"What do you suppose the New Year will bring?" I asked Uncle Spud as we sat by the fire, drinking hot cocoa and having our way with a fruitcake.
"Oh, I've got it all figured out," he smiled through the crumbs in his whiskers. "I'm as good a guesser as any of those psychics you read about in the National Enquirer."
"Do tell," I encouraged him, "what do you think is going to happen in 2008?"
"Well," he began, "Lets start with politics. I predict that an Irish guy named O'Bama will win the Democrat nomination for president after he and his new wife Oprah return from their honeymoon to the Virgin Islands. Poles will show that only 22-percent of Democrats actually want him for president, but 98-percent want her for first lady."
"On the Republican side of the isle, the national convention will result in a hung-jury when delegates remain hopelessly deadlocked between Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly. Finally, Ann Coulter will be drafted as a compromise candidate and the conservative answer to Hillary Clinton. Hillary will make a fashion statement at the first debate when she shows up wearing a pink hardhat and safety glasses."
"However, by election day, more than 50-percent of all Mexicans will be living in the United States. The question of illegal immigration will be the biggest single issue of the campaign. But once elected, the new U.S. President, Vicente Fox, will assure us that the problem has been solved."
"2008 will be a big year for the environment, too," Spud said. "Scientists near the proposed Lila Canyon mine will discover that cryptobiotic soil is actually an alien life form brought here by little green men from outer space. They will also discover that little green men working for radical environmental groups are making sure the stuff takes over the world."
"And in a surprise move to help the environment, the Bush administration will announce that the best way to reduce greenhouse gasses is to eliminate greenhouses. 'It only makes good sense,' the president will say with a big Texas grin.
"Capitalizing on his Nobel Prize notoriety, Al Gore will unveil a new book entitled: Ten Commandments for an Inconvenient Earth in the Balance. In a bold move, the book will be written on tablets of stone to save trees and paper. Gore will then lead his followers into the wilderness where they will wander for 40 years. But not everyone will follow the Eco-Moses. When pushed to disclose his true feelings on the matter, the Pope will declare that he will accept the idea of man-made global warming when hell freezes over Ã¯Â¿Â½ or something like that. Watch for his speech on New Year's Day."
"On the energy front, after converting 75-percent of our nation's corn crop to the production of ethanol, gas prices will drop from $3.15 to $3.14 per gallon. Unfortunately, a can of corn will go from 43 cents to $12.25 as a result."
"In July, president Bush will commission a poll to ask all of the people who have visited the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) for their feelings about drilling for oil in that area. All seven of the people who have actually been there - Eskimos all - will respond affirmatively. Predictably, the environmentalists will sue, demanding a recount."
"In other matters, the Supreme Court will decide that the Second Amendment is not an individual right but a constitutional obligation. Every citizen will be required to own a gun. In the spirit of Roe Vs. Wade, those who cannot afford a gun will be provided one at taxpayer's expense."
"On the health front, after re-reviewing the evidence, government scientists will decide that smoking is healthy after all. They will do this after cigarette tax revenues drop to an all-time low, threatening the possible lay-off of some government scientists.
"And then, in December the ACLU will make a push to eradicate Christmas once and for all. After years of failing to abort baby Jesus from nativity scenes at city hall, they will file a lawsuit to change zoning at the North Pole from 'wilderness industrial' to 'wilderness residential.' This new strategy will put Santa out of business."
"Holy cow," I said to Uncle Spud. "You've either overdosed on fruitcake or you've become a regular Spudstradamus, which is it?"
"Fasten your seatbelt and hold on tight," he smiled. "With our criminally insane congress, an election coming up, and Eco-Moses on the loose, this is sure to be a wild and crazy year."