Now thinking

Silently contemplating the similarity of their respective fates, a chilly wind blows through the drying needles of unadorned Christmas trees and whistles over top of empty champagne bottles laying out by the curb for pick-up.

Wax droplets from Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and yule log candles have been carefully chipped off of the floor with flat-head screwdrivers. Independently contracted Santas fret over year-end 1099s, and delegates of the Christmas Elves Labor Union have already met to address the creeping dread of “Right to Work” legislation. The threat of instantaneous catastrophic global annihilation was defused with an audible fizzle, and the decidedly un-sexy business of regular, incremental global annihilation resumed unceremoniously.

It’s 2013. Happy New Year. What are we gonna do now?

Well, the poobahs, magistrates, magpies and reprobates here at the Raised Relief Think Tank (swing by and dig our neon sign that reads: “Now Thinking. Discount Prices”) have compiled a short list of predictions for the upcoming year, which, we hope, will make navigating the Age of Aquarius a little less ambiguous and brighten up the downtime between shopping seasons. Here are a few of the results of our analyses:

• My new bumper sticker business will be a runaway success, making me an instant hundred-aire. All proceeds of my “Say No 2 Bridge Trolls” and “I Don’t Give a Shit About the NBA. Go Cards” stickers will go directly to me to fund nicotine patches, swill beer and continued, unbiased scrutiny of city planning in regards to felonious freeway expansion and the recruitment of dumbass pro-basketball franchises.

• In its much-anticipated third season, “Downton Abbey” will continue to be a mediocre soap opera, which we will consume with unrepentant, ferocious zeal because PBS is safely and tastefully beyond reproach and because watching British people do anything is totally mesmerizing, especially when they live in a castle, wear fancy clothes, and fight with each other politely.

• Ashley Judd will announce her bid for the Kentucky Senate seat this year. This one took some in-depth demographic and Ouija board analysis, but we were not surprised to discover that the already hotly debated 2014 Senate election will hinge on college hoops. Mitch McConnell recently took time on CBS to heap praise on Tom Jurich’s U of L athletics program and, stating the obvious, explained that, “This year’s Cardinal team is well poised to make another run for the Final Four.” While it was the most truthful utterance out of the Gentleman from Kentucky’s face in the last decade, McConnell’s enthusiasm for his alma mater ran afoul of many hearts in the commonwealth, and UK’s Big Blue Nation erupted in a fury the color and fragrance of a lit fart. All of the sudden the odds that a hot, bookish, coal un-friending, ravenous Cats fan might someday tip-toe gracefully through McConnell’s slime trail onto the Senate floor didn’t seem so far fetched.

• Post-human pop-phenom PSY will become the first recording artist to simultaneously hold the posts of Most Ridiculous Dancer in the History of Physical Locomotion and South Korean Ambassador to the United States.

• During the excavation of the East End Gene Snyder extension tunnel, a natural geyser will be uncovered and Louisville will be blessed with a new and improved Fall’s Fountain, which will erupt twice daily at 8:30 a.m. and again at 5 p.m. Unlike the original expensive display of dirty water, the Ol’ Nitta Yuma Gusher will become a huge tourist destination necessitating a National Parks designation, gift shops, lane expansions and a second East End bridge.

• The Kentucky General Assembly will finally engage in bipartisan cooperation on the subject of gambling in the commonwealth. Focus will shift from casinos and expanded gaming at racetracks, though, to a proposed online site run by the Treasurer’s Office, which will offer a number of entertaining video game options based on the activities of the legislature itself. Games like “Mighty Morphin Gerrymander,” “Guess the Pension of Your Representative,” “Pin the Hemp Leaf on the Dollar Sign” and “Bible Dinosaur Wars” will be a boon for our beleaguered treasury and fun for the whole family.

As you can tell, our crack team of computer analysts and witch doctors are toiling away down here at the Raised Relief Think Tank, but we love company. The door is always open and the coffee in the waiting room is always lukewarm. Don’t miss our super saver coupons in this Sunday’s paper.