Thursday, January 07, 2010

“Predictions: 2010”


c. 2009 Rod Ice
All rights reserved
(12-09)


Offering predictions for the New Year is a familiar journalistic habit.

Few publications seem able to avoid the yearly tradition of acting as a medium for soothsayers and visionaries in the tradition of Nostradamus.

Such observations are rarely checked for accuracy, after the fact. Still, they provide entertainment while considering the beginning of a New Year.

A decade ago, the approach of ‘Y2K’ was anticipated with much anxiety. Currently, some are pondering the ancient Mayan calendar – which ends with the year 2012.

Both represent the ability of human imagination to wander away from traditional norms.

What follows here is a short list of future events seen by this writer when peering into the crystal ball…

ONE: After hiring Mike Holmgren as President of Football Operations for his NFL franchise, Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner gives Coach Eric Mangini a new assignment that better suits his capabilities - Director of Lobby Greeters for Walmart stores in Northeastern Ohio. Mangini’s first task is to re-train employees at the Middlefield location.

TWO: In a stunning reversal of fortune, former Chardon City Councilperson Mary M. Bramstedt joins the on-air staff at Fox News Channel. Initially, she appears as a regular guest with Laura Ingraham. But after developing national appeal as a commentator, pundit, and fashionable headwear expert, Bramstedt receives an hour-long program of her own.

THREE: After being nominated for a local Nobel Prize, ‘Christmas Tree Lady’ Paula Horbay is invited to a special ceremony with Governor Ted Strickland in Columbus. The event provides a showcase of small-business entrepreneurs from across Ohio. Also honored are ‘Picnic Table Papa’ Bill Knauf of Cincinnati; ‘Fruit Salad Fanatic’ Fran Splenda of Toledo; and ‘Homemade Wine Hobo’ Joe DiCenza of Youngstown.

FOUR: A political scandal erupts after it is revealed that members of the Chardon City Council have deliberately covered up unknown details of the 1957 UFO encounter experienced by Olden Moore. Local reporter Brent Fabus provides a series of reports that reveal how Moore also met a second spacecraft in front of the Geauga County Courthouse, with village leaders by his side. Old records from the bygone Geauga Times-Leader confirm this story.

FIVE: Cleveland Browns star Joshua Cribbs shocks the world of professional sports by successfully campaigning to become Ohio’s first black governor. Once elected, his gift for cultivating public support yields the ability to win enthusiastic cooperation from both Democrats and Republicans in Columbus.

SIX: Local Amish residents are intrigued when Giant Eagle’s ‘Get Go’ concept is reworked to become ‘Get Slow’ in their neighborhoods. This new kind of fuel-and-food depot offers hay, water, horse grooming, and a dual-sided hitching post designed in Switzerland. A complimentary ‘buggy wash’ is available with each purchase. Inside, patrons are treated to a family-style buffet of traditional delights.

SEVEN: Lawless ‘Scarecrow Bandits’ return to wreak havoc when Geauga Lyric Theater Guild presents a musical based on the 60’s television program ‘Green Acres.’ Sidewalk promotional displays provided by a local John Deere dealership are defaced with graffiti that carries a pro-environmentalist theme.

EIGHT: Former media mogul Don Buchanan is taken into custody by U.S. forces in Afghanistan. When questioned about his presence in the war-torn nation, Buchanan claims to be on a mission to write about the predicament of Afghan citizens who have suffered during years of conflict. He is released after being interrogated by the CIA. Eventually, his reports appear in a newspaper from the Virgin Islands.

NINE: Geauga County Sheriff’s Department hero Midge is included in a 2010 ‘Canine Census’ of notable dogs from around the world. Also included are Bo Obama, and Mr. Muggles from the NBC television series ‘Heroes.’

TEN: In April, LeBron James is spotted attending the Geauga County Maple Festival. A sensation occurs when his entire entourage of sixty-two friends and bodyguards order maple stirs at the same time.

ELEVEN: The McDonald’s in Chardon receives a corporate ‘Golden Arches’ award for citizenship, after hosting the ‘Geauga Writer’s Roundtable’ for one full year. This rare honor is bestowed with much fanfare by Ronald himself, and a group of dignitaries from the county. Also presiding is Ray Kroc IV, a fast-food prodigy and gifted businessman like his notable great-grandfather.

TWELVE: Venerable free publication ‘The Weekly Mail’ returns after a long absence from the area. Its debut issue includes classified ads, local columns, recipes, and news tidbits – offered as an e-mail newsletter instead of a printed journal. Though fondly remembered, this cyber-interpretation of the paper lasts for only three months.

THIRTEEN: After twenty-five years of rumors, Bob Evans finally builds one of its family-style restaurants in Chardon. Sadly, the story has circulated for so long that no one takes it seriously. Only a live broadcast by WKYC-3 convinces area residents that the vittle house is actually open for business.

FOURTEEN: With help from family members of the late George Diskes, and local benefactors, a museum opens that is dedicated to remembering the historic Dinner Bell Diner. Included with the gallery of artifacts is an all-new, streamlined version of this bygone eatery. Visitors are able to enjoy select menu items like ‘Alexander the Great’s Salad’ and ‘Steak Tips Over Noodles’ while browsing Coca-Cola collectibles and copper kettles. Every patron leaves with a package of ‘Sticky Buns’ baked from Famous George’s original recipe.

FIFTEEN: Local organizer Tammy Roesch attempts to promote a second annual ‘Tea Party’ event at the Geauga County Fairgrounds. But this time, Democrats in the area respond with their own happening. Their ‘Progressive Parade’ is led by an honor guard of notable elected officials from the county. Most recognized among guests in attendance is former U.S. Representative Jim Traficant.

Looking into the future is a task accomplished with speculation rather than skill. Yet human nature makes us yearn to gain insight into tomorrow. What we imagine may not reflect the true progress of history in a literal sense. But it says much about how we envision the world in which we exist.

Comments about Thoughts At Large may be sent to: icewritesforyou@gmail.com
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