 2021 that gave me a much-needed chuckle. The CDC likes to stress the importance of vaccinations, social distancing and masking, and I have no problem with that. But after two years of this sh*%, I’m ready to add another recommendation to that list:

Laughter, especially at wacky and stupid things.

Here’s a brief sampling of meaningless information that you’ll forget in 5 minutes but will hopefully make you smile for a brief moment:

Villagers in India reported that a goat gave birth to an offspring with two limbs and a human face. The face was reportedly hairless and the tail was missing. “The neighbors rushed to our house,” reported the owner. “Everyone was left shocked at its appearance resembling a human baby.” Sadly, the baby goat died shortly after birth. Poor kid.

In Italy a 50-year-old man attempted to use a fake arm for a vaccination shot. He was trying to get a vaccination card and had hoped that the fake arm would fool the nurse. "I first felt sorry for the man, thinking that he had a prosthesis and wondering if I had somehow forced him to give me the wrong arm. But then he admitted he was wearing the fake arm on purpose to avoid getting the vaccine!" He was reported to local authorities, where he was declared one-armed and dangerous.

A London waffle shop started offering waffles shaped like sex objects. This is a family magazine so we won’t be showing any photos, but their actual motto is “It’s not about the size … it’s about the taste.

A Florida man (of course) was kicked off a plane for trying to use a woman’s red panties as a mask. The man — wearing a Let’s Go Brandon t-shirt — said he was like “Rosa Parks” and that he had worn the thong on other flights. The Rosa Parks of stupidity has since received a lifetime ban from Spirit Airlines, which is only a punishment for travelers who have luggage or legs.

Another Florida man (yep) got angry at an alligator, and decided to swing it in the air and toss it on the roof of a building, claiming that he was only trying to “teach it a lesson.”

A duplex in South Lake Tahoe, California, is listed for $650,000 and described as a “great income opportunity.” What the listing doesn’t disclose is that the home is packed with dozens of mannequins dressed in evening gowns. No word on who would buy the place, but I’m guessing the restraining order will transfer as part of the deed.

A Chicago teacher was on a flight from Newark to Iceland when she felt a scratchy throat. She went to the bathroom to take a Covid test — and tested positive. She agreed to stay in the bathroom for over five hours. Now that’s a responsible citizen (who obviously doesn’t suffer from claustrophobia).

2021 will always be remembered as a Covid year. But I think it’ll also go down as a banner year for wackiness. That’s no coincidence. As the gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson once wrote:

When the going gets tough, the weird turn pro.

At Nu?Detroit, we’ll continue to run the gamut — from the sublime to the ridiculous. From deep, thought-provoking stories about the most serious issues of the day … to goats that have human faces and humans that have alligator issues.

We look forward to learning and laughing together in 2022.

I think we’ll need to.