One week from today the world as we know it will change forever, the resulting paradigm shift so drastic that future historians will spend entire careers debating its lasting impact upon mankind.
Next Tuesday's election results will in all likelihood have as much impact on the average American as shooting a teenage girl in the head has on the Taliban or another sensational press conference by Donald Trump.
But either way, please understand that what follows is not necessarily how I wish for things to turn out, but rather how I expect them to end before bedtime next Tuesday evening.
Did I say that loud enough?
The following is not what I wish for, but what I predict at this point in time based upon an infinite number of factors, including emails, Facebook posts, bar conversations, observations from those thinking their side might lose, and unless a stripper is attached, polls have no relevance whatsoever. They are absolutely, in no way, shape or form, endorsements in either direction.
Here is what I think will happen on what I consider to be Happy Valley's Top 4:
Ballot issue 5A (Eagle River Fire Protection District): Yes, it's a tax increase, but Grover Norquist does not live here, and I actually believe this one has a good chance of passing.
Amendment 64 (pot): Although highly supported by the Doritos lobby and could provide a nice shot in the revenue arm, I feel this one will fail again. But it will be closer than last time.
Eagle County commissioners: I had the pleasure (actually, the honor) to moderate a debate among all five county commissioner candidates, and I'm being perfectly honest when I say each can hold their own when discussing Eagle County issues. That's not a kiss up by any means, as those who actually know me know I don't do that (unless my wife is somehow involved), but the truth here is that there is no tremendously contentious issue (other than perhaps open space), thus leaving it to little more than a popularity contest.
It appears to me that Jeff Layman will take District 1, and the only incumbent in the race, Jon Stavney, will retain his seat in District 2.
President of the United States: Let's face it, very few are voting for Mitt Romney, only against President Obama. If the president discovered a cure for cancer, most conservatives would claim the obviously illegal profits were going to George Soros in Kenya and besides, he still hasn't cured AIDS.
As for the whole "country divided" babble, let me say ..
"But Richard, I've never seen so many people so sharply divided down party lines!"
Oh please, yes you have, and it was only four years ago. And four years before that, and four years before that, and so on.
It's like this week in Happy Valley. There will be those who insist, "I've never felt it this cold, this early," or, "I've never felt it this warm, this late."
It happens every year without fail.
But why did Romney-Ryan stop interviews two weeks before the election, and what is all this ridiculous nonsense among the GOP of women being little more than nice-looking breeding vessels for their monotheistic deity? This mythical nonsense has to end. The GOP must distance itself from the religious right, and the Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and John Sununus of the world, because the way I see it, the election is still Obama's to lose, thanks to them and their ilk.
But whatever you do, please show more intelligence than voting a straight ticket, as doing so increases ignorance among the populace and is the cause for more hindsight regret than a developer thinking in 2009, "Hey, that Cordillera thing could be a good deal for us!"
Life rarely works out as planned.
Richard Carnes of Edwards writes weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com.