crystal ballIt’s time for my annual gaze into my crystal ball to see what the year ahead has in store for us. If you happen to be Arnold Felderman of Waukesha, Wisconsin, I would just pack up now and head for a cave. For you, it’s going to be a really bad year. Sorry to be the one to tell you.

As for the rest of us, the future is a bit more hopeful. Oh sure, some politicians will stumble, some new war will likely break out between two minor countries our teenage kids have never heard of, like India and Pakistan, and some Hollywood celebrity will come out of the closet to confess he’s Republican. And no doubt some sports star will forever tarnish his legacy when it is discovered that he has illegally high traces of high fiber cereal in his urine.

Hopefully very few of you will try to look into the archives for my predictions from last year. I have to admit I was off in a couple places. Here are just a few of my predictions from last year that did not turn out quite as I had predicted:

Al GoreScientists will shock the world by proving that the primary cause of global warming is actually Al Gore’s hot air.

The major health insurance companies will patriotically rally together behind the President and boldly drive through progressive health care reform. Thanks to the Insurance Lobby’s unselfish support, a landmark completely unwatered down health care reform bill will breeze through both houses of Congress with near unanimous approval and get signed into law by May 1st, 2009.

The New York Mets will win the World Series. (Well, at least I had the right city.)

South Carolina Senator Joe Wilson will be voted Mr. Congeniality in the House of Representatives for his soft-spoken southern gentility and clever off the cuff humor.

The strife-ridden, lawless state of Somalia will reinvent itself and become the tourism capital of Africa with its playfully enticing advertising campaign slogan: “Visit Somalia – Come for our beaches. Stay for our Pirates.”

Women will finally win the right to vote – except in Mississippi. (Okay, I totally missed the news story that said they got this right in 1920. I can’t be on top of every breaking news item. Geez)

North Korea’s Kim Jong Il will win the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts at nuclear deterrence by opening his weapons factories to the international inspectors. During his acceptance speech in Stockholm, he will for the first time ever openly confess he is gay. Nobody is surprised.

Speaking of confessions, Barack Obama will confess on live national television that he was in fact not born in the USA after all. The Birthers were right. His true birthplace: a little town called Bethlehem.

Daily ShowThe Daily Show will become the most popular news source for Americans who get their news on television. (No wait, that prediction actually came true!)

Tiger Woods will publish a new best-selling book: How Being the Best Golfer in the World Made Me a Better Husband.

Okay, so 2009 was not one of my better prognosticating years. For 2010, I upgraded to a new 3G crystal ball in Plasma High Def so this year’s predictions should be much more accurate. Here is what I see for the upcoming year:

The Economy will take off and everything will be brighter – so long as you’re Peyton Manning or you’re on the Board of Directors for Goldman Sachs or you happen to be in the upper half of one percent income bracket. Otherwise, you’re in for another long year of belt-tightening and job losses.

The Best Picture of the Year will go to (drum roll please….) the “bromance” film, The Hangover, narrowly beating out Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. Hey, if you didn’t see either flick, don’t be so quick to dismiss. Mike Tyson’s portrayal of Mike Tyson in The Hangover was nothing short of brilliant.

curling broomThe most heavily watched event at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics will turn out to be the fast-paced ice sport of curling, thanks in part to its hip new catch phrase: “Brooms. They’re not just for housework anymore.”

After months of speculation and press leaks, President Obama will finally acknowledge that his plan to turn our economy around and get us out of our nation’s mounting debt crisis is to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of The People’s Republic of China. Effective September 1, our country will be called The United States of Chinmerica; we as a people will now be known as “Chinmericans.”  The much-loved Olympic chant “Hey Hey, USA” will be replaced by “Look, See, USC.”

Governor Mark Sanford, having stepped down in disgrace, will make a spectacular comeback in the business arena as a pioneering entrepreneur when he launches his wildly popular “Appalachian Trail Mix” line of healthy food snacks. Another scandal will erupt when it is discovered that the pecans actually come from Argentina.

Cell phones as a device to call other people will turn out to be a passing fad.

On the other hand, cell phones as a device for teenagers to text friends important messages like “wht u du-n?”, play Halo 3 against some dude in New Zealand, update their Facebook status with a post that says “”hungry”, or download their favorite pirated song from the Goth group Spastic Puppies, will become indispensible. But as a device to call others, um, no, not so much anymore.

The world will be shocked and outraged by photos released by purporting to show Bill Clinton having sex with…. Hillary Clinton.

You Twit FaceIt will be another big year for business mergers. In a move that will shock everybody, You Tube, Twitter, and Face Book will merge to become (wait for it): You Twit Face. (Okay, in all honesty, that’s not original material. But I just could not resist. Sorry.)

Despite all the buzz around “cloud computing,” Bill Gates will declare at the Consumer Electronics Show that cloud computing is still several years away from reality as they still can’t figure out how to keep the computers up in the clouds without them falling to earth and landing on people.

In a related story, Arnold Felderman of Waukesha, Wisconsin will get hit in the head by a Dell laptop computer which seemingly fell from the sky, requiring 37 stitches. In an ironic twist, on the way out of the hospital, he will be hit crossing the street – by a truck carrying a shipment of Dell computers. This will require 78 more stitches.

Boeing’s long-awaited 787 Dream Liner” – already over two years behind schedule – will hit another pocket of turbulence when during a final flight simulation test, engineers realize they forgot to include wings in the design. A new estimated release date is announced for Fall, 2019.

Jetsons carIn its latest effort to stave off bankruptcy, General Motors will sell off all of its remaining car and truck divisions. They will bank the company’s future on building a flying car patterned after the one on the Jetsons. In a sternly worded prepared statement, President & GM Chairman Obama will warn “This will be the last $150 billion you will get from the American taxpayers… for at least another six months.”

Tiger Woods will publish a new best-selling book: How To Score with Tons of Chicks by Being the Best Golfer in the World

burqasMichelle Obama will create a new fashion sensation and score a diplomatic coup with the Arab world at the same time by covering up her arms and promoting the Burqa as the women’s haute couture fashion choice for 2010.

Sarah Palin will emerge as the front runner for the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nomination, be appointed Ambassador to Russia (for reasons of proximity mainly), and surprise no one as the winner of the coveted Guns and Ammo Magazine’s “Hot Pistol” of the Year.

The War in Afghanistan will enter its 9th year – otherwise known as “almost the halfway point.”

Meryl Streep will create another incredible performance and be nominated for Best Actress. (Okay, so I mailed in this last prediction. I have to get one or two of these predictions correct, okay? Cut me some slack.)

So put a note on your calendar to check back with me in a year to see how well I did. I have to say, I think 2010 is going to be the year I finally get a few of my predictions right….. at least about Meryl Streep.

That’s the view of the future from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2010 – 2011

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