Have Yourself an Ambivalent Little Christmas


The Golden Age of Spam

Will the Real Renaissance Please Stand Up?

My Life of Crime

My Life of Crime, Pt. 2: The War of the Dandelions

Black (and Blue) Friday

Going Home

How Not to Celebrate a Holiday

Traffic Report Fall Down
and Go Boom

O, Holy Weekend

You Mean My Vote Actually Means Something?

Side Disorders

Lessons for Hurricane Preparedness as Taught By Example in Raleigh, North Carolina

You Mean My Vote Actually Means Something?, Pt. 2: Are They Gone Yet?

The Last Reality Show

It Builds Character

Sink the Flu

WTF (in C Major)

Intruder Alert

Kneel before Za

I Got Your Breaking News Right Here, Pal

Christmas in July...or April...or maybe even December


Why I Hate "The Little Drummer Boy"


When it comes to lunch, I'm a creature of habit. There's a pizza place near work that I eat at three or four times a week on average. I can get there in about four minutes, I can eat there for less than four bucks, and the stuff is probably four times healthier than the nearby fast food joints (not that this last one is saying much). The people there know me so well that they start my order as soon as they see me walk in. Since I tend to take a very late lunch, it's usually pretty empty by the time I get there, and I can eat and read (I always read at lunch) in peace.

The only problem is that recently they put a TV on one of the walls, and now I'm being exposed to a lot more stupidity than I was before.

I'm not sure why they added a TV. The place gets plenty of business, so it's not like they needed to do something to bring more people in. The place isn't a sports bar where having a TV tuned to ESPN is expected. They tend to keep the volume on it pretty low, so although you can watch it if so inclined, you can't really listen to it unless you sit real close to it. In fact, if you're sitting close enough to hear it, you're probably not at an angle that allows you to watch it. The irritating part is that when I sit in my usual seat it's just at the edge of my vision, and all the movement in the corner of my eye is distracting.

I usually ignore the thing as best as I can (like I said, I read at lunch). But yesterday, an off-hours rush meant I found myself in line to order. As it turns out, when you're in line is the one time you can be close enough to hear the television and at an angle where you can watch it.

Today, instead of the usual soap opera, the TV was showing one of those kaffeeklatsch shows. You know what I mean: those shows where they get four to six people (mostly women) to sit around a table and talk about...oh hell, I have no idea what they talk about. The news, probably, but I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the Kardashians get more air time than the Greek financial crisis. The three I know about are The View, The Talk, and The Chew, and I'm guessing there must be two more I don't know about, one dedicated to the sense of touch and the other to the sense of smell. Anyway, they had on a guest: a numerologist who was here to talk about the significance of the date 11-11-11.

A numerologist! Seriously? I know there's a lot of foolish people out there, but numerology, for crying out loud? Numerology, for those who don't know, was invented so that even people who believe in astrology would have someone to point and laugh at for being so gullible. I find it mindboggling that in this day and age, there are still people who believe in it.

Numerology based on calendar dates makes even less sense. I didn't stick around to find out whether 11-11-11 is supposed to be a good day or a bad day (the line moved fairly fast), but let's assume it's going to be the most amazing day in the last century. Is that true in Arabic countries, where they use a different calendar and today's date is 32-12-15? Or do they need to wait until 2077 September 28 to get their lucky day (which will be an unexceptional day for us)? What about the Chinese? They not only have a different calendar but different numerology as well. When's their lucky day?

And what if Dionysus Exiguus had gotten it right? Dionysys Exiguus, in case you're wondering, is the guy who decided that this year would be 2011. In other words, he's the one who came up with the way we number years. He was trying to set things so that the year 1 was the first year in Jesus of Nazareth's life. Most scholars will tell you that he missed: Jesus of Nazareth was born at least four years sooner than Dionysus Exiguus worked out, and maybe as many as eighteen years sooner. So maybe our special day should have happened in what we call 2007. Or 2003. Or 1998. I don't remember if any of those November 11s were particularly good, but it's not like I keep track of what my good days are. If you do keep track of such things, then you're even more compulsive than I am.

So what does 11-11-11 mean? Nothing. It means nothing. No matter what calendar you use, certain days are going to wind up forming a numeric pattern with the date, and thanks to the particular calendar we use this just happens to be one of those days. It's an amusing coincidence but there's no real significance to it. You might as well try to find cosmic meaning in the costumes that contestants on Let's Make a Deal wear.

I mention Let's Make a Deal, incidentally, because that's what came on the TV after the kaffeeklatsch show ended. Like I said, I'm being exposed to a lot more stupidity since that pizza place added that TV.

This page Copyright ©2011 Scott D. Rhodes. All rights reserved