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Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobics: don't panic! Yes, well, right, that's easy for me to say, but then I don't suffer from a morbid fear of the number 666, arising from its association with the Beast, the Antichrist, the Apocalypse, children with rude stares and some truly horrific rock bands from whom no live chicken or kohl merchant was, or is, safe. There was also something to do with a TV advertisement for aftershave, but I might be confused about that.

Which is surely forgivable (except, of course, by the Dark Angel, who considers forgiveness theologically unsound, and soppy) as all this fuss about today's date is perplexing. Is it 06/06/06 or 6/6/06 or 6/6/6? Wasn't 666, according to St John, supposed to attach to a man rather than a date? Why didn't anything happen in 1006? Actually, come to that, 666 itself was pretty dull, too. So does the Devil's diary go by the Gregorian, Julian, or Hebrew calendar? And what about the recently examined papyrus fragment of a copy of Revelations, revealing that the number was, in fact, 616?

Indeed, but mockery is so often the conniving partner of ignorance.

So if you are fortunate enough to give birth today, I would plump for something like Wayne. Elsewhere, sudoku, obviously, is at your own risk. Ditto pavements, cracks, or rapid anticlockwise circling with eyes closed.

If you want something else to look forward to, the Mayans were very confident that the world would end in 2012. Don't forget the theory, either, that, in Australia, the number is 999. See you tomorrow?

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