Fifty-one weeks of the year the standard, home-delivered newspaper is all I need. On the 52nd and the last week, however, I don't let the news come to me, I go where the wild news grows -- straight to my supermarket checkout where I buy The National Enquirer, The Star and The Globe for their annual prediction packages. Not just tame predictions that any chump can make, like how the prime rate will do, but the kind of boffo/socko/whammo predictions like this one in the current National Enquirer: "Steve McQueen will speak from beyond the grave, begging his loved ones not to mourn his death because he has discovered a heavenly life after death." Big city newspapers do a great job, but I ask you -- are they giving you the straight scoop on Steve McQueen's future plans?
As you might have guessed, I'm partial to The National Enquirer, because it's partial to my kinds of predictions. Not to give it all away this early in the story, but if you had my psychic vision and knew what I knew about people like Walter Cronkite, Barry Manilow, Prince Charles and Rosalynn Carter . . . well, then you wouldn't have to read any of this; you'd already know it. So, for the benefit of those out there without the gift, first a review of the competition, and then we'll get to the good stuff.
I was very disappointed in The Globe's predictions this year. The Globe gave us a two-page spread called Predictions For The Next 400 Years, and not once did it mention Bo Derek. To me, that's shabby journalism. Let's face it, who cares that The Globe says "between 1993 and 2020 tooth decay will be eliminated in 95 percent of people?" Furthermore, The Globe claims to be predicting for the next 400 years, but the last year mentioned is 2030, when, according to an architect, "we won't be building homes -- we'll be growing them." That's only 50 years' worth. What about the next 350? Nothing at all about the Ewings? Pooh.
Once again The Star's house seer, Jeane Dixon, has a restrained act. Four full pages and a lot of mildness. Oh sure, maybe a health problem for Jerry Lewis, a kidnap threat for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, a temper tantrum from Alan Alda, but Dixon has really gone establishment. Dig this on the weather: "Look for some late winter crop losses in the South." Big deal. Groundhogs have been predicting that for years and nobody puts their names up in 48-point type.
When you're talking going out on a limb, you're talking National Enquirer.
10 Psychics 10. Bombs away!
Bonnie Franklin and her husband will adopt twin Cherokee Indian orphans. (Last year the Enquirer predicted that Burt Reynolds and Sally Field would marry and adopt twin sisters who were Cambodian refugees. You win some, you lose some, but the good ones get recycled.)
Bob Hope will take over as head of the United States Information Agency. (1980: Hope to be ambassador to China.)
Frank Sinatra will be appointed ambassador to the Vatican. (1980: Lawrence Welk to be ambassador to Poland.)
Larry Hagman and Dick Van Patten will both quit show business to become evangelists. (1980: Michael Landon to go the rabbinical route; Paul Lynde, seminarian.)
Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Rosalynn Carter will seek governorships in Connecticut, Utah and Georgia respectively; Rosalynn will flaunt "a red-hot romance with a novelist."
Robin "Mork" Williams will leave Hollywood to become a ballet dancer. Pam "Mindy" Dawber will swim the English Channel in record time.
Richard Nixon will file for bankruptcy.
Richard Dawson, host of "Family Feud," will be punched out by the irate husband of a contestant whom Dawson kissed twice while on camera. (1980: Captain Kangaroo to be attacked by a wolverine on camera.)
Explorers will discover a crashed spaceship with dead aliens aboard. (1980: Ape-boy to be discovered in Kentucky.)
Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas will go splitsville. (1980: Sayonara, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace.)
A wonder herb grown in Nepal will make people twice as smart.
Last year I made a few predictions of my own, including the prediction that the hot new music of the '80s would come from Ecuador and be called, "Schmegeggae." My predictions, however, were for the whole decade. This year I will concentrate only on 1981. I can absolutely guarantee that the following things will happen this year. And if they don't, like I said last year, what the hell are you going to do about it?
Seiko and Jovan will merge and invent digital cologne.
A singing elephant will be discovered in Bhutan, flown to Hollywood and booked on all the talk shows. During a "Love Will Keep Us Together" duet with Toni Tennille it will suddenly swoon, squashing and killing The Captain.
Farrah Fawcett's sister, Water, will commit suicide by blow-drying herself to death.
Capitalizing on the "Shogun" craze, CBS will produce a week-long series about a Chinese underwater fisherman called "Blowgun." Lloyd Bridges-Li will star.
Sugar Ray Leonard will go on a diet and change his name to Sweet 'n' Low.
Jell-O will introduce a new flavor: Dorfman.
The Supreme Court will define cruel or unusual punishment as "having to watch a Linda Lavin special."
A new religious philosophy called "Grinn" will become popular. It will be based on two absolute truths: that Sears is the best place to shop for clothes and that John Davidson is God.
The new craze in food will be Gabonese, where the main spice is sand. The fashionable Georgetown set will be picking their teeth with shovels.
Ronald Reagan will agree to an exclusive interview with Geraldo Rivera. In the interview Reagan will call Rivera "Geronimo," and Alexander Haig will shoot him with a poisoned arrow.
A freak summer storm in Akron will destroy the bowling ball crop.
Herve Villechaize will join the cast of "Dallas." He will play a pony who bites J.R., but he will not be prosecuted because Lucy becomes pregnant with his child.
Lee Iacocca will pull off what he thinks is the deal of the century, trading Chrysler for Toyota even-up. Iacocca will then sell only Toyotas, but the new six-passenger, V-8 Japanese-Chrysler R-Car (pronounced L) will outsell everything in history because Americans believe that anything made in Japan -- even a gas guzzler -- is better than anything made by Iacocca. Iacocca's Toyota will begin 1982 by asking the federal government for a 500-million yen bailout.
Frogs. All over.
Montana, which has never had a state bird, will name one -- the lamb chop.
Barry Manilow will announce his own line of designer sun-tan lotion. It will come in three flavors: Bubble Gum, Syrup and Self Pity.
The new hit television show will be a remake of "Let's Make a Deal," starring Ozzie Myers, John Jenrette and a studio audience totally comprised of FBI agents dressed as Arabs. Behind curtain No. 3 will be a hidden camera.
Killer geese will attack Aspen, cannibalizing the population to reclaim all their down.
An employe of Gucci in Manhattan will be fired for having the decency to wait on a customer.
A giant fog will eat Dayton and no one will care.
Scientists will breed batter-dipped shrimp.
Warts will become status symbols. Dermatologists will graft them onto your face.
Bo Derek will enter a convent and choose the name Sister Dynamite.
Linda Blair will win an Oscar for her portrayal of the young Eleanor Roosevelt in the movie, "Disco Pearl Harbor."
Prince Charles will fulfill his destiny by marrying a Commoner -- Elsa, Barry's daughter.
Michael Landon will reveal the truth about himself -- that he is a Martian.
Loni Anderson, Suzanne Somers and Dolly Parton will star as astronauts in the movie version of "The Right Stuff."
Much to their chagrin nobody will give a damn about John Anderson, Margaret Trudeau, Leroy Neiman or McLean Stevenson.
Ronald Reagan will set a new tone for presidential press conferences when he parries a question from NBC's White House correspondent, Rona Barrett, by saying, "That's none of your beeswax."
Police will be told to consider joggers as looters and shoot to kill.
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter will divorce, Jimmy will marry Cher; Rosalynn will marry Sonny. They will all go on the road together as Abba.
Crazed potatoes from Idaho will attack Maine in the beginning of "The Spud Thud," the potato war to end all potato wars. Frank Perdue will offer to mediate. Both sides will tell him to take gas.
Gold chains, designer jeans, Aramis cologne and the name Nick will be declared illegal; Las Vegas will shut down.
Walter Cronkite will join the cast of "The Mandrell Sisters" as Florence, the sister with a mustache.
Santa Claus, in a rare television appearance, will admit that he really doesn't know if you've been bad or good.