Thursday, December 31, 2020

Andy Young: Looking forward (and backward)

By Andy Young

Special to The Windham Eagle

Wouldn’t it be nice to get some sort of sign, like some rare, non-catastrophic event, that 2021 is going to be a better year than its predecessor was?

Earthquakes, cataclysmic floods, or cases of non-aquatic rain (a phenomenon which I am not making up) definitely aren’t harbingers of improving conditions ahead. But something along the lines of a lengthy solar eclipse, the appearance of Halley’s Comet, or Cleveland’s baseball team winning the World Series might portend that humanity is indeed going to emerge, sooner rather than later, from the grip of the ongoing worldwide viral pandemic.

But sometimes good omens are simply hiding in plain sight.

This just in: the date of the new year’s second day (1-2-21) reads the same backward as it does forward. Could this be the indication that the miracle cure for the Coronavirus pandemic is just around the corner?

Well, probably not.

It turns out eleven of the 31 days of January 2021 are numerical palindromes. In addition to 1-2-21, Inauguration Day (1-20-21) is a numerical palindrome. So is the day after that (1-21-21), and the day after that (1-22-21), and the day after that (1-23-21). And the six days that follow, right up through 1-29-21. Something that happens on over 35% of a month’s days doesn’t qualify as portentous.  

And it’s not just January. The first nine days of December (12-1-21 thru 12-9-21) are numerical palindromes too, and so are the 11th and the 22nd of that month.

There’ll only be eleven palindromic dates in 2023 (3/2/23, 3/20/23, 3/21/23, 3/22/23, 3/23/23, 3/23/23, 3/24/23, 3/25/23, 3/26,23, 3/27/23, 3/28/23, and 3/29/23), and the same goes for each year from 2024 thru 2029. But even in those years, having a date that reads the same forward as it does backward doesn’t qualify as particularly unusual. The sad bottom line: 1/2/21 does not foreshadow an early end to the world’s troubles.

But while numeric palindromes apparently don’t auger any imminent solutions to our planet’s problems, playing with palindromic words or phrases can help pass the time until dining out,  interstate travel, and everyday interactions without facemasks once again become acceptable.

Looking for palindromes in everyday life is something anyone (not just MomDadPopNanAnnaOttoBob, and Hannah) can enjoy. For example, outdoor enthusiasts like to kayak. Motor sports aficionados dream of piloting a crimson racecar, one that’s redder than any other. Some people work out at the YMCA, but I prefer my gym. I can also refer to opera singers who excel at solos, or sagas of late-rising do-it-yourselfers who wait until noon to begin to repaper their walls.

Participating in elections is a tenet of all democracies, and should be on everyone’s radarStats indicate a record number of males did their civic duty this year and responded when someone commanded, “Rise to vote, sir!”

Last week I needed to go out and shovel some snow. Too bad I hid a boot.

True fact: the city of Yreka, California has a Yreka Bakery.

Which reminds me: zero is a number that is never odd or even.

Protocol dictates that every decent person step on no pets, not even senile felines that try to swap paws, and that we treat every person with respect, even though to some, lepers repel

So many dynamos don’t attend church regularly because, as one skittish flock member explained, “We panic in a pew.”

Full disclosure: I found most of the above palindromes on the Internet. (Don’t nod.)  

Now I’ll try writing some of my own. After all, how hard can it be?


Yltnerappa drah ytterp. <

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