A team of archaeologists has revealed the discovery of an artifact of unquestioned historical significance: a confidential memo, apparently from a trusted royal soothsayer and prognosticator to one of the last kings of the Mayan empire.

The memo refers to the Mayan calendar’s now discredited prediction regarding the end of the world on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, but goes well beyond and warns of other dire outcomes that may befall humanity.

Here is the memo in its entirety:

To: His Majesty Yiknoom K’ahk (“Jaguar Paw”)

From: Yaknoom Pak’aahk Snyder (“Yaknoom the Greek”)

Re: 2012-13 Predictions, etc.

Date: Three suns before the sixth moon of the quadrennial solstice, more or less


Let me begin by saying how much I like that new headgear you’re sporting these days. Very seasonal, very regal, very impressive indeed. May it bring you much nachas. Wear it in good health; you should live to be 120. Love ya.

Which brings me to the end-of-the-year predictions that I’m required by royal fiat to offer up to Your Majesty. I’m not a big fan of these annual shindigs, as you know. First of all, no one gives me any credit when I’m right. (Remember last year? I predicted a year of sunshine and warm weather. Did I get a single thank you? Did anyone say, “Hey, he’s good?” No sir.)

On top of that, everyone expects me to make dire predictions about the end of the world, meteors, floods, locusts, you name it. That’s not my style. We go back a few years, you and I, and, well, that memo about the world ending on Dec. 21, 2012? You know it didn’t come from me.

And maybe this isn’t the best time to mention it, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to manage the junior prognosticators in this office without adequate funding. Last year’s budget cuts, well, now you see what happens when you impose austerity measures.

We no longer have the personnel to supervise these little pishers who think that just because they predict the outcome of a battle or two, all of a sudden they’re experts. It takes some chutzpah to go from “Jaguar Paw, king of the Mayans, will be victorious,” to “The world will come to an end on Dec. 21, 2012.”

But you get what you pay for, right? I’m just sayin’.

Now, as for my predictions, I do have a few to offer and they also pertain to the period between December 2012 and the end of 2013. Here they are:

• A few wing-nuts will once again predict that the world will end, albeit at some point in 2013.

• Because of this, other wing-nuts will buy sophisticated weaponry and huge amounts of ammunition to protect themselves from still other wing-nuts.

• Meanwhile, millions of law-abiding citizens will watch in horror as these super-empowered wing-nuts threaten everyone, and as political wing-nuts everywhere bring the world to its knees with their blind adherence to dogma or willful blindness to facts.

I hate to be negative, but it seems to me, looking at the bones, tea leaves and entrails in front of me (and really, what else do I have to go on?) that the world is in for a rocky ride in 2013. I could be wrong, but the situation up North in particular promises to be really ugly.

Their political system is unbelievably captive to moneyed interests. They should do what Your Majesty did after the Supreme Council handed down the Incas United case. Nothing gets the attention of evil-doers like being tossed from the top of Chichen Itza!

Not advocating. Just sayin’.

But let me close on a positive note:

• The New England Patriots will not only make the playoffs, they’ll make it to the Super Bowl. You can take that to the bank. Beyond that, Sire, I’m not prepared to say. I’ll need to see the injury report.

Still, I am a bit worried about 2013. I’m just a modest prognosticator from a small town in the Yucatan, but am I missing something?

Those folks up North have everything anyone could ever hope to have, and they’re on the verge of losing it all. Honestly, they seem to have lost touch with reality.

If I could speak to them directly, I’d say, “Listen, schmendricks, don’t mess it up. Believe me, it can happen.”

I’d tell them, “You’re never too big, too rich, or too smart to fall. Have you seen any Incas lately? I rest my case.”

So, Sire, that’s it for this year. Sorry to get on my high horse.

Oh, yeah. One more thing: Brady wins the MVP in a walk.

And, again, I love that headdress. Very impressive, very regal. Almost, well, apocalyptic.

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Perry B. Newman is a South Portland resident and president of Atlantica Group, an international business consulting firm based in Portland, with clients in North America, Israel and Europe. He is also chairman of the Maine District Export Council. His website is perrybnewman.com/.