A wise man of our acquaintance once pointed out that "futurist" is the easiest job on Earth to have. You spend all your time issuing pronouncements about what life is going to be like many years -- centuries, even -- from now. If you're right, you'll be hailed as a genius for generations to come. And if it turns out that you were wrong, what do you care? You're already dead!
To up the pressure and make the game more interesting, we've shortened the timetable somewhat. We're presenting a list of multiple-choice questions about some major developments we see transpiring in the coming year. (Consider it a precognitive pop quiz, if you will.) For each question, select the answer that best reflects the exact manner in which you think history will play out. Mail your answers to 2004 Quiz, Orlando Weekly, 111 W. Jefferson St., Suite 200, Orlando, FL 32801. At the end of 2004, we'll pick out the entry (or entries) that ended up conforming to reality 100 percent. Whoever submitted those answers will win ... a brand new car! So what are you waiting for?
(Note: Orlando Weekly reserves the right to redefine the terms "brand," "new" and "car" at any time and without notice. Offer not valid in Florida.)
1) Following his ATV accident, how long will it take Ozzy Osbourne to become re-addicted to painkillers?
a. Four months
b. Two months
c. A week
d. "Hey, man, are you holding? This one's called 'Craaaaaazy Train!'"
2) What portion of the vote will downtown bar owner Ken Mulvaney earn in his campaign against Mayor Buddy Dyer?
a. 5 percent
b. 25 percent
c. 40 percent
d. Everyone who happens to be in Mulvaney's when the polls close
3) Which of the following cities will not be the location of a "CSI" spin-off?
c. King of Prussia, Pa.
d. Mount Dora
4) Which of the following events will be touted as the death knell for Howard Dean's candidacy, and by how many points will his approval ratings surge instead?
a. Scores endorsement of North American Man-Boy Love Association, 4 percent
b. Proposes turning over management of Medicare to La Cosa Nostra, 7 percent
c. Wants Dems to be "the party for guys with swastikas tattooed on their scrota," 15 percent
d. Exposed as anthrax mailer, 35 percent
5) Which of the following will not be a 2004 fashion trend?
a. Mismatched contact lenses
b. Day-Glo mourning jacket
c. Shoelaces untied
d. Permanent wedgie
6) Who will R. Kelly take to the next Grammy Awards?
c. Dora the Explorer
d. Unanswerable; date not born yet
7) For how many games will Orlando Magic's next losing streak extend?
d. Two more games than there are in the season
8) With Saddam in custody, who will next be blamed for inspiring the Iraqi insurgency?
a. Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri
b. Izzat Ibrahim al-Franken
c. Omar Sharif
d. The guilty-looking one in The Wiggles
9) Who will be the permanent replacement for Mayor Dyer's recently resigned chief of staff, David Dix?
a. Bob Balz
b. Pepe Prostate
c. The Hon. Alfred P. Urethra
d. Mike Hunt
10) What excuse will Whitney Houston's publicist adopt to replace the played-out term "exhaustion"?
a. Chi imbalance
b. Retaining water
c. Retaining vodka
d. "Just one of those days, I guess"
11) What business will be a permanent fixture on downtown's Jaymont Block before the end of 2004?
a. Multiscreen movie theater
b. Four-star restaurant
c. Drive-through wellness center
d. State-of-the-art crack den
12) Hot on the heels of Space Invaders, which golden-age video game will enjoy a triumphant return to arcades and home consoles?
b. Pre-Op Pac-Man
c. Trickle Down
d. Shoot Blossom Before She Spawns
13) What expense will Arnold Schwarzenegger not slash to balance California's budget?
a. Steroid subsidies
b. Annual, statewide Kristallnacht blowout
c. After-school crap games
d. "Thongs for welfare moms" holiday campaign
14) What major bombshell will be revealed in Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion of the Christ?"
a. Apostle Peter had dimples to die for
b. Jesus' miracles included first TiVo demonstration
c. Temple money lenders actually offered pretty decent APRs
d. "Begat" was Biblical shorthand for "just good friends who admire each other's work"
15) Which animal will be responsible for the most deaths in 2004?
a. Florida alligator
b. Feral panda
c. Great white shark
d. Great White
16) Which allegation of voter fraud will dog the November national elections?
a. Punch-card ballots made of impregnable Kryptonian paper stock
b. Felon purges extended to jaywalking
c. Touch-screen machines charged $.04 too much for small Coke
d. Two words: Bush won