‘98 to be as strange as ever

Okay, okay. So yours truly didn’t exact have a crystal clear crystal ball last year in trying to predict what lay ahead for 1997.
No, Conrad Black did not seek–and win–the leadership of the federal Progressive Conservative party, nor did Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard get appointed as Canada’s new ambassador to the United Nations after losing a snap referendum on sovereignty.
A ceiling tile did not fall on the head of former Education and Training minister John Snobelen during a tour of Fort Frances High School last spring.
Jacksonville did not beat Carolina in last year’s Super Bowl (actually, neither team even made it to the big game), and the Phoenix Coyotes did not win the Stanley Cup (albeit sparing former Winnipeg Jets fans from self-induced kicking injuries).
Closer to home, topless sunbathers did not top the news here last summer. In fact, nary one was seen on Pither’s Point beach (although a topless canoeist named Dana was spotted briefly on Prospect Bay near Sunny Cove Camp after remembering she could legally do it in Ontario).
But before you start directing snide comments this way, it should be noted that soothsayers who ply their trade in the supermarket tabloids didn’t exactly have a banner year, either.
It also should be noted that those of us in the prognostication business never throw in the towel, no matter how poorly we fared the year before. So, undaunted, here’s what we can expect to see unfold over the next 12 months:
oA standing room only crowd will attend the first performance in the new auditorium at Westfort–because we couldn’t afford to put seats in the place.
oTown council will adopt the name “Memorial Arena” for the new double-rink ice facility here–because the person who suggested “Fort Frances Arena Sportsplex” was injured when the cenotaph mysteriously toppled over on him.
oThe Senate will fail to adopt tough new rules to crack down on absenteeism–because there weren’t enough senators in the chamber that day to have a quorum.
oThe NHL will expand to several U.S. cities–because more Canadian-based teams folded up their tents and headed south of the border.
oAdmitting he had egg on his face over the Liberal government’s decision to purchase a “scaled-down” version of the EH-101 helicopter, Prime Minister Jean Chretien will promise never to flip-flop again–because he knows full well he’ll never seek election again.
oVideon will offer even more TV channels this year–because men don’t mind paying extra for the joy of “surfing” through 130 instead of a mere 47.
oAlan Eagleson will get roughed up in jail–because he showed off his Order of Canada medal to one prisoner too many.
And you thought 1997 was a bizarre year.

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