As a psychic myself (I see a fat, bald man lurking in my bathroom ... Oops! I'm looking in the mirror), one of my favorite New Year's Week traditions is standing on the supermarket checkout line to see what my fellow seers think the new year holds in store.
This is the week the tabloid psychics make their predictions, and like most of you I'm concerned with the flight path of the killer bees. Some people buy a new home to live in a better school district, others seek more space. I base my real estate decisions on where the killer bees are heading. Over the years I've come to think of Jeane Dixon as the point-woman on the Century 21 team. Sadly, I must confess my disappointment at how tame Jeane's 1991 predictions are. "America will mourn the loss of two of its most beloved entertainment or public figures early in the year." This is a hard call? Jeane, sweetie, who died and made you Walter Lippmann? Leave the schmaltz to Cindy Adams. Give us the killer bees.
(Let me digress. I had the buona fortuna of driving home in Thursday's snow up Connecticut Avenue behind a procession of drivers suffering snow paralysis. There's less than one inch on the roads, and they're going so slowly, I think I'm in an Ingmar Bergman movie. What, none of these bozos has ever seen snow before? Just my luck to get on the road as the new "Only Drivers From the Tropics Allowed 6-8 PM" rule goes into effect. Six miles, 65 minutes. I'd have gladly turned into Rock Creek Park and risked skidding headfirst into a tree for the sheer thrill of actually moving. It's snow, people, not nuclear winter. If you're behind the wheel of a car, it's an indication to the rest of us that you intend to go somewhere. You'll excuse me if I don't want to rust to death. I predict: NEXT SNOWFALL, LUNATIC JOURNALIST ATTACHES BATTERING RAM TO CHEVETTE, REAR-ENDS 16 MERCEDESES, 8 BEEMERS IN SAVAGE SLUSH-STREWN SPREE. Thank you.)
So what's on the agenda for 1991? Well, the Weekly World News brings us the astrological predictions of the famous Countess Sophia Sabak. (I believe Sophia glommed onto that title after marrying SCTV's Count Floyd.) The Countess has an intriguing prediction style: She provides lucky numbers. For example, the lucky "Taurus Money" numbers are 5, 11, 13, 15, 27. Presumably, these are good days of the month for Taureans to either hot-wire an ATM machine or get a great deal on a new Ford. "Cancer Romance" lucky numbers include 26, 27, 28, which sounds like a weekend in Atlantic City. (As a Cancer, my own lucky honey-want-a-date? romance number was always $100.)
In the National Enquirer, Irene Hughes, a Chicago seer who "solves numerous crimes" -- too numerous to mention, I'm sure -- says "Cher will end up in a hospital with a blood infection after getting a new tattoo on her backside." California psychic Clarisa Bernhardt says Imelda Marcos and Tammy Faye Bakker will "open up a nationwide chain of shoe boutiques," undoubtedly called Power of Positive Heeling. St. Louis seer Beverly Jaegers predicts Jane Fonda will gorge herself and "pack on 40 pounds," changing her signature slogan from "feel the burn" to "roast that duck." Judy Hevenly, "who correctly predicted Lynda Carter's marriage" -- this is something to crow about? -- says Saddam Hussein will be blown to smithereens in February in an Iraqi nuclear accident.
Personally, I long for the good old days of tabloid predictions.
Mother Teresa To Have John Gotti's Love Child!
Dolly Parton to Run Off With ALF!
Global Warming to Melt Abominable Snowman to Human Size -- He'll Walk Among Us Looking Like a Norwegian Tennis Pro!
Rap Music to Give Way to Rat Music -- Tunes Spring From New York City Streets!
Michael Dukakis to Grow Second Head and Try Again for Presidency!
Elvis to Return and Claim Missing Laundry!
Barbara Bush to Have Millie, Sununu Gassed!
(Another digression. Have you seen the dinner prices for New Year's Eve? Since when is everything $145 per person? Oh excuse me, you can go to the early seating for $120, and get out by 9, and order a pizza at home to watch the ball drop. A GALA PACKAGE! A bad band, a bottle of champagne with a twist-off cap, and since the chefs are all out celebrating with their own pals, you get Sid and Molly's Hungarian Kreplach Surprise. Oh, and noisemakers. Did I forget the noisemakers? This is worth $145? Or is $145 the official New Year's Eve prix fixe? If you rent a movie from Erol's on New Year's Eve, it's $145, but they throw in Raisinets? I predict: HUNGARIAN KREPLACH'S SHOCKING SURPRISE! TOXIC OUTBREAK SENDS HUNDREDS TO EMERGENCY ROOMS; DOCTORS CHARGE NEW YEAR'S EVE FLAT RATE OF $145!)
Here's an easy prediction:
Drive-by shootings at "Godfather IV." Oh sure. You're standing in line, and a carload of Corleone wanna-bes whacks you from the thru lane.
We've already seen shootings inside the theater for "Godfather III." At the Sunrise Cinema on Long Island, four people were shot, one killed, during an argument while the film was being shown.
This is what, life imitates art? Method living? You go to see "Godfather," you get shot. You go to see "Dances With Wolves," you get clawed and you learn the fox trot?
Who brings guns to movies? Yes, theater behavior has deteriorated. People have stopped saving individual seats -- now they try to save whole rows, like their entire block is outside in a bus. ("I claim this row in the name of Ferdinand and Isabella and the Barretts of Wimpole Street NW.") People bring small children, even howling newborns. They bring coolers. They carry on loud conversations. You want to say, "This is 'The Russia House,' gang, not Wild World."
Why, to make sure there's enough butter on the popcorn?
Here lies James McSparron. He made the mistake of asking the moviegoer in front of him to kindly remove his hat.