It was a dark and stormy night when I decided the time was now or never.
It was now, at 3 in the morning in the chill of winter, venturing off to a farm that I was not familiar with.
It had sheep, though, and that’s what I was looking for.
I had never sacrificed an animal before or any other living thing for that matter.
Well, I’ve sacrificed tens of thousands of worms but that’s an entirely different situation.
This was for real, a sacrifice that had to be made to appease the gods.
Or something like that.
You see, for three decades now I have been making predictions for the new year.
Unfortunately, despite putting the best methods to use, I have never once actually predicted anything correctly.
And the American Society of Clairvoyants, Diviners, Mediums, Fortune Tellers, et al sent me a letter notifying me that if I do not make at least one prediction that comes true in 2023, my membership would be revoked.
“P.S. And don’t try any of that ‘It will be warm this summer and will rain at least twice.’ BS. We aren’t that stupid.”
I don’t remember ever joining that group, but I was not going to mess with it.
So I researched.
I used chicken bones before, crystal balls, eye of newt, tea leaves and fortune cookies.
I went deeper, spending countless hours in libraries, er, Googling.
The art of prediction goes further back in time that I imagined.
Huh, I said to myself. There have been scam artists for thousands of years.
Yet, someone must have been right and that’s when I stumbled across hieromancy, divination by use of sacrificial offerings.
Mainly, the entrails of animals, preferably sheep.
Now, I could have gone out and legally slain a defenseless woodland creature and used the innards.
I could have found a stray cat. Seems to be plenty of those.
I wanted the best and, according to the Etruscans, famed practioners of hieromancy, they used sheep livers.
Of course, they had to slay the sheep first.
So it was with that in mind that I ventured into the great night to slay me a sheep and gut it right there in the pasture.
This is where the story ends.
Suffice it to say that I could not go through with it. Once that little sheep “Baaaaa’d,” I was done.
Off to Wegmans meat department I went and found some nice slabs of lamb liver.
I will not divulge my methods for the use of said liver. Let’s just say that I have a good feeling about this year’s predictions.
n OK. I know this is on everyone’s mind. Yes, this will be the year the Buffalo Bills finally win the big one. I know. I have made this prediction every year for 25-plus years and we all know what happened.
Bills 110-Tom Brady 3.
n A record 4,569 people announce their candidacy for president of the United States.
n Elon Musk buys Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, Verizon, AT & T and every other service provider in the universe and beyond, fires everyone and annonces that Twitter will be the only form of communication available to us minions.
n Ukraine and Russia declare a stalemate and a truce after no one can remember what it is they are killing each other for.
n Presiden Biden sells the White House to Elon Musk, who immediately fires everyone and moves in his pet iguana, who Musk annoints as the new president.
n Scientists find 5,698 new COVID variants. Elon Musk buys them all and sends them to Mars.
n Gas prices will continue to fall and rise unnecessarily.
n So will the price of food. Eggs lead the pack at $56 a dozen, narrowly edging chicken wings.
n Unfortunately, I see more mass shootings in the U.S. this year and, just as unfortunate, more debates on gun control on CNN, Fox, MSNBC and the entire internet.
n Hurricanes will make landfall, prompting debates on climate change.
n Elon Musk buys GM and Ford, Toyota and virtually every car-maker known to man. He fires all the workers.
n Lastly, I’m pretty sure this will be my last year writing predictions.
Happy New Year!
Scott DeSmit is a general assignment reporter for The Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.