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GUEST COLUMN: 2017 predictions: A rocky road for Trump and those who criticize him

Greetings and welcome to Rex Huppke’s third annual Surefire Guaranteed-Or-Your-Money-Back New Year’s Predictions.

As most of you know, I was born with the gift of precognition. (I knew that was going to make you roll your eyes.)

Granted, my past prognostications have been described as “pitiful” and “laughably inaccurate,” but critics tend to get hung up on silly details like facts and truth and the unnecessary trappings of reality. Was I wrong when I predicted that marijuana would be legalized nationwide in 2015, prompting Apple to release its first iBong? Not if you’ve been smoking a lot of marijuana.

Was I incorrect when I foretold that in 2016, Donald Trump would deport himself and his followers to a small land mass in the South Pacific known as Trump Island? Given the rising popularity of fake news, I would say that prediction was spot-on.

Regardless of how skeptics view my past prophecies, I assure you that this year’s look ahead to 2017 will not let anyone down.

So here we go:

  • President Trump will be impeached by March. The reason for his impeachment is foggy right now, but it will likely stem either from his decision to give Alaska to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a birthday present or the fact that the wall project along the U.S.-Mexican border will be running $50 billion over budget due to Trump’s insistence that it be built with solid-gold bricks. Trump will respond to the impeachment by denying that he was impeached. He will then deny the existence of the word “impeach.” The accuracy of that denial will be confirmed by the website Breitbart. After he is forcibly removed from the White House, Trump will deny that he was ever president. Breitbart will then post a story that Trump himself never actually existed, and the disgraced former president will vanish in an orange poof of logic.
  • Online retailer Amazon will begin using drones for a majority of its deliveries, blocking out the sun with the joyful high-pitched buzz of commerce. The annual number of Americans killed by falling blenders will increase by 750,000 percent.
  • Apple will release the highly anticipated iPhone 8, which the company will claim is both larger and smaller than previous models. Because that’s a physical impossibility, consumers who buy the phone will receive empty boxes and, in order to remain on the cutting edge of hip Apple technology, they will have to walk around staring at an empty hand or holding nothing to their ear while talking into the air. Passers-by, not wanting to seem out of touch, will comment on the nonexistent phones and say things like, “Oh, man, he’s got the iPhone 8. It’s so large and small simultaneously!” Users of the iPhone 8 will become wholly disconnected from the internet and remember how to use their minds, causing them to evolve into superior humans. They will use their newfound intellectual abilities to develop rudimentary flip phones, and the cycle will begin again.
  • Fake news will become the new real news, while real news becomes the new fake news. Those who embraced fake news and denounced real news during the 2016 presidential election will respond to this paradigm shift at first by sticking with fake news — which will be what used to be real news — and continuing to denounce real news — which will be what used to be fake news. Upon realizing they’ve been tricked, the fake news enthusiasts will switch to real news — which at that point will be fake — and begin denouncing fake news — which at that point will be real. In the ensuing confusion, Christmas will be celebrated in June and Batboy will be elected president of the universe.
  • I will be locked up in a journalism gulag for predicting President Trump’s impeachment. Breitbart will report that I never existed. The fact-checking website Politifact will rate that report “half-true,” and CNN will spend half the year trying to find me.
  • The smartest investment of the year will end up being stock in the language software company Rosetta Stone, thanks in large part to relentless demand for its “Learn Russian” series.
  • Foodies will continue to find new and annoying ways to make food look weird and taste awful, leading to the inevitable legalization of state-licensed “foodie hunting.” A cookbook titled “10 Mouth-Watering Ways to Boil a Foodie” will be the surprise publishing hit of 2017, with the biggest surprise being its popularity among foodies.
  • After years of snubs, my finely sculpted calves will finally be crowned America’s Sexiest Leg Muscle by Sinew Weekly magazine. The trophy will be delivered by Amazon drone to my cell in the gulag, injuring five guards in the process.
  • I’ll continue to write extremely silly things and miraculously get paid for doing so, and be grateful every day for those who take time to read my words and respond by: laughing with me; laughing at me; sending kind emails; sending unkind emails; wishing me well; hoping a drone drops a blender on my head; sharing a hit off their iBong with me; or simply thinking a thought they might not otherwise have thunk.

I wish each and every one of you a happy and healthy New Year and hope 2017 is filled with good news — hopefully the real kind.

Rex Huppke is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Readers may email him at rhuppke@chicagotribune.com