Predicting 2013: Fast Food, ESPN and Your Youth Will Become Indigestible

We began our look at predictions for 2013 on Monday by admitting an ugly truth: that if you want to bat 1.000 on these, you just need to pick a bunch of horrible stuff. Famine? That's a lock. War? You bet.

Those are cop-out predictions, though. Too generic. And besides, judging by waistlines and recreational arsenals, many Americans have already prepared for both. Today, it's time to look at the horrible things that are liable to directly affect you, whose impact you can mitigate by planning ahead.

They Ain't Gonna Cure the Hangover

Yesterday was a national day of mourning, and from that shared sense of lost productivity and ability to keep down solids, nothing new was learned. Alcohol has been around for about 12,000 years, and in that time probably no pursuit outside of getting laid and trying to harness proof of God—two things frequently contributing to a hangover—has dominated man's imagination as much as figuring out how to make hangovers go away. Supposedly there's a swank bus in Vegas that gives you IV electrolytes and vitamins while letting you suck on an oxygen tank, but you still need a nap. You can't bottle naps, unless you add Rohypnol, and then we're back at square one again a few hours later. And forget night-before pill "cures." They're a sick joke and probably made from the same stuff that goes in Enzyte ("THIS IS BOB, HE'S A GODDAMN IDIOT"), herbal stop-smoking remedies and Beano—ground-up horse hoof and bookshelf dust fixed with hand cheese from the back of an iPhone.

None of this gave anyone in the media a moment's pause since Christmas, though, since any article with "hangover cure" in the title is guaranteed to get a click from half the readership. They're all the same: "Some doctors think that a meal rich in sugars/fats/Phone-smegma-and-bookshelf-dander/starches can mitigate the effects of a hangover, but no longitudinal studies have revealed a specific cure." Then there are options like this from the Atlantic, in which we discover the hangover cures from history's drunks. The headline is a lie; almost all the cures are some variation on "start drinking again." And as you doubtless learned in college, hangovers start losing their intensity once you become the kind of polluted man-carcass that drinks multiple days in a row.

Lastly, if you're one of those people who says, "Oh, I don't get hangovers!" then I hope the iron mitts of justice pants you in front of the universe and shove you into a locker.

ESPN's First Take Will Turn Into This:

No, really:

ESPN's problem is subtext. For 2013, it's finally going to an all-text format. Viewers will no longer be confused as to First Take's purpose.

This Will Be a Bad Year for Stunt Fast Food

Technically, this is every year since the McDLT, but we seem to be barreling fast toward a gross terminus. Nobody knows what's at ground zero—perhaps just a vale of slaughtered meats and sauces—but it ain't gonna be pretty. The Doritos Locos Taco sounds like the sort of thing invented by people too high even to do bong-related science-fair stuff. It's more repellent than 2010's KFC Double Down (whose grossness was hilariously over-stated by commentators trying too hard), because at least that is something you can recognize; it's two chicken breasts, cheese and lubricating glop. But God help you if you can figure out Dorito assembly. There was a point years ago when some kind of corn was visible as the body of the Dorito, but now it's a triangular object ostensibly made from pulverized Cheetos. You can smash them in your hand, throw them on the ground and watch your trim waistline disappear in the cloud of dust.

Anyhow, 2013 will worsen this trend, but it's useless to try to guess the final products. No individual can compete with the perverted science of fast-food testing labs and marketing departments. The next fast-food stunt could just be two McRibs lashed together with a latticework bacon array. Or it could be a buffalo-chicken patty made from a mechanically separated McRib that's been re-compressed, breaded and fried. Call it the McEve. All of us will joke about it, and then all of us will eat one in the car on the way home while crying, then stop in a gas station and take the fast-food whore's bath—washing our faces and hands so our significant others can't smell them on us.

You Will Get Older, Like Fewer New Things, and Become Incapable of Digesting More Old Ones

Cue Homer Simpson repeating "forever, forever, for-ever..." when talking about how hard he was gonna rock for the rest of his life, before realizing he has no time left in which to get funky. Some people are lucky and have music- or partying-related careers, but with age and exhaustion and marriage and kids and work, the amount of time left to go clubbing or out-obscure your buddies at the "Finding New Bands" game is only going to decrease. Against all pledges, you'll start to suspect that the younger people are, the less capable they are of knowing good music, and you will whine, "Why are we going to meet people at a bar where we can't hear each other? Isn't there a quiet beer garden somewhere?"

You're not even safe at home. More movies and TV shows will start to resemble older movies and TV shows you've already seen. You could drown your sorrows in food, but that spicy Italian meatball sandwich is ONE YEAR CLOSER to giving you heartburn. And those 12 "atomic" hot wings are just one long ticking time bomb to that fateful middle-aged morning when you awake and call into work because you spent the first two hours of the morning on the toilet suffering THE RING OF FIRE. That's right. You're not gettin' younger, baaaaaybee / yer gonna diiiiiiiieeeeeeee.

Many of your friends have probably claimed they were ready for this. You know that guy who's hedging his bets and saying baldness is cool (Bruce Willis! Jordan!), or that other guy who wants to be a distinguished gray. There's that girl who's ironically planning her mom jeans. But this stuff will sneak up on you anyway. THIS COULD BE YOUR YEAR. One day you'll read Facebook while suppressing the urge to tell that cousin that all her favorite music sucks. One Tuesday, you're sucking down discount wings at B-Dubs, and the next morning you're punching your abdomen and actually trying to beat the shit out of yourself and cursing an unmerciful God. Or, like me, you try to lift an object, and a terrifying mystery thing happens to your back. You have no choice but to collapse on your side, on the floor, like a wounded AT-AT walker. You lie there wondering what to do and suddenly recall your med school education (the last 25 years of sitcoms). You pull your knees up to your chest and make a keening sound. It works! Thanks, fat schlubby suburban guy married to an improbably beautiful, intelligent housewife. You've taught me everything I know.

There Is Only One Solution

Yep, you could say 2013 is screwed. In fact, someone on Monday said that a lot in the comments section. And he's right, damnit. I don't have any better advice than he did:

2013 is screwwed i will just go to [adultcitysearch.com] and meet sexy chicks everday

Stay tuned this week for more predictions.