Would that the prescience had been as dazzling for the rest of the predictions floated under this byline back then. Not that I ever claimed to give Jeane Dixon a run for her money, let alone Nostradamus, but some sort of psychic interference clearly clouded the crystal ball last December. I’ll save you the trouble of looking it up: I predicted Richard Scrushy would be freed, that Benjamin Button would be Oscar’s Best Picture and — what was I thinking? — that Jimmie Johnson would not four-peat.
I know you’re disappointed in me. Thing is, I knew you would be last year.
This year, though, I have received indisputably accurate information from the future, thanks to my new psychic diet, which involves grinding up a Magic 8-Ball and sprinkling it like wheat germ all over whatever I’m eating (it tastes best on top of tabbouleh, for some reason). So, let’s go straight to the forecast:
— Let’s get this out of the way first: Jimmie Johnson five-peat.
— Building on the Northern Beltway will come to a halt when construction crews unearth the ancient remains of a prehistoric coon dog cemetery.
— The conference committee members that must reconcile the House and Senate versions of health care reform will become heartily sick of each other. After enactment, it will be revealed that the reason Joe Lieberman bucked health care reform so hard was because he is, in fact, a zombie.
– Best Actor Oscar to Morgan Freeman for playing Mandela in Invictus; director Clint Eastwood will be shut out in his category. Best Picture goes to Precious, as does Best Actress (to Gabourey Sidibe).
– The iPhone will end its loveless marriage with AT&T and become compatible with the wireless concerns that know how not to drop calls all the time.
– Aaron Martens will cease to be the John Elway of professional bass fishing when he wins the Bassmasters Classic in February in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.
– President Obama will not catch a break until April.
– Dow Jones tops 11,000, led by Blue Cross, Aetna, ALFA and, for some reason, Quizno’s.
– After years of late-night infomercials, it will be revealed that Colon Detox is indeed hype.
– Governor Artur Davis. And, yes, Mayor Patrick Cooper. Lieutenant Governor? Not Hank Erwin. In the fall, the GOP picks up 41 seats in the House of Representatives.
– Research indicating that the Mayan calendar will come to an end in 2012 will be contradicted by the first translation of a document that turns out to be a copy of The Old Mesoamerican Farmer’s Almanac, which predicts a colder-than-average winter in 2013.
– At least one hurricane will nip Mobile and environs this summer.
– The national deficit will level off and actually begin to drop just after Treasury Secretary Geithner announces the hiring of Steve Sayler in the Budget Office. In a related story, Secretary of Defense gates will announce he’s found enough room in the Pentagon budget to start two more wars if we need to.
– Trent Reznor will go acoustic this year.
– Though the US will show up, go ahead and give the World Cup to Spain, if only to spare us the quadrennial whining of sportswriters having to cover soccer.
– Despite unexceptional ratings, Jay Leno’s daily show will be picked up by NBC for another season because it’s cheaper than doing real television.
– Birther Orly Taitz will introduce her new theory that President Obama was actually born on Pandora and speaks fluent Na’vu.
– Keith Richards will have a stroke, but no one will realize it for a matter of weeks. (Only kidding, Keef. Happy 66th!)
– Unable to meet its monumental sewer bills, Jefferson County will be auctioned off on its own courthouse steps. The winning bid will be submitted by the city of Atlanta, which will subsequently build a giant pipeline from Lake Purdy to Fulton County, Georgia. (Yes, Haskell Slaughter will handle the bonds for that construction project, too.)
– Memorial Day gas at the Highland Shell will set you back $2.90 per gallon.
– India, as part of global economic stimulus, will start outsourcing telemarketing and tech support jobs to America.
– Strapped for cash, the Birmingham Museum of Art announces its next blockbuster exhibition will be Lolcats.
– The number of Tiger Woods romantic interests will top out at 129, including at least one Kardashian and two of the Desperate Housewives. He will make his official media contrition on 60 Minutes in late spring, but not before hitting on Leslie Stahl.
– America takes curling gold in Vancouver.
– After considerable downsizing, The Birmingham News becomes a regular supplement in specially-marked issues of Birmingham Weekly.
– And finally, the prediction you drove in from out of town just to see: Larry Langford will get 25 years and may not serve even one. Selah.
Courtney Haden is a Birmingham Weekly columnist. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org