LIKE many others, I just got used to writing '17 instead of '16 and soon I'll have remember to write '18.
So it's time to start wrapping up the year. You know the kind of thing - the biggest issues, the importantist people and Instagramiest trends, blah blah blah.
But then it hit me. There was really only one thing causing all the trouble and keeping us awake at night. But it's not what you may have thought.
It wasn't the fear of nuclear armageddon brought on by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un making us wring our hands in despair.
It wasn't the the fear of shark attacks or the frustration at watching shark nets kill a whole lot of protected marine life or the sight of all those fish gasping for air and dying at Tallow Creek last week that was making our blood boil.
It wasn't rage about the inequality in our society, where homeless people sleep on our streets every night while a host of unseen people (mainly older women) sleep in their cars because there is no affordable housing here in the shire that's illiciting a stream of angry letters to this editor.
It wasn't the plight of the men on Manus Island being ill-treated by our government causing shouting matches in our council chambers.
It wasn't the slow but sure destruction of our world's environment by climate deniers and coal miners that was bringing angry mobs onto the streets. Nor was it anger over sleazy sexist behaviour in the workplace, the gender pay gap or casual racism or homophobia in our public discourse causing outrage.
No, the thing that consistently drives us bat-shit crazy is our cars.
The thing we get most upset about is the state of the bitumen surface we drive our cars on and whether when we park our cars somewhere we have to pay to do it or not.
I'm here to tell you after another year of covering the news in the Byron Shire, the things that inspire the most passion are potholes and parking.
That's something for us to ponder as we sit alone fuming in our cars, stuck in a traffic jam out on Ewingsdale Road or the M1 surrounded by a whole bunch of other people sitting alone in their cars fuming.
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