FLINT - Happy New Year, you lucky dogs you. It's time once again for my annual predictions column, although to call them predictions is to not give me my due.
Last year, for instance, fully 94 percent of my predictions came true, according to a review by the futurist organization Prognosticators of America. (I could show you the proof but I, uh, lost it in a terrible house fire. Yeah, that's it - a terrible house fire. Which, by the way, I predicted.)
In any case, for an amazing 22nd year in a row, I gaze into the swirling mists inside my crystal ball and intone those famous words "I see London, I see France, I see 2012.
A full week later, the nation's emergency rooms are still trying to clear the backlog of male patients suffering from head injuries sustained when they gave their wives and/or girlfriends stupid gifts for Christmas, in this case Forever Lazy, those Snuggie-like fleece body-suits you wear like pajamas. "Happens every year," says an exhausted ER trauma doctor. "You'd think guys would learn."
The first Republican presidential caucus takes place in Iowa. Voters overwhelmingly select "None of the above" as their top choice. One voter sums up the feelings of many: "Have you seen these people? Each one's crazier than the last."
The Detroit Lions win their final regular season game by forfeit when the entire Green Bay Packers team mysteriously comes down with the trots. In the ensuing investigation, known bad boy Ndamukong Suh is spotted on a security camera leaving the Packers locker room with an empty case of Ex-Lax, which, an investigation reveals, he laid out on the training table like a platter of chocolates. He is suspended for 86 years by the league.
Gov. Rick Snyder appoints an emergency financial manager for Detroit who takes one look at Detroit's books and declares it beyond saving. Later that week he sells the city for $129 to the pawn shop on TV's "Hardcore Pawn."
The Detroit Lions win the Super Bowl, causing air traffic tie-ups across the nation due to a sudden rash of flying pigs. Madonna performs the half-time show causing millions of viewers under the age of 30 to go, "Who?"
At the American Music Awards, Justin Bieber is given the Grammy for "Teenage heart-throb that other teenage boys would most like to beat with a stick." Madonna wins a lifetime achievement award, causing millions of people under the age of 30 to say, "Hey, isn't that the old lady who performed at the Super Bowl?"
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration forces "American Idol" to carry a warning label for diabetics that says, "Caution: Exposure to Steven Tyler's sickly sweet descriptions of singers who are, at best, marginally talented may induce nausea and/or coma."
For an amazing 22nd year in a row, March is canceled due to a profound lack of interest. (Note: If your birthday is in March, congratulations, you're officially the same age for another year.)
Every single infielder on the Detroit Tigers is injured on the same day, forcing the team to sign a 50-year-old - yet still surprisingly agile - newspaper columnist to play shortstop for its home opener. Sadly, that agile 50-year-old then wakes from his dream and realizes it is April Fool's Day. However, by repeatedly whacking himself on the head with an Acme mallet, said columnist is able to return to sleep in time to hit a three run homer to win the game, thus making his life complete. Not that he's wanted to be a baseball player his whole entire life or anything.)
At the Academy Awards, the Best Picture Oscar goes to "The Artist," a movie about a silent film star enjoyed by untold dozens of movie-goers. In accepting the award, director Michel Hazanavicius says, "" (See, the movie is about silent movies and so it would be out of character for him to oh, never mind.)
"None of the Above" continues to lengthen its lead for the Republican nomination, easily outdistancing the rest of the field in the Maryland, Wisconsin and Texas primaries. One voter sums up the feelings of many when she says, "To be honest, None of the Above is the only candidate not saying ridiculous things." Texas Gov. Rick Perry responds with an attack ad accusing "None of the Above" of being a "known socialist."
The NBA cancels its remaining playoff games after a grand total of 48 tickets are sold. NBA Commissioner David Stern blames the lengthy preseason lockout that forced the cancellation of the first half of the season, saying "Who knew billionaires squabbling with millionaires while half the nation is out of work would upset so many people?"
In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that Foursquare.com - where bored people tell other bored people about the boring places they're visiting in order to become the "mayor" of said locations - is a "colossal waste of time" and sentences anyone over the age of 21 who uses it to home arrest "until such time as they can find a life."
The Tea Party sues the Occupy Wall Street movement for copyright infringement, saying, "They stole our whole jiggly-eye, fringe nutwhacks thing. That's not right."
When palm trees start to grow in New Jersey, Congress is forced to admit "there might actually be something to this global warming thing."
By an unprecedented public vote, "Two and a Half Men" is canceled due to "profound unfunniness."
And finally, newspaper readers across Michigan threaten to riot when they get to the end of a column purporting to make predictions for the whole of 2012 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.
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. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.