FLINT - A few years ago, a woman e-mailed me furious over my annual predictions column, in which I inevitably foretell the cancellation of March due to a widespread lack of interest. (Hey, in my defense, can you blame me? It's March for crying out loud. Who likes March? It's cold, it's wet it's March!)
"My birthday is in March," she wrote. "Cancel it again and I swear I'll come down there and (string of bad words followed by a physical act not unlike what happens to you at the airport if you book a one-way flight international.)
I didn't comply with her demands, er, wishes last year, but I'm a softer, gentler Andy this year, so, ma'am, if you're out there, I'll see what I can do, OK? But please remember: I am only the receiver of these predictions - a radio of the future if you will - so if I'm not able to preserve March please bear in mind that what you mentioned doing to me is probably illegal in most states, unless of course you're a registered TSA agent, which I hope you're not.
That said, for an amazing 21st year in a row, I gaze into my crystal ball and, in a trance-like stupor brought on by too many eggnogs, intone those famous words, "I see London, I see France, I see 2011."
Hospitals coast to coast remain jammed with men suffering from concussions caused by Shake Weights, Obama Chia Pets, Slap Chops and other "As Seen on TV" Christmas gifts flung by angry wives and girlfriends. Says one emergency room doc: "Happens every year. You should have seen this place when the George Foreman grill first came out."
The 112th Congress is sworn in. Literally. Millions of ticked off Americans who just want Congress to do something - anything - to improve the economy show up in Washington D.C. and drown out the swearing-in ceremonies with long, elegant strings of profanity carried live on CNN.
In response to this call for swift, bold legislative action, the new Republican-controlled House immediately passes a bill making it illegal to run for president if you don't look like them.
At the American Music Awards, somebody wins an award for best something or other and blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda. Frankly, your friendly soothsayer is too damned old to care anymore unless they start giving out awards like "Best Fossilized Rock Group" or "Best song by a guy who was really cool in his day but is now so old he sells records on infomercials."
Expected stratospheric sales for a tell-all book by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange fail to materialize when Assange - out of habit - leaks key chapters of the book to the media, thus ruining the surprise. Says Assange: "Doh!"
For an impressive 21st year in a row, March is canceled due to a widespread lack of interest. (Sorry, ma'am. I really hate March.)
At the Academy Awards, Will Ferrell is given an Oscar on the condition that he never, ever makes a sequel to the incredibly dreadful "Land of the Lost."
Major League Baseball opens its season doing what it should have done years ago by getting rid of umpires and going with all instant replay, all the time.
The "wedding of the century" takes place between Great Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton. The event is marred, though, when William's best man gets up at the reception dinner and tells a long, drunken off-color story about the time that he and Kate
Following a theme established last year when it passed law making May 1 "National Kick an AIG Executive in the Groin Day," Congress makes May 2nd "National Duct Tape a Wall Street Exec to a Lamp Post Until Such Time as They Give Us Some of Our Money Back Day."
A columnist in mid-Michigan becomes an instant trillionaire when, just prior to May 2nd, he suddenly invests his life savings in duct tape stocks.
Despite the ongoing popularity of Twitter, linguists worldwide call for a ban on the word "tweet" on grounds that it's stupid and adults feel silly saying it.
Airlines begin tumbling into bankruptcy shortly after the TSA announces its new "turn your head and cough" search procedure for male travelers. Women travelers find the new procedure highly amusing until the TSA institutes a "scootch forward a bit" policy for them.
Author Mitch Albom releases his latest book, "Good People Doing Good Things for Good Reasons and the Good Things That Happen to Them Because Of It."
Economists announce that Michigan's economy is "poised to move toward the edge of possibly getting to the outskirts of almost ready to improve." Which, given the past three years, is actually pretty good news. And finally, newspaper readers across Michigan are outraged when they get to the end of a column purporting to make predictions for the whole of 2011 only to find out that the guy making the predictions ran out of room and had to chop the piece in two, the second half of which will appear next week.
Unless, of course, Miss March locates him.
EDITOR'S NOTE - Andy Heller, an award-winning columnist for The Flint Journal, appears weekly in the Daily Press. He graduated from Escanaba Area High School in 1979. For more of his work, visit his blog at blog.mlive.com/flintjournal/aheller. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.