I had just scraped the last of the seven-layer dip from the bowl and was lying on my living room carpet moaning in pain from American-style gluttony enjoyed while watching Alabama beat Georgia for their 37th National Championship, when the lights flickered and an eerie mist began to fill the room.

“Oh God, not now. I feel like I’m about to puke,” I muttered to myself, knowing I was in for a visit from mystic visionary Nostrildumbas, the renowned 16th century seer who predicts the future through use of practically indecipherable quatrains and illegal stimulants.

The mists thickened, then suddenly parted to reveal Nostrildumbas gazing down upon me and my bean-covered T-shirt.

“Well, it was certainly worth the dangers of traveling through space and time to show up here for this sad display,” he said. “It doesn’t take mystic powers to foresee a massive heart attack in your future, or at least liposuction.”

“Hey! Ease up there, Nostril! It was an exciting game. I needed food to calm my nerves. New Year’s diet starts tomorrow,” I said. “Too bad you got here late. The game was a real nailbiter. I had no idea who was going to win until the last play.”

“I knew,” Nostril said smugly. “Who do you think told Nick to start ‘The Pineapple Express’ in the second half? I’m on my way to Atlanta to let him kiss my ring and figured I’d swing by and supply your rag of newspaper with its annual predictions. Free of charge, as usual, I’m sure, Mr. Alligator Arms.”

“That’s really kind of you to grace me with your presence. And you did predict Robert Bentley was going to appoint himself to the U.S. Senate last year, so I’m getting what I paid for,” I said, getting up and taking a seat in my broken-down recliner. “I’m sure you have to get to Atlanta soon, so maybe we’d better start the predicting. It has to be way past your bedtime anyway, since you’re 400 years old. Ha, ha!”

Nostril shot me a dirty look, then reached into a pocket in his robes and pulled out what appeared to be a joint.

“Is that weed?” I asked. “You can’t blaze up in here, Nostril, I have kids!”

“Relax, it’s not pot,” he said firing it up. “It’s just Spice!” He took a huge puff, fell to the floor and started convulsing while simultaneously talking.

“The one of orange shall face great challenges and will fail to proveth his skills. Accusations shall floweth from the East and the independent one. Those closest will become farthest,” he said, standing back up and smoothing out his robe.

“You’re going to have to elaborate please. I still don’t know why you have to speak in code, it’s not like you’re going to be executed for your otherworldly powers,” I said.

“It’s my schtick, man. Boy, they’re right about that Spice stuff! Stay away! Woo-hoo! I think I tasted roach spray,” he said, shaking his head. “Anyway, what it means is that Donald Trump’s going to have a rough year ahead with Mueller all over him and people questioning his mental fitness for office. The more that happens the more he’ll claim he’s a genius, to the point he’ll take an I.Q. test, claim it shows he has an I.Q. of 175, but he won’t let anyone look at it. By summer the Russian probe will have even his kids ignoring his phone calls.”

“Interesting … Seeing anything about our state politics? There are some big races — governor, attorney general, legislature — what’s going to happen?” I asked.

“Time to go back to old faithful,” Nostril said, pulling a tube of modeling glue from his robe pocket, unscrewing the cap and inhaling deeply several times. His eyes rolled back in his head. “The giant and the doctor shall dominateth the elections. None shall escape their shadow, but they shall bringeth new highs for others. The spanker will face silence and all shall suffer like an aged root vegetable.”

“In English this time,” I said as Nostril came out of his glue-induced trance.

“The Luther Strange-Robert Bentley fiasco is going to play a big role in the governor’s race, and particularly the attorney general’s contest, where the winner will be the one most likely to try to have the Luv Guv and Big Luther tossed in jail and losers will be tied to helping Bentley avoid jail. Locally ‘Silent Sam’ Jones will poke his head back into government by beating Herman ‘Spanky’ Thomas in a race that’s about as appealing as two-week-old potato salad,” he said.

“That potato thing was a reach,” I told him. “What do you see happening with the impasse in picking the next Mobile City Council president? Are they ever going to get things settled?”

Nostril pulled a toad out of his robes and started licking it, but couldn’t quite seem to get things going and switched to some mushrooms that smelled like cow poop. In no time he was spitting out predictions.

“The infantileth shall taste bitter MoonPie as his dream is crushed and the hammer goes to the young one. Rooty, tooty, fresh and fruity shall save the day,” he said.

“Man, that makes zero sense,” I said. “What are you talking about?”

“It just means that Fred Richardson isn’t going to ever get five votes. Eventually the council will come to an agreement to make Levon Manzie president and the fight for the vice presidency will hinge on John Williams agreeing to buy Richardson breakfast at IHOP every day for a month,” he said.

“I think you were licking that toad a little too long,” I said. “Got anything else for me? Something outside politics?”

“I’ll have to dig deep,” he said. He staggered over to the refrigerator, pulled out a can of whipped cream, bent over the can and shot the nitrous straight into his mouth while inhaling. A good, old-fashioned whippet … I hadn’t seen that one coming. Nostril began to giggle and talk.

“The beast of burden shall tremble in fear. First frozen darkness, now one who carryeth the name of the parrot. The equine shall fear lower Alabama!” he said.

“What in the world…?” I stammered.

“Looks like you guys might have another guy who likes having sex with horses. An Irvington man was arrested a couple of days ago for allegedly sexing up a horse. First Ebony Ice a few years ago and now poor Polly. Two in one county within a decade is practically an epidemic. Expect horse lovers nationwide to lambaste Mobile County,” Nostril said. “Sales of horse chastity belts will skyrocket in the western parts of the county.”

With that the mist of time began rolling in again and Nostrildumbas started to fade away. “See you next time. I need to get to Atlanta before Nick guzzles up all that champagne!”