Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Eclipse


Watching The Eclipse In China Through 3-D Glasses
Formerly Used In 1950's American Horror Films;
Woman (At Right) Now Sells Pencils In Beijing.
Poodle (At Left) is a Running, not a Helping, dog.
(Photo: Newscom - ChinaFoto/Wu Huang)

Today, generous portions of China were treated to one of the 68 Total Eclipses of the Sun that will take place during the 21st century. Large Poodles, and women in brightly-colored shirts with phrases printed on them in English, enjoyed six minutes of Darkness At Noon -- rather ironic, given that "Pin The Tail On The Tank" and "Tibet Is Ours!" are the two favorite games in the People's Fun Republic Of Chuckles.

If past eclipses are any guide, frogs began croaking, certain flowers began to close; Benjamin Button went out to his Daddy's house on The Lake to sit on the dock; and Rush Limbaugh was able to appear on the street for a few moments to buy a few dozen more doughnuts, without fear of being reduced to a charred shell by sunlight.

The Total Eclipse on November 13, 2012 (the last one before the end of the world that December, as foretold by the Mayan Long Count Calendar, and a Bazooka Bubble Gum wrapper I kept from 1962) will only best be seen from a spot in the middle of the South Atlantic. So, if you're in a boat at Latitude 39.9294° S, 161.3013° W on that date, boy, will you be in for a treat.

Of course, if the End Of The World™ in late December, 2012, turns out to be a bunch of Hooey, the next Total Eclipse observable in North America will be on August 21, 2017. The best place on the continent to view it will be Hopkinsville, Kentucky, birthplace of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy during "The Unpleasantness" of 1861-1865; and the birthplace of Anthony Hopkins, actor, composer, raconteur and cannibal, for whom the town is now named (Prior to Hopkin's success as an actor, the town was named Mortimer, Kentucky).

So, you have eight years in which to uproot your entire life and move to beautiful Hopkinsville, to enjoy approximately two minutes of a Total Solar Eclipse. After that, your life will all be downhill, won't it?