FLINT - It's time for Part II of my annual predictions column. So repeat after me, "I see London, I see France, I see the second half of 2012!" (If you missed part one, shame on you. You can find it at blog.mlive.com/boothmidmichigan/aheller.)
A new start-up, Heller Innovations, releases "Car Billboard," a digital messaging system that lets you communicate with drivers behind you, as in "The closer you get, the slower I'll drive" and "You may think you're invisible when you jam your finger up your nose like that, buddy, but let me assure you you're not." Sales soar, but so do accidents from all that typing. (Heller Innovations forgot the pre-sets.)
Michigan's new fireworks law - which allows the sale of firecrackers, Roman candles and other formerly banned fireworks - causes thousands of injuries statewide. On the bright side, though, emergency room profits have never been better.
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games officially kick off in London with a controversial host nation demonstration sport - freestyle soccer rioting. U.S. fans pull an upset in the initial contest, defeating English fans five broken limbs to three.
The U.S. wins the Summer Olympics, taking home 43 gold, 17 silver and 81 bronze medals, all of which are subsequently melted down to help pay down the soaring federal deficit.
At the Republican National Convention, "None of the Above" - which came from nowhere to capture every caucus and primary - handily wins the party's nomination and delivers what many consider the best political speech in history by not saying anything at all. (You know, being a concept and not an actual person and all.) The other Republican contenders immediately start a new "birther" movement questioning "None of the Above's" citizenship.
The Occupy Wall Street movement changes tactics and instead starts occupying restrooms throughout Wall Street, forcing the financial district to close within a day. "We should have thought of this sooner," says a spokesperson. "Everyone has to go, right? Especially traders jacked up on coffee."
In a dramatic floor fight at the Democratic National Convention, "None of the Above," who won the Republican nomination last month, also wins the Democratic nomination, setting up a "None of the Above" vs. "None of the Above" battle for the White House.
On a special edition of "The Situation Room," CNN's Wolf Blitzer, in his usual hard-hitting style, boldly predicts that "None of the Above" might just win in November.
"Dancing With the Stars" is canceled after producers realize they've run out of B- and C-list celebrities to feature as contestants. "When we got to the point that we were seriously considering that guy who was on that cross dressing show with Tom Hanks in the '80s, we knew it was time to give it up," says a producer.
Not unlike the "Saturday Night Live" skit, Jesus Himself visits the Denver Broncos' locker room to tell quarterback Tim Tebow to knock it off with all the on-field prayer. Sayeth the Lord's son: "First of all, Dad says He doesn't watch football and if He did he certainly wouldn't root for one team over another because that would be grossly unfair. Can you imagine having Him on your side - boop, another 99-yard touchdown! Why bother playing? Oh, and another thing, He doesn't like it when players look at the sky and point at Him either. Would you? It's very rude."
"The Jersey Shore" is canceled when cast members suddenly and unexpectedly grow the heck up. "We never saw it coming," producers say.
The Washington Post breaks a story revealing that the oil and gas industry has a secret "Bureau of Manufacturing Fake Crises" that helps maintain gas prices at artificially high levels. Says an astonished industry spokesman: "I can't believe you people didn't figure this out sooner! I mean, c'mon, pump prices would, for instance, jump every March like clockwork because of a 'refinery malfunction' in Kansas and you never caught on. How much more obvious could we be?"
Heller Innovations releases its next brilliant product - a GPS system that allows guys (women would never do this) to argue back and forth with the lady voice giving them driving directions, as in "Turn right here, are you crazy?" "No, I'm not crazy, you're crazy! This is just like last week when you didn't take my advice to turn left. See if I ever help you again."
"None of the Above" is unanimously elected president of the United States. Its first official act upon taking office in January - which is not surprising since, again, it's a concept and not a person - is to do absolutely nothing, delighting just about everyone.
"Actually, it's not a whole lot different than what we've had for years now out of Washington," says one voter.
With state finances continuing to dwindle, the Michigan Legislature eliminates all funding for de-icing freeways and begins a "Take Your Salt Shaker Along on Your Commute" campaign that encourages motorists to drive with a window open and shake as they go.
The U.S. Postal Service goes out of business. No one notices.
A new Gallup poll shows near universal support for a bill that would force supermarket checkout women's magazines to stop using dumb headlines like "50 Secret Sex Moves You've Never Heard of Before!"
President Obama, in a last-ditch attempt to keep his job, files papers to change his name to "None of the Above." He's rebuffed, however, when - oddly enough - he can't produce a valid birth certificate.
EDITOR'S NOTE - Andy Heller, an award-winning columnist for The Flint Journal, appears weekly in the Daily Press. He graduated from Escanaba Area High School in 1979. For more of his work, visit his blog at blog.mlive.com/flintjournal/aheller. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.