The electronic crystal ball has shown me two words: "Tasmania plough". I see the Tasmanian devil. I see bugs. No, not bugs Bunny. The bugs are the Tasmanian devils. The future becomes clear.

New Zealand lettuce aphids have been found in Australia for the first time, on the island of Tasmania, and millions of dollars worth of crops are being ploughed under in an attempt to contain them. It seems they arrived on the wind. This much you can learn without a crystal ball.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I foresee that the little devils will expand their territory despite all efforts to the contrary. I foresee a spike in the price of lettuce throughout Australia, though especially in Tasmania.

Can this future be avoided? Yes, and genetic engineering holds the key to turning a disaster into a windfall. By splicing platypus DNA into aphids and setting them free to mix with the natural aphids, a new, dominant species will emerge, wiping out the old one. The new species will be every bit as troublesome as the old one, but once the old species is gone, treatment of crops with tea tree extract will cause them to mutate into yet another species which prefers to eat weeds and is large enough to be kept as a pet.