"The future seems to me no unified dream but a mince pie, long in the baking, never quite done."
-- E.B. White
Like E.B. White, I also see the future as somewhat half-baked. But that won't stop me from joining dozens of other writers and various media types in making some predictions for 2006.
For example, I forecast without fear or favor that KFC's highly advertised new "all-breast-meat" chicken wings will be a fly-away success. In fact, the product will be so successful that it will spur McDonald's to create a new Happy Meal item: all-beef fish sticks.
I predict that bank robbers who are apprehended will take a cue from Congress and attempt to avoid prosecution by giving the money they stole to charities. I predict that a hurricane will strike Corpus Christi, Texas, and that Pat Robertson will say it was the will of God because Texas misspelled Christ. I predict that Jerry Falwell will eat Pat Robertson. (Have you looked at ol' Jabba Jerry lately?)
I predict that Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise will become parents and that their baby will immediately ask to be adopted by Angelina Jolie. I predict that Britney will dump K-Fed -- and that he will immediately ask to be adopted by Angelina Jolie. I forecast that Craig Brewer's next movie will be about a pair of gay Memphis drug dealers. It will be called Smoke Crack Mountain.
I predict you will get at least one e-mail a day offering to enlarge your manhood. And at least three prominent "family values" conservatives will be busted for homosexual behavior or illegal drugs or infidelity. I predict that the Memphis Tigers will win the NCAA championship and that Rodney Carney will sign an endorsement deal for Wendy's new grilled-tuna chicken fingers.
And I predict that you will enjoy another 51 issues of the Flyer. Or double your money back.
Bruce VanWyngarden, Editor
It's deep in a November night in Memphis, and I'm awakened by rain. It's coming down hard, sounding like a million pebbles hitting the roof. The gutter I've been meaning to clean is overflowing outside the bedroom window. A flash of lightning illuminates the room, and I do what I've done since I was a boy: count the seconds 'til the thunder rolls. I get almost to 10 before I hear a distant rumble. Two miles or so. Someone else's lightning ...
So, Memphis has a new mayor-elect. While many people were surprised at last week's election results, those with access to various local political insiders were not. Polling numbers had been bandied about sotto voce for weeks, numbers that suggested Jim Strickland had a substantial lead over two-term incumbent A C Wharton. But none of the polling numbers I heard suggested a result in which Strickland would basically double Wharton's percentage of the total vote ...