Crystal Balls-Up

BC Pires writes a weekly column for the Newsday. 

To write a brilliantly original newspaper column, you’ve got to copy the best ideas and, in 1999, I stole a great one from Robert Steinback, then of the Miami Herald, who, every January, wrote a predictions column.

Robert’s predictions were serious, because he lived in what we thought was the world’s leading liberal democracy (until November 2016, when Americans apparently voluntarily elected the kind of fraudulent, inbred, illiterate buffoon normally produced only by corrupt Third World dictatorships; in the third generation). In Walcott’s Limers’ Republic, though, where the audience almost unfailingly has more talent than the show, I just couldn’t be entirely serious. Some of my predictions, then, are meant to make you laugh, while others would make anyone with any sense weep, the unending Trinidadian challenge being distinguishing fantasy from reality.

Since 2011, when I first thought of the skulls, I have stunned readers with the accuracy of my first prediction:

o Alabama will elect a Democrat as senator, rejecting an accused child-molester endorsed by President Jackass. Correct, but only because, trusting the useless memory of a nation that responds to disastrous flooding with increased forest-denudation, I made up this prediction this morning.

o David Rudder will release terrific new songs; Trinis will ask him why he don’t sing any more. Depressingly correct; add, too, that people will ask me why I don’t write in the papers again.

o Donald Trump will fall ill or bored and bus’ it from the White House but Democrats will persuade Alec Baldwin to play him, SNL comedy thusly becoming USA policy. Completely true, and it’s happened already; if you doubt it, ask yourself if anyone but a professional comedian would taunt an insane North Korean dictator into proving his nuclear button works.

o There will be no wall built and neither Mexico nor Trump will pay for it. Half-true: no wall was built but it is the Dreamers who will pay for it.

o The PNM will propose annexing Venezuela, to ensure a supply of clear-skin strippers to Trinidadian clubs, but the UNC will not vote for either FATCA or FiretruckTA. Wrong, but only because all Venezuelan sex workers were already here.

o Vladimir Putin will be outed as a homosexual. Partly true, since, regardless of his private sexual orientation, since the whole world can see he’s publicly screwing Donald Trump.

o The world will legalize the drug trade but the West Indies will declare a war on drugs in Jesus’ name. Half-true, but it is the depressing latter part I got right.

o The Chinese will invent genuine artificial intelligence; it will be no match for even ersatz American stupidity. Embarrassingly true, as demonstrated by Donald Trump: they pretended to fuss over him and he promptly forgot he hated them.

o Construction of a Trump Tower will begin in Aleppo. Almost correct: it was construction of a new US embassy that was announced, but that will turn Jerusalem into the Israeli Aleppo.

And here are my predictions for 2018:

o The International Cricket Council will save money and crowd disappointment abroad by paying the West Indies to stay home.

o The TT Chief Justice, President and Prime Minister will all remain in office, because none of them will insult the dignity of his office by resigning to either of the others.

o Leader of the Opposition, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, will be replaced by Mickela Panday.

o Trinis will import so many electric cars, TTEC will overload-and-explode and nobody will be able to escape because every road will be jammed with cars.

o Donald Trump will push the boundaries of taste and legality increasingly farther and no Republican will defy him; but voters will give Democrats both the House and Senate.

o Islamic terrorists will kill people with vehicles; American terrorists will just continue shooting them.

o Theresa May will call a general election, which Labour will make a referendum on Brexit, and win.

o The Walking Dead will merge with Game of Thrones, gaining a viewership greater than the Olympics, and both audiences will accept it, once Daenerys Targaryen keeps getting undressed.

o Pastors all over the world will sexually abuse the choicest members of their congregations, in Jesus’ name.

o I will not be able to think of a better way of ending this column than I have for the last 18 years.How did I know? How did I firetrucking know? I amaze me!

o This column will end abrup

BC Pires is a not-for-profit in his own country. Read a longer version of this column and more of his writing at


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