What’s the scariest thing out there this Halloween?
Some guy coming to a costume party dressed like Lady Gaga?
I’ll tell you what’s the scariest thing out there: the future.
Here’s a short list of the things that have us truly frightened on All Hallows Eve. And the scariest thing of all: None of us can tell which will come to pass, and which are simply the monsters in our closet. Or maybe CNN’s or Fox News’ closet.
•A W-shaped recession, also known as a double-dip recession. Just when we think the recession is dead, smothered and drowned, it’ll pop out of the bathtub like Glenn Close.
•A jobless recovery; i.e., the kind of recovery that won’t do you or me any damn good.
•The federal budget deficit growing and growing like a black hole, sucking the entire country into its maw. Kind of like California.
•A newly arrogant Wall Street, doing it to us again, even harder.
•Airbus, beating Boeing out of the tanker contract – again.
•Boeing, in a snit, moving out of Washington and into union-phobic South Carolina. (Oh, wait. That’s already happening.)
•The ocean tides gently lapping on the shores of Issaquah, due to global warming.
•Another winter in Spokane like last year’s, due to either global cooling, the Gypsy Curse or a secret “DaVinci Code”-like conspiracy headed by Tom Sherry.
•The sanctity of my marriage, completely obliterated due to – someone else getting the same legal rights?
•The inevitable depletion of our fossil fuels, resulting in a “Mad Max”-style battle for control of the Shell station on Third Avenue.
•The looming possibility that all of the solar panels and wind farms on Earth will not be sufficient to power our 52-inch LCD TVs.
•Unemployment shooting over 10 percent.
•Unemployment shooting over 15 percent.
•Unemployment dropping to 1 percent – but that 1 percent includes us.
•The economic stimulus package ending, causing the economy immediately to go into another tailspin.
•The economic stimulus package extended indefinitely, causing all of us to become addicted, tragically, to tax credits for energy-efficient furnaces.
•The Yankees winning the World Series.
•A public option in health care reform, immediately causing Medicare to disappear for every senior citizen.
•No public option in health care reform, immediately causing the “reform” part to disappear.
We can only hope that these horrors can be kept at bay with garlic and stakes through the heart. Except that Yankees one. That’ll probably happen anyway.