Time again to take all the suspense out of a year we’ve barely started, with a little combo platter of Red Bull, rhapsodomancy and a Region 1 Blu-Ray Magic 8-Ball. That chubby little New Year’s baby will want to go ahead and apply for Medicaid — just not in Alabama — when it sees all the things 2015 has in store for it:
There will be a significant drop in press coverage of the 2014 midterm elections.
At least one prominent musician who invaded America in the 1960s will go to that big Cavern Club in the sky. No, it’s not Keith Richards; we’ve got him penciled in for the year 2048.
Obamacare will be legally disassembled by the U.S, Supreme Court. The Gang of Five, led by National Review cover boy John Roberts, will invalidate the Affordable Health Care Act’s subsidies for premiums in states without their own insurance exchanges, which will put the nation’s health care system back to square one, or, as they say in the trade, a pre-existing condition.
Capitalism will transform Cuba. In the rush to overturn the lengthy U.S. trade embargo, the first American business to set up shop in Havana will be Check Depot, to give Cubans a chance to participate in a global consumer society by first pawning the titles to their 1959 automobiles.
The first snowfall of the year will take place Feb. 10. Unless it’s Jan. 7. Or maybe March 13. The 8-Ball is pretty hazy on this one. However, we can predict with confidence that, since ABC 33/40 has been bought up by Sinclair and Channel 13 by Hearst, the first broadcast unit to arrive at Piggly Wiggly in Homewood on whatever day the first flake flies will be Channel 42’s.
With falling oil prices wreaking havoc on the economy of the largest country in the world, Vladimir Putin will begin selling off the Russian Federation on craigslist. He will also appear on TV commercials stealing the concept behind the Jim Skinner Ford commercials, saying that you will get your best deals, “???????? ??, ???????? ??, ???????? ??!” Expect to pick up real bargains on Moscow Mule mugs, slightly-used nuclear warheads and Tatarstan.
Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard will be found guilty of charges that he used his office for personal gain. In a related story, flocks of flying pigs will clog the air traffic patterns above all Alabama airports.
The trend toward consolidation in corporations will result in the biggest-ever merger of internet-based search engines. The new search site will be called Gooyahooglebing.com.
American biologists will create an artificial life form in 2015. Though one-celled, it will bear a striking resemblance to Mickey Rourke.
Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, will accede to public dissatisfaction and will change the name of the team this year. Unfortunately, few will perceive the new name, the Washington Bison Jockeys, as being a significant step forward.
Zeppelins will attack Great Britain, a Canadian will win the Boston Marathon and the Ku Klux Klan will get a charter from Fulton County, Georgia. Oh, sorry, we were looking at our predictions for 1915.
Reg, of “Reg’s Coffee House,” will not dislike a single track he plays on the show this year.
The AFC Championship Game will match Denver and New England. In a related prediction, Katy Perry will not invite Taylor Swift to sing a duet with her during the halftime show of the Super Bowl. Oh, wait. A late-breaking flash from the 8-Ball: Patriots for the W.
Every modern convenience foreseen in Back to the Future II will come to pass this year.
Mayor William Bell will make a big stride toward making Birmingham a tourist mecca. Though he and the City Council turned down the ride-sharing company Uber’s attempts to operate in the Magic City last year, 2015 will see another company moving in to offer unregulated, unofficial taxi-style transportation. Utilizing a fleet of secondhand pickup trucks equipped with everything from CB radios to Confederate flag mudflaps, visitors are sure to return home with indelible impressions after catching rides on the new service, Goober.
Your gallon of gas at the Highland Shell station on Memorial Day weekend will set you back $2.55.
Neither former Governor Don Siegelman nor former Mayor Larry Langford will be allowed to trade their orange jumpsuits for civvies this year. However, inexplicably, former Vice-President Dick Cheney will continue to walk the earth a free man.
2015 is the year Dale Earnhardt, Jr. takes home the Sprint Cup championship. Just kidding. Kevin Harvick repeats. However, increased on-track fisticuffs caused by drivers frustrated by new NASCAR rules will lead Brian France to conduct exploratory merger talks with Dana White of UFC.
Did we mention the stock market crash in October? Just a little one. The Koch brothers will probably sleep right through it.
North Korea will launch another surreptitious international computer hack. This time, it’s aimed at the TLC cable channel for allowing Margaret Cho to host her own talk show. Hollywood has its vengeance, though, when Sony Pictures greenlights Seth Rogen to reprise his role as Britt Reid in The Green Hornet II…for release in North Korea only.
Alabama will finally solve its overcrowded, under-funded prison problem. At a press conference in April, Governor Bentley will announce that he’s following a directive of the state legislature by turning over operation of the penal system to a private, for-profit corporation. The new firm, headed by Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard and former Governor Bob Riley, will in turn announce that the three correctional facilities near Atmore will be annexed into nearby land owned by the Poarch Creek Indians. Groundbreaking will subsequently ensue for the all-new Wind Creek Casino and Prison, advertising “the loosest slots and the tightest manacles in the Southeast.”
Absent a hostile takeover by Gooyahooglebing.com, this very conceit for a column will appear in this space exactly one year from now. Happy new one.