Insider: What's the worst that could happen?

A pessimist's palm-reading of the year ahead.

Line of Intuition: Acting on a hunch that markets will plummet in ’08, you short the index. Your guess proves correct. Unfortunately, you failed to foresee the nuclear holocaust that precipitated the market implosion and erased all the gains in your portfolio, not to mention two-thirds of the world’s population.

Girdle of Venus: You fall asleep deleting spam e-mail at work. Your head, hitting the keyboard, orders 200 kg of Viagra, sends $50,000 to Nigeria, launches a DOS attack on the Pentagon, and opens several porn pop-ups — just as your boss walks by. You are demoted to IT services.

Line of Heart: You ignore that nagging chest pain, only to have a small Hugo Chavez–like creature emerge from your thorax one night after dinner and offer you free petrol for life in return for eternal supplication. Ashamed, yet strangely aroused, you agree.

Line of Marriage: Your company is taken over by aliens from Planet Zargoz, who promptly devour the HR department — lending new urgency to widespread fears about the hollowing-out of Corporate Canada.

Line of Life: You die.

The Bracelets: Karlheinz Schreiber calls — he wants you to take over the pasta business!

Line of Sun: In a clear win for Al Gore and the global warming crowd, the sun explodes, incinerating the solar system.

Line of Destiny: Quebec separates from Canada and joins France. Alberta separates and joins Idaho. Manitoba separates from Saskatchewan, with a long, deep moat. Ontario separates from the United States.

Line of Mars: In a bid for Arctic sovereignty, Canada invades the North Pole — inadvertently sparking a months-long elfin insurgency led by a Santa’s helper known only as “Hermie.” Quagmire ensues.

Line of Health: You have an accident and have to go to a hospital emergency room. In Canada. On a long weekend.