A seemingly random date scribbled on a page, the handwriting unfamiliar.
I’ve seen enough television to know that there’s no such thing as a random number. Unfortunately, I don’t work with any savant types like the kid from that new Kiefer Sutherland show. But I do have deductive reasoning skills. And, more importantly, Google.
First, the logical thought process. I don’t know anyone who is graduating in four years; even if I did, April 2 is awfully early for a graduation ceremony. None of my friends are engaged. And if they were planning on a four-year engagement, they probably wouldn’t be my friend after I voiced my opinion. I understand needing time to plan, but if you can’t get it planned (or get someone to commit) in that amount of time… Well, let’s face it: probably not going to last anyway, so save the money.
Next, the illogical thought process. What if that’s the day I’m going to die?! Maybe it’s like a Mayan prophetic warning or something…
…Which led to Google. This revealed that we have 1,414 days until my mystery date. Said date is also the last day for the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs, duh) Annual Convention in Los Angeles. It is also—according to a heavily accented gentleman on YouTube—the appointed time of Christ’s Second Coming. [Sidebar: I’ve always adhered to the idea that no man knows the day or the hour of His return, as stated in Matthew 24:36.]
And finally, I decided that Google couldn’t answer this for me. No, this would take some good old-fashioned detective work. Rather than interrogate my coworkers, I set out to collect handwriting samples. “Write down my birthday so you won’t forget it” works surprisingly well. It only got me two of the numbers I was looking to identify, but those were the two most characteristic. And yet, no luck. Interrogation, my last resort, was called up to bat.
“What do you know about this date?” is not so easily played. Fortunately, my first suspect was guilty.
April 2, 2016, is the date on which one of my designer friends becomes eligible for full retirement. Not a great payoff for all of that suspense. I could’ve embellished, but all of this sleuthing is exhausting. I’m beginning to understand Joe Friday’s interest in nothing but the facts.