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Bruce Watson: Tracking signs of times to come in 2013

For answers, some pundits turn to crystal balls, others to horoscopes or numerology. Me, I don’t trust any of these so I combine them, toss in a little Nostradamus and some tea leaves, and come up with my own portrait of 2013 — The Year To Come.

According to my man Nostradamus, the year will start badly. In 1541, when he was high on everything you could use to get high in 1541, Nostradamus wrote the following quatrain.

Watch out for 2013, whoa. Large winds will blow

Small businesses will struggle, waters will rise

And who feels good about the Pats anymore?

This is one year you should sit out, especially if your name is Vic.

As Nostradamus scholars have long noted, the sheer poetry of his predictions makes it impossible to tell precisely what the great sage foresaw, but you get the idea. As if that weren’t warning enough, check out what my tea leaves told me only yesterday.

Mint Melange futures are up; Earl Grey is in the toilet

As for Chamomile, give us tea leaves a break.

I don’t know about you but I’ll be drinking less tea in 2013. And that’s not the only dire forecast. Seems that numerology has our number. What’s that, Mr. Rational Humanist? You say you don’t believe the conjunction of certain numbers can predict the future? Apparently you never heard about the French numerologist who used fractions, decimals and a chunk of Camembert to forecast the rise of skirts on the Champs Elysees.

And if that’s not enough, check out numerologists’ predictions for 2013.

19 42 47 3.14159 666 8 -31 42

Baffled? The first number is the number of games by which the Red Sox will trail the Yankees at the All-Star break. The second is your waist size after the holidays. The third needs no explanation, and the next is pi — a spooky number wherever you find it. Then comes the devil’s number and the rest you don’t want to know about. Safe to say that numerologists don’t call this year 2013 for nothing.

When it comes to predicting winter weather, I look to woolly bear caterpillars. According to an old wives’ tale, the length of the winter corresponds to the width of the woolly bear’s tan stripe. Wide stripe — long winter. Narrow stripe — shirtsleeves in late February.

And this year’s woolly bears? I found one that was all black but he’d been listening to Nostradamus. Another was all tan but had tea stains on his fur. The rest gave me that unmistakable look that says, “You don’t really believe this crap, do you?”

And as if these predictions were not sufficiently disturbing, it’s time for your horoscope. Here in 2013, the ancient science of astrology is as profound as ever and its predictions are not pretty. Of course, horoscopes don’t predict catastrophic events — unless “this is an excellent day to share your true feelings with friends” means you will finally tell all your Facebook “friends” to eat it. But horoscopes can predict the personal blessings you will encounter in 2013. So here are a few.

If you were born under the sign of Pisces, we all know what you’re up to so stop it. If you were born under the sign of Wendy’s, try the Baja Chili Salad. And if you were born under the sign of Isosceles, 2013 will be a good year to be a triangle with two equal sides.

Whatever your method of prognostication, 2013 figures to be a year. A full year. Stay safe and whenever possible, apply the healthy skepticism your father instilled in you.

Bruce Watson’s column appears twice a month. He can be reached at opinion@gazettenet.com.

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