2008 The year that could be

January 1, 2008 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

A great person will die, someone will be elected to an office and rain will fall on Houston in 2008. Yes, once again, it’s time for us soothsayers to make our predictions, which will be 100 percent accurate with a 99 percent margin of error. Clip and save to compare at the end of the year. Now I shall say the sooth.

January
All the Presidential candidates come to Houston seeking primary votes and money. Well, mostly money. “I’d like to spend some of my campaign funds here,” Hillary Clinton explains, “but why bother? Everyone knows I could blow a billion until hell freezes over, and I still couldn’t take Texas.”

Due to the increasing price of newsprint, The Houston Chronicle drops all its remaining comics and TV schedules, but notes, “They can still be read at the Downtown Public Library between noon and 1 p.m. on Thursdays by appointment.”

Katrina evacuees are ordered to move out of their government-supplied dwellings and cancel newspapers, cable TV and room service.

February
Roger Clemens says he may return to the Astros, but only if he is admitted as the 51st state.

The Texas Department of Obscene Insurance Fees approves a 40 percent increase in rates for Harris County homeowners. A commissioner explains: “Someday there might be a claim.”

The Houston Independent School District proudly announces: “Our TAKS scores done gone up real much.”

Jeff Skilling asks for “a shorter sentence.” The judge obliges and changes the sentence from, “You are guilty of all charges,” to “Guilty.”

Seeking funds for his presidential race, Ron Paul confidently predicts, “When it comes to raising campaign donations, I’ll stomp Dennis Kucinich.”

March
The new-and-expanded Katy Freeway is officially renamed the John Culberson Memorial Screw-Up.

NOAA predicts 13 “major” hurricanes will hit the Texas coast, causing Gov. Rick Perry to announce a new evacuation plan for Houston: “At the first sign of an approaching storm, everyone should run for their lives.”

April
At a Houston fundraiser, Rudy Giuliani notes not only is he a partner in the Houston law firm of Bracewell, Giuliani &9/11, but “I was born in the Heights, graduated from San Jac High and UH, all on 9/11s. And I’ve always been a Houston Oilers fan, especially after they beat the Red Sox, 9-11.”

NASA announces that it will give breathalyzer tests to all astronauts prior to lift-off, to which the astronauts reply, “You think we’d go up in that death trap sober?”

Katrina evacuees are again ordered to move out of their government-supplied dwellings, and cancel everything — or at least disguise their satellite dishes.

The Houston Texans’ first-round draft choice is Doak Walker. “All our research shows he’s a great football player,” Coach Gary Kubiak explains.

May
Texas holds its presidential primary and no one wins. What’s more, no one cares.

The Houston Police Department’s crime lab discovers that dead people stay that way. Also, the lab technicians have great hope for using DNA, although one technician asks, “How do you spell that?”

Hurricane Claude slams into the Texas Gulf Coast. FEMA announces, “Help is on the way.” Word is delivered by semaphore.

During sweeps weeks, Houston’s TV stations check with their owners in Washington (KPRC), Los Angeles (KTRK), Dallas (KHOU) and Mars (KRIV), and determine that Houstonians don’t really care for serious news about Houston.

June
Photos taken by cameras set up at an intersection to spot red-light runners are used to convict a gang of bank robbers in a shoot-out with a SWAT team. Lawyers appeal the convictions on grounds the cameras were a violation of privacy.

Government agents demand Katrina evacuees move out of their government-supplied dwellings — or least don’t use the pool during happy hour.

July
Due to the increasing price of newsprint, the Hou Chron drops its sports and business sections, but points out “We will still do a year-end wrap-up.”

Houston proudly announces the town has lost its title as the nation’s fattest city, so HOV lanes will no longer allow one motorist per car, even if they take up the back seat.

A caravan of 455 FEMA trucks, loaded with relief supplies (ski clothes) for victims of Hurricane Claude, arrives in Tampa.

Chris Bell announces he will run for something — anything.

August
It will be hot, but everybody who’s anybody is in Aspen partying and playing golf, leaving behind only their employees, domestic staff and cat burglars.

September
After the Rice Owls win an upset football game, joyful fans tear down that wall.

A Houston TV station’s 10 p.m. newscast shocks viewers by leading with something other than a murder report.

Texas State Sen. Dan Patrick sues Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, demanding sainthood.

A caravan of two trucks loaded with relief supplies for victims of Hurricane Claude finally arrives in Houston. Unfortunately, the ice has melted.

GOP Presidential nominee John McCain, in Houston for a joint fundraiser, says, “I’d like to spend some of my campaign money here, but I could blow a billion dollars until hell freezes over, and Texas will go Republican. So why bother?”

October
A new three-year 345-page study of local air pollution, paid for by the Greater Houston Partnership, determines that “the problem of Houston’s air pollution — if there is a problem — can easily be solved by voluntary compliance of nervous Nellys and limp-wristed tree-huggers and a tad of pixie dust.” The study recommends further study.

Due to the increasing price of newsprint, the Hou Chron drops all vowels, “Ths r hrd dys fr nwspprs,” th pblshr xplns.

Shelley Sekula-Gibbs announces she is running against Chris Bell — for anything.

November
Metro’s yet-unannounced expansion plans are questioned after it becomes known that the authority has placed an order for 32 ox carts.

HISD orders new geography textbooks after learning that No Man is an island.

The Houston Dynamos win in a shootout over Whirlwind-45 nil-nil in 13 overtimes, whatever the hell that means.

Tom DeLay claims “a vast left-wing conspiracy” is behind the latest accusations of armed robbery, kidnapping and arson. When confronted with photos of him committing the crimes, five eyewitnesses and his own confession, DeLay blames the “liberal media.”

December
The Houston Texans and the Houston Live Stock Show &Rodeo block plans to turn the rusting Astrodome into a viable hotel, shopping center and amusement park, asking, “What’s Houston ever done for us?”

Owners of Hotel ZaZa change the name back to the Warwick. “Everyone thought we were one of the Gabor sisters,” an executive says.

When asked if he opposes making Houston a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants, Mayor Bill While replies, “Sí.”

President-elect Dennis Kucinich declares that global warming must have ended, because hell froze over.

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