Looking Ahead

At the beginning of a new year columnists like me usually write something about what the new year has in store for us, what we might expect to happen in the months ahead. The usual predictions for the year. Of course nobody really has any clue to the future, so what you get is just a load of guesswork and a ton of probabilities. In January of 2001 who would have predicted what would transpire on September 11? Besides Osama and his crew of hate-filled psychos, not many of us expected what we got. While there are some things that are pretty certain to happen, the vast majority of what is in our future for 2011 is still under wraps.

2011 sounds like science fiction, like a Stanley Kubrick movie. It sounds like a time when people will be flying around with those individual jet-propulsion packs, when our homes will be kept clean be domestic automatons, and trips to other planets and galaxies will be commonplace. 2011 sounds H.G. Wells like, War of the Worlds stuff. Anything could happen is 2011.

But we know that in reality there are lots and lots of things that will never happen in 2011. I’ll never become a billionaire this year. People will not dress up to go out. Food prices will not go down. Jerry Brown will not fix California and Nancy Pelosi will not go home. These things are givens. But buck up, there are still a few things that will most definitely will take place this year.

I predict that February will bring us St. Valentine’s Day and it will fall on the 14 and millions of poor suckers will go into debt to shower their “sweethearts” with over-priced presents. Funny how it doesn’t quite work the other way, does it? The guys spend a fortune on stuff and in return the gals buy their men some small fershtoonkeneh gift like a new shaving soap or a John Wayne DVD. How come gender equality doesn’t extend to Valentine gifts?

We’ve got a couple of important birthdays in that month too. How many kids know it’s President George Washington’s birthday on the 22 and President Abraham Lincoln’s on the 12? Sad to say these individual birthdates are no longer even marked on some calendars anymore thanks to the enormously stupid generic “Presidents Day.”

And as sure as spring showers bring the flowers, there are three other dependable events you can count on: Passover, Easter and income tax filing. Think of April as the month of enriching your faith and enriching your government’s coffers. The time of year when you cleanse your soul while the Feds clean you out.

We can be pretty sure that this September 11 will be remembered in big ways since 2011 will mark the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. If there is one thing we know how to do, it’s making the most out of milestone anniversaries, and the 10th anniversary of 9-11 definitely qualifies as a milestone. Watch for memorials from coast to coast and television specials galore. And remember, you too can participate in the memorial tributes. Simply skedaddle on down to your local airport and have a full body scan performed, or if you prefer, a complete personal body grope. You can do either one. In America we have choices.

One thing we know for sure about this coming year – Veteran’s Day will be on 11-11-11. I’m no numerologist but that is certainly an interesting number. Three elevens. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Three elevens add up to thirty-three. My wife would tell you that it is a lucky number; Jane likes odd numbers, especially threes. 11-11-11.Yes, I think that is a good number for Veteran’s Day. All those straight ones standing at attention like proud soldiers. I like it. If I had my druthers I would have Veteran’s Day 2011 be the day for all the big celebratory events to take place instead of 9-11. Sure we need to remember 9-11, but we really need to remember our brave vets even more. Without them we are finished as a country and as a society.

11-11-11 is a much better number than 9-11-01, don’t you think?

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