Ready or not, here we go. It’s 2015 and along with the usual things – collectively, we will lose weight, live healthier, quit smoking, save more and spend less – there are some things that are already foretold or, if they’re not, ought to be. Herewith, our wishes, predictions and fantasies for the year that dawned today.
JANUARY: No one is shot in Buffalo. After a horrendous December, when at least 12 people were shot to death, mostly as a result of gang violence, the idiot brigades took a moment to think and realized the murders weren’t producing anything but more murders.
FEBRUARY: The groundhog sees red, curses at the man in the silly suit and goes back to sleep. A surer sign of impending spring occurs around Feb. 18 when Major League Baseball’s pitchers and catchers begin reporting for spring training. That’s progress, as is the sun’s increasingly northern position in the Western New York sky. The days at this point are a full 1 hour, 36 minutes and 24 seconds longer than today’s pitiful 9 hours, 5 minutes and 23 seconds. You could look it up.
And no one is shot in Buffalo.
MARCH: Spring arrives, and unlike 2014, it bloody well does it on time. The snow is gone, the crocuses are up and a young man’s fancy does its thing. Old people’s, too, as Buffalo School Board members Carl Paladino and Barbara Seals Nevergold reveal they have a secret crush on each other. Phil Rumore joins them in a nerve-racking chorus of “Kumbaya.” Also, cancer is cured, Israelis and Palestinians make peace and Kim Kardashian exposes no body parts.
And, more seriously, no one is shot in Buffalo.
APRIL: The nation pauses to mark, first, the 150th anniversary of Robert E. Lee’s surrender and then, of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. We wonder, again, what might have been, and realize anew that even our best presidents had limitations, sometimes failed and were only human. Someone wakes up and sees that the new and growing political divide between North and South is not healthy.
And, in Buffalo, … well, you get the idea.
MAY: This year’s School Board election cements the push for reform in Buffalo as all members acknowledge the only real issue is improving the education provided to the city’s students. Interim Superintendent Donald A. Ogilvie finds his footing and says he’ll stay on as long as it takes for the board to find the right person to take on the job.
The world, seeming in 2014 to be teetering on chaos, pauses to acknowledge the 70th anniversary of Germany’s surrender in World War II. Vladimir Putin comes to his senses.
JUNE: The days leading up to the summer solstice crawl by, allowing Western New Yorkers to bask in daylight that stretches long into the evening hours. While winter sped by, the universe obligingly hit the brakes as the light and warmth returned in a cosmic acknowledgment that Western New Yorkers deserved it.
JULY: See June. Repeat.
AUGUST: Canalside starts to hit its stride with a summer of concerts and other waterfront events that draw tens of thousands of people to downtown Buffalo and that produce a collective V8 moment. If you don’t know what that is, ask someone over 50. Or Google it.
The world somberly remembers the end of World War II, and the cataclysms that wrote a sudden end to a years-long global cataclysm. But the fighting continues.
SEPTEMBER: Here come the Buffalo Bills, off their best season in years, ready to commit football on a professional level. The season kicks off in a locally historic stadium whose days are numbered.
OCTOBER: Baby boomers have a collective panic attack on Oct. 9, the day John Lennon would have turned 75. But the worry is softened as the Rolling Stones, aging but apparently indestructible, continue to perform – even if not many people can afford the tickets. Keith Richards reveals himself as the reincarnation of Ponce de Leon.
NOVEMBER: With the 2015 election over, the first ads for the 2016 presidential election begin running. The controversy: How do we refer to Bill Clinton if Hillary is elected? Mr. President won’t work and first gentleman doesn’t seem to fit. And it’s downhill from there.
DECEMBER: It’s cold. Skaters fill the rink at Canalside. The atmosphere is festive as Buffalo comes off another banner year and builds toward 2016, when Terry and Kim Pegula’s newly purchased Major League Baseball team will take to Coca-Cola Field.
And, still, no one is shot in Buffalo.