Humor: What's in store for 2004? Unreal predictions for the new year

I look into my crystal ball in a lame attempt to ascertain the future.

It’s almost time to speak of the year 2003 in the past tense. Not to worry, as I won’t bore you with a year-in-review piece. Instead, I will bore you with what has become an annual tradition here at the Index: predictions about what the next year holds.

Disclaimer: With a few possible exceptions, predictions that actually come true are merely coincidental.

LOCAL
– Tacoma will change it’s official motto to “America’s #1 Museumed City.”

– The Tacoma City Council will vote on a symbolic resolution declaring Tacoma a “President Bush Free Zone.” They will also get around to addressing the city’s budget woes and finding a new chief of police.

– The Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health – citing the detrimental effects of second-hand exhaust – will approve a ban on all motorized vehicles in the county.

INTERNATIONAL
– Al-Qaeda head Osama bin Laden will be nabbed by U.S. forces. Washington state Rep. Jim McDermott will immediately decry it as an election ploy by President Bush. Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean will say his capture doesn’t make America any safer.

– While the U.S. occupation of Iraq will remain difficult, much progress will be made, most of which will not be reported by the mainstream media, which, according to the mainstream media, does not have a liberal bias of any kind.

– PLO leader Yasser Arafat will die – surprisingly – of natural causes, thereby creating the first real chance for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians in a very long time.

– And speaking of supporters of terrorism, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s prosecution will be hailed as the “Trial of the Century.”

GOVERNMENT/POLITICS
– His recent stint as host of “Saturday Night Live” notwithstanding, the Rev. Al Sharpton will not get the Democratic nomination for president of the United States.

– New York Sen. Hillary Clinton will not seek the Democratic nomination for president of the United States, nor a divorce.

– In a surprise move, Democratic presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark will answer a question directly.

– Howard Dean will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States. Having had to tack so far left in order to get the nomination, Dean will go on to be defeated in the general election by President Bush, who will win both the Electoral College and popular vote, thereby – hopefully – finally putting an end to Democrats whining about the 2000 presidential election.

ECONOMY/MONEY
– The U.S. economy will continue to expand, adding jobs throughout the year. Democrats will blame President Bush’s fiscal policies for failing to grow the economy faster.

– With the economy on the rebound, look for consumer confidence to border on obnoxious.

– The federal government’s decision to introduce a new $3 bill won’t go over so well.

– The federal government will continue to take money out of my paycheck for Social Security – money that I’m guessing I won’t get back when I retire.

SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY
– In a stunning development, it will be revealed that the key to weight loss is eating right and exercise.

– Steps toward a lifestyle reminiscent of “The Jetsons” will continue, what with the recent introduction of a robotic vacuum cleaner that can be purchased by the public. However, precious little progress will be made in the field of flying cars and meals in pill form.

– Cell phones – already ridiculously small – will shrink even further, with some models visible only through a microscope.

– By the end of January, I will have figured out how to successfully operate all of the functions of the new DVD player I got for Christmas.

ENTERTAINMENT/CELEBRITIES
– Fading pop star (literally) Michael Jackson’s prosecution on child molestation charges will be hailed as the “Trial of the Century.”

– During the trial, Jackson, showing the deft public relations touch he demonstrated throughout 2003, will say he doesn’t sexually molest young boys – he “makes love” to them.

– Dr. Phil McGraw – the not-exactly-slim self-help guru foisted upon the nation by Oprah Winfrey – will follow up his successful weight loss program with a campaign against baldness. (See a photo of Dr. Phil if this joke makes no sense to you.)

– Thankfully, Sean Penn will not quit his day job (brilliant actor) for a career in political analysis (rambling yahoo).

– Domestic know-it-all Martha Stewart’s prosecution on charges of conspiracy, securities fraud, obstruction of justice and making false statements in connection with her sale of 3,900 shares of ImClone stock will be hailed as the “Trial of the Century.”

– By the end of January, I will have totally accepted the fact that action movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger is governor of California, the fifth largest economy in the world. I will take some comfort in the fact that he’s doing better – so far – than the former governor, Gray Davis.

SPORTS
– Once again, the year will come and go without the NCAA lifting a finger to establish a common sense playoff system for Division I college football.

– L.A. Lakers basketball superstar Kobe Bryant’s prosecution on charges of rape will be hailed as the “Trial of the Century.”

– Even though I know it’s not really a sport per se, I will continue to enjoy the spectacle that is professional wrestling.

– The Seattle Seahawks will win the Super Bowl. (Hey, it could still happen.)

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