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Little-Known Santa No. 21
You need not fear. The apocalypse, the end time, the universe’s second — and final —big bang (or whimper) will not arrive in the year 2012 as purportedly predicted by prescient Mayan astrologers. Nor will our fateful end arrive in 2013, albeit a decidedly unlucky year in its own right.
No. According to Little-Known Santa No. 21, our mutual demise will likely arrive in the awesomely annumerative year of 2222.
(Now aren’t you glad you started reading this? You’ve got at least one more decade to publish that Great American Novel. Or score that real hottie across the dance floor. Or make that first million. Or finally win at that lame video game you burn through the night hours and weekends playing. Or maybe earn your parents’ respect. Good luck with that.)
There are many reasons why that famed French apothecary Claustrodamus had long ago predicted the Annus Mirabilis of 2222. Not the least was his future vision — from more than 400 years in the past! — of that wonderful early-1970s television sitcom series Room 222. Claustro fell hard for perky substitute teacher Alice Johnson (played by pert and peppy Karen Valentine)! He also felt that the lectures of American history teacher Pete Dixon, while pompously pedantic and predictable, were sufficiently wise and winning. Yep, LKS#21 was quite sorry to see that charming show end its run of 112 episodes. Of course, he could always replay the episodes anytime he wanted, within one of his many all-seeing crystal orbs, but somehow they’re just not the same as reruns on a small screen.
Still more reason for Claustro’s end-of-days prediction was his realization very early in life that the number 2 kept revealing itself to him, repeatedly, everywhere he looked, no matter what he did. He had 2 younger siblings, his mother kept 2 chickens outside their rural shack, and from his loft window he could see 2 stunted oaks on the hillock at the far horizon. (Actually, one of those was really a gnarled chestnut, but young C was never much of a horticulturist.)
And still the number 2 kept showing itself! His birth sign was Gemini, the twins! His mother ladled out 2 steamed turnips for his dinner. The cock crowed 2 times at dawn. He found 2 smooth pink rocks in the creekbed. Why, he himself had 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 nostrils, 2 arms, 2 hands, 2 legs, 2 feet, 2 knees, 2 lungs, 2 kidneys, 2 buttocks . . . well, you get the idea. Claustrodamus fixated on the number 2! (Neighbors suspect he was behind those rude packages left flaming on their stoops each Halloween.) Soon he was envisioning the mystical 2 imprinted upon anything and everything in his life! He lost his virginity at 22, after dropping out of university in the 2nd semester of his 2nd year. He took up with the 2nd daughter of a 2nd Lieutenant in the King’s Guard. He would open and close doors twice upon entering or leaving any room. He carried 2 dice having exactly 2 pips on each and every face. It is reported that the young Claustro coined many of the adages we recite still today: ”2 thumbs up!”, “It takes 2 to tango”, “A bicycle built for 2”, as well as virtually all the lyrics for that hit pop tune “One (is the Loneliest Number)”.
Eventually, the coincidences were becoming too (!) much for even Claustrodamus to (!) take. His sanity began to (!) slip. The aspiring apothecary gave up on the fields of medicine and pharmacy, and descended first into (!) the world of alchemy, attempting to (!) distill pure gold from lead. Some say he ended up on his feet again, after becoming a mixologist and bartender at a popular crossroads tavern, where it was easy to (!) make friends and meet chicks.
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