I don’t have a crystal ball or a deck of tarot cards.
Tarot cards would be cool, though, wouldn’t they? “Death! Ha! Go sleep with the fishes!”
I do, however, have a deck of standard playing cards (featuring real baseball players) so I can play such thought-provoking games as “52-Card Pick Up.”
I can also use these cards to predict the future, at least through 2020.
Here’s what I got after many hours of shuffling these cards and then placing them face up on a table. Hey, I have to tell you how it works so you know I’m not pulling a trick.
I had three witnesses to this feat: My brother Ron (who kept asking, “Who won that hand?”); a random person who was walking in my neighborhood; and my dog, Buster, who said “Woof,” a lot.
Here are what the cards told me:
January — Eddie Murray, three of hearts, and Yogi Bera, 10 of clubs: It will rain in Clinton. Anderson County will also see rain. It will rain, too, in Oak Ridge. Chick-Fil-A announces it will not build an eatery in Clinton — and it will not sell beer.
February — Pete Rose, two of hearts, and Carlton Fisk (Boston), four of spades: The Magnet Mills Water Tower is missing. No one knows where it has gone. It’s a mystery. Gasp! But, Clinton City Council learns that the people in charge of cleaning the Magnet Mills site have been fired by the people who are in charge of cleaning the Magnet Mills site, who were hired by the other people in charge of cleaning the Magnet Mills site. But wait, it is reported at least two wheelbarrows of debris have been removed.
March — Tom Seaver (Mets), ace of spades, and Chipper Jones, king of hearts: The water tower is still missing, but its picture is put on milk cartons. Anderson County government agrees to allow the Anderson County senior center to erect three port-a-potties outside of the temporary/probably forever senior center.
April — Ken Griffey Jr., two of diamonds, and Dale Murphy (Atlanta), jack of clubs: The Magnet Mills Water Tower is reportedly spotted hitch hiking in Nebraska. Another wheelbarrow load of debris is taken from the Magnet Mills site.
May — Frank Thomas, eight of diamonds, and Lou Brock, nine of diamonds: Not good, Drawing cards in order usually means something drastic is going to happen. And that’s true in this case — The Tennessee Department of Transportation sends a memo to the City of Clinton saying the agency is tired of people griping about traffic delays so the agency will halt all work on the bridge over the Clinch River for nine months and place traffic cones at random locations throughout the City of Clinton. No news on the Magnet Mills Water Tower.
June — Nolan Ryan (Angels), six of spades, and Jackie Robinson, ace of hearts: Anderson County government gets great news when it is announced Taco Bell will relocate its corporate headquarters to Rocky Top and will sell beer from taco truck food wagons throughout East Tennessee. Taco Bell senior management says it will not, however, allow food trucks near the Anderson County senior center because of the numerous port-a-potties. The Clinton Water Tower is spotted in Spokane, Wash., working at a car wash. And the City of Clinton learns four whole wheelbarrows of debris have been moved from the Magnet Mills site. High fives and confetti parades are called for.
July — Ernie Banks, four of clubs, and Harmon Killebrew, nine of spades: A fight breaks out during Norris Day festivities when it is determined three rubber ducks have been “weighted” at the Lions Club Duck Race for watermelons. Sixteen are treated for various rubber ducky injuries, counseling is called for all of those under the age of 15 — which is almost everybody — because of the harshness of the violence (“I’ve never seen ruby duckies fly like that! Bounce like that! I’ll have nightmares for at least the next time I sleep. Maybe,” one eyewitness reported), and all the rubber ducks are confiscated pending an investigation by … Whoever. The Lions Club is cleared when the resulting investigation uncovers an unruly band of youths from Halls weighted the rubber ducks because … Well, they like watermelon. Also, three contestants in the “Knobby Knees” competition at the Anderson County Fair Senior Day Knobby Knees competition are disqualified for using performance enhancing drugs. Many of the ladies are smiling, though. The Magnet Mills Water Tower is spotted in Kansas.
August — George Herman “Babe” Ruth, king of clubs, and Hoyt Wilhelm, queen of spades: Nothing happens. It’s too hot. People just sit and sweat. The Clinton Water Tower, however, has been busy. It sends a post card to Clinton City officials with a “Wish You Were Here” message from Minsk, Russia.
September — Larry Walker, seven of clubs, and Joe Morgan, nine of hearts: After a brutally hot August it is determined that the Anderson County temporary/probably permanent senior center has melted. All that is left are three port-a-potties and an abandoned taco truck from Taco Bell (no beer, though). Anderson County Schools receive a bazillion dollar grant from the federal government with a note: “Send us more grads. We don’t trust anyone else!”
October — Christy Matthewson, ace of diamonds, and Bert Blylevyn, five of hearts: The Clinton Water Tower comes home, wearing a trench coat and fedora, claiming to be a door-to-door carpet salesman. It is soon found out, however, and a parade is ordered in its honor. Anderson County government, at the request of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, authorizes the creation of the Anderson County Secret Space Squad. High fives and a confetti parade are recommended. Chick-Fil-A announces it still will not build an eatery in Anderson County.
November — Roberto Clemente, three of diamonds, and Sandy Koufax, seven of hearts: A freak blizzard hits Anderson County, dumping two feet of snow and sub-arctic temperatures. A national emergency is called because every loaf of bread and every gallon of milk in the United States of America has been sent to Anderson County and it’s not enough. “It’s never enough!” a federal official cries on camera to CNN. The Clinton Water Tower settles comfortably into a three-bedroom, two-bath home near Norris Lake. It has a great view, too. All courtesy of “admirerers.”
December — Nick Swisher, jack of hearts, and Thurmon Munson, three of spades: Keeping within the spirit of the holidays, Anderson County government agrees to allow the Anderson County Office on Aging to recruit volunteers to test fly the rockets of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office Secret Space Squad. In return, the senior citizen volunteers will be given a temporary place to socialize, play cards, have cofffee and stuff like that. The City of Clinton receives a grant from the federal government for Chick-Fil-A rejection syndrome. A major Hollywood, California, entertainment giant announces it will film a “Major Motion Picture” in Clinton — then pulls out after executives from the company get lost on their way from I-75 to Clinton City Hall because of all of random traffic cones throughout the city. Plus, there’s no Chick-Fil-A.