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Say it with me real fast three times: eleven, eleven, eleven. This month, prophetic gurus from around the word will be titillating with end time predictions as we experience one of the time phenomena of this decade of the 21st century in which the month, date, and year are the exact same number. After December 12th of next year, if the world doesn’t end, we won’t witness this again until February 2, 2022, and then, only once per decade until the 22nd century.
Centuries ending in the number 11 are unique in that there are 4 dates in a period of 365 days that feature numeral ones exclusively in the way we commonly express the date: 1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, and 11/11/11. This has created fear, wonder, and earnest seeking of meaning from Buddhists to Bible scholars, schizophrenics to psychiatrists, and housewives to accountants. With the last and most intriguing of the four dates making an appearance this month, I wondered how people would be celebrating their own November 11ths, other than the obvious Veteran’s Day. Here are eleven possible ways I imagined folks spending time at 11:11 AM or PM on 11/11/11:
1. Getting married in Cabo.
2. Praying for world peace.
3. Being born.
4. Keeping Herman Cain occupied, as to not give him any more brilliant ideas.
5. Having an eleven-scoop banana split among friends.
6. Hosting a beer or wine tasting party including 11 cheeses from around the world.
7. In a cubicle at exactly 11:11 AM– giving a heartily, unashamed and unannounced shout of, “Woohoo!” and then saying nothing…or just ignoring 11/11/11 altogether.
8. Dressing up in traditional Mayan clothing (or not) and dancing around the living room like it’s the top of Chichén Itzá. The “Woohoo!” is optional.
9. Releasing a major blockbuster film.
10. Singing Aquarius at a Karaoke party.
11. Buying peanut butter, canned tuna, and bottled water in preparation for hunkering down with the Book of Daniel, a flashlight, and a generator for the evening.
With all this numerology and the combinations of the number 1 floating around in my head, I decided to get back to my roots and call my old college professor to discuss prime numbers. She was right where I left her in Advanced Calculus twenty years ago.
I have to confess to you that I picked up my iPhone to make the call with fear and trembling even still. The only way to describe our relationship was like Dorothy and the Great Wizard of Oz—only she was no “man behind the curtain”. She really knew her stuff and took calculations very seriously! In her class there was no eating, drinking, sleeping, or blinking. Otherwise, you were called down and asked to leave class immediately. Breathing was okay as long as it was done quietly.
“Hello? [Eh hem] …this is your old student Brandi Tanner Chambless from 1990.” I was too afraid to ask if she remembered me. After a very gracious discussion on her part, she told me that she did remember me and remembered that I made good grades (Booyah!). “I always remember the good students.”
In a matter of minutes, we had discussed prime numbers, ancient history, math in general, running, our careers, and how calculus wasn’t nearly as exciting since everything was done by computer now. I rediscovered the reasoning and truth of the number 1 being entirely in a class of its own, being considered neither prime nor composite.
This November, I’ve received countless emails with all ones in the subject line that tell me everything from the good Chinese fortune I’m going to have to the identity of the antichrist. There are so many things written about the significance of two ones standing side-by-side to form the number 11. I questioned the truth of some of the things I read, wondering if scripture about end times deception was being fulfilled in my hearing: For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect (The Book of Matthew 24:24).
It seemed somewhat absurd to me to panic about 11/11/11 when we humans have now lived one hundred years since November 11, 1911 and two hundred years since November 11, 1811. If the world was really going to end when the date contained all ones, I think it should have already ended in the 12th century.
Though I really tried, I was not able to determine if this is it this November, next December 21st (not 12th, according to the Mayan calendar), or any specific date at all. However, I did arrive at one conclusion that is a certain truth for all of us; I’m sorry to report the bad news. Your days are numbered. One day, you will meet a certain fate of death. As for the end of the world, not even the Son of Man knows the day, the time, or the hour, but it will end be at some unexpected time. Forget about the peanut butter…are you really ready?
Send your response and also tell us how you spent your 11/11/11 this year at facebook.com/the.soapbox.brandi.chambless or leave a comment below.