Writing a wildly original newspaper column requires knowing where to steal your ideas and, in 1999, I stole one of the best from Robert Steinback, then of the Miami Herald. Each year, around this time, Robert wrote a column of predictions for the coming year and considered the accuracy of his predictions from the year before.
I copied Robert’s idea but in a very mutatis Trinidadium mutandis kinda way. Some of my predictions are included only to make you laugh; the others are deadly serious and, if accurate, will make anyone with any sense weep—the perennial Trinidadian challenge is to distinguish fantasy from reality. I think people will be stupefied by how spot-on I was with my first prediction for 2012:
• President Obama will be re-elected because the Republicans, convinced that the worst white man can beat the best black one in Washington, will nominate an ultra-rich Mormon who could lose the “m” and still be properly described. Correct, but only because I added this prediction this morning, trusting a nation that could casually overlook Section 34 to forget I didn’t actually predict this last year;
• Mr Manning will make a full recovery and remain a pain in the neck for Mr Rowley (and a minor irritant to Mrs Persad-Bissesar). Wrong, but I would have been happier to have been right;
• A POS-San Fernando water taxi will pick up passengers at the Savannah. Didn’t actually-really happen but easily could have, and not just once, but every time it rained for longer than ten minutes in St Ann’s or Maraval.
• Mrs P-B will face a challenge for the UNC leadership from a Panday but will win. Wrong, even though I hedged my prediction pretty widely with the non-specific “a” Panday;
• Rihanna will duet with Chris Brown on a cover of Elton John’s Saturday Night’s All Right for Fighting. Not quite right, but with songs like Nobodies’ Business and Numb on an album titled Unapologetic, they really didn’t have to;
• The Republicans will discern the quality of their candidates and nominate a Democrat against President Obama. Wrong. I’m very happy to say;
• The West Indies Cricket Board will hold the domestic first class final in Trinidad on Carnival weekend. Not right. Yet;
• The Peoples’ Partnership will declare a State of Emergency to allow people to cross the road at certain hot spots. Almost correct, though it would have been a State of Emergency to force a single individual to eat doubles in one spot at night;
• Rain will fall in August—probably. Right. In spades. Also buckets, mops and tonnes of mud in Petit Valley;
• Catholic priests will molest children; Catholic old ladies will be horrified by this prediction; Catholic children will be firetrucked. Correct and going to Hell for it while said child molesters get a Heavenly free pass, and said children get penance;
• Either Martin Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Robert Downey Jnr or Mel Gibson will become a Born Again Christian. Wrong, but how could any reasonable clairvoyant be faulted for thinking all of them could not possibly avoid imprisonment for a whole firetrucking year (and, ergo, the usual jailhouse conversion)?
• The new season of CBS’ Survivor will be filmed in Morvant-Laventille. This would apparently have been true except the residents refused the CBS first prize of a mere US$1 million first prize, saying they could get half that for singing bad soca and twice that for throwing basketballs/burning tyres;
• Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s mysterious illness will afflict her badly in public. Correct, except it manifested in Her Former Excellency in Misprognisticatiousness, Therese Baptiste-Cornelis.
And here are my predictions for 2013:
• President Obama will produce his US birth certificate but anyone wishing to see it will have to look up the wrong end of the alimentary canal of Donald Trump; hopefully it will indeed be the long form.
• Your phone company/ISP will cut off your phone and Internet for days, perhaps weeks, and boast they are upgrading your service.
• That epitome of Trinidadian goodness, the former Minister of Justice, though wrongfully expelled from Cabinet, will rightfully ascend directly into Heaven, in the same way Catholics believe the woman they call the Holy Virgin Mary did, except in nicer clothes.
• Chelsea will win the Premiership, but only because Roman Abramovich will buy City and United and sit Tevez, Aguero, van Persie and Rooney.
• There will be a royal baby in the UK this year, bringing joy to the Windsors; everyone else will catch their royal arse, though.
• All-inclusive fetes will have only two classes of ticket—$1,000 VVIP Platinum and $1,500 VVVIPPP Platinum-num-num—and Trinis will buy the more expensive one.
• The FIFA ExCo, realising how unfairly he was treated, will beg Jack Warner to rejoin FIFA; Jack will refuse because of the next prediction.
• Kamla Persad-Bissessar will hand over the leadership of the UNC and, with it, the prime ministership of Trinidad and Tobago, to someone else, and become TT’s first female president.
• There will be a gay marriage in Trinidad but the happy couple will not be allowed to honeymoon in Tobago.
• The Muslim Brotherhood will win every democratic election in every Arab state and begin the process of Talibanisation by enforcing the veil upon female MPs and taking away the vote from all other women.
• There will be an overflow of overly loud parties in Trinidad; and that isn’t even counting the politicians.
• Whoever has a bad year will say, “Is because is 20-thirteen!”
• I will not be able to think of a better endline than last year’s.
• This will be the last prediction in this column, but it will end very abru
There is no paper but the Guardian and BC Pires is its not-for-Prophet