Presenting . . . 1992 : Will It Taste Great or Be Less Filling? Only the Psychics Know for Sure

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Five hundred leading psychics have predicted that this year will be 1992. Here are their other forecasts:

January

In an effort to deal with the nation's sluggish economy, President Bush announces a plan to distribute beepers to the poor and unemployed. "The pagers don't actually work," Bush says, "but they'll make people feel more important, and everybody knows the recession would go away if the public would just have a better attitude about it."

February

In a stunning upset, newspaper columnist Patrick Buchanan defeats President Bush in the New Hampshire primary. Emboldened by his success, Miss Manners, Dr. Joyce Brothers and Goren on Bridge announce that they, too, will join the race.

Dear Abby says she hasn't decided whether to run, but her columns are suddenly filled with letters accusing the Administration of ignoring key domestic issues like crime, the homeless, infidelity and wedding etiquette. She also starts issuing advice guidebooks with such titles as "What Every Teen-Ager Should Know About World Diplomacy."

March

After spending years tied up by committees and filibusters, the controversial Murphy's Law is finally passed by Congress. The bill requires that anything that can be wrong, must go wrong. President Bush tries to veto the legislation but inadvertently signs it instead.

April

In a breakthrough experiment, a behavioral psychologist is conditioned to reject his own theories.

May

A historic Middle East peace agreement unravels when Israeli and Arab leaders shake hands on the terms, and the Syrian representative is wearing a joy buzzer. Israel retaliates during a toast to peace by replacing the PLO's champagne goblet with a dribble glass. As tensions escalate, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank attack Israeli soldiers with squirt rings, but the uprising is repulsed with whoopee cushions, fake vomit and ventriloquism kits.

June

The Supreme Court becomes hopelessly deadlocked on a case that will decide once and for all whether Lite beer tastes great or is less filling. Justice Clarence Thomas abstains, saying there's a hair on his can of beer.

July

The authenticity of the Dead Sea Scrolls is called into question after translators discover that the texts contain ads for Hair Club for Men.

August

On the first day that the new Murphy's Law takes effect, the stock market crashes, the Beatles reunite (with John Lennon replaced by Slim Whitman) and the presidential candidates nominated at the Republican and Democratic conventions are, respectively, David Duke and Geraldo Rivera. Voters are relieved when a third party forms, but it nominates the ticket of Quayle-Sununu.

September

As the recession deepens, television networks replace expensive new series with low-budget remakes of popular shows form the past. "Fantasy Island," for example, is revived as "Fantasy Peninsula." And "Mr. Ed" returns as "Mr. Talking Bottle of Elmer's Glue."

October

Riots erupt in major U.S. cities after reports that the FDA is testing a new drug that gives people more patience. As soon as the story leaks, demonstrators take to the streets demanding that the drug be approved for sale. "We want patience and we want it now!" they chant.

November

Stung by the defeat of earlier right-to-die and term-limit initiatives in Washington state, supporters of both measures join forces and draft a law mandating that all incumbents be put to death after one term. It wins by a landslide.

December

Congress votes to increase the number of three-day weekends by requiring that all holidays fall on Mondays. Beginning in 1993, New Year's Day will be on the first Monday of January. Other holidays moving to Mondays are the Fourth of July, Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.

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