I know it’s already the second week of January, and it may seem a little late to be making predictions for 2013. But people are still saying “Happy New Year,” eating stale cookies, and slurping down eggnog. Plus, as far as I know, none of the following things have happened yet, so technically they qualify as prophecy.
• In early spring, reports that the legendary Sasquatch has been captured in northern Montana will spread quickly around the Internet. However, biologists will soon determine that it’s just a man with exceptionally big feet who likes to run through the woods wearing a fake fur coat and looking nervously over his shoulder.
• Hospital emergency rooms will report a ninety percent increase in trauma cases caused by cell phone users who walk out into traffic while texting. Meanwhile, auto body shops will report the same increase in business, mostly due to broken front bumpers caused by cell phone users who walk out into traffic while texting.
With surging sales of mood rings and lava lamps, fads from the 1970s will continue to reappear:
• Clothing stores for pet rocks will sprout up in shopping malls across North America. Their biggest seller will be the one-size-fits-all gym shorts.
• In June, the president will address a joint session of Congress to discuss proposed cuts to the budget for the next fiscal year, then will invite everyone back to the White House to play Twister.
• Electric blankets and water beds will again prove to be an unwise combination.
• After a new air-guitar champion is crowned, enthusiasts with even less talent will spin off another art form – Imaginary Air Guitar – in which they jump around on stage, without music, pretending to play air guitar. By year’s end, still another faction will break away, reducing its artistic activity to sitting in a chair and thinking about pretending to play air guitar. Sales of blank tee-shirts and empty guitar cases will skyrocket. Lip-sync contestants, attempting to duplicate the trend, will be stunned to learn that audiences aren’t interested in watching someone think about pretending to sing songs. Imaginary lip-sync will finally catch on in 2017, when everyone realizes that no one knows how to do anything else.
• According to the latest official statistics, this year the average person will spend the equivalent of thirteen days trying to open cereal boxes, jars of pickles, and plastic garbage bags. Eleven hours will be wasted looking for the television remote, three hours devoted to arguing with the self-service checkout at the grocery store, and ninety minutes squeezing ketchup from those little packets at McDonald’s. Another quarter-day will be lost looking for something in the refrigerator, and five hours will slip away in the shower as we repeatedly drop the soap and attempt to pick it back up. Each of us will use almost an entire week deciding which potato chips to buy.
• Historians will discover that as the calendar was modified over the centuries in order to more accurately match the Earth’s orbit, several errors were made. At various times, new months have been added, old months lengthened or shortened, and leap years implemented. As a result, revised calculations will now show that this coming March 18 should have been a Sunday. While most industries will ignore the issue completely, all post office employees will be sent home from work.
• A bathroom scale will be invented that responds to the human voice. For example, each time the person looks at the readout and yells, “That can’t be right!” the scale decreases the weight by five pounds.
• A talking clam will be found in the waters off the coast of Guatemala. Within weeks, thousands of clams will be hauled in, all speaking fluent Spanish. As if to contradict the popular expression, “clam up,” most will tend to be somewhat verbose. However, it will be hard to understand what they’re saying, and they’ll show little aptitude for abstract conversation. Still another phrase, “Happy as a clam,” will fall out of use once it’s noticed that many of the clams are really quite melancholy.
• With every tourist spot groping for even the most insignificant designation, such as “The fifth-longest blue suspension bridge west of the Alleghenies,” everyone will be shocked to learn that there is currently no “Wax Capital of the World.” Following the announcement, dozens of locations will lay claim to the marketing honor, including four cities in California alone.
• The United States will eliminate its national debt by October through the skillful use of couponing. According to a housewife in Nebraska, “By the end of the year, China and Japan could owe us as much as three hundred dollars.”
• In July, geologists will announce that global sea levels actually dropped by three millimeters during the first half of the year. Scientists will be at a loss to explain the mystery, until a submarine captain notices a huge drain plug at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. Further investigation will reveal that the plug’s gasket needs to be replaced.
• The International Olympic Committee will announce that hopscotch and pogo stick racing will be added to the 2016 summer games. However, individual synchronized swimming will not be returning. Some observers believe it’s because the sport is weird, while others think it’s simply too upsetting to watch, especially for children in the crowd who often worry that the swimmer is being eaten by a sea monster.
• The top ten finishers in the Boston Marathon will all be from Kenya, primarily because nobody else bothered to show up.
• Seventy-three world leaders will assemble at a summit in Berlin at the end of November. There will be no purpose to the meeting and nothing will be discussed. According to a spokesperson, the attendees are all old friends, and just missed each other. Meanwhile, out in the streets, protesters will clash with police for pretty much the same reason.