Every few months, the usual psychics come forth with their predictions for the coming year, and they are published in those little newspapers you buy at supermarket checkout stands.
Rarely do we check into their previous predictions, to see how they made out.
Sometimes they are right in predicting such inevitabilities as President Nixon's resignation. (Eight out of 10 psychics in the National Enquirer foresaw it in 1974, but the next year, five out of 10 predicted that Gerald Ford would either resign from office or not run.)
In October, 1984, I bought a copy of the Enquirer that had the "top psychics' " predictions for the near future. Since it has now been more than a year, I have opened that file to check them out.
It may be that some of the predictions actually came true. Some of them concern the love affairs, marriages, divorces and spiritual experiences of TV, movie and rock stars, and I have no idea what has happened to those people in their private lives.
For example, Los Angeles psychic Florence Vaty predicted that "Linda Gray, following the example of her 'Dallas' co-star, Charlene Tilton, will become a born-again Christian."
I don't know whether Linda Gray has been born again or not.
Miami psychic Micki Dahne predicted that "Elvis' daughter, Lisa Presley, will have a short-lived romance with Michael Jackson--then will rebound into the arms of John Travolta."
That may have happened, for all I know.
But Dahne also predicted that Bo Derek would have a test-tube baby. I am not intimate with the personal life of Bo Derek, either, but I think I'd have heard about her having a test-tube baby.
Psychic Shawn Robbins took a deep plunge and predicted that Liz Taylor would "be swept off her feet by Monaco's Prince Rainier, and they'll marry at his palace."
As I say, I don't keep up with the love lives of movie stars, but I doubt that the marriage of Liz and Prince Rainier in his palace would have escaped the attention of anyone who owns a TV set.
As far as I know, that marriage hasn't taken place.
Robbins also predicted that Linda Evans of "Dynasty" would become "embroiled in a sizzling romance with Ted Kennedy."
As far as I'm concerned, Ted Kennedy's love life is his own.
Robbins also predicted that "a massive blaze at a Monte Carlo casino will trap Frank Sinatra and several other celebrities. But Princess Caroline will become a heroine when she leads the frightened guests to safety."
Robbins also predicted that "a bomb will explode on England's royal yacht Britannia. Two crewmen will be killed--but Queen Elizabeth will escape with only minor injuries."
God save the Queen.
Robbins' last shot was a prediction that Michael Jackson would be trampled by an elephant and injured seriously while making a TV plug for an animal-protection organization.
One of my favorites is Clarisa Bernhardt, who predicted that "the U.S. Air Force will admit it has a UFO hidden in a hangar in the desert."
Bernhardt also predicted that "Alan Alda will have to swim for his life through shark-infested waters when his chartered yacht sinks at sea, but he'll reach safety."
Chicago psychic Irene Hughes predicted that Russia would shoot down another Korean Air Lines 747 for trespassing.
Hughes also predicted that "the producers of 'Dallas' will talk Nancy Reagan into making several guest appearances--playing a nurse who runs a drug rehabilitation center where J. R. will be treated for an addiction."
I also happen to have a copy of the Enquirer for February, 1980, with its "amazing predictions" for the 1980s, including the following:
"A devastating war between China and Russia will leave America the undisputed No.1 power in the world."
"Archeologists will unearth a second 'Ten Commandments.' "
"U.S. researchers will develop an incredible 'magic pill' that wipes out cancer by disintegrating tumors within days."
"A new slenderizing injection will make us a nation of slim, trim people."
My favorite prediction of that crop was made by astrologer-psychic Fredrick Davies, who predicted that "Jane Fonda will split with husband Tom Hayden and wed California Gov. Jerry Brown."
Of course we still have five years to go in the 1980s, and who knows--maybe Jane Fonda will marry Jerry Brown.
It is also possible that between the time I write these words and you read them, all these wonderful events actually will have taken place.
But I predict that they won't.