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Barry Smith: The art of prognostication

Top psychics agree, 2004 will be the year that will immediately follow 2003, both numerically and chronologically. Man, they’re good.

As each new year dawns, I like to try my own hand at prognostication. Regular readers may recall that last year I made several predictions which have, as of yet, failed to come true, specifically that one about the mayonnaise epidemic. But occasionally I do manage to foretell with eerie accuracy, such as my 2002 prediction of the second world war, which happened a mere 50 or so years earlier.

OK, look, I’m not a top psychic, but I know which way the wind blows and I’ve seen the writing on the wall, so, here goes …



PREDICTIONS FOR 2004

* I will continue to toss off words like “prognostication” as if they just roll from my extensive vocabulary, living in constant fear that someone will find out that I found it in the thesaurus as a synonym for “predict.” And that it took me awhile to figure out how to spell “predict.” And “thesaurus.” Basically another anxiety-laden year for me.




* Reality TV will reach its apex with the NBC hit show, “You!” Network employees will mount a series of cameras in your house, workplace, neighborhood, etc. … and when you turn on your TV you are watching … You! Yes, You! All day, every day, forever. And everyone else is watching themselves, too, but who cares about them … “You!” is on! When you get home and turn on the TV, there you are, watching TV! You can get snacks during the commercials so as not to miss a bit of the action.

* Partly cloudy, chance of showers.

* Somebody, somewhere, will utter, “Great googly moogly.” Probably me, now that I think about it.

* Love will conquer the world, and peace and harmony will reign. This will be terrible news for an awful lot of people.

* Osama bin Laden will be found … right around election time … looking a lot like Rip Van Winkle.

* Cars that run on water! Except they get about one mile per 800 gallons (700 gallons highway), necessitating a fuel tank the size of an Olympic swimming pool for even the shortest of trips. Despite this, water prices will shoot to $2.05 a gallon.

* U.S. forces will launch a pre-emptive strike against the Fiji Islands. Critics will claim this is a ploy to exploit their plentiful water resources, but the White House will maintain that Fiji has the capability of manufacturing Coconuts of Mass Destruction and must be stopped at all costs. Protesters take to the streets with their “No Slaughter for Water” signs.

* In March, TV commentators will briefly consider the possibility that loud does not equal right, and that interruption is not the same as counterpoint. Don’t blink!

* Apple Computer unveils the iPad, a dramatic merging of the previously disparate worlds of feminine hygiene and portable music technology. Available for Windows in 2005.

* Barstow ” the new Tibet.

* A whole bunch of people will have good lives, go about their days, love their family, hang out with friends, laugh a lot and just generally enjoy themselves. But this is the last you’ll hear of it.

* Election 2004 ” Due to all other presidential candidates having met grisly ends in a series of sports-specific “accidents” (bowling, bumper cars, whack-a-mole), the only two candidates left will be Bush and Buchanan, and as a result of a typographical “oversight,” all printed ballots contain only Bush’s name. The White House will issue a national press release reading only: “Oh, don’t act so surprised!”

* A very scrupulous December! Or whatever!

* A big-name celebrity will die, and even though you never met them, and have never really given them more than the occasional, fleeting thought, mostly while reading People in the checkout line, you will experience a deep sense of personal loss and feel the need to discuss it with others until your lunch order arrives.

* There will be a poignant upheaval around the first full moon of January, when the planet Mercury goes direct. Also, Neptune in Aquarius continues to spiritualize the physical as Uranus transits through Pisces. So, you know … watch it!

Barry Smith’s column runs in The Aspen Times on Mondays. His e-mail address is barry@Irrelativity.com, and his very own Web page is at http://www.Irrelativity.com


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