Predicting the future is easy when you’re either so vague you aren’t actually saying anything, or so outlandish that you’re guaranteed to be wrong and you don’t care. Given the choice, I prefer outlandish. Therefore, the following are 13 totally random predictions that have virtually no chance of coming true in the coming year. But if even one does, I’ll be a genius, worthy of fear and respect by men and nations everywhere.
Notes: Some of these are variations on predictions I made last year. But none of them came true, so I’m going to keep predicting them until they do. Also, each prediction includes odds whether or not it will come to pass. Please do not gamble on these or any other predictions.
1. Unable to solve its exploding debt and civil unrest, Greece becomes the first country in history to be purchased by a corporation, with a consortium of Google and Facebook outbidding Apple, the Walton family, and a collection of Russian oligarchs for the right to pay off the ancient nation’s debt and install a board of directors. Odds: 10-1
2. SETI will briefly be the center of a global controversy when what appears to be a powerful alien signal is detected. The matter is quickly forgotten when the signal turns out to be an episode of “Honey Boo Boo” that reflected off a piece of space junk. Odds: 6-1
3. A mid-level star in one of the major American sports leagues will come out of the closet. Virtually nobody will care. Odds: 3-2
4. One of the major social media companies will experience a prompt collapse and bankruptcy, going from ubiquitous to forgotten virtually overnight, causing billions of dollars and thousands of fake profiles to vanish. Odds: 5-1
5. One of the following bands will break up: U2, Metallica, Radiohead. Odds: 8-1
6. A snap frost will kill off 30% of the corn in North America, causing food prices to skyrocket and Monsanto headquarters to be stormed by anti-GMO activists. Odds: 20-1
7. The much-hyped and anticipated Star Wars Episode VII will be pushed back to 2017 because of script difficulties, budget overruns and protracted negotiations with the Ewok Wranglers Union Local 516. Odds: 4-1
8. A small but heavily-armed group of anti-government survivalists will attempt to storm and occupy the capitol of one of the western United States, holding it hostage until their lengthy list of demands is met. The coup fails, but the group comes away unharmed and sells a reality show about their antics to TLC. Odds: 25-1
9. 2012 apocalypse proponents will declare that the Mayan calendar was miscalculated on purpose by the Illuminati, and that 2013 is the real year when the world will end. Odds: OFF
10. Fashion trends for 2013 will include a brief return of flannel, the pinning of fresh berries to one’s lapel, wearing two Bluetooth headsets at once and sunglass monocles. Odds: 5-1
11. The entire world will be thrown into a panic when US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francoise Holland all disappear at the same time. Some will believe it to be a terrorist attack, others the beginning of the New World Order takeover. However, the crisis is resolved when the three leaders are found exiting a day-long Lord of the Rings movie marathon, having turned off their phones to get some peace and quiet. Odds: 15-1
12. The world’s first human clone will be unveiled in a spectacular two-hour Pay Per View special, which is cut short when the clone immediately dies. Prompt refunds are issued. Odds: 30-1
13. With the help of a celebrity spokesperson, extremely complex “double negative reverse mortgages” will become quite popular among guile-less elderly homeowners talked into looking for ways to hide money from the government. Odds: 5-1
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to pin a strawberry to my lapel. Happy new year!
Edited on 4/29/13: NBA veteran center Jason Collins became the first player in any of the major American sports to come out of closet as gay, fulfilling prediction number 3. Collins is a 13-year veteran and journeyman who had played on six different teams, so he’s not a mid-level star. It also seems to be a pretty big deal, when I thought the sports world would shrug, so I’m calling myself one-third right.