I got a genuine fortune-teller's crystal ball for Christmas, and it has simplified considerably my annual task of scanning the new year for important tidbits and then pre-reporting them back to you. I just look in there and see what I see, and it is what it is. I foresee; you decide.
So, predictions for 2012:
Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, will draw unexpectedly strong opposition from a little-known challenger named Fyodor Fartin.
Among federal research grants will be one to study whether your chewing gum loses its flavor on the bedpost overnight.
Madonna will perform at halftime at the Super Bowl naked.
Fordyce will teeter on the brink, unable to answer the question of why.
Climaxing the big Fourth of July fireworks show on the Washington Mall will be a spread of thermonuclear blasts from atomic weapons procured from the late Jennings Osborne's leftover stockpile.
There'll be a new federal regulation that smacking your forehead with a closed fist and calling scobies no longer exempts you from responsibility for certain flatus emanations.
A big fight will erupt in a court case at the Montgomery County courthouse over the meaning and circumstantial relevance of the word gravitas.
Western Civilization will grind to a halt, probably in or around August.
Sports editor of the local daily will take a course in English composition at UALR and will fail.
Fracking will be implicated in all the bird deaths and fish kills, and in the geysering up of human corpses at a Heber Springs cemetery, freeing them to become zombies. They'll fit right in.
The first non-negotiable item in the Democratic Party platform will be more cowbell.
The blowhards will continue to blow hard — hot brain-drying winds over the wasteland of talk radio.
The Hope Brights will produce the first ever watermelon to go over 1,000 pounds.
Texas will attempt to secede. Mean old [N-word]-led federal government won't let it happen.
The mayor of Hot Springs will offer a bounty on the scalps of bona fide tourists.
The pump price for unleaded regular will hit $4 a gallon by Memorial Day.
Poland will win all the medals in javelin-catching at the 2012 Olympics.
Crystal Bridges will have a Grandma Moses exhibition. Not her work. Her. (She died at age 101 fifty years ago, and they often hang her jerkied remains as a doughty mobile at these art shows.)
Jerry Jones will decide that what's wrong with the Cowboys is that they need a new stadium.
Tennessee will ban bananas, zucchinis, cigars, frankfurters and cucumbers for obvious reasons — or anyway for reasons that are obvious in the Monkey's Uncle State.
Someone will steal the Christ of the Ozarks, which will disappear without a trace — no clues, no ransom note, no nothing. A program note at a subsequent Passion Play performance will name the Elders of Zion as persons of interest in the case.
An elk, homesick for the Rockies, will terrorize Jasper.
Algorithms will be outlawed in Mississippi on the suspicion that they're a method of birth control.
The U.S. Supreme court will declare it unconstitutional to have "In God We Trust" inscribed on our coins, and Congress will propose "Git 'R Done" as a substitute.
The Great One will hang it up.
A Department of Education study will contend that contemporary high schools don't teach students anything except how to play ball and how to take tests. And, at Huntsville, how to kill caged raccoons with a nail gun.
To show his sincerity in wanting to outlaw all forms and methods of birth control, Rick Santorum will, as Johnny Carson used to say, cut off his schlossen.
The NRA will campaign to have murder decriminalized as long as it is committed with a gun.
A big Pogo revival will inspire spinoffs for Albert Alligator and for Bewitched, Bothered and Bemildred.
The Paragould public school liked its illegal Happy Birthday Jesus display so much that it will follow it up with an illegal Happy Easter display.
Still no sightings of the peckerwood with the ivory bill.
The vote in Bryant to re-elect President Obama will be 12; in Cabot, it will be 13.
People in other societies and countries will do important work while, electronically speaking, and without respite, we're just jerking off.
Earth's last reef will perish in October.
The Southern Baptist Convention will freak when it discovers, too late to stop the Rom-nom, what truly weird things Mormons believe.
The Mayan calendar doesn't call for the end of the world on Dec. 21; it only says that on that day "we'll all let our asses fly up," according to a new translation.