I flip the locks. I open the suitcase. I put the crystal ball and the binoculars neatly inside.

“Not a bad season,” comes the voice.

“Thank you,” comes the answer.

I stack the tarot cards in a pile and pull a rubber band around them. The astrology charts are neatly folded.

“Not bad at all,” comes the voice.

“Thank you,” comes the answer.

It is the last weekend of the NFL regular season. The last weekend for picks. It has been a good season. Yes. I think so. Look at those numbers on the last line of this column. Then check the numbers in the “Free Press pro picks.”

I am honored to be in the esteemed company of Curt (The Snake) Sylvester, Gene (Guido) Guidi and George (Ax Man) Puscas.

Honored, but not overwhelmed.

“Good numbers,” comes the voice.

“Thank you,” comes the answer.

I do not want to hear about Washington over the Giants. That was a mistake. I was, uh, sick with the flu. Yeah. That’s it. I do not want to hear about San Francisco over the Giants on Monday night. I do not want to hear about Philly over the Giants. I do not want to hear the word Giants for several months.

I would like to hear about Cleveland over Miami on that Monday night a while back. Yes. That would be nice. I would like to hear about Cleveland over Cincinnati last weekend. Or the Lions under the Bears, Packers, Steelers, Cowboys, Vikings, Rams and Bears again. I would like to hear those picks. Where did you hear them?

“Heard them here,” comes the voice.

“Thank you,” comes the answer.

Now I am packing. I am heading for the land of sunshine, a deserted island,

with nothing but sand and beach and palm trees and cable television. I have a flight booked in a half-hour, and I . . .

What’s that noise?

It sounds like a bull moose. It sounds like lava spewing from the volcano’s mouth. It sounds like . . .

. . . my boss?

“YOU’RE NOT GOING ANYWHERE. YOU’VE GOT THE PLAYOFFS AND THE CHAMPIONSHIPS AND THE SUPER BOWL AND THEN THERE ARE SOME HIGH SCHOOL GAMES I’M THINKING ABOUT SENDING YOU TO. AND WHERE THE percent$ percent#! ARE YOUR PICKS FOR THIS WEEK?”

Uh . . .

LIONS 21, FALCONS 10 — Ah, why not? It’s almost Christmas.

49ERS 24, RAMS 14 — I see Jim Everett throwing a lot of interceptions. I don’t know why, I just saw it — er, see it.

BEARS 13, COWBOYS 10 — Don’t the Bears always win, 13-10? Isn’t that the only score they win by anymore? 13-10? Yes. I believe it is.

CARDINALS 24, BUCS 14 — And in Tampa they cry, “Vin-ny! Vin- ny! . . . “

RAIDERS 27, COLTS 7 — And in Indy they cry, “Vin-ny! Vin-ny! . . . “

REDSKINS 17, EAGLES 10 — And in Philly they cry, “Bud-dy! Bud-dy! . . . YOU STINK!”

CHIEFS 20, STEELERS 16 — Why do I get the feeling Pittsburgh should be going to the playoffs?

VIKINGS 28, SAINTS 14 — The new rage in New Orleans is called the Saints Diet. You can’t help but lose.

BENGALS 31, JETS 13 — Yes, Paul Maguire, you were right. The Jets lost all four games. You can take the halo off your head now. It wasn’t that bold of a pick.

BROWNS 20, CHARGERS 10 — Every sports writer in America is rooting for the Chargers. Can you imagine having to go to Cleveland twice in one month?

BEST PICK LAST WEEK: Eagles 20, Cowboys 13. Eagles won, 23-21.

WORST PICK LAST WEEK: Vikings 30, Oilers 7. Oilers won, 23-10.

RECORD LAST WEEK: 8-6.

RECORD FOR SEASON: 144-62-2.

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