It is time to ring in 2016 with joy and anticipation. OK, maybe fear and trepidation. Either way, we now make our annual predictions. To refresh your memory, last year I was 100 percent correct: A great person died, a plane crashed and a movie won the Oscar. True, peace did not come to the Middle East, despite the plans and expectations of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld team. We must give their strategy more time. Enron did not come back, nor did Wendy Davis. Anyway, stand by while I say the sooth for 2016. Clip this column, put it on your refrigerator door, make sure it won’t fall off, and we’ll get together next January for a celebration of our brilliance based on this knowledge.
January –Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sues the Obama administration for “attempting to interfere with states’ rights by allowing our opponents to vote.” Rick Perry announces he is back in the race for President. No one notices. UT students demand the Student Union stop using Dixie Cups. A total eclipse blocks out the sun. Newt Gingrich blames “the elite liberal media.” Congress approves the Home Howitzer Bill. It cost the NRA a fortune. A customer at Sam’s speaks English. The Iraqi Army flees in a rout after discovering that attacking ISIS forces have a gun.
February — Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin exchange Valentines. Super Bowl begins in Houston with a six-hour pregame warn-up, then a film on, “Concussions Are for Wussies.” The half-time show features the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Aida, and a re-enactment of the Battle of San Jacinto. Following the two-hour post-game show, a panel discusses the day’s best TV commercials. The game itself is called off due to lack of time.
March – Rick Santorum announces that he received 90 percent the vote in response to a recent poll. Unfortunately, the response was, “Rick who?” 500 Syrian refugees are settled in Newark. Ted Cruz finally shows up in the Capitol to vote on a bill. The sergeant-at-arms arrests Cruz as a trespasser. In his trial for felony fraud, Texas Attorney General Paxton’s attorneys accuse the prosecution of “playing the political card.”
April — On the 15th of the month, the Houston Chronicle does not feature a photograph of .Carolyn Farb. Attorney General Paxton’s lawyers accuse the prosecution of “playing the facts card.” Gov. Greg Abbott declares: “The river is closed. The border is secure.” Oklahomans object. The Texas State Board of Education conditionally approves the wheel. The Dept. of Homeland Security announces it has arrested “a known terrorist who is plotting the end of America as we know it today.” Sen. Bernie Sanders denies it.
May — I stop writing 2015 on my checks. Gov. Abbott orders the Texas State Guard “to monitor the actions and possible takeover by an invading army.” Abbott cancels the order when he discovers it’s a convention of the Salvation Army. Hillary Clinton astounds a NOW gathering by declaring, “A woman’s place is in the home.” Then adds: “The home being the Oval Office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.” After the Memorial Day recess, Congress begins its Fourth of July recess.
June – Merchants begin their back-to-school promotions. Donald Trump demands to be declared the 51st state. In an ominous move, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick begins dropping the Lt. from his title. Rush Limbaugh wakens from another overdose of OxyContin and finds someone painted “Goodyear” across his stomach. Occupy Wall Street dissolves, and no one notices. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz issue a joint statement: “There are too many immigrants here now. We don’t need anymore.” Their cousins in Havana disagree.
July — 500 Syrian refugees in Newark asked to be resettled in Damarcus. The Texas Democratic Party finds itself pictured on the side of milk cartons. CNN points out that no one has seen Col. Sanders and Sen. Bernie Sanders at the same time. Calling it “government interference in our lives,” Gov. Abbott decrees 911 be made an unlisted number and the Texas Rangers are ordered on the No Call list. Merchants begin their Christmas specials.
September – The Texas State Board of Education approves a textbook which refers to state executions as “a permanent condition relating to inhaling and exhaling.” Global warming deniers hold their convention at Dallas Beach. Texas A&M announces it has finally found a quarterback. Says Coach Kevin Sumlin, “She’s good.” A headline writer is fired for using “Cruz Control” 15 straight days.
October – The U.S. Department of Calendars notices that there was no August. Everyone agrees that August is always too hot, anyway. After intense grilling, Sears and Neiman’s confess what they did to Roebuck and Marcus. It isn’t pretty. President Obama begins wearing sandals, a thobe and Arabic headdress, explaining, “Just call me Hussein Obama. I’ve been radicalized.” Gov. Abbott, noting that last year Texas had 35,073 births to teenagers at a cost of $1.1 billion and that Texas ranks third in teenagers’ birth rates, stops all state funds to Planned Parenthood, explaining, “Give abstinence a chance.”
November – The Rev. Al Sharpton calls for a boycott of merchants’ Black Friday, calling it “racist.” The Houston Texans are arrested for impersonating a football team. In a landslide, George H.W. Bush is elected President on the None of the Above ticket. Lindsey Graham demands a recount. Santa Claus announces that the most popular item on children’s lists this year are drones. With the new campus-carry laws in effect, UT professors vote to flunk any student wearing a flak jacket and lecture only behind bullet-proof glass.
December — Fox News wins a Pulitzer for “best fiction writing.” The local TV news shows can’t find an apartment house fire or a shooting, and run 30 minutes of their test pattern. Santa Claus is in critical condition after his sleigh is hit by a drone. Donald Trump claims he was born in a manger, and his birth was witnessed by “tens of thousands of Muslims gathered in New Jersey.” Your refrigerator door falls off.
Ashby is predictable at firstname.lastname@example.org