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Can 2021 really be any worse than 2020? Don't ask

In the immortal (and immoral) words of Dr. Christian Szell, D.D.S., as the Nazi dentist was torturing Babe Levy with a drill in the 1976 thriller “Marathon Man”

“Is it safe?”

It would take an optimist, however, to believe that just because the root canal that was 2020 is over, we can rinse and spit our way to safety.

The year just seemed as long as a marathon. It was clearly longer and not only because it was a Leap Year.

Running 26 miles and 1,056 feet is a walk in the park, relatively speaking, when compared with the 31,622,400 seconds of our lives that we’ll never get back.

So, a point for 2021’s favor it’ll be shorter.

As we await for Wednesday’s made-for-popcorn melodrama to be played out in the hallowed halls in Congress, we remain a people waiting to exhale as whirring, grinding drill bits hover perilously above our heads.

But once situation that is over and done with (now look who’s the optimist), it should be smooth sailing through the rest of the year.

Clearly, after the torment caused by the traumas of 2020, what could be worse?

Would you believe a zombie apocalypse?

Don’t blame me; I’m no Nostradamus.

Instead, the fault for forecasting an invasion by the brain-eating walking dead can be porch-pirated squarely at the doorstep of

well, Nostradamus.

Yep, good ol’ Michel de Nostredame — gone some 454 years now — has been credited (or blamed) for “predicting” such events as both world wars, the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Apollo moon landings and the obsessive need to wait hours in line for fast-food hamburgers.

(Well, maybe not that last one.)

As for 2021, the New York Post — that harbinger of truth, justice and the American Way — reported this week on the investigative research conducted by the website yearly-horoscope.org which suggests that Nostradamus has predicted the arrival of zombies as a signal of the End Times.

The key phrase in the Nostradamus’s quatrain appears to be an evil growing from the emergence of “half-dead” young people.

Come to think of it, zombies might explain those lines for hamburgers.

Now, this might suit suckers for seer interpretations as a plausible reference to the marching, munching, mumblers ... who pretty much have worn out their welcome as metaphors ... but I’m not ready to let that special order upset us.

The remainder of Nostradamus’s dire warnings for 2021 read like a list of the usual special sauce of suspects — earthquakes, famines, the United States fielding an army of soldiers with implanted brain chips, asteroids hitting the earth, religious wars

wait what???

“American soldiers,” yearly-horoscope explains, “will be turned into a kind of cyborgs, at least at the brain level, to save the human race.”

Now, just how did the website come to that conclusion? By reading this:

“The newly made one will lead the army,

Almost cut off up to near the bank:

Help from the Milanais elite straining,

The Duke deprived of his eyes in Milan in an iron cage.”

Well, of course. On the other hand, had that been his quatrain for 1974, he could have been predicting the success of “The Six Million Dollar Man.”

As for the notion that Steve Austin and the Zombies would be tell-tale signs of the End Times, let we reassure you with a couple of well, you know, what we used to know as facts:

n Nostradamus first predicted the end of the world to occur in 1999. It didn’t happen hell, we didn’t even get Y2K so he shares with The Amazing Criswell the dubious honor of the worst Armageddon mistake this side of Michael Bay.

n Nostradamus himself has prophecies stretching until the year 3797 which is quick math here a whole heckuva lot of years from now, but probably not far enough in the future for the 2020 presidential election to wrap up.

Christopher Columbus was wrong about the world ending in 1656, and 1658 (not to mention thinking he had discovered Ohio). the one and only Wilbur Voliva’s prediction that“the world is going to go ‘puff’ and disappear” went up in smoke in September of 1935. And R.E.M. miscalculated by a little bit by declaring “It’s the end of the world as we know it” in 1987, although they probably feel fine.

The point is, after those 31,622,400 dreadful seconds tormented us last year, it’s only natural to ask “Is it safe?” But that doesn’t mean we have to go looking for tinfoil-hat interpretations of impenetrable prophecies to justify those fears.

All we have to do is head over to The Rapture Index which has been holding steady in the “Fasten Your Seats Belts” zone for the past four years.

So, while we wait, here’s to the 216,000 seconds we won’t have to deal with in 2021.

Who’s up for hamburgers?

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Tribune news editor Robert

Galvin at rgalvin@rosebudmedia.com