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Fearless predictions for 2016

By Staff | Jan 20, 2016

Aside from such major issues as hurricanes, red algae, building permits, blackened fish addiction, Noah’s Ark inventory, traffic and belligerent alligators dominating the headlines in Sanibel in 2015, what else looms on the horizon? 2016 will be a year in which major events will catapult Sanibel into the nation’s consciousness – if you’re to believe my predictions for the New Year.

Come along for the ride, if you will, as I lead you by the hand into my fearless predictions for 2016. Skeptics beware: each and every one of these predictions will come true.

Jan. 31 – President Obama designates Sanibel as the site for the next summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In a speech announcing his historic decision, the president explains his rationale: “I’ve always had a good feeling about Sanibel ever since I read a Doc Ford mystery.”

Feb. 2 – A Lee County family wins $500 million in the New York State lottery while on a vacation there and upon their return promptly announces that all county residential property taxes are on them.

March 1 – New York City builder Donald Trump announces that he has bought “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge for 6,000 sea shells and plans to construct his winter White House there- a 350-story structure to be christened “SaniTrump.”

March 15 – Sarah Palin electrifies the country by announcing she is planning to establish residency in Lee County and run for county commissioner. In a press conference held in a rowboat on the gulf, she affirms her belief in the democratic process and in Lee County voters. She vows that if elected to this great office, she will oppose the easing of restrictions on jaywalking and support legislation to allow Sanibel to charge a beach sun tax. She also claims that she can see Sanibel from her rowboat.

March 20 – A crowd of Sanibel residents pack the Island Cinema late this evening for one of the periodic showings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” – and never come out. They are never heard from again.

April 5 – In an effort to demonstrate that gulf water is safe to drink, Sanibel residents ceremoniously lower their heads to the gulf and begin to drink. The next day CVS reports record sales and its stock price triples.

April 17 – Sanibel experiences a three-day case of auto gridlock as traffic at the Periwinkle-Casa Ybel intersection comes to a complete halt. The American Red Cross flies in food and beer supplies to those stuck in their cars.

April 19 – The Islander wins the Pulitzer Prize for its exclusive series on the sex lives of alligators.

May 10 – Jerry’s Supermarket changes its name to Tiffany’s and raises its prices by 250 percent.

June 12 – Presidents Obama and Putin begin their summit meeting by posing in front of Dairy Queen on Sanibel. “Tastes great,” says the president. “Less filling,” says Putin. In honor of the event, the Islander arranges for 5,000 alligators to parade through Sanibel. The two world leaders stand at attention as the alligators ceremoniously chew through the Naumann Real Estate Center.

July 16 – Demonstrators take to the beaches of Sanibel to protest the decision to ban blackened pizza. The Sanibel City Council defends the decision by claiming that blackened pizza takes the glamour away from blackened fish, a delicacy that makes Sanibel a household name throughout the world.

Aug. 11 – As temperatures reach the 100 degree mark for the eighth consecutive day, Sanibel residents throw caution to the winds. Every single resident wades into gulf waters with exercise noodles and prays that red algae don’t return anytime soon.

Aug. 12 – In a case referred to by the National Science Foundation as one of the most bizarre in the annals of science, the skin of every resident of Sanibel turns to bright green. Neither soap, nor detergent, is able to wipe the green off. Speaking on national television, a Sanibel resident sheepishly reflects on the phenomenon by claiming the community is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day seven months early.

Sept. 9 – The CEO of the Ford Motor Company announces a new facility in Lee County to bring back a new model of the Edsel.

Sept. 16 – The board of directors of the Ford Motor Company seizes control of the company, has its CEO committed to a private sanitarium and elects Newt Gingrich as the new chief executive officer.

Sept. 28 – Gingrich announces his intention to honor the company’s commitment to build a facility in Lee County. However, instead of building Edsels, Ford will now bottle “Gulf Gulp” a new brew taken from gulf waters off Sanibel – and distribute it through Pepsi-Cola bottlers. To demonstrate his good faith Gingrich changes his name to Drinkrich.

Oct. 17 – Sanibel forms a new film board to encourage motion picture companies to make movies here. The producers of “Avatar III,” “Iron Man VI,” “Spiderman XII” and “Toy Story IX” all agree to do their filming in Sanibel.

Nov. 10 – Sarah Palin is swept into county office and immediately announces that Lee County is seceding from Florida. She states that the action is her response to the tea party’s demands for less government.

Dec. 1 – A new TV series called “Sanibel Vice” goes on the air to national acclaim. Filmed on location in and around the island, the series follows the exploits of two Sanibel police officers who pose as undercover shell collectors.

Dec. 25 – With Newt Drinkrich dressed up as Santa Claus and handing out free bottles of Gulf Gulp to local residents and visitors, Donald Trump breaks ground for his 350-story winter White House on the site of “Ding” Darling. He petitions the county to change its name to Trump County.

Dec. 31 – At a gala private New Year’s Party at Island Pizza, Newt Drinkrich, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump jointly celebrate the good fortune that brought them all to Sanibel in 2016. They take a vow to continue the good works started during the year and set up a special fund to investigate the whereabouts of the Sanibel residents who disappeared while viewing the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” in March.

I hope that all of your resolutions for 2016 come true.

-Art Stevens is a long-time columnist for The Islander. His tongue-in-cheek humor is always offered with a smile.