Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Ken Norton Effect

All you pundits and pollsters can relax. The political future of Barack Obama has already been determined with 100% certainty. I was given insight into what it is this past Thursday when I called my friend, Ken Norton, in Georgia on the cellphone. I knew I could trust Ken's prediction since he is completely apolitical and has no axe to grind. In fact, I don't think he has ever voted in any election.

"Hey Ken, who is going to win the election for President this November?"

With a note of complete authority in his voice, Ken unhesitatingly replied, "Obama will easily win in a landslide."

"WOO! HOO!" was my immediate reaction.

Huh? Why would someone with impeccable credentials as a vicious EVIL rightwinger sound so happy about Obama's big victory? Perhaps it is time for me to turn in my Vast Rightwing Conspiracy Secret Decoder Ring?

Before you pass judgement on me, you first need to learn about The Ken Norton Effect. You see, Ken Norton has a perfect record of fallibility in his predictions. In the fifteen years I have known Ken, he has been completely wrong about everything he has ever predicted. And I don't mean a mere handful of predictions. Ken loves to prognosticate on a regular basis on everything from picking horse race winners to the weather. After hundreds of predictions, he remains unerringly incorrect.

Take just last week. Ken called me up and told me, with great alarm in his voice, that I better plan to give up selling a certain electronic item I have listed on eBay because the price was doomed to plummet immediately. When I got home, I checked eBay and my item had sold for a record high. A few hours after that, another auction for the same item sold even higher.

Some of Ken's most amazingly incorrect predictions have to do with the weather. A couple of weeks ago, Ken worried about an outdoor event he had to work at a Jacksonville yacht club. He was concerned about the weather. Although he claimed the weather looked alright for Sunday, he feared that it would rain on Saturday. Comes Saturday and the weather was beautiful. The next morning at about 10:30 I got a phone call from Ken. A big rainstorm had hit Jacksonville and he was drenched.

This was typical. Ken predicts good weather and it is sure to be bad. Predict bad weather and you just know it will turn out to be a bright sunny day. In 1999, Ken panicked at the approach of Hurricane Floyd. It was a huge storm and for days had been on a straight line northwest course that would take it right into downtown Fort Lauderdale. The very next day after Ken told me of his fear about the destruction of our community, Floyd took a miraculous sharp turn right, missing Fort Lauderdale entirely and eventually hit North Carolina with devastating effect. Ken's hurricane predictions can show the opposite outcome. Hurricane Wilma? Not to worry. It would crash into the Yucatan peninsula and quickly dissipate with no harm to South Florida. That is usually what happens to hurricanes that hit the Yucatan except in this case Wilma did a complete U-turn after touching the Yucatan and made a beeline back to Florida. Then after we had lost our power for a week, I went to a nearby Denny's for a hot breakfast and called Ken. He had bad news for me. He told me not to expect any electricity for at least another three weeks or possibly longer. I was really depressed at this prediction. No television and, even worse, no internet for weeks into the future. I walked back home from Denny's in a glum mood which only evaporated when I opened my door and saw that the power was back on.

Another weather prediction which was dead on in its inaccuracy was made last February when Ken was visiting us. He was on his way to the Keys in a van he had rented. His plan was to save money by sleeping in the back of the van while he was down there. Yes, the plan was foolproof and since it was early in the year, as he told us, he didn't have to worry about the discomfort of too much heat while sleeping in the van. Well, Ken went down to the Keys for the weekend where a freak heatwave sent temperatures soaring into the 90s making it impossible for him to get much sleep in the van.

Over the years, Ken has been placing bets on horses. Almost all of them were bets on "sure winners." Only one little problem. None of his horses ever won. However, that hasn't kept Ken from enthusiastically placing bets on the next sure thing. A couple of years ago he even drove up to Louisville to watch the sure thing horse he bet on win the Kentucky Derby. Need I tell you the outcome of that?

Sometimes Ken's unerring fallibility is stunning in its timing. Take the time I was trying to get a drop ship deal for eBay auctions from electronic suppliers of digital cameras in Los Angeles. I was working the phone, calling supplier after supplier but with no luck. Finally, I got so weary that I declared I would call just one more supplier. I was in the middle of my conversation with him when a frustrated Ken got up and made his way to the door.

"Forget it. You'll never find a supplier who will agree to drop ship those cameras."

No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the supplier on the other end of the line told me he would be delighted to work such a deal with us. As to business, I also remember New Years Day 2000 when Ken told me that investing in Yahoo! would be a good deal because that stock was going to continue to rise higher and higher. This was followed by Ken's declaration a few weeks later that PayPal was nothing but a passing fad.

All this has made me a devout believer in Ken Buddhism. Ken's Divine Fallibility remains to this day unsullied by any blemish of accuracy.

So now you know why I was overjoyed to hear Ken's prediction of Obama's easy landslide win in November. It was because of my deep belief in The Ken Norton Effect.

Oh, and I would definitely consider investing in the stock market in the near future. Ken later told me that Obama would win in a landslide because Wall Street is about to take a nosedive.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Take just last week. Ken called me up and told me, with great alarm in his voice, that I better plan to give up selling a certain electronic item I have listed on eBay because the price was doomed to plummet immediately. When I got home, I checked eBay and my item had sold for a record high. A few hours after that, another auction for the same item sold even higher".

And this is why you should believe Obama doesn't have a chance.

Just swallow. We'll all be better off.

12:08 AM  
Blogger Britt said...

Yeah that's clearly humor.

Of course, we all know the sense of humor is shed along with logic when one becomes liberal.

4:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmm, sounds like Ken even has the KOS record beat!

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow your're buddy is almost as bad as predicting events, as the Global climate gloom and doom folks are at predicting our demise for the past 50 years. Only difference is I bet Ken's been right at least once.

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It rained on the St John's river, last Saturday.

Now I know why.

10:25 AM  

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