Tuesday, May 5, 2009

April Showers Bring May Swine Flu

...in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. -Benjamin Franklin

Since the beginning of time, people have been trying to predict the future and few have been more accurate than the common fortune cookie. Actually, my last fortune said something to the tone of: "You are a loser." No argument there. That, of course, is spot on. But whenever anyone hears a soothsayer in action, laughter is the common response. Even with all the fancy gizmos out there, even the weatherman still brings his umbrella to work on the wrong days. So what of these futuristic predictions we hear all the time? Are they Nastradamus nuggets of gold we should heed? Or Ms. Cleo nuggets of poop that we should fling at umm... Ms Cleo? Well, speaking of paunchy, long-haired prognosticators, let us take a look-see at Benjamin Franklin. The quote up there. Read it again. To those with the untrained eye, that is just a witty comment. But others like me with untrained eyes AND bladders see an obvious fulfillment of prophecy. Allow me to expound.

First, the taxes. In March, sales tax was at a microscopic 8.5%. Now in May, it has ballooned to a macroscopic 9.5%! Really, 9.5? Does the number system even go that high? That means for every dollar spent, the sales tax monster will turn me upside down by the ankles and shake out another penny from my pocket! So remember to stuff a few extra pennies in those lederhosens before you step out the door next time.

Second, the deaths. Back in March, people were dying of natural causes - succumbing to the Bubonic Plauge, getting gored by unicorns, touching the Sun... just to name a few. But now, there's a new exterminator in town - the Swine Flu, or more correctly known as H1N1 Flu. The creators of the name must have been in a riveting game of Battleship when they declared it as "H1N1." But needless to say, this swine flu is causing quite the rumpus. And when sars masks are launching a comeback, people should pay attention. Symptoms of Swine Flu include incessant oinking and falling in love with green muppets. Alright, I made that up. That's just what happens when I watch Sesame Street. But seriously, people are dying.

So what do you think of Mr. Franklin now, huh? Not just a pretty face on the century note anymore, huh? Apparently, those bifocals of his were made to see through time as well. Ok, I'll admit that his quote was more of a general statement than a meticulous omen. But that's beside the point. Actually, nothing is beside the point because I don't really don't have one.

Perhaps, nothing is more certain than uncertainly itself.