Shortly after the plates had been cleared away Christmas Day, I was in a tryptophan-and-wine-induced semi-coma in a dark, quiet room. I was trying to digest quickly enough to get back in the game before all the turkey, duck and pecan pie was gone and writing off the tightness in my chest as an ill-fitting shirt.
Suddenly the room took on an eerie greenish glow and mist began to gather near the closet door. Instantly I knew I’d either suffered a stroke, or my old friend Nostrildumas was paying a visit. Conducting a few quick stroke tests, I ruled out a serious medical problem and then focused on Nostril’s arrival. It’s not often you’re visited by a mystic traveler with the power to reveal the future, so you need to keep your head in the game.
He materialized wearing a Trump 2016 hat that went nicely with his 16th Century apothecary’s outfit.
“Merry Christmas Robert! It is I, Nostrildumas, and I have come to offer insight into the coming year so that you may print it in your pathetic rag of a newspaper!” he said.
“Nice to see you too Nostril,” I said sarcastically. “What’s with all the ‘pathetic rag’ stuff? Did I do something to piss you off?”
“No, no,” he said laughing and pointing to his hat. “I just thought people of your time must enjoy being insulted constantly, judging by the popularity of this Donald Trump character. I apologize if I made you think your newspaper is any more pathetic than usual.”
“Um thanks,” I said. “So what’s the deal, you all in on Trump? Is he going to win this thing? Spill the beans.”
“Judging from your girth I will assume there is no Christmas dinner left, so we might as well get down to business,” he said, removing a tube of modeling glue from the pocket of his coat, unscrewing the top and inhaling deeply. His eyes rolled back in his head and he began to speak in barely decipherable verses as usual.
“The one of the orangutan coif shall lay low the brother and the son, but he shall feel the shadow of the island in the land of the Yellowhammer. Lee Greenwood music shall be beset the celebration and the union will be split. Then interns shall shake in fear,” he said, snapping out of his trance.
“What the heck does that mean?” I asked.
“I like Trump to kick Bush’s butt in the primaries and to win Alabama, but he’s going to have Rubio and Cruz breathing down his neck. I’m also seeing a brokered convention with Trump getting the shaft and deciding to go third party. Chances are that puts Hillary back in the White House and Bill back on the interns,” he said.
“That’s kind of frightening. See any other political outcomes?” I asked.
Nostril pulled a toad out of another pocket and began licking its back until he was lying on the floor and frothing at the mouth. He began to speak.
“The ancient one shall face a daunting task and will have to dig deep to hold that which is most dear. The young one shall rise but not high enough. The name will go on for 1,000 years,” he said.
“What’s all that about?” I asked.
“Oh, it just means Richard Shelby’s going to be really hard to beat. Jonathan McConnell will give him a run for his money, but Alabama loves its crusty, old politicians, especially when they bring home the bacon. Once he’s re-elected, Shelby will have 234 new buildings across the state named after him,” Nostril said.
“What about our local commissioner’s race?” I asked.
“You got any peyote handy?” Nostril asked.
“Gee, I’m fresh out Nostril. How about some spice?” I said
“I guess that will do,” he said huffily, while snapping open a Zippo and blazing up. Soon he was in near convulsions, but still spitting out predictions.
“The daughter of Theodore shall strike out at the one with two first names but shall be laid bare by her own actions. The shadow of the controller will withdraw, but continue to seek her holy grail,” he said, climbing off the floor and straightening up his clothes.
“Explain please,” I said.
“I don’t see Margie Wilcox beating Jerry Carl, especially when people find out her run is mostly about getting control over the water board her parents ran for 30 years. Connie Hudson is pushing hard for Wilcox, but will have to find another rubber stamp for her $40 million soccer/aquatic complex project,” he said.
“Do you have any other good stuff?” I asked.
“Man, I’m feeling a little light headed,” he said, “But I think I’ve got enough in me for another prediction or two.” With that, Nostrildumas pulled out a mason jar full of gasoline and began huffing deeply. His eyes rolled back in his head and he slumped into a chair in the corner and started babbling.
“It will be the year of the air and the water in the city of the azalea and will bring great joy. On the shore, the pimple-popper will cook in the sun and the slippery one shall find time to woo the masses while the bird is silent,” he said. When he was done, he sat up in the chair, adjusted his Trump hat and wiped drool from the corner of his mouth.
“Alright, I’m not really following any of that,” I said, “can you translate?”
“Yeah, it just means everyone in Mobile is going to be all jazzed up this coming year because the jets will start rolling out at Airbus and the cruise ship will head back downtown. Robert Bentley is going to rebuild the governor’s mansion in Gulf Shores so he’ll have a place to lay out nude since his old lady got their beach house in the divorce, and now that she’s county revenue commissioner, Kim Hastie will have to come up with something catchy to keep voters excited. It’ll be called ‘Ten Minute Taxes.’ I’m not really sure how it works, though,” he said. “Oh and 200 people will get arrested for having roosters.”
“Well those last few seem a little strange, but you are pretty high,” I said.
He pointed at his Trump hat and said, “Look, I make the best predictions you’ve ever seen. Everybody knows that. I’m just the best!”
As the mists of time began to envelop him for his travel back to an alternate dimension, Nostril looked at me and spoke one last time.
“Prediction: You keep eating like you have the last few days and both of us won’t be able to fit in this room next year. Have a salad or two. Trump 2016!”