It is time for my annual preview of things to come in the next year. These predictions have, in the past, proved to be 99.1 percent baloney or, as Joe Biden would put it, malarkey. Here’s what to look for in 2013:
January: Barack Obama and John Boehner arm-wrestle on the brink of the fiscal cliff and fall over. Bipartisan search party sent to rescue them. Taxes rise, budget is slashed. University of Notre Dame admitted to the Southeastern Conference. SEC wins seventh straight national college football championship.
February: Social Security minimum retirement age is elevated to 85, keeping Baby Boomers off the rolls and easing the strain on the Social Security Trust Fund. NRA, trying to come up with a new and original slogan after Newtown, declares, “Guns don’t kill; people do.” Congress passes law, over presidential veto, requiring armed guards in every school. Departments of Education and Defense are merged. Sarah “Lock and Load” Palin appointed secretary.
March: Mitt Romney accepts new job as CEO of Etch-a-Sketch. Higher taxes and lower expenditures turn budget deficit into budget surplus. Stock market climbs. Barack Obama and John Boehner found drinking beer with Chris Christie at the foot of the Palisades in New Jersey. After fifth round, Boehner and Christie both agree to switch parties. All agree to change fiscal policies from laissez-faire to “laissez les bontemps rouller.”
April: Former President Clinton approaches Paula Broadwell with a proposition that she write a biography of him. Email from David Petraeus surfaces, warning Clinton to back off. U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., resigns to accept presidency of NRA. Gov. Nikki Haley appoints Francisco Franco of Walhalla as the first Hispanic American to represent the state in the Senate. Texas legislature passes law requiring all school teachers to carry side arms as a protection against lawless gunslingers. The quaking in the cemetery is Molly Ivins, the late Texas columnist, laughing in her grave.
May: Ohio State joins Southeastern Conference. Economy continues to recover as combination of higher taxes and lower expenditures cut into deficit. Unemployment climbs as Boomers, ineligible for retirement, seek gainful employment. Congress passes act privatizing road building and bridge repairs, with improvements to be financed through tolls. Elderly put to work repairing infrastructure; learn new definition of bridge work. Unemployment drops. New organization, “Mothers Against Assault Rifles (MAAR) formed to oppose NRA. Slogan: “Guns don’t kill; people with guns kill.”
June: University of Michigan joins Southeastern Conference, offers Steve Spurrier head coach’s job. South Carolina Legislature appropriates $10 million to keep Spurrier in Columbia and another $10 million to hire Nick Saban as coach at Clemson. Pentagon adjusts to cutbacks in military spending; sells old tanks, planes and ships to China and uses proceeds to buy new ones from American manufacturers. Congress passes law banning assault weapons except those owned by members of “well-regulated militias.” Defense Department enhances revenue by confiscating privately owned assault rifles and selling them in Gaza. Boomers put to work in arms factories. Gen-X college graduates find jobs as Wal-mart greeters and hamburger McFlippers. Unemployment drops.
July: Brigham Young joins Southeastern Conference. Saban turns down Clemson offer after University of Alabama ups the ante to $12 million. Gov. Nikki Haley says South Carolina can’t bid higher lest the state budget be inundated by a crimson tide. Spurrier turns down Michigan offer after state legislature agrees to rename Williams-Bryce Stadium after him and to erect a statue of him on the Statehouse grounds. Gunman enters arena in Bleached Bones, Texas, carrying Bushmaster assault gun and 3,500 rounds of ammunition; opens fire on rodeo patrons. Patrons fire back. Gunman, struck by 37 bullets and a Brahma bull, dies on the spot. Thirty-seven rodeo patrons killed by friendly fire. Bull left in critical condition. NRA issues statement praising Texans for standing up for their Second Amendment rights.
August: College enrollment drops as Congress eliminates scholarship loans as a result of plunge over the fiscal cliff. College budgetary requirements fall, resulting in less drain on state budgets. Job-hungry high-school graduates go to work harvesting crops, eliminating need for immigrant labor from Latin America. Illegal aliens, unable to find work, self-deport.
September: Southern Cal joins SEC after withdrawing its objections to the University of South Carolina’s use of the USC logo. DEA’s budget cut to bare minimum as federal government decriminalizes marijuana and cocaine. Supreme Court rules smoking dope at football games is constitutional, as long as it isn’t part of a religious ritual; rules that firearms in churches, parks and athletic stadiums are constitutional as long as they belong to members of “well-regulated militias.”
October: Supreme Court recognizes same-sex marriage, provided one partner undergoes a transsexual operation. University of Oregon joins Southeastern Conference. Oregon State joins Atlantic Coast Conference.
November: SEC championship game played in Georgia Dome, with South Carolina facing Southern Cal. USC heavily favored. Arena is filled with fans legally smoking pot and crack cocaine. Players get high from inhaling second-hand smoke and stagger off the field. NCAA disqualifies both teams after players fail drug tests. Wofford College and Middle Tennessee are only teams in nation eligible for the national championship game: Their players wore gas masks for the entire season.
December: Budget surplus grows as cuts in Medicaid and Medicare result in earlier deaths for elderly Americans, easing the drain on Social Security. Congress votes massive tax cuts. Fight breaks out at annual Oklahoma-Oklahoma State football game between rival well-regulated militias wielding assault weapons. About 85,000 fans killed or wounded. NRA recommends that everyone attending a football game be required to wear a bullet-proof vest. House reports out a tough new bill making the sale of assault weapons legal only to men of good will. National Organization for Women protests against sexual discrimination. Nation settles back to enjoy another season of prosperity and peace on earth.
Readers may email Gene Owens at WadesDixieco.com.
Gene Owens is a retired newspaper editor and columnist who graduated from Graniteville High School and now lives in Anderson.