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home : columns : rahn larson
February 19, 2020


12/31/2019 10:18:00 AM
The 2020 Fearless Forecast
My endless search for the Fearless Forecaster took me to the Old North Church, on Boston's north end.
Upon entering the historic site known for the "one if by land, two if by sea" signal, I spotted Forecaster in pew 27, halfway up the right side. There were no services or tours, so lighting was dim.
I offered a friendly greeting while taking a seat in the pew. "Morning," the Danny DeVito look-alike grunted. The pews are box-shaped, appearing more like hockey penalty boxes with their shoulder-high walls. Worshippers have the option of facing the front of the church, or the aisle. I faced the aisle, Forecaster the front.
I pointed at an unlit cigar in Forecaster's hand, adding, "In church? Really?"
Forecaster rolled his eyes.
"I got the same thing from the custodian," he replied. "Give me a break. It's not lit. The world is closing in on cigar people. Teddy must be spinning in his grave."
I shot him a curious look, "Teddy?"
Forecaster pointed at a small nameplate in the pew bearing the words: "Theodore Roosevelt sat in this pew, Dec. 29, 1912."
I should have known. Forecaster absolutely loves the Rough Rider. He ranks him ahead of Lincoln and Washington on the list of top presidents.
We briefly discussed the 2019 forecast. It was not a banner year for the Forecaster, but not horrible, either. Still, gamblers weren't thrilled with his 5-5 mark.
In 2019, Forecaster missed on these picks: county's new office building is renamed "The County Bumpkin;" Gophers men's basketball team misses NCAA Tournament; Farmers see better harvest; Vikings win the NFC North; Windom council rejects controversial apartment complex.
Forecaster hit the mark on these predictions: Big business expansion occurs near Highway 60-71 (Avera Clinic); 2019 state legislative session goes much smoother under Gov. Tim Walz; thanks to gridlock in Washington, almost nothing gets done on national level; Terrible TV series reboot, Magnum P.I., is cancelled; Donald Trump fires another key adviser (that was a layup).
The 2020 Forecast
OK, before we get on with the forecast, I must add this disclaimer: "Fearless Forecaster cannot be held responsible for money won or lost based on wagers involving the annual Fearless Forecast."
Here is the 2020 forecast:
• The Minnesota Twins will bolster pitching, win 90-plus games and make the playoffs, but will again miss the World Series.
• Area farmers will be blessed with a solid harvest, finally.
• Former South Dakota State University kicker Adam Vinatieri, a future Hall of Famer, will announce plans to retire.
•  Thanks to heavy interest in Cottonwood Lake lots, the city's Cemstone housing development will proceed.
• A significant business will unveil plans to remodel a downtown Windom building  -  the type of business that draws lots of people to the Square.
• County commissioners will vote to remodel the auditor-treasurer's office, switching from two entrances and counters to one. It will result in the region's most spacious four-person county office (if the move eliminates one position, as commissioners expect).
•  The Irishman will be win an Oscar for Best Picture.
• Samsung will unveil the amazingly popular, "Booger Button," designed for viewers of Monday Night Football, which employs Booger McFarland, the worst analyst in NFL history. One push of the Booger Button allows you to mute Booger's voice and still hear the broadcast. Samsung's TV sales will go through the roof.
•  The Senate will make sure that either an acquittal, or dismissal, will keep Trump in office. Trump, of course, will take this as proof of his greatness. Meanwhile, Democrats will go crazy, as if stunned by this development.
Forecaster paused, hinting that he knew this call was too easy.
"Come on!" I shouted.
The custodian glared at me.
"This is another slam dunk," I continued softly. "The whole world knows the Senate is firmly behind Trump."
Forecaster rolled his eyes and sternly whispered, "Stick to journalism! This is my forecast!"
I offered an olive branch and asked Forecaster to move on.
"Based on our history, I assume this location is related to your final prediction.
"So what brings you to the Old North Church?"
Forecaster reached into the pocket of his trademark wrinkled white trench coat and pulled out a half-eaten bag of potato chips. I incredulously watched a few chips tumble to the floor as Forecaster began to speak.
"Boston's ties to presidential elections dates back to John Adams," Forecaster said, as if it were breaking news. "And the Old North Church, built in 1723, is linked to many other top presidents. James Monroe was baptized here. Franklin Roosevelt spoke here. Teddy Roosevelt's visit occurred just after he finished runner-up to Woodrow Wilson.
"This seemed like a good place to ponder the 2020 election."
Forecaster stuffed eight chips in his mouth and continued.
"This election will be known for two things - elderly candidates and a razor-tight finish. What is it with America and aging politicians?
"Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Trump are all in their 70s. This race will come down to two candidates old enough to have great-grandchildren - Trump and Biden. Maybe their debates will be scheduled around naps and early bedtimes.
"Without a doubt, it will be entertaining. These guys will hammer each other and they both tend to make dumb statements. There will be times, during debates, when viewers will stop and think, 'wait a minute, what was the question again?'
"Whichever party loses this race will be outraged. My advice to the losing party (whichever it is): put up a better candidate next time. Neither of these guys will make us forget Teddy Roosevelt.
"Usually, I try to be decisive and convincing with these predictions. This time, I'm only naming a winner because I have to.
"It will be Trump."







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