Obamacare is in effect, all Americans have medical care, and suddenly, by June of 2014, people have stopped going to the doctor. By September, everyone gives up prescription drugs. By December, it is found that everyone in America is chest-thumping healthy and no longer in need of medical care. Obamacare is declared an unbelievable success.
The New York Post, struggling with its losses now that Rupert Murdoch has spun it off into a separate corporation, decides to offer the editorship to Alec Baldwin in March of 2014. Baldwin accepts, and on his first day at work travels throughout the building, shaking hands with everyone, and then, the next day, as his first official act, fires himself.
Iran, struggling under the weight of international sanctions, agrees in April that in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, it will produce no further nuclear bombs and will allow inspectors to see to that—but they will not dismantle anything and will reserve the right to make nuclear bombs in the future if they think that is a good idea someday. As for the three bombs they have already made, they hand them over to President Obama in an elaborate ceremony in Tehran, where, with the help of aides, he carries the bombs as luggage home on Air Force One, hands two of them over to the American military, and in a separate ceremony gives the last one (one not quite as good as the other two) to the Russians as a peace gesture. The Russians, as a peace gesture back, return Edward Snowden. It’s win-win for everybody except Snowden.
Homeland Security, in an effort to soothe those who are concerned about the accumulation of personal information on everybody, announce in July that henceforth they will give all the information they collect about a husband to his wife, and give all the information they collect about a wife to her husband, all by request, which can take place with just the click of a mouse. Pope Francis issues a homily endorsing this effort.
Kim Jong-un in North Korea, who has had his uncle and regent executed now that he has achieved adulthood, accidentally kills himself after lighting a fuse igniting a nuclear guided missile he has built in his palace in Pyongyang. The missile takes off in the grand ballroom, circles around and takes him from behind. The North Korean government declares that the eldest son of Kim Jong-un is now their great leader, and since he is just 14 he will have his uncle, Kom Bin Yang, who is the recently departed leader’s brother, as his regent. Kom Bin Yang says he appreciates the offer but at the present time is too busy to take on this extra job.
During a big winter storm with 50 mile an hour winds in February, the town supervisors in the Hamptons are informed by a scientist at Stony Brook Southampton that if they put sails on all 17 windmills on the South Fork, they can generate enough power to get the community through until September. The supervisors, enthusiastic, say they will get the sails up just as soon as this storm is over and the wind subsides enough for workmen with ladders to do that.
Billy Joel’s monthly concerts at Madison Square Garden, intended to take place once a month in perpetuity, actually seem headed for that. The 12 concerts in 2014 are all standing-room-only sell-outs and the concerts beyond that are all sold out right through to 2028—and only until then because that is as far ahead as they are willing to print tickets. The executive chairman of Madison Square Garden, James Dolan, is so pleased by this that in April he gives Billy Joel a free wish and, after hearing it, agrees to give all Long Islanders their Cablevision service for free in perpetuity, too. Dolan is also president and CEO of Cablevision.
The 19 school districts on the South Fork, unable to agree on any single consolidation, finally agree in August to merge into one giant school district. All 19 school superintendents, many of whom make a six-figure salary, are fired, and one great head of the new system is hired, given the title of Czar of the Hampton School District, and offered a contract of $2.8 million, which, after negotiations, he signs when it reaches $3.1 million.
So many movies are made in the Hamptons in 2014 that when they hold the Hamptons International Film Festival on Columbus Day weekend, every single film is from here. The experts select Divorce East Hampton Style for its Golden Starfish award, and The Crazy Lady of Mecox Bay as the Golden Starfish Documentary. Masters of the Universe Mass Suicide, filmed in mansions in Southampton where people leap out of the upper floors to escape zombies, is voted best horror movie, and Squeaky Clean Soap Bubble Fun is voted best comedy. Every actor and actress in the Hamptons—Brooke Shields, Alec Baldwin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael J. Fox, Mercedes Ruehl, Kim Cattrall and all the others—win all the awards.
Madonna, based in Bridgehampton, buys more and more horse farms to the west of her, and Matt Lauer, based in Water Mill, buys more and more horse farms to the east of him, and when they meet up in late November, they draw a line.
Jimmy Buffett of North Haven, in a well publicized follow-up to his sensational early hit “Margaritaville,” launches a new album in July called Hamptonsville, with lead songs titled “Potato Digger’s Blues” and “Bonac Steel Drum Tango,” but sales are disappointing, as are sales of Ospreyhead hats.
New football rules are put in place for the NFL 2014 season, and all players are required to be carried out on gurneys if they suffer gas, stuffy noses or overly tight shoes.
China overtakes America as the largest economy in the world in June of 2014, but America fights back and retakes the lead in December.
Major League Baseball decides in March to institute new rules for instant replay, even though it slows down the game even further. Being baseball, they have their own way of doing it: Time is called. The play in question is shown in slow motion on TV, over and over again, until at least 40% of viewers have either voted “safe” or “out” or have thrown a beer bottle into their screen. After that, the decision is announced.
New Zealand applies to join the European Union in May, but America invokes the Monroe Doctrine, saying that communication lines between these two entities would fly over United States territory and that cannot be allowed. The effort is abandoned.
Bitcoin proves to be so successful that it becomes a physical currency, with its own 100 dollar bazooba coin. People are left scratching their heads. And then a new country, replacing Somalia and all its turbulence, is announced in October. It is called Bitcoinia, and its capital is Mogadishu. Everybody rushes to build embassies.
In a stunning development, in late January China invokes a little-known forgiveness rule, whereby all debts owed to it by the United States are forgiven and cancelled. In appreciation, the Dow leaps over 20,000 the next day, but then falls to 8,000 the day after.
The tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, is found in May to be leaning nine inches to the south. Long cables are attached to steel hooks on the exterior at the 200th floor and giant steam engines at ground level two Emirate States away to the north keep them taut.
Business is so good that in May all businesses only one-story tall in downtown Southampton are required to build a second floor.
A nine-year-old boy living in Santa Barbara picks up his mother’s iPhone in August and accidentally releases Siri, who turns out to be 40 feet tall and very angry about it. She wades out into the Pacific, turns north and heads for Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, where nerds working furiously over their computers desperately try to discover a hidden command or password that would stop her.
A new record for a real estate sale in the Hamptons is achieved in September. Ten acres of oceanfront in Bridgehampton are sold to a European investor reportedly in exchange for the Country of Lichtenstein, valued at $2.4 billion.
All the Tea Party congressmen in Washington dress up as Indians and hold a big tea party celebration in the grand ballroom of the Georgetown Hilton in May. They have so much fun, they decide to abandon politics and from now on focus on just holding these great parties. They plan to hold them every other Friday night for the next four years. At the next one, the featured band will be the Lone Sharks.
The United States economy leaps forward into an extra gear, and things are so good that the government decides in August to reverse sequestration and all the other cutbacks, because now they are once again awash in money. The change is so sudden that bureaucrats, trying to keep up with their paperwork, get really upset. They don’t know if they are coming or going.
WHAT ARE YOUR PREDICTIONS FOR 2014?