| G. Michael Dobbs
We are standing at the edge of 2020 and looking into the misty void of 2021 and I feel someone or something coming over me – or at least my keyboard.
“Greetings, my friends. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives,” my keyboard generates all by its lonesome.
Holy crap. It’s Criswell back from the dead and now being channeled through my computer’s keyboard!
Haven’t heard of Criswell? He was a “psychic” from Los Angeles who made his living for the better part of his adult life with TV and movie appearances, books and newspaper columns filled with wild predictions from the 1950s through the 1970s. He died in 1982 and was portrayed in Tim Burton’s movie “Ed Wood.”
Criswell’s predictions were entertaining, but seldom accurate. Here are several from his 1968 book, “Criswell Predicts.”
“I predict education will be given to children through the television screen, no personal teachers, but there will be a warden on duty to see that 100 percent interest is sustained. Later, education-memory pills will help give you all of the education you can possibly use.”
“Las Vegas, Nevada, March 10, 1990: The very first Interplanetary Convention will be held in the new Convention Center on the famed Strip with colony citizens of Mars, Venus, Neptune and the Moon in full representation; Governor Sawyer will make the opening welcome address.”
“I predict that on February 11, 1981, there will be an abortive attempt by a foreign power to bomb the United States with atomic missiles. Most of the missiles will be destroyed by anti-missile missiles, but several will be only driven off course and will drop on the helpless state of Vermont. The death toll on that date will exceed 50,000 persons.”
Apparently, Criswell doesn’t mind me calling him inaccurate, as now the words are flowing out of keyboard and onto the blank document on the desktop. This is better than a Ouija Board.
He wants to get into the prediction business again and who am I to stop him? Just make some local 2021 predictions, okay?
“The Holyoke mayor’s race will be involve many candidates, but will be won for the first time in the city’s history by a Latinx resident.”
Wait a minute, that sort of makes sense. Is this really Criswell?
“Springfield will become the first city in the world with municipally-operated cannabis farms in its public parks to raise revenue. The name of the cannabis grown here will be ‘Connecticut Valley Chronic.’ Mayor Domenic Sarno will give Patrick Sullivan a new nickname: ‘The Wizard of Weed.’”
Okay, that’s more like it.
“An accident on-air will reveal local TV anchors to actually be 3-D holograms. In order to cut more costs, the stations will stop hiring recent college graduates and turn over reporting duties to middle school students who will work much cheaper.”
Hey, Criswell, that’s a little mean spirited.
“Reactionary residents of Agawam will attempt to build a border wall keeping the riff-raff from Suffield, CT, out of their fair community.”
Didn’t work on the Mexican border, but perhaps it would work here.
“The next time the canals are drained in Holyoke, a race of ancient telepathic mer-people will be revealed hibernating in the mud. They will share with us the solution for world peace.”
That sounds plausible.
“Late in 2021, the CDC will reveal the intense, but previously unknown, medicinal properties of kielbasa, making Chicopee the new health and wellness center of the nation. Millions will flock to the city for the healthful sausage.”
It could happen.
“MGM Springfield will go out of the gaming business and become the world’s largest upscale burger restaurant. The marketing effort will feature the freshest possible ingredients. The parking garage will have one floor allocated as a stock pen holding cattle waiting to be turned into hamburgers.”
That might create an odor problem.
“Reminder Publishing will expand even more in 2021.”
Hey, I hope that’s accurate.
“I predict the residents of Longmeadow will actually allow a funeral home within its borders.”
That’s way too unbelievable. You’ve gone way too far, Criswell!
The words stopped appearing. I must have lost the connection to the Great Beyond. Thank you, Criswell, wherever you are.
My hope, but not prediction, is we all have a better year in 2021.