I get a little cranky trying to predict what Arizona will be like 50 years from now, considering I will no longer be part of the scene. Face it: No way will 116 be the new, um, 86.
On the other hand, I can get away with all sorts of erroneous futurisms without fear of repercussion. Dead wrong. So here goes:
• Annual tuition at the state's three universities tops $50,000 a year in 2062. As a result, the student body consists only of the progeny of oil barons, hedge-fund managers and Facebook pioneers. The rest of Arizona's college students matriculate at online "factory" schools set up in big-box stores, abandoned after online shopping reached 100 percent back in 2038.
• A final meeting to discuss the impact of future road widening on Grant Road between Oracle and Swan roads will be tabled until "sometime next year."
• Bedeviled by fundamentalist legislators, Arizona State University has renamed its team the Sunbeams.
• A museum dedicated to the flip-flop, opened in Gila Bend in 2048, suffers a disastrous fire in 2061 and is declared a Superfund site the following year.
• RV parks in Tucson, Phoenix and Yuma briefly toy with going totally solar, with mirrors attached to the tops of every RV - that is, until the glare beamed into outer space wreaks havoc with satellite transmissions.
• Stripped of any state funding at all, Pima County resorts to an international "Adopt-a-Saguaro" campaign, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue. That, however, creates the need for yet another layer of bureaucracy, tasked with explaining that, "No, you can't take your saguaro home with you."
• Old-school mariachi rap music enjoys a sudden resurgence, then quickly dies out after no one can figure out how to wear a sombrero backward or sideways.
• A lifelike reproduction of former Gov. Jan Brewer's right forefinger, installed in a hermetically sealed glass enclosure, rests side-by-side with The Thing. Tourism triples.
• The Grand Canyon still endures. So does sunshine, Mexican food and triple-digit temperatures. And, yes, it's still a dry heat.
Arizona Daily Star columnist Bonnie Henry is a native Tucsonan.