Paul Gadzikowski

The Return of Archy the Cockroach

Millenial Cockroach

boss i wish these
purists who complain
that the new millenium
doesn t really
start till 2001
would get a life

the reason they complain that
the millennium turns
not this coming january 1
but the following january 1 
is one of
sloppy math and semantics

it is true
as they say
that there is no year zero
and the reason for that is just
that the people who created the
anno domini calendar
were priests instead
of accountants

when the pope and the cardinals
or whoever
decided to start counting years
from the birth of jesus
instead of from the founding of rome
they made some decisions

they labeled the year jesus was born
the year of our lord 1
or anno domini 1

or a d 1

they labeled the year before that
the first year before christ

or 1 b c

by this reckoning
the year of jesus s birth
is labeled one
so when one year had passed
and jesus turned one year old
it was the year
that is now labeled
by the anno domini calendar

so when the purists say
that 2000 years haven t passed
since the year of jesus s birth
until the end
rather than the beginning
of the year
labeled 2000
they re right

except that they re wrong

as you may know
it s been determined in later years
that the year labeled a d 1
by the creators of the anno domini calendar
was some six years
the actual year jesus was born

in that case the millennium
that most of us are celebrating
this year
and which the purists say
comes next year
actually passed in

the purists would say 1995

so it s all just a matter of semantics
and labels
and most of us have labeled the millennium s end
to be when those three zeroes roll down on
the digital a d calendar
midnight next december 31

on january 1 2000
i will be celebrating my
one hundred forty fourth

and avoiding elevators


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