Predicting is easy. Just ask Nostril Bill. He's been making predictions for years, and he'll be the first to tell you all you do is take a known personality, combine it with a known proclivity, add a dash of speculation and... voila!... a prediction. Example: "In the coming year, Adam Sandler will star in a crappy movie." Or, "In the coming year, Sarah Palin will say something so dumb it will make our teeth rattle."
Furthermore, there is no shame in making a prediction that doesn't come true. Weather forecasters do it all the time—as do politicians, preachers, plumbers writing up estimates for a home repair and maitre d's in busy restaurants telling us how long it will be until a table opens up—and we see no shame from them when they get it wrong, do we? No, we have come to expect meaningless predictions from such sources.
Actually, it seems to be those things you don't predict that come back to haunt you. For instance, if, say, a lawn mower manufacturer doesn't see beforehand that somebody might be stupid enough to try to clean off the blade while the machine is running, then it's predictable that a lawsuit is coming. If the jury turns out to be 12 individuals with an average of six fingers each, it could cost them millions of dollars—all because they didn't correctly prophesize the value of 38 cents worth of warning labels.
With this in mind, your Nostril Bill—rather than doing his normal end-of-year run-down of future events—is turning his clairvoyance backwards and reviewing a few of the more notable items from 2015 that he feels somewhat remiss for not having prognosticated. He does this not only because he hates loose strings from the past dangling about in the present like a hair in a bowl of minestrone, but also because if there's a future legal action with his name on it for not issuing an early warning, he'd rather nip it in the bud before it even crosses the litigator's mind to sue. So tough luck, lawyers—Nostril Bill thought of it before you did, and that's what makes him the soothsayer that you aren't.
Onward to what N.B. should have seen last year:
•No one can fault Nostril for not seeing a ton of Ted Cruz in the early months of 2015. Even amateur prophets could see him coming. His joining the presidential race was like the shady looking character coming at you on the subway wearing a long trench coat, beneath which are no visible socks or pants legs; any observant person would know exactly what to expect when he throws open his coat—and that is Ted Cruz.
But even old Nostril Damus himself could not have predicted Donald Trump or Ben Carson. Twelve months ago, the forethought that anyone would take either one of those jackasses seriously as a candidate for president—let alone that they would hold dominant positions in the race—is akin to predicting Taylor Swift would make a public appearance where she didn't behave like a cartoon character.
(In a similar vein, Nostril Bill did not pre-see the rise of Bernie Sanders, either. So there was no possibility of him knowing beforehand how happy he would be that Bernie would be doing so well.)
•Understandably, N.B. does not spend a lot of his valuable prognosticating time trying to foretell who will be exposed as a child molester. So who can blame him for not spotting Jared Fogle and Josh Duggar coming down the pedophile pike. He feels badly about it in hindsight, but if those two could turn out to be disgusting deviants, he has to wonder Who's next?... Justin Bieber? Mike Huckabee? (Disclaimer: N.B. wants to make it clear that any mention of Bieber and Huckabee in the same context of Fogle and Duggar does not qualify as an official prediction.)
•Nostril insists he knew well ahead of time that sooner or later, in one backwoods hillbilly shithole or another, some municipal official or county clerk or random sanctimonious dick with a government job would make a big show of denying gay couples access to marriage licenses. What he didn't portend was that the backwoods hillbilly shithole would turn out to be in Kentucky, and that the sanctimonious dick would turn out to be Kim Davis. Nor did his crystal ball show him how extremely unpleasant this particular dick would be to behold.
•N.B. also insists he could see the scandal of Tom Brady and the deflated balls coming from a mile away. He just didn't think it was important enough to mention, that's all.
•Why N.B. couldn't predict Bill O'Reilly would be definitively identified as a self-aggrandizing liar may seem to be one of the bigger mysteries of the year. Nostril excuses it thus: "The deal is, see, like everyone else with an ounce of sense, I've known O'Reilly has been lying ever since he first plopped his stringy ass down in a Fox News anchor chair 20 years ago. How was I to know this one year, out of all the others, he'd get caught at it?"
•Nostril wants everyone to know he was 100 percent correct in predicting Chicago would not win the 2015 World Series. However, he is a tad embarrassed that his extraordinary gift wasn't extraordinary enough to show him beforehand how the Cubbies would make it all the way to the playoffs before blowing it out their asses, as opposed to blowing it out their asses from the beginning of the season, per usual.
•(To be continued next week.)