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Gary Borders: Predictions and wishful thinking for 2016

Today we mark a New Year. At my age, I’m never in a hurry for any of my allotted days to pass. But I can’t say I will miss 2015. Violence and misery cropped up far too often, both here and abroad. While I pray for a safer, more peaceful 2016, there is little reason right now to believe it will be. That is the sad truth.

On that cheerful note, I will make a few modest predictions about what will take place this year.

• For starters, we will elect a new president in November. Since it’s a leap year, that means an extra day of campaigning — and attack ads. I boldly predict that neither the former reality television host/real estate mogul nor the self-proclaimed Democratic socialist will occupy the Oval Office. Beyond that, I refuse to speculate.

I have been a political junkie all my life. I am not politically active and never contribute money to candidates. I have voted in every major election since I turned 18. But I clearly am a glutton for punishment, since I have watched three of the Republican debates thus far — and likely will come back for more when the fisticuffs resume this month. It is akin to passing by a car wreck. Most of us can’t help but rubberneck. I tune in (actually I stream it online since we cut the television cord) just to hear what outrageous invective that Big Haired Fellow is going to say next.

I watched one Democratic debate, but found it about as compelling as C-SPAN. I doubt I will watch again.

• Here’s another prediction. I will again spend many hours on the phone with AT&T, trying to solve a problem with the Internet service. In 2015, we talked nine times, usually at night when Netflix quit streaming. At one point, I told the rep I had talked to AT&T more that week than to my wife.

Every AT&T technical support person with whom I spoke has been very patient and helpful. And, knock on wood, we have not had an issue in a few weeks. But sooner or later, something will go wrong, as it has regularly for three-and-a-half years. I have my account number memorized, and the help number in my contacts. We’ll be in touch soon, I’m sure.

• Sam the Dog will once again make a break for it and either slip out of the backyard or out a door left open because one of us was hauling in groceries. He will return in 30 minutes or so, covered in mud or having rolled on something dead. Sam will spend the night in the shop and then have to endure an outside bath under the water hose before being allowed back inside. It is a good thing for Sam that we are very attached to him.

• Some 20-year-old genius will invent a new gizmo/app that will be the Next Big Thing, permitting him or her to soon live in a penthouse apartment despite running a company that has never actually made a profit. You ever feel as if the world has changed in a way you can’t even fathom? I do most days.

• Nick Saban will leave his storied football program at the University of Alabama to take over at my alma mater, the University of Texas. The Red Sox will win their fourth World Series in a dozen years. And the Celtics will finally return to their days of glory by taking the NBA championship. OK, all of that is wishful thinking, but it is nice to dream.

One thing is for sure. I will eat black-eyed peas and cabbage later today. I need all the good luck I can muster.

Gary Borders has been an East Texas journalist and editor for more than 40 years. He works now as a freelance writer, editor and photographer. You can see his work at garyborders.com. He has written for World Wildlife magazine, Texas Monthly, Texas Observer and Airstream Life.
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