Old friend Will Durst, still one of America’s best topical comedians, looks ahead…

At the beginning of a new year, cultures all over the world traditionally perform peculiar ceremonies meant to wipe the slate clean and start afresh. The Chinese hide knives to ward off danger. In Denmark, old dishes are thrown at front doors to symbolize the collection of new friends. Spanish residents eat 12 grapes, one at each stroke of the clock to promote good fortune. And in the Durst household, we percolate sardonically cynical predictions for the upcoming 12 months.

This is to symbolize the perpetuation of a career predicated on mocking and scoffing and taunting. But with taste. So here are Durstco’s predictions for the year 2016. In the spirit of recycling and promoting a zero-waste policy, please cherry-pick your favorites and dump the rest into the laps of worthy acquaintances.

  • After dropping out of the Presidential race, Chris Christie hits the talk show circuit to publicize his celebrity diet book but is turned down by everyone except a podcast in Calabasas.
  • In an attempt to expand its popularity, ISIS will merge with Alcoholics Anonymous, the American Automobile Association and the American Association of Retired Persons to form ISISAAAAAAARP and then facilitate senior citizens driving soberly to suicide bombings.
  • Exxon will develop a way to block out the sun and then make a big move into solar energy.
  • Disney enters negotiations to purchase Tibetan Buddhism with the aim of starring a rambunctious Little Buddha in his own Saturday morning cartoon.
  • At the next GOP debate, Carly Fiorina smiles so hard, all the other participants on the dais recoil at the sound of her enamel cracking. Her face will then freeze like that.
  • In Dallas, Texas, a benefit held to establish the Ethan Couch Affluenza Support Group raises one dollar.
  • After a heckler at the Masters Tournament shouts from the edge of the 12th green, “Give it up Grandpa,” Tiger Woods chases him with a putter, trips and falls into Rae’s Creek.
  • Taking his personal quest for wholeness to the next level, Vladimir Putin enters Jungian analysis and releases an award winning series of children’s books. He also takes up pipe- smoking.
  • Rents in San Francisco climb so high, members of the middle class are forced to inhabit tree houses in Golden Gate Park.
  • No matter who wins the Presidency, Bill Clinton actively campaigns to get appointed Ambassador to Sweden.
  • Air travel will devolve to the point that certain discount tickets require pedaling.
  • During a stump speech in Concord, New Hampshire, Donald Trump’s hat will fly off and his hair will be wind- whipped into the shape of a sail whisking him airborne into the parking lot of a Montpelier, Vermont public library.
  • Congress fixes Social Security by raising the retirement age to 83.
  • New York Senator Chuck Schumer becomes the go-to guy in the Democratic Caucus after it is revealed that Harry Reid died months ago.
  • The NFL will lobby the Catholic Church to celebrate mass on Monday mornings in order not to interfere with football ratings.
  • Minnesota Department of Game officials call off the hunt for whoever shot the lion-killing dentist, Walter Palmer, with a bow and arrow.
  • The Chicago Cubs lose game 7 of the World Series when a lightning bolt strikes Ben Zobrist ten feet from home as he attempts to score the tying run.

Copyright © 2016, Will Durst. Reprinted with permission.