What Happens in 2016: Dan Predicts the Hamptons’ New Year

Dan predictions cartoon by Mickey Paraskevas
Cartoon by Mickey Paraskevas

What does 2016 hold for the Hamptons, the state, the worlds of business and sports and the arts? Read on…

In September, all Albany officials come out of their offices to the street, raise their hands and surrender to the police, pleading guilty to bribery and receiving money under the table. The governor, who is one of them, gives a shout-out to all the mayors in the state as he is hauled off, declaring, “You are all on your own now.”

The day before the country goes to the polls, Republican candidate Donald Trump, 20 points behind, unveils never-before-seen Hillary Clinton emails that show she is actually a Russian spy. Trump wins, is immediately impeached, but then declares a State of Emergency and shuts down the Capitol Building so Congress cannot convene. In January, directly after his inauguration, he sends every immigrant whose family ever came to America back to where they came from. As they leave, one of them turns out the lights.

Every summer in the last half of the 19th century a former slave used to row people from Agawam Park across the lake to the ocean beach for a few cents. For the last two years, the Village of Southampton has recreated that service, with a Marine Patrol Employee using a motorboat. In July however, a fog rolls in as this boat crosses Lake Agawam and those on board never arrive at their destination. A three-day search of the lake finds nothing. It’s a mystery.

The residents of Westhampton will wake up one morning in June to find that the dwarf pines that grow in the dwarf pine forest north of town are now too tall to be dwarf pines. They have been found to actually be dwarf sequoias. Who knew?

The residents of Water Mill will do their part for global warming by restoring their hamlet to how it was in the 17th century. There will be no electricity or automobiles, just horses and wagons. The windmill in the center of town will be started up to grind corn into meal; all the new stores in town will become stables except for one, which will be a general store selling horseshoes and pins; the water mill on the pond will provide turning power needed for anything too tight to budge, such as the tops of canned-fruit bell jars. By autumn, many other hamlets on Long Island’s East End will make this change.

Nothing will happen in Quogue in 2016. A group of sociologists from Stony Brook University, unable to believe that this is possible, will send a team of graduate students out to Quogue for the summer to determine whether this is really the case. They will report back that it is.

In September, it is discovered that the management of the Bridgehampton Candy Kitchen has installed tiny listening devices underneath all the tables, with the information thus gleaned passed on to the South of the Highway columnists at Dan’s Papers.

The residents of Sagaponack are stunned to learn that the name of their town, which many believed was from the Indian phrase “land where potatoes grow” is actually a phrase given the land by a group of other Indians who said “Sagaponack” to refer to “the place where George Washington stopped to go off in the woods to relieve himself before continuing on.”

In the spring, the village approves a plan to further slow down traffic coming in from the Sag Harbor-Bridgehampton Turnpike and Route 114. But they can’t make any new grassy center islands or narrow any of the roads further because all that was done for earlier “traffic calming” programs. Instead, in May, Sag Harbor hires 8-year-old kids to sell lemonade from little tables every 50 feet on both sides of the roads coming into and out of town.

In May, Billy Joel and Jimmy Buffet ride through the woods on horseback strumming guitars and singing, thus frightening the deer who stampede and run off the dock at the Shelter Island ferry. They are last seen swimming in the direction of Block Island.

In late April, a Lear jet lands on Main Street at three o’clock in the morning and comes to a halt by the East Hampton Cinema. No one is injured, and the pilot says he landed there because the East Hampton Airport won’t let noisy aircraft land there after 7 p.m. but his charter is important. A lone police officer on duty at that hour wakes up the Mayor in his home, and the Mayor, in his pajamas, looks through the village ordinance book he keeps on the night table, sees there are no ordinances to deal with this, and so tells the night cop to let the pilot drop off his passenger and then fly the plane off in the direction it came.

The remains of the old Box Spring and Mattress Factory are found in the woods next to the Springs General Store. It is to be restored and will once again be making high-end mattresses and box springs for the rich and famous.

A proposal is put on the ballot in November to change the name of this hamlet to Ima Hampton. The vote is a tie, but there is one write-in vote from a longtime resident who is off visiting family in England. Up at the firehouse, a nervous Suffolk County Election official opens the write-in ballot. “I’m against it,” is written inside. The name stays Amagansett.

The Montauk Lighthouse, which up until now was believed to have been the second oldest lighthouse in America, suddenly finds itself third oldest, as historical records show there is a lighthouse in North Carolina that is older. Then it’s found out that Indian Field Ranch at Third House is not actually the third house in Montauk, but the fourth, and that no Indians were at Indian Field Ranch. In addition, the Montauk Fishing Village turns out NOT to have the most fishing records of any fishing village in the world but the second most fishing records. The village with the most is Honkadonk Valley in Belgium, which is not actually a valley but a port town on the coast of the English Channel, which is not actually English. There is much weeping and wailing in Montauk.

A startup in Silicon Valley will be sold to Facebook in July, but when the businessmen show up to complete the sale they will find that the business has started up and gone.

The billionaire Winklevoss brothers will buy up Yahoo! using Bitcoin in March. They will let it continue on as is, except for the ! at the end, which they say has bothered them terribly for all these years.

In August, just before the start of the new football season, an announcement will be made by the NFL that a close look at video from prior years shows that no New England Patriot ever caught a ball thrown by Tom Brady. Tom takes the snap, drops back and appears to throw but actually slides the ball under his shirt. His receivers, who run out to receive passes, take out a second ball they’ve carried inside their shirts and make like they are catching it.

A new Broadway musical, written by the man who wrote Hamilton using hip-hop, debuts. It is called Arnold (after the traitor Benedict Arnold) and has accordion polka music. Tickets immediately sell out for two years.

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