On this New Year's Day in America, 2014, the nation's typists ("thought leaders") are required to use their long-dormant psychic abilities to designate the next 12 months as the Year of Something or Other, whether that be "accidental mass suicide" or "wearable automobiles" or "raccoon-sized talking spiders." Such predictions will generally be wrong, yet there is also the remote possibility that the simple act of making a prediction will cause it to happen, no matter how ridiculous or vile.

Like every form of nonsense on the Internet, we can explain this phenomenon with Quantum Physics, which is the science of people with no knowledge of science making up theories based on half-remembered episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation viewed under the influence of whatever was left in the medicine cabinet after they took Grandma to the assisted-care facility. If there's the possibility of Sarah Palin being crushed by a shipping container full of her own dumb War On Christmas books on the way to an incinerator in China, then we can proceed with the certainty that it will happen, in one universe or another. It doesn't matter that she didn't actually write the idiotic books. As Jesus Christ himself wrote so long ago, "Nothing is true; Everything is permitted."

This is why 2014 will be the "Year of the U.S. Capitol Quarantine Caused By Dangerous Super Flu That Spontaneously Spawned In Darrell Issa's Lower Intestine." The nation will be riveted by 24-hour live C-SPAN coverage of the senators, congressional representatives and their loathsome staffers playing a real-life indoor version of The Hunger Games (minus the hunger) as tanks surround Capitol Hill and Joe Biden prepares to give the Final Order to detonate the Neutron Bomb over Washington. (Barack Obama will be long gone by then, according to Scenario 3.)

Days later, 2014 will become the "Year of the Death of the Car," as the 238th anniversary of American Independence gains new infamy as an executive order outlaws the automobile in the same nation that created "car culture." On or about July 4, President Biden (see Scenario 3) will order the 100,000 human troops and hundreds of drone and robot war machines away from the now-depopulated U.S. Capitol for redeployment to suburbs from San Jose to Boca Raton, where Americans will be forcibly removed from their cars and trucks. The reason will be apparent to all but the most air-conditioned retirees watching the Duck Dynasty Channel (formerly MSNBC) in an Ambien haze: Average daily temperatures have risen by nearly 15 degrees Fahrenheit since the Winter Holiday Heat Waves that ushered in a sweltering new year. More than 23 million people refuse to give up their vehicles, and are shot dead on the roadside—passengers are allowed to walk home, if they sign a pledge (in their own blood) to never use a carbon-fueled vehicle again. (Passengers in car seats are sold, carseat and all, to China.) Because of the immense distances between suburban homes and the poor physical fitness of the residents, few uprisings involve more than a few dozen people, many on rideable lawn mowers. But Twitter remains a hotbed of impotent "social media protest."

After suffering so much, and with late October's high temperatures setting new "record highs" each day, the surviving Americans are somewhat relieved when the nationwide blizzards end the worst hurricane season in world history by covering the entire continent in a three-foot-thick sheet of black ice. But the biggest shoe has yet to drop: 3D Pornography star Miley Cyrus literally drops one of her combat boots from her heavily deformed right foot during VH1's Halloween Cavalcade of Porno Stars and Homophobic Hillbillies awards show, revealing a crude tattoo (in Arabic) stretching across her seven webbed toes: I ♡ BARACK OBAMA. And then the former president himself appears onstage, tongue wagging, carried by Marines dressed in their new Mexican Army halter tops, in a throne made of bitcoins and human bone. Now we know why our president vanished on Memorial Day—it was not because of problems with a health-care website, after all, but because he had left his wife and family for the nation's most popular sex-cam performer.

And yes, Barack Obama will be a proud father once again. But when the Beast comes to term, during the endless summer of 2016, America will have other horrors to consider.

Ken Layne marks the nation's holidays and festivals in his American Almanac. Image by Jim Cooke.