NEWS- Top secret: Madam Hook's controversial revelations for 2011
The email made no sense: 256 apparently random characters with no spaces, no message, no signature. Just another spam, it seemed. But moments before a Hook reporter hit "junk mail" to send the baffling message forever into her trash folder, the phone rang.
"Don't delete the key to my encrypted documents," whispered a throaty female voice on the other end. It took several moments to recognize the caller: Madam Hook!
Longtime readers know that no holiday season is complete without this gifted soothsayer's predictions, and the delight she brings with her annual visits is unparalleled. But what was the meaning of this mysterious email? Encryption? Why wasn't she here, her robes swishing, her turban askew, her crystal ball held high?
"Shhhhhhh!" she whispered in a panicked tone. "You mustn't speak my name. They're looking for me, and if they know I've contacted you..." She trailed off, then in more hushed tones, explained her call.
"The public has a right to know what I've seen," she rasped, "but there are those who want me to remain silent. So I've launched a psychic nonprofit– and only you can access its website. Please, be brave and spread the truth," she urged, then revealed her new organization's name. "I wanted something unique, something no one could confuse for anything else," she explained. "I've called it... Wiki Peeks."
"What do you mean? Where are you? Who's looking for you?" The reporter's questions were answered with silence. "I'll see you next year," she finally said, kindly but with a sniffle. Was she crying?
"Just check the website, and you'll have all the peeks into the future you need. And if anything happens to me, I've arranged to have future predictions released on hundreds of mirror sites. You'll always have access. Take care, darling, and happy holidays...." The line went dead.
All these years, and we'd never realized Madam Hook was so technologically savvy– but once we accessed her top-secret website, whose URL we obviously cannot reveal, we found out why some people might not have wanted her predictions spread far and wide. Before we reveal those controversial predictions, let's look back at what she forecast last year:
*"I hear jackhammers and heavy equipment, "said Madame Hook, who predicted the city would at last get started on its portion of the Meadowcreek Parkway. Well, no, not quite. In in November, just before his appointment as City Manager was finalized, City Council gave Maurice Jones approval to move forward on construction of the road, but several regulatory agencies still need to sign off before work can begin. And the folks behind a lawsuit aimed at protecting McIntire Park say they haven't given up on stopping the road, even though the County portion is already complete. After 30 years, what's one more?
*"I see wine for $3.99," said Madame Hook, who predicted a Trader Joe's would open in Charlottesville by year's end. Oh no! Madam Hook's 0 for 2! While construction of the new Whole Foods near K-Mart is well underway, the closest Trader Joe's is still Short Pump, but maybe 2011's the year?
*"Dam it, dam it, dam it!" Madame Hook wasn't cursing when she spoke these words; she was predicting a turnabout for Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority honcho Tom Frederick, who she believed would at last reject a dam and embrace dredging as a money-saving solution for the area's future water needs. Shoot! Can't Madam Hook get anything right? Frederick's still holding fast to his commitment to build a pipeline and a dam, but Charlottesville Mayor Dave Norris did change his mind. Maybe that's who she meant?
*"Gaga. Gaga," Madam said last year, and it turned out she wasn't imitating an infant– she was predicting Lady Gaga would come to town. At last! We knew she had it in her. Madam Hook has long been most accurate when predicting musical acts– she called for U2 and Bruce Springsteen months before those acts were announced– and she did it again with Gaga, who played John Paul Jones to a nearly sold-out crowd in September.
Fingers trembling, we typed in the website to which Madam Hook directed us, entered the key to her encryption, and watched a world of wonder– and horror– unfurl in Madam Hook's top secret predictions for 2011. We could almost hear her voice as we read the transcripts, some of which required the Hook's expert translation...
*"I smell bacon, egg and cheese. No, it's not a McDonald's breakfast, but it was a great deal. And you'll be able to 'assess' just how great it was in 2011!" Madam must be referring to Biscuit Run, the 1,200-acre parcel that was once planned as a massive development but which was purchased this year by the state as a state park for $9.8 million– plus a confidential number of tax credits. Now, all some intrepid reporter needs to do is turn up the assessment! Hmmmm. We can think of the perfect team to do that...
*"Sad, sad Tommy will soon smile again after the blessing of a powerful man." That one's easy! Freshman U.S. Congressman Tom Perriello may have had his heart broken after losing the November election to Robert Hurt, but he's got Obama on his team and that could mean big things... Hey, wait a second.... This means Madam Hook must have been the source for Politico's recent article predicting a cabinet appointment for Perriello if he wanted it. And we thought Madam Hook only gave the Wiki Peeks encryption key to us! Mike Allen, we know what you're up to!
*"Coochie-coochie-coo!" "Waaaaaaah." "Coooochie-coochie-coo!" "Waaaaaaah!" This one had us stumped. At first we thought Madam was simply seeing someone tickling an unhappy baby, then it suddenly clicked. It's Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli doing the tickling and Virginia progressives doing the crying! In 2011, "the Cooch" will continue to torment liberals with his brand of conservative ideology and his no-holds-barred legal attacks on UVA, climate scientist Michael Mann, and universal health care. We can't wait to see what he cooks up next!
"Woman, please let me explain, I never meant to cause you sorrow or pain..." John Lennon lyrics in Madam Hook's encrypted document? Sure, we just passed the 30th anniversary of his death, and we always knew Madam was a big fan, but why would she include... Ohhhhhhh! Of course! It's a theme song for UVA men, and it's Madam's way of saying new UVA President Teresa Sullivan will continue to take steps to fight domestic violence at the school, increase awareness about rape, and continue to provide transparency about any sexual violence that may occur. At last! We had high hopes for Sullivan, but we must say this prediction, veiled though it may be, is quite heartening...
There were a few more...
Embattled blogger Elisha Strom gives up hounding JADE agents and moves on to a new flame: firefighters.
Rob Schilling launches a new line of hair care products called The Mane Conservative, and despite some follicular challenges of his own, Rush Limbaugh is chosen as the face of the brand.
Oliver Kuttner's X Prize-winning Very Light Car is launched to mainstream success after a slew of celebrities including Angelina Jolie and the Dalai Lama endorse the vehicle.
The secret to famed chef Peter Chang's seeming ability to be in more than one place at one time is revealed: he's an identical triplet!
Editor's note: The Hook has retained several other predictions which will be released if anything bad happens to Madam Hook.