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Things get worse: Here comes Sicperson

If, some day, you espy this entity across a crowded room, don't panic, you will be only a crowded room away from Sicperson. What brought this about was the doodling of NCR proofreader Pierre Jorgensen, who clearly has not enough work to do. In this first instance, Sicperson seems to be simultaneously sucking our thumb and scratching our head in a thoughtful posture.

We always wished that when a doodler got around to rendering us, something -- how can we say this modestly? -- more debonair or imposing or, darn it, young would be the result. But what's an old entity to do?

* * *

This Space is in the eye of a storm stirred up by Bill Freburger remarking, en passant, that the new millennium would start Jan. 1, 2000. Humans everywhere took issue. Frankly Sic didn't care a hoot except for the excuse this gave certain parties to take potshots at our infallibility.

Explains Joe Klock on AOL: "Given that 2000 is a leap year, Bill, along with the pope and millions of other unenlightened people, will be celebrating 366 days early." Klock then gets personal: "Because I am a person of strong faith, I will assume Sic was not proclaiming ex cathedra."

Not to mention Marshall "Party Pooper" Peterson from Knoxville, who asks: "Should an infallible savant not be aware of Pope Gregory XIII's calendar?" (It's a little-known fact that Gregory actually used The Far Side Calendar.)

And then there's Bob Hoffman of Clinton: "Not that I would dare criticize the infallible ..." If that's not a criticism, Sic never saw one.

* * *

Has This Space got news for you. On account of various glitches in reality, the new millennium will actually begin April 24, 2000, early in the afternoon. This calls for a party. We could invite the pope and newly-elected President Gingrich and Tiger Woods who by then will have bought up all the world's golf courses and turned them into a new country called Everywhere.

* * *

A secret Sic source sent this in by cybermeans. It's basically a state-of-the-world report:

"I am a deeply superficial person" (Andy Warhol).

"Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight" (Phyllis Diller).

"After 12 years of therapy my psychiatrist said something that brought tears to my eyes. He said, 'No hablo ingles' " (Ronnie Shakes).

"Tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the universe and he'll believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint on it and he'll have to touch it to be sure" (Jarger).

"If I were given the opportunity to present a gift to the next generation, it would be the ability for each individual to learn to laugh at himself" (Charles Schulz).

"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other 10 percent a bad reputation" (Henry Kissinger).

* * *

An awestruck Sic, some weeks ago, on seeing Mother Angelica's TV program for the first time, set up, sort of, the Big Sic Mother Angelica Fan Club. This woman deserves more fame, was our gist: Line up. Sadly, only two lined up.

"Let's call ourselves the Angelifans and have a T-shirt designing contest for starters," wrote Hope Springer, a suspicious name if ever we saw one. Mother sells "all kinds of holey (sic) stuff over TV. ... She's even bigger than infallibility."

Fighting words. If you think about it -- and even if you don't -- nothing is bigger than infallibility, which can, for example, carve in stone what women won't be allowed to think about not now, not ever, forever. That's clout.

On a more positive note: Springer suggests an anthem for the BSMAFC: "My joke is easy and my burden right."

* * *

Then along comes Fr. Bernard Head, who takes the poetic route:

A mercurial nun named Angelica
Seemed sweeter than mortals could tellica.
She would grin; she would wink,
But then, in a blink,
She would scowl and give liberals hellica.
* * *

People are too busy for reading, so books are getting shorter. Sic's friend Amica sent us a list of the really short books:

Arab Democracies.

A Thoughtful Conversation with Dennis Rodman.

Dr. Kevorkian's Compendium of Motivational Speeches.

Everything Men Know About Women.

Bob Dole: The Wild Years.

Popular Lawyers.

Your Adipose Deposits and You.

* * *

Ad in The Middlesex News: "Moving to Colorado. Help us lighten our load. Lots to sell. Big, little things, toys, baby, furniture, low prices ..."

* * *

M.J. Lyon, who supplies the syllogism of the week ("I love Sic; you love Sic; therefore we are all Sic" -- sorry, Aristotle) also poses the following mind-numbing conundra:

If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?

Would a fly without wings be called a walk?

Can you be a closet claustrophobic?

(How do they think of this stuff?)

If a funeral procession is at night, do folks drive with their lights off?

If a stealth bomber crashes in the forest, will it make a sound?

When it rains, why don't sheep shrink?

If the cops arrest a mime, do they tell her she has the right to remain silent?

Why is the word abbreviation so long?

What do you do when you discover an endangered animal that only eats endangered plants?

* * *

In conclusion, this is not Sicperson having a bad hair day, nor mud wrestling with an invisible opponent. It is rather Sicperson dressed, for now, in sackcloth and ashes.

National Catholic Reporter, June 20, 1997