This is a scary time in the United States as the population struggles with a global pandemic and the resulting economic crisis while the president exacerbates both by promoting policies for an alternate reality.
Some suggest we are “sleepwalking toward economic catastrophe” (Vox, July 20), approaching a fiscal cliff of serious devastation as pandemic unemployment insurance payments and rent and mortgage forgiveness are ending.
I’m going to say we can still make a few maneuvers to avoid that cliff. Here are some predictions on how these and other crises will play out over the next year.
Sept. 29, 2020—Joe Biden emerges from his basement for the first presidential debate at the University of Notre Dame sans sports jacket and reveals that he’s been pumping iron all summer. “What are we doin’ here?” he asks in his opening remarks. “Nobody wants to hear us yakking about policy. Let’s settle this mano a mano. Donald J. Trump, I challenge you to an arm wrestling contest.” Trump accepts. After a TV commercial the match takes place, but the man Biden arm wrestles appears to be Congressional Representative and former college wrestling champion Jim Jordan in orange facial makeup and a clown wig. After deadlocking for 30 seconds, Biden slams Trump/Jordan’s arm to the desk and celebrates his win by shredding a “Make America Great Again” hat with his teeth.
Nov. 5, 2020—Following his overwhelming electoral win, president-elect Joe Biden admits that the coronavirus pandemic was a hoax, concocted by Democrats to defeat Donald Trump. Thousands of the coronavirus “dead” come out of isolation to rejoin their families. The formerly late John Prine charts his first No. 1 single, written during his isolation, offering his humorous yet melancholy social commentary on his near-death experience.
Dec. 25, 2020—Google releases a new app that enables people to change their skin color and accompanying physical characteristics at will to optimize performance in job interviews, dance contests, college admission tests and other endeavors. The Black Lives Matter movement puts all actions on hold while it assesses the app.
Dec. 29, 2020—In Week 16 of the NFL season, the Buffalo Bills defeat the New England Patriots for the second time this fall, 35-14, to retain their perfect 15-0 record. The team’s bid to become only the third undefeated team in NFL history ends that same day, as Covid roster decimation peaks. All remaining games—including Super Bowl LV—are cancelled.
Jan. 19, 2021—Donald Trump and his family are escorted from the White House by armed members of the U.S. Military after concluding his exit negotiations granting him immunity from prosecution for all crimes he has committed. Iconic video shows Trump riding up the escalator at Trump Tower, perfectly bookending oft-shown video of him riding down the escalator to announce his run for the presidency.
Jan. 20, 2021—Immediately following Joe Biden’s inauguration, Ruth Bader Ginsburg announces that she died Dec. 21, 2019. Following her announcement, she high fives Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, proclaiming, “Dude! We out-McConnelled McConnell!”
May 6, 2021—Troubling news from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Jared Kushner and wife Ivanka moved after months of being refused admission to every club, party and restaurant in the New York Metropolitan area. Kushner is fired from his job as manger of the Subway Restaurant on East 15th Street over accusations of engaging in child pornography. Kushner’s defense: “That was the other Jared.”
July 4, 2021—Donald J. Trump shoots someone on Fifth Avenue. His lawyers claim immunity from prosecution, but a trial ensues and the former president is sentenced to life in prison. His sentence includes an unusual stipulation that a 24X7 webcam is required to be operational at all times in Trump’s cell. Without makeup and tailored clothing, the camera reveals that Trump’s skin is an ashen grayish-pink, his scalp balding with patchy clumps of thinning white hair and his belly voluminous. He looks old and defeated. 24X7.
Photos at the top of the page, left to right:
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, public domain
John Prine, public domain
Joe Biden, public domain
Donald Trump, public domain
Duke_Williams photo by Jeffrey Beall – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37284151
Jared Fogle photo by IlliniGradResearch – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7469782