Predictions for the new year

As we near the end of another weird and wacky year, many pundits, astrologers and psychics will spew predictions for the new year.

These forecasts of world events and celebrity surprises usually are accompanied by giant headlines such as: "Polar Ice Caps Melting, World to Drown" or "Three-Headed Aliens to Visit Earth" or "Ben Affleck to Wed Parakeet" or "Michael Jackson Invites Three-Headed Alien Children to Spend the Night."

These stories are amusing, but offer little actual help in preparing for the year to come. What follows are common-sense predictions, based on mathematical probabilities and Murphy's Law rather than on the spouting of some wingnut in a turban.

We predict:

--During the course of the year, several individual socks will vanish from your home without explanation.

--At some point during the year, your car will make a "funny" noise. You'll try to ignore it, but eventually will take the vehicle to a garage. The car will then refuse to make the noise for the mechanic. As soon as you drive way, the noise will resume.

--A phone call from a telemarketer and/or a wrong number will come at a crucial time, causing you to miss something vitally important, such as a touchdown on TV.

--If you have a dog or cat, it will eat the wrong item (i.e., important homework) and will yark it up on the carpet.

--No matter how nice the climate where you live, the weather will at some point take a turn so puzzling and abrupt that you will secretly wonder whether it's a sign of the Apocalypse.

--Someone will give you a gift you could never, ever use.

--At work, there will be ups and downs. The ups will always feel temporary. You'll weather the downs by telling yourself, "Ah, well, it beats flipping burgers." (If you flip burgers for a living, this item does not apply to you.)

--The batteries in your smoke alarm will die, causing the alarm to emit intermittent shrieks. This will happen during the dead of night; we guarantee it.

--Sometime in the new year, you'll eat something that "disagrees" with you. This disagreement will escalate into a full-scale argument, one that you will lose. By the next day, you'll feel better.

--At your house, you will experience at least one "plumbing emergency" during the year. You will try to fix the noise/leak/flood yourself, making it worse.

--If you are a parent, there will come a time during the year when your child will do something so inexplicably weird that you'll question why you ever had kids. Also, you'll catch yourself saying something that sounds just like your own parents, and this will make you momentarily miserable.

--Your computer will gobble up at least one important document. Also, you'll waste too much time playing games on the computer. The two may be related.

--Friends, neighbors and coworkers will try to guilt you into helping their children's fund-raising activities by buying "band candy."

--At some point in the year, you'll hear or read about a waste of your taxpayer dollars that's so phenomenal and idiotic, it will give you apoplexy.

--You will worry about your weight.

--You will say something you later regret.

--You will spend money on things you don't really need, such as band candy.

Now that you know what's coming, you can brace yourself for a year full of annoyances, surprises and disappointments. Try to approach the new year with a positive attitude, and don't let the negatives bring you down.

Remember: There's always next year.

No comments: