What will be

What follows are a number of predictions—some based on information from reliable sources, others complete flights of fancy—that I believe will manifest before the end of summer. As you read this, I’m on vacation, quite possibly oohing and aahing from the north rim of the Grand Canyon. At least that is the plan as I write this a day before I leave on my two-week sojourn. Should my son and I not be able to afford a visit to the Grand Canyon, we’ll do the next best thing and visit the Above Average Canyon just outside Kettleman City, home of the state’s largest hazardous-waste dump. I’ll just tell him that this is the Grand Canyon and then explain that life is littered with promises of grandeur that rarely deliver.

Despite what John Lennon may once have said, people, in Chico at least, will not be playing mind games forever. What I’m saying is, the days are numbered for the video game arcade that sits on the corner of Main and Second streets. Unless the town realizes an unusually large immigration of video-game heads within the next few weeks, I think the plug will be pulled. But even with that influx, the nearly simultaneous releases of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Spider-Man may have spelled the death of Mind Games by effectively robbing the store of its essential share of, uh, non-outdoors types. The place is always empty, except for the two or three bored-looking employees standing behind and leaning on the counter. The joint needs a hawker, a fast-talker pulling in passersby with promises of the fun and excitement that can be had within—kind of like a carnival barker. So if you’re the type who enjoys playing video games on big TV screens that don’t sit in your parents’ den, you’d best start patronizing Mind Games, or it’s game over forever. [See Briefly, page 8.]

Woodstock’s Pizza will move into the orange-colored storefront that sits between Mundy & Co. Fine Jewelry and the North Rim Adventure Sports. And it will do well, feeding on the patrons who devotedly flock to the shows The Brick Works holds on a regular basis. Plus, it’s only about a block and a half away from the News & Review offices. I don’t know any details, like if the old parlor on Normal Street will stay and this will become Woodstocks II. (We can only hope it will be more successful than the concert with the same name.) And Peet’s Coffee will move into the storefront on the corner of Main and Second, the one last occupied by Confetti.

Bill, the guy who writes the Farmers’ Market report for the Chico Examiner, and I will become fast friends and we’ll collaborate on a book called Hey, Were Those Beans Grown in Fresno? A History of Farmers’ Markets in Butte County.

Butte County Sheriff Scott Mackenzie will promote David Reade to the rank of captain. Lt. Jerry Smith will smile through a clenched jaw and continue to bide his time. All kidding aside, Smith is a class act, and I suspect he will be given his due when Perry Reniff takes over as sheriff next year. And I hear Reade has sold his house and moved—most likely to Sacramento, where he will be named chief of staff for Doug LaMalfa, should he [LaMalfa] be elected, as is likely, to the state Assembly in November.

The Sacramento Kings will win the NBA Championship, taking it in five from the Nets. As for the vanquished Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal will retire, Kobe Bryant will be traded to the Memphis Grizzlies and Rick Fox will be divorced by his lovely wife for the obnoxious way he chews his gum. (This just in from the Grand Canyon: Ignore the preceding.)

One last prediction: My next column will be another one of those lame what-I’m-doing-on-my-vacation efforts straight from Phoenix, Ariz.