I'm writing nine days before this will appear. I can't possibly know what's going on there in the time where you're at. The problem isn't that I can't predict the future. The problem is, like everyone else, I can't predict it correctly.
Therefore, when I get the urge to predict the future, I prefer to predict it far enough out that when it will have come about my actual predictions will have been forgotten, and I can say that what happened is what I said would. No one is going to go to the archives to check. That's one reason I will buck the trend and make predictions now for 2010 instead of 2009.
The other is, I have this theory about why 2001 was such a bad year: 2001: A Space Odyssey was too good. The movie jinxed the year. So, ipso reverso, 2010 should be a great year, because the movie 2010: The Year We Make Contact blew. Since I've never seen any of the movies set in 2009, I can't begin to guess what that year will be like.
So I will now predict the wonderful world of 2010.
I'll start with the easy stuff. There will be no aerial highways for flying cars, once again, in 2010. 2010 will be the first year in U.S. history that no one wonders for even a minute what having a Black president in the White House would be like. Some very bad weather will happen somewhere. In spite of all efforts to prevent it, terrorists somewhere will blow something up, so it will take even longer to get a ride on a ferry.
During the latter half of February 2010, Canada will be in the news constantly, and then be forgotten again by the end of March. Around the same time, clipboard sales will increase, and complete strangers will visit millions of Americans asking too many prying questions. Lisa Simpson, a cartoon character, will be married. (These items are courtesy of Wikipedia.)
Every U.S. business will have received at least one bailout by the end of 2010. Some of them will have been bailed out two or three times. All the world's trees will finally be cut down in order to print all the money for the bailouts. In the summer, your kid's lawn mowing service will get a federal bailout.
In predicting local news, I'm trying to see the 2010 Mayor of Seattle. I'm getting an image -- it's fading in and out -- it's someone I don't know yet. But I can definitely predict everyone I know hopes I'm right.
Due to the economic downturn, Real Change will have more vendors than ever. As the number of vendors approaches the number of customers, we will have to make up for it by going daily. There will be not one, but two crossword puzzles in every issue.
There will be so many homeless people that area shelters will adopt an alphabetical admissions system. Everyone will get two days of shelter each month. The days you get shelter will depend on the first letter of your last name. The city will point to this system as proof that everyone is getting the shelter they need, so no new shelters will be funded.
As King County's Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness enters its sixth year, its Governing Council finally says, "Whoa, we're not getting anywhere at this," so they cross out "Ten" on all their literature and write "Twenty" above it, and put out a press release announcing that they're way ahead of schedule. Critics suggest they set the end date of the Plan to End Homelessness in the past. The Committee to End Homelessness is as likely to invent a time machine to return us to 1964 as they are to actually end homelessness by continuing to sit on their hands and wait for the magic federal pixies to solve the problem with federal pixie gold dust, as they have been doing.