Alert Keys Disease readers will have noted that the old year of 2009 has just about expired, and the New Year of 2010 is bearing down upon us. Those looking for a “Year in Review” column are going to be severely disappointed; 2009 sucked so bad that I’m just not inclined to look back at the wreckage. Even without a hurricane, things can still blow. Good freakin’ riddance.

This new year of 2010 promises to be a year that once again will defy all those technologically optimistic predictions from the 1960s through the 1980s about how life would be so much better. 2010 was the year that Arthur C. Clarke set his sequel to his masterwork, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Cleverly titled 2010: Odyssey Two, published all the way back in 1982, the book predicted that this was the year humans would make their second trip to Jupiter, this one to discover what went wrong with the first trip (extra credit for remembering the quote: “My God… it’s full of stars.”).

The main problem with the book (and movie) is that it was based upon so many things in the first book and movie that never came true. There are no “wheel-in-the-sky” rotating space stations that orbit to the strains of “Blue Danube.” There are no craft that shuttle good-looking people in Spandex back and forth from Earth as casually as we treat commercial air travel. Hell, there still aren’t any flying cars! Where are the flying cars?!?

Checking back on my predictions from last year, I did pretty darn good. I predicted that the Vandenburg would finally sink (it did); I predicted that the Marathon City Council would decide what to do with the Boot Key drawbridge, but that it would run into complications (who knew Ebay had all those pesky rules?). I predicted that the 2010 sewer deadline would be eased (it was). I predicted that Al Franken would “entertain” his fellow Senators, although I didn’t realize that he would do to he-who-doth-protest-too-much John McCain what John McCain had done to a Democrat during the debate leading up to the Iraq War. My prediction that the School Board and Superintendent would start working together, however, was totally voided by those pesky indictments, trial, and convictions. Who woulda thunk?

Moving on to 2010, here are the Official Keys Disease Predictions For The New Year!

1) The Miami Dolphins will not win Super Bowl XLVIIXMCXIII, but will have the perfect opportunity for great seats at the game seeing as it’s being played IN THEIR OWN STADIUM.

2) South Florida’s economy will get a shot in the arm (maybe the buttocks) from all the post-season football that the new year will bring (the Orange Bowl, the Pro Bowl, the Super Bowl). Beer and potato chip sales will skyrocket nationwide, while local hot dog hawkers and stadium cleanup staff will enjoy working for their wages while watching all those professional athletes earn tens of thousands of dollars for each hour they play.

3) Jimmy Buffett will have proved to be a friggin’ genius for getting the stadium named “Landshark Stadium” just in time for all this coverage. Fins to the left. Fins to the right. Fins, sawbucks, and C-notes in the register.

4) Some of the fans who visit South Florida for the ongoing postseason pigskin spectacular will venture into the Keys. Hopefully, they’ll have a good time and spend some money before they leave.

5) The economy will lurch between life support and recovery. Again, here in the Keys, we’ll be a little more insulated because we’re still the only tropical islands connected to the US mainland by bridges. Orlando, frustrated at their continued low occupancy rates, will rename Interstate 4, “US 1” and the I-4 exit from I-95, “Exit to the Florida Keys and Key West.” The exit into Disney will be transformed through the use of IMAX screens and Animatronics into a drive across “the Overseas Highway” and Disney’s Key West area will feature a bunch of new obscene T-shirt shops and actual drunks imported from the Southernmost City to add ambience.

6) And here’s the prediction I’m most comfortable in making: John Bartus & Storm Watch will be the band that rings in the New Year at our incredible New Year’s Eve celebration at the Key Colony Inn. Please join us there for a whole lot of fun and festivity, and a heapin’ helpin’ of rock and roll to get 2010 off on the right foot. I just might be inclined to reveal my absolutely true and super-top-secret predictions for the New Year after a few cocktails.

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