Happy 2,017, the year I finally muster up the courage to take a stand and push back against the nonsensical decision, made in late 999, not to put commas in years. I hope you will join me in what I believe will be the crusade of a lifetime.
Prior to getting into my can’t-miss predictions for the new year, let’s take a look at how I did with my can’t-miss predictions for the year gone by.
As usual, I nailed it on several calls, including that the home planet would continue to dominate the Miss Universe pageant. Earth’s winning streak continued when Earthling Pia Wurtzbach won. She was Miss Philippines. (And let’s make the new year the one in which we conclusively confront this confounding controversy: Why is it Philippines, but Filipinos?)
I also was spot on with my prediction that Donald Trump would say something that would embarrass all of humanity. In something I didn’t see coming, Trump’s opportunity to do that in the new year will come in a presidential inaugural address.
One more prediction of which I’m proud. I told you the Texas Legislature would do nothing to bring ridicule upon our state during the year. It did not, mostly because it did not meet last year. Our lawmakers do meet this year. Buckle up.
So let’s take a look at the new year that dawns upon us amid great promise and optimism (at least compared to much of what happened last year). Here, with an eagle eye for the obvious, are my predictions for 2,017.
• Texas Democrats again will find a reason to believe they’re on the cusp of a comeback. They again will be wrong.
• An Austin City Council meeting will drag on for hours and hours.
• This year will be one day shorter than last year. The missing day will be late-February, early Marchish. An investigation will show the Russians have something to do with the missing day, having done it just to jack with us. (Not bragging here, but I correctly predicted that 2,016 would have one more day than the previous year.)
• Something will happen that will cause generally unflappable GOP Texas House Speaker Joe Straus to become flapped enough to blurt out something that sounds like, “I swear by the gods, some of my Republican colleagues are nutjobs.”
• Gov. Greg Abbott will successfully wrap up his 2,018 re-election bid by stockpiling 32 gazillion dollars in campaign money before you even start thinking about that election. A Democrat will gear up to run against Abbott. See above re: Democratic comeback.
• Someone in Travis County will say, “Hey, did anybody know there are county commissioners?”
• America, already pretty great, will not suddenly be made great again.
• KXAN-TV newscasters will say “we” and “you” even more than they do now.
• Somebody in upper management at the local daily newspaper will say, “What if we rejigger the website and try it this way?” They will be correct. All upper managers at the local daily newspaper are always correct and are upper managers because they are smarter and better looking than those of us not in upper management at the local daily newspaper.
• Unlike the previous year, I will get through the new one without landing my drone in a friend’s swimming pool. (It lived to fly again. I’m submitting that to the Vatican for miracle certification, which could lead to Catholic schools with names like Our Lady of the Miracle of the Drowned Drone.)
• Either the Orange or the White won’t look good in the Texas Longhorns’ annual Orange and White spring football game, leading some high-bucks boosters to call for the firing of new Coach Tom Herman and ushering in the era of Charlie nostalgia.
• Somebody in upper management at the local daily newspaper will come up with yet another new version of the employee evaluation form. I’ll hate it, but will tell upper management it’s great. My goals for the new year will include world peace and continued unlimited access to the candy drawer. And thanks to colleague Rindy Weatherly, Eternal and Consecrated Keeper of the Candy Drawer. Our newsroom also features “altars” on which various sources of nourishment periodically appear courtesy of thoughtful and talented colleagues . (The thoughtful ones buy goodies. The talented ones make them.) The snacks are all healthy because they get everybody up and quickly moving toward them, including in response to a recent all-points email that carried the subject line “Even more Christmas cookies” and included the caveat “Some of them are burned, sorry.”
• A reader will accuse me of never criticizing Democratic statewide officials in Texas. I’d be happy to do that. Please send me some.
• Somebody in upper management at the local daily newspaper will tell me to stop putting commas in years. I will be accused of being a commanist. I, addicted to paychecks and benefits, meekly will comply with the directive. But I will show my fierce independence by leading an effort to either change Philippines to Filippines or Filipino to Philippino. Sometimes a man has to take a stand.
Here’s hoping 2017 is a good one, one with more things that bring us together and fewer celebrity deaths. Happy news year to all.