This year’s predictions for the new year

Every year about this time, we hear predictions of things that might happen in the new year. Most of them are far-fetched and silly.

As you might recall, the world did not end this year, despite some predictions that it would. I'm pretty sure I would have remembered something like that. Nor did Prince Harry marry any of his beautiful companions this year, as was foretold by many. That both events were equally important to prognosticators is at the cold, hard heart of the predicting business.

Despite the fact that I'm not the seventh son of the seventh son, and that I don't own a crystal ball or a set of tarot cards, I still think my forecasts for the next 12 months will hold up as well as any of the divination experts' -- maybe better. Though I may be off by a few months on some of these items, I boldly predict the following:

That Miley Cyrus will be in the news again. Call me crazy, but I have a strong premonition that she will do something outrageous and controversial, almost as if she's trying to get her name in the paper on purpose. Ditto Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.

That yet another previously unknown tidbit about a Kardashian will come to light. It'll be something that will have huge ramifications around the globe; something that will touch all of our lives. Like one of them changing her hairstyle, or something. There will be a two-hour TV special about it.

That several celebrities will make ill-advised marriages and then get divorced after only a few months. My vision is cloudy here, but the word "celebrity" will include heiresses, has-been movie stars, reality show contestants, wannabe supermodels and co-hosts of daytime talk shows.

That there will be at least one "Trial of the Century" next year. Maybe two. Considering there are still 80-some years to go in this century, it seems a little strange that we would have had our "Trial of the Century" already, let alone two a year. But I just predict this stuff, I don't make the rules.

That there will be abnormal weather somewhere, causing death and destruction.

That once a month, someone in the British royal family will do or say something that will make them seem loutish, dysfunctional and depraved. This will not prevent millions of mothers around the world from wishing their daughters would marry one of them.

That Prince Charles will renounce the throne, move to Japan and become a pearl diver. I predicted this last year, too. It was the only one I got wrong. No, that's not right: I also predicted that Sasquatch would run for president, and I guess that didn't happen, either.

That thousands of people will lose their life savings in an Internet scam. The same scam that has been on the Internet for 20 years. If you really believe your bank, your credit card company or the IRS needs to "verify" your Social Security number, hang up, look up their phone number and call them back.

That a well-known spokesperson for public morals will be caught cheating or stealing. They will end up making more money than ever on the lecture circuit.

That a well-known athlete will be fined or suspended for despicable behavior. The value of his autograph will skyrocket.

That Sleazy, the long-lost eighth dwarf, will be discovered wandering near the bus station in Orlando, Florida.

That the TV networks will "accidentally" air something that will offend millions of viewers. They will show the clip over and over and over again in case you missed it the first time, because now it's "news."

That the Housewives of Wherever will have a catfight. Not a real catfight, but a professional catfight, which is just as real as professional wrestling. It may become its own sport.

That scientists will discover a cure for Viagra.

That Elvis will be spotted filling up his RV in Chillicothe, Ohio.

That in the new season of "Downton Abbey," Lord Grantham will lose all his money and must go live under a bridge.

Whoops! That's not a prediction. It's more of a wish.

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