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Crystal balling 1997 [Repost]


Crystal balling 1997
Special for Orchid and Ganoksin Online

                        * All rights reserve *

             By         Richard W. Hughes
                          RWH Publishing
                          4894 Briar Ridge Court
                          Boulder, CO 80301-3980 USA

Every year about this time I find it useful to reflect back on the
meaning of the past months’ events, and relate this to what I
believe will happen in the coming year. Thus I present you, gentle
readers, with my predictions for 1997, in no particular order:

  1. At a news conference, British prospector, Adrian Phallus,
    announces a major new ruby find. The locality is Long Dong, in
    Vietnam’s Phuc Yu province. Phallus, famous for his discovery of
    ruby at Schlong Yai in Thailand, declares that the new material
    comparable to that from the now-exhausted mines of Wanking, in
    China. “It’s been a long time since the gem trade has seen
    anything of Wanking quality,” Phallus enthuses.

  2. The US government announces sanctions against North Korea.
    America’s Secretary of State declares that only the United States
    should be allowed to possess the capacity to blow the bejesus out
    of the planet.

  3. The Gemological Institute of America announces the retirement of
    Ray Charles, Jr., head of its New York diamond grading lab. He is
    awarded a seeing-eye dog in honor of his 50-years’ service.

  4. America’s Jewelers’ Vigilance Committee announces the results of
    their latest survey. More than 30% of karat jewelry is found to
    contain traces of gold.

  5. Martina Navratilova returns to competitive tennis, wearing a
    tennis bracelet. One jeweler saw it as a sign from God, declaring:
    “Now I finally understand what those damn things are for.”

  6. Burma’s ruling military junta outlaws humanity, declaring it to
    be a foreign plot. Amnesty International vigorously protests the
    action. In a related development, Singapore outlaws humans after
    one of them causes a subway door to jam.

  7. Songwriter Leonard Cohen visits Thailand. The visit provides
    inspiration for his latest hit: First We Take Gemopolis. It rides
    atop the Bangkok charts for months.

  8. In a major policy about-face, De Beers desegregates the world
    diamond trade, ending carbon apartheid. They announce that 20% of
    all future sights will consist of black diamonds. “Black is
    beautiful,” declares their chairman.

  9. In the face of declining gem production, Thailand’s Department
    of Mineral Resources hires the CIA’s vaunted psychic team. For a
    reported $20 million, they locate a promising deposit of tektites
    in the Northeast.

  10. De Beers announces a new advertising campaign, with the theme
    that one’s wife is worth at least 27 years’ salary. So guilty do
    males feel, that the economies of the entire industrialized world
    go straight into the toilet in the rush to buy diamonds.
    Metropolitan areas are plagued by homeless men on street corners
    holding signs reading: “Will work for ice.”

  11. World Federation of Diamond Bourses president, Maury Goldman,
    declares that Thailand deserves more than one diamond bourse.
    Thais take this statement to heart. Soon, diamond bourses
    outnumber travel agencies and brothels.

  12. The International Colored Gemstone Association licenses
    software from PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), for 128-bit encryption of
    its treatment codes. Although this requires a tiny microprocessor
    on each price tag, ICA members feel the added security is worth
    "every damn penny." Unfortunately, the software, which can be
    downloaded on the Internet by any ten-year-old with a modem, falls
    under the United States’ munitions laws and thus export is banned.

  13. Burma announces SLORC-The Movie. It stars a large ruby with
    legs and a propensity for running away to Thailand. Animation is
    by Disney Studios.

  14. Lorena Bobbitt is made an honorary member of the Thai/American
    Woman’s Club. In a prepared statement, Club President, Pornpen
    Johnson said: “We like her potential, but feel her technique needs
    a bit of polish. She’s obviously unaware of the duck finish, for
    example. Anyway, her heart is in the right place.”

  15. Iraq announces discovery of an amazing diamond deposit in
    Baghdad, beneath the ruins of a powdered milk factory. Saddam
    Hussein declares to the world: “We now have the mother of all
    diamond mines.” Israel quickly normalizes relations. An Israeli
    spokesman declares: “We do not feel that ostracizing the Iraqi
    people from the world community is in anyone’s long-term

  16. Thai traders discover yet another way to enhance the color of
    corundum. It involves exposure to Bangkok smog, and was discovered
    after someone noticed a traffic policeman glowing and shining. In
    a related move, CIBJO announces that the treatment need not be
    disclosed to consumers, since it involves “traditional” methods.

  17. Thailand’s Gem and Jewellery Trader’s Association announces the
    development of the OJ golf bracelet. It is an immediate hit,
    particularly in those areas where “men are men” (and the sheep run

  18. Following successful introduction of taxi meters, Bangkok’s
    taxi fleets are equipped with integrated urine bags, for those
    long delays in traffic. Stretch limos come complete with maids and
    Patpong bargirls (that are not prostitutes), also for those long
    delays in traffic.

  19. Benny Tolkowsky takes the gold medal in color grading at the
    World Diamond Games held in Antwerp, correctly identifying an
    E-color diamond in the face-up position. He is later stripped of
    his medal after testing positive for carrot juice.

  20. The ICA launches a campaign to discontinue the use of the term
    "treated" in reference to doctored gems, labelling the term a
    prejudicial stereotype. They suggest substituting

  21. Bangkok jeweler, Richard Brown, releases a new line of
    "planetary jewelry." The pieces feature empty settings, because,
    according to Brown, the gems themselves have transcended the
    material world for a higher plane. He claims the powers of these
    gems are far greater, as the gems occupy the bullshyta caste.

  22. Richard Hughes is put on trial for bad taste and crimes
    against humanity. Defense testimony is offered by the Pasadena
    Little Old Ladies’ Club, who declare that all of his writings
    appeal solely to prurient interests, and they like it that way.
    Hughes enters a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity,
    declaring to the court: "I am sick. I truly am. Please help me."
    He is eventually sentenced to death. Prior to execution, the mark
    of the beast, a 6-6-6, is found on the base of his skull.