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Rusty Saber

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by Joe McAdoo

As advertised, this column will look ahead to the new year. (That's not exactly right; the column doesn't have eyes, it can't look ahead. I'll do the looking. If the column could actually look ahead, it would probably do a better job than I.) I don't have a crystal ball, but these are things I think will happen in 1999.

National and international predictions

?I predict that sometime in 1999, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the Baghdad Buckaroo, will infuriate the United States. This is a "fearless" prediction; of course this bellicose bully will do something to infuriate the sensible nations of the world with the exception of France and Russia, of course. I did say "sensible" nations. Russia and France aren't often accused of being sensible.

In 1999, Saddam will dare us to attack Iraq. Big-time posturing will be heard by Saddam and President Clinton or whoever might be president by then. Finally, we will lob cruise missiles Saddam's way. The United States will claim victory and stop the bombing; Saddam will claim victory and go on doing those infuriating things. A fearless prediction, indeed.

?As I write this, President Clinton has been impeached by the House of Representatives and awaits trial in the Senate. By the time this column hits the streets, some compromise may have been reached in the impeachment mess. I won't venture a prediction on the outcome.

However, I do predict that Willie Nelson will write a new version of his song, "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys." The new one will be called, "Mamas Don't Let Your Girl Babies Grow Up To Be Interns."

That's not all. Hillary Clinton will put her foot down and veto her husband's plan to establish his presidential library at an all-girl college. (I confess, I just make up these predictions.)

?I predict that early in the new year, the millionaire National Basketball Association players, now on strike, will wake up and realize that fans don't seem to miss professional basketball nor the players. They will settle the strike.

As far as I'm concerned, they can stay on strike until they have to sell off their fancy jewelry, mansions and Mercedeses just to make ends meet. My heart bleeds for them.

?Who knows what movie fans can expect in '99? If the box office hits at the end of '98 are a harbinger of what the new year will hold, there won't be much to look forward to. One of '98's big movies is about bugs, "A Bug's Life"; a pig, "Babe: Pig in the City" and it is a sequel. Another big movie, "The Rugrats," stars cartoon characters right out kiddie television. If the Rugrats can be a big

hit, can a Beanie Baby movie be far behind?

Then there's "Jack Frost," the "realistic" story of a father who comes back to life as a snowman.

Another current box office hit is "Psycho." If it sounds familiar, it should; it's a remake of the Alfred Hitchcock classic. I understand the script is true to the original, for which I commend the makers; however, it doesn't take a lot of creativity to copy a genius such as Hitchcock. If you want to see "Psycho," you can rent the original.

On the local level

?Springfield and Greene County officials will be besieged by homeowners fighting the encroachment of commercial ventures that they believe would increase neighborhood traffic and lower property values. In 1998, more homeowners stood up on their hind legs and fought to preserve their living space. Expect much more.

Hostile homeowners are fallout of the rapid growth of Springfield and the surrounding area. In fact, expect growth, and the problems it creates, to be the overriding issue in the new year and beyond. Springfield is growing out toward Nixa and Ozark; they are growing toward each other and will eventually meet Springfield half-way.

Along with the aforementioned progress-vs.-neighborhood-security dilemma, traffic control will drive the agenda of the city in '99. Knotty problems face city leaders in the new year and beyond. I predict they will be up to the task.

?A prediction I know will happen is that next week the Rusty Saber will be 16 years old. Sweet 16! It's true: Time flies when you're having fun.

(Joe McAdoo is former chairman of the communication department at Drury College and a Springfield public relations consultant.)

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