Thursday, February 23, 2023

Predicting 2023

Questioner John Buckhouse: “Alexa, what’s the outside temperature…. and tell me what else I need to know today?”

Alexa: “The temperature is 63 degrees and on November 24 at 6:05 a.m. Russia will launch an attack against Germany causing World War III.”

Everybody knew this was bound to happen.  Who needs a fly on the wall when we’ve got zillions of little Alexas scattered throughout the universe with an ear to the ground?  And then, as we all know, they get together on Zoom every night over a dinner of microchips and coke and blab to one another about their recent discoveries.  Once Alexa knows something, there’s no holding her back.  Right in the middle of an Amazon delivery report, she’s liable to spout out, “You know, Rhonda, I don’t like Jeffrey very much.  I know for a fact he’s hitting on other women down at the Dairy Freeze.  You can do better.”

You know how it is trying to keep a secret.  You just want to bust loose and tell everybody.  Same way with Alexa, who seems to have a special relationship with Johnny B.  The only thing she told us recently is that it was time to renew our subscription to Homes & Gardens.  On the other hand, the new year typically brings forth a slew of Jeane Dixon imitators and would-be Nostradamuses and one of them could be right.  Better take another look.

Area 51, Where Are You?

Poor old Area 51 in Nevada has been the center of conspiratorial theories for decades now for sci-fi fans, raving lunatics and a self-proclaimed paranormal named Athos Salome, popularly known as “The Living Nostradamus” by small coterie of fans living in tents on the outskirts of Pittsburgh.  Athos swears that in 2023 the U.S. Air Force base inside Area 51 will experience the opening of an underground tunnel of sorts leading to a three-dimensional portal that makes Europe’s famous Chunnel look like soggy gingerbread.

“This portal will be able to transport people between time/space dimensions.  It is a tunnel which leads to other places and this new access will allow humans to travel to places unthought of until now.  It may seem impossible to many who hear my words and who do not understand the occult sciences, but this tunnel will arrive in 2023.”  Salome also warns that a new and deadly pandemic lurks just below the ice surface in Antarctica, so lay off the shoveling.

Nostradamus, himself sees “seven months of the Great War, people dead of evil-doing.”  On the economic front, So high will the bushel of wheat rise that man will be eating his fellow man, and I don’t mean just Jeffrey Dahmer.”

Nosti didn’t predict a good year for Elon Musk, either, testifying that 2023 will be the year “when the light of Mars goes out.”  The French seer/physician/astrologer knows his stuff about lights going out.  Most of you will remember his 2015 prediction of the demise of Motel 6, whose famous boast was “We’ll leave the light on for you.” No, they won’t, he said.  Bingo!

“Never Mind”---(Emily Litella)

In 1923, sociologists and scientists offered predictions of what life might look like 100 years in the future, which illustrates why these people never get hired as oddsmakers by the Las Vegas casinos.  Glenn Curtis, a well-known airplane authority, promised that by 2023 “gasoline will have been replaced as a mode of power by radio and the skies will be filled with myriad craft sailing over well-defined routes.”  Dr. Charles Steinmetz, an electrical expert, uttered “The time is coming when there will be no long drudgery and that people will toil not more than four hours a day, owing to the work of electricity.”  Amazingly, that exact thing has happened in France.

The Savannah News thought “women will be shaving their heads and men will be wearing curls.  It will also be the height of style in personal primping to blacken one’s teeth.”  True, but only in Southeastern trailer parks.

Professor A. M. Low was certain warfare would change, partly due to his own invention---jets of water highly charged with electricity.  “This will render the cavalry obsolete,” Low assured.  “The war of 2023 will be a wireless war for there is no end to the possibilities of this wonderful force.  Wireless telephony, sight, heat, power and writing may all play important parts.  An expenditure of about three horse-power can destroy a wire at a distance of more than a yard without any connection at all.”  Why are the Ukrainians so blind to this deft technology?

Newspapers predicted that the average person would live longer in 2023, with a median lifespan near 100 years.  Others scoffed and said 150, even 200.  One paper cited a scientist who put the average at 300 years.  “Quite a change,” the article writer smirked.  “We of today have been living that long about once a month.”

One writer predicted “people will be wearing kidney cosies to protect those organs on chilly days.”  Another newswriter foresaw a world in which Pittsburgh and London take orders “on talking films” from merchants in Peking and “1000 mph freighters deliver goods before sunset,” just like Amazon does every day.

Nobody was crass enough to imagine redneck hordes crashing the gates of Congress or Joey Chestnut choking down 76 hotdogs at Nathan’s Famous.  Nor did a soul foresee the transsexual revolution, the zombie apocalypse or the surprising ascension of President Bernie.  Similarly, today’s seers could hardly imagine 2123’s gala birthday party for 182-year-old Bill Killeen, the centennial anniversary of the Hogtown Opry or Siobhan Ellison’s Nobel Prize for Gerontology in keeping Bill alive and smiling.  Well….

The Flying Pie Predictions, 2023

1.---Will Thacker Will Be Anointed King Of The Betsileo Tribe Of Madagascar.

The snake-worshipping Betsileo, a highland ethnic group with the third largest in population in the country, have been looking for a new king ever since the last one absconded to Burma with half the tribe’s treasury and a sixteen-year-old cassava peddler from the lowlands.  Thacker’s serpentine background and his vast experience cultivating rice on terraced hillsides made him a natural.  When news reached the septuagenarian playboy at his Oviedo, Florida lean-to, he smiled, donned his jungle hat and asked, “Where the hell is Madagascar?” 

2.---Jeff Goldstein Will Play Robin In The New Batman Musical.

Always a bridesmaid, Jeffie got the nod here over more experienced rivals Danny DeVito, Pee-wee Herman and Ellen DeGeneres due to his serious demeanor and a rare ability to swing from building to building on a silken cord.  “Besides, Devito is too funny, Pee-wee has baggage and Ellen sings like a wounded capybara,” claims Goldstein.  “Meanwhile, I’m sufficiently turbulent, can hold a tune and leap small buildings at a single bound.”  The role of Batman has yet to be cast but rumor has it the lead part is down to Gainesville raconteur Mike Boulware, local flashdancer Gina Hawkins and Harrison Ford.   Amateur thespian Chuck LeMasters failed to make the cut.

3.---Florida Wrangler Paco Paco Will Join The Rock Island Line.

A frustrated railroad man at heart, Paco---in his secret identity as mild-mannered warbler David Fritz---has ridden boxcars from coast to coast in search of brotherhood, serenity and a few good songs.  “If I had my druthers,” Paco says, “I would have been a locomotive engineer in the 1900s, when men were men and women wore underwear.”  While Paco will start his career as a lowly switchman in a rural railyard, he has high aspirations.  “Someday,” he says, “I’d like to drive that Midnight Train to Georgia, ride cross country on the Spirit of New Orleans, ramp it up on the Wabash Cannonball.  The pay’s not great but it beats dodging fruit at some of the hellholes I play.”

4.---Ron Thomas Will Break Neli van de Hoeven’s Record In The Brazil Kissing Marathon.

Not an easy feat.  Van der Hoeven and Wanderly Coasta e Silva of Spain kissed for 34:11 hours in the 1999 competition and no one has come close since.  Thomas, however, has been practicing religiously at kissing booths all over Northcentral Florida and says his puckers are second to none.

“You have to take your art seriously,” says Ron the Resilient, who is currently at work on his new tome, The Osculator’s Handbook“I am a devotee of William Cane, the nation’s foremost expert on kissing, who advises on the technical aspects of the art, the newest techniques, the pitfalls and the proper breath mints.  Last year, I was voted ‘Best Foreign Kisser’ at the Bali, Indonesia Kissing Festival, which is no small honor.  By the way, I’m always available for birthday parties, bar mitzvahs and tractor-pulls.  You have to be on guard at those tractor-pulls.  Them redneck women bite.”

5.---Janice Abate Will Have A Cocktail At A Bar In Every State Within a Two Month Period.

The inveterate New Englander and author of the best-selling book Staying Home Is For Sissies isn’t one for sitting on the porch with her feet up.  Well, she is if it’s a different porch than she sat on yesterday and there’s a table with a drink on it.  In the past five years, Abate has traveled from Bombay to Burlington with a sippy-cup in hand, testing the flavor, quality and paralyzing power of the local saloon specials.  Her first tome, If This Is Tuesday, It Must Be Nantucket flew off bookstore shelves and straight to the top of the popular Imbibers List.  The highly respected Secret Society of Social Drinkers called Janice “our hero” and promised to follow her quest with a convoy of support buses as she takes on her latest challenge.  “I’m strong to the finish ‘cause I eats my spinach cocktail,” says Ms. Abate.  She means her spinachy vibrant green Popeye Sour, cachaca-based, with lime, ginger and rich almond.  Drink two and you instantly travel to Anadarko without the bus.

That’s all, folks….