Here are some 2019 predictions for you: The election cycle is going to get longer, the attention spans of media consumers are going to get shorter, television will get more self-aware, fake meat will abound, and, if you believe a woman whose mystical powers manifest only in asparagus, England's women's football team will win the World Cup in France.
That's the most concrete prediction to come out of this year's batch of vegetal fortune telling by Jemima Packington. The 62-year-old woman from the British city of Bath has been issuing annual predictions based on how a handful of asparagus lands after being tossed in the air for years now—and for some reason, people believe her. Or, at least they write down what she has to say and keep track of how often she gets it right. Which, credit where credit is due, is often enough to make her something of a celebrity in the world of unconventional mystics.
Packington, who calls herself the world's first and only "Asparamancer," says she's had the ability to see into the future by looking at piles of asparagus since she was a child and has been making the rounds on British television—including a stint foreseeing the fates of Big Brother contestants—for about a decade now. She makes an annual appearance at the UK's Asparafest—where MUNCHIES spoke to her in 2014—and ever since she correctly predicted Brexit, has been supplying a series of claims about the upcoming year each January to the Mirror.
Last year, she foretold that England would not "bring it home"—with "it" being the World Cup—and indeed, they did not bring it home. She predicted that Trump would "bring the world to the brink of serious conflict," which, so did I; that unnamed British actors would win some Oscars; that there would be an unspecified political scandal; and that "there [would] be earthquakes and volcanic eruptions over the next 12 months," which seems inevitable even if unchecked climate change wasn't wreaking irrevocable havoc on the earth and inciting increasingly extreme weather patterns. She also claimed that the asparagus told that her Theresa May would be replaced as Prime Minister, but apparently the spears only know so much.
"I am usually about 80 to 90 percent accurate with my predictions," she told the Mirror this year. (Check out this video to watch Packington address such issues as "Does celery work?" and "Which movie will win Best Picture in 2016?" The asparagus chose Mad Max: Fury Road or The Martian—actually, Spotlight won.)
So what does 2019 have in store, according to Packington and her paranormal produce? In addition to the auspicious year ahead for the women's football team, we should expect:
Fears over Brexit will prove 'largely unfounded'
The Trade War between China and the US will end but there will be a recession in the US that will affect us all
Big Brother will return to our screens, despite Channel 5 declaring the winter 2018 series to be the last
Extremes of temperature become the norm
Oscar success for A Star is Born, but British actors will also be in the mix
More well-known British businesses will fold
England's cricketers and rugby team will have success early in the new year driving other British sports' people to aim high
Asparagus will see an all-time high in sales
If you're thinking that a lot of this feels just vague enough that it's bound to come true if applied to a large enough period of time and space (say, a whole country over the course of a calendar year), then, same. Although, given her past appearance as a Big Brother "expert," I'm gonna bet on that one and chalk it up to insider info that has nothing to do with asparagus. But come on, you don't need to be a fortune teller to predict "Oscar success for A Star is Born." How do I get in on this racket?
I'm not saying Jemima Packington is necessarily a fraud and a scam artist (assuming, that is, that vegetal fortune telling is a profitable venture), but I am saying that when media goes belly up (can I get an ETA on that, Jemima?), I might start looking at my salad a little differently.