Futile predictions for 2011

by Brian Clarey

The only thing worth predicting, in our opinion, is the outcome of a professional sporting event, preferably one for which there is a line in Las Vegas so at least there would be a tangible profit to be made.

We’ve seen that there’s no market for foretelling the outcome of bad economic policy, no response to preliminary reports of widespread voter unrest, no traction for an energy plan that takes into account the generations to come.

Even on Wall Street, where predicting the future would seem like a handy skill to have, the bets are hedged or shorted in such a way that it no longer matters how events play out in real time — bull or bear, the banks always win.

So although we’re well aware that nobody cares, we will make a few bold predictions for the new year ahead.

In Greensboro, the downtown curfew, which goes into effect this week, will successfully rid the district of young teenagers, with diplomatic immunity extended to 16-year-old keyboard player Sam Fribush.

The measure will have no discernible effect on overall crime rates in the city, but there will me a marked decrease in criminal activity among those who love the funk.

In Winston-Salem, attendance at the downtown ballpark will increase dramatically after a grassroots effort reminds fans that the more games they go to, the more Billy Prim will have to pay in taxes.

In the state of North Carolina, our leaders and court system will continue to find evidence that many of our citizens have been wrongly imprisoned, resulting in massive settlement payouts. “It’s not so much we wanted to let them out [of jail],” one unnamed official will say, “it’s just that it was getting bad for business.”

The General Assembly will also deal with the video poker question once and for all by instituting a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy with the state’s gas stations, convenience stores and bars — as in, “Just pay taxes on the income and we won’t ask where it comes from.”

Across the nation, US citizens will be shocked by a meteoric rise in the price of gasoline, up to $5 a gallon in some markets. The cause will be blamed on Mideast aggression, delayed fallout from the massive gulf oil spill and shady commodities futures trading. But the real reason will be a civilian backlash against government entreaties to use less gasoline. A movement calling itself the “petrol party” will hold spontaneous gatherings at public buildings where they will waste huge amounts of gasoline in controlled fires in an effort to demonstrate how plentiful it is.

And just to give this editorial some value, a Super Bowl prediction: Saints 38, Jets 35. In overtime.

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