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Predict the future

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No doubt about it now. It’s time to suit up for the Shrub era. But what will Year One of the Bush Minor presidency be like? Will we experience a plunging economy, screaming right-wing insanity, a rollback of abortion rights and affirmative action? Or will things be pretty much like life’s been with Mr. Bill, with less flash and brainpower at the top, maybe, but fewer ugly mistresses falling out of the closets? Well, here’s your chance to show that you can figure it out better than this poor prognosticator: The fourth annual P&P news quiz. To save you pausing to root around in your shopping cart to find last year’s column, here’s a shortend version of last year’s quiz:

December 1999 Millennium Quiz:

1. Following the election, Michigan Democratic Party leader Mark Brewer will A) Resign, B) Cling to his job, C) Be forced out, D) Be acclaimed a genius. My guess, B, was right.

2. Michigan’s GOP primary will be won by A) Dubya, B) John McCain, C) Someone else. My guess, B, was pure brilliance again.

3. Who will win the presidential election? A) Bush, B) McCain, C) Gore, D) Bill Bradley, E) Someone else. My guess, D, was caused by psilocybin.

4. Which party will win the House of Representatives? A) Democrats, B) Republicans. My guess, A, was dead wrong-o, the fault of my relentlessly sunny optimism.

5. Speaking of spoiled rich boys, Compuware child Tom Thewes’ C-POP gallery was next. In the coming year, I asked if C-POP A) Will close, B) Sell two paintings by someone other than Niagara, C) Fire “spin meister” Rick Manore, D) Be a huge success. My guess, D, was facetious, the answer was C.

6. The reform board now running Detroit Public Schools was getting ready to pick someone for the long haul. By now the choice will be A) Judged to be brilliant, B) A failure, C) Not been on the job long enough to tell, D) Not in place yet. My guess, C, seems about right.

7. Debbie Stabenow vs. Spencer Abraham. The winner will be A) Stabenow, B) Abraham, C) Someone else. My guess, A, proved I am not just a pretty face.

8. The next Wayne County Prosecutor will be A) Virgil Smith, B) Mike Duggan, C) Some other Democrat, D) A Republican. My guess, A, proved I ain’t that bright neither.

9. Disruptions caused by the Y2K problem will be A) Far worse than experts predict, B) Barely noticeable, C) About as predicted, D) Catastrophic. My guess, B, was right.

10. Alive or dead on Dec. 26, 2000? A) Boris Yeltsin, B) Jack Kevorkian, C) Charles Schultz, creator of Peanuts, D) Strom Thurmond. My guesses, A) Alive, B) Alive, C) Dead, D) How can they tell? seem to be holding up. Uh, Strom? Hello?

11. Attendance at Comerica Park will be A) An all-time Detroit high, B) 2.5 million-plus, C) Less than 2 million, D) between 2 and 2.5 million. My guess, C, was too pessimistic.

12. The guy they dug up in Wyoming will A) Be fingered by DNA testing as the Oakland County child killer, B) Not him. My guess, B, was right, but I’m still innocent.

Well, I got 11 out of 15, which would be a poor C. But that’s way better than the previous year’s 5 out of 12, so call me slow but improving.

OK, now for your crystal ball sneak peeks at the year:

1. Elected mayor of Detroit will be A) Dennis Archer, B) Sharon McPhail, C) Geoffrey Fieger, D) Freman Hendrix, E) Someone else. My guess: A

2. Bill and Hillary will be A) Divorced or divorcing, B) Same ol’ same ol’. My guess: B

3. Detroit’s official population will be closest to: A) 1 million, B) 940,000, C) 965,000, D) 920,000, E) 889.000. My guess: C

4. Breathing air or dirt napping? A) The Queen Mother, B) Boris Yeltsin, C) Ronald Reagan, D) Dick Cheney. My guesses: B and C dead; A and D alive and feebly kicking.

5. Royal Oak will A) Have passed the human rights ordinance, B) Have voted it down in a referendum, C) Be dithering still. My guess: C

6. The economy will be A) Better, B) Weaker but still growing, C) In an actual recession. My guess: C

7. Last year the Detroit Tigers won 79 games. This year, they will win A) 70, B) 75, C) 80, D) 85 or more. My guess: B

8. On Dec. 1, 2001, Scotty Bowman will be A) Here, B) Gone. My guess: B

9. T or F: There will be a new Pope. My guess: T

10. T or F: Bush Minor will have succeeded in appointing at least one new Supreme Court Justice. My guess: F

11. Relations between the United States and Russia will be A) Better, B) Worse, C) No change. My guess: B

All right. Now once again, circle your answers, borrow a stamp from your caseworker and send ’em in. Anyone who beats my record gets a framed and signed aerial photo of Mark Silverman and John Engler sumo wrestling at the Silverdome for charity. We’ll be back with the usual venom and treacle next week, and all the weeks to come, provided that chunk of fat in the ol’ aorta doesn’t dislodge. And till then, as your president-elect might say, New Happy Year to y’all, praise dog.

Jack Lessenberry opines weekly for the Metro Times. E-mail letters@metrotimes.com

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