Comments & Curiosities: Is it fair for me to know so much?

It is done. You made it. I am so proud of you. Another round of holiday-induced rapture has come to a close. Was everything picture-perfect? I knew it would be.

And now it is time to move on, start over and get on with it with a new year, a new day, a new lease on life. It isn't really, of course, but pretending that Jan. 1 is more important than May 12 or Oct. 9 makes us feel good, no?

It's like New Year's resolutions. For some reason, we believe that we will lose weight, get organized and be so healthy it's sickening because it's January, but we can't do it the rest of the year.

But you know what else a new year brings, don't you? Of course you do. It brings the annual Peter B. "How-on-Earth-Does-He-Know-That? Predictions."

Can I really tell the future? Please. You can't be serious. I knew I was going to write this column days ago. And here it is, happening just like I knew it would.

Scary. Pay attention. This will go fast.

Minutes before Jerry Brown's swearing in on Monday morning, Arnold Schwarzenegger will perform his last act as governor — an executive order changing the name of the state to Gollyfornya.

In late February, Time Warner will launch a cable TV channel in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach called "It's Only Fair," with 24-hour coverage of the latest nonevents on the sale of the Orange County Fairgrounds — who's in, who's out, who's suing whom and exactly where each move and countermove will fit in the dustbin of history.

Sadly, Lindsay Lohan will be sent back to rehab in April, then June, September, December and, wait, October. In March, Washington will repeat last summer's announcement that the recession is over, and once again, no one will care.

The price of gas, which has soared in the last month, will finally reach $5 a gallon on March 12.

At a fact-finding workshop convened at Costa Mesa City Hall by Lou Correa and Jose Solorio, an oil company spokesman will explain, "It's all because of a refinery fire in Midland-Odessa, which jacked up rack prices for unbranded above branded in some areas, and even the dealer tank wagon price in other places."

Which will cause the rest of us to say, "Oh. OK."

At a press party at the Newport Beach Marriott on May 10, one of the Real Housewives of Orange County will actually have a thought and have to be rushed to Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, clutching her head in both hands and sobbing "Oh my God! This, like, totally hurts."

What else?

I could tell you the winners of the 2010 Darwin Awards, but those are a few weeks away and I don't want to ruin it for you. The Darwins, as you know, are awarded annually to those men and women whose time on this Earth came to an end due to a jaw-dropping act of stupidity, almost always involving some combination of poor planning and alcohol.

The Associated Press ran a story last Monday, though, about a 23-year old man from Clemson, S.C., who came that close to qualifying for a Darwin but did not because he survived, though not through any fault of his own. At about 9 p.m. Monday, the young man was partying with friends — and yes, alcohol was involved — when the discussion turned to "Frogger," a popular '80s arcade game where you try to get your little frog across a busy street before one of the speeding cars or trucks on the screen turns him into Flat Kermit.

At some point, the young man got the stunningly bad idea that trying to play "Frogger" in real life might be fun. To demonstrate, he led his party crew to a busy four-lane highway, shouted "Go!", then ran out into traffic, where he was immediately thrown for a significant loss by a speeding SUV.

He survived — incredibly — was rushed to the hospital and is expected to fully recover. It's just one more lesson that whenever you think you've heard the dumbest story ever, someone out there will prove you wrong.

On the science front, global warming will continue unabated in 2011, with more record-breaking cold and snowstorms across the country in November and December.

In August, the FDA will announce that not only does Echinacea do little for the common cold, but force-feeding 150 tablets of it to laboratory mice increases the possibility of heart attack and stroke and gives them really bad gas.

I think that's it. I have no more to tell you.

I am spent, exhausted, my vision thing is gone, for now. But this much I can tell you. Whatever happens between now and January 2012, we will laugh a little, cry a little, and still be talking about the fairgrounds.

It's all good. Sort of. I gotta go.

PETER BUFFA is a former Costa Mesa mayor. His column runs Sundays. He may be reached at

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