Letters Column for February 2007

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In February 2007, the Spring Festival travel season in China began. Over 156 million passengers were to travel by train, and two billion bus trips were expected.

Nobody knows what happened to those people.

Probably they traveled by train. And by bus. Respectively. But they may have vanished entirely. Or they may have never existed at all. Some of them may even have been vampires, chupacabras, or hybridized human bees.

In February 2007, at least three domain name system root nameservers came under a denial-of-service attack. People forgot their names. The world fell out of order. Everything dissolved into the primordial soup that preceded our existence, and was lost forever, and the end.

That did not happen.

I was making that bit up.

In February 2007, a suspicious brown substance was found in an envelope. Scientists raced to the scene and performed their science. Soon it was clear to all peer-reviewed publications that the new substance was in fact inherently suspicious and the abandonment of the “soft” science psychology in favor of the hard empirical study of qualia radiation began.

Is this satiric take responsible or irresponsible? Is it conservative, liberal, or peculiar in its implications? Later, the mysterious Dr. Jenna Katerin Moran was to entirely forget the details of the incident in question.

She would not know.

In February 2007, Fatmir Rexhepi, interior minister of Kosovo, resigned. Shane Gibson, the Minister for Immigration for the Bahamas, resigned. Singer Britney Spears, controversially, shaved her head. The European parliament approved a report on secret CIA flights. General Motors was rumored to be in talks to buy DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler Group in its entirety. Vietnam — somewhat belatedly — started in on its new year.

Why did they wait? Why did these things happen in February, and not January?

We asked the mysterious old man who lives in the sky over Vietnam for his commentary. He spoke sincerely and with passion on these subjects. Regrettably we at Hitherby do not speak, nor understand, Vietnamese, nor were our recording devices capable of transcribing it. His response one must extrapolate from context; that job, o gentle reader, falls to you.

Listen.

In February 2007, James Cameron discovered ossuaries that once contained remains.

Senegal released unofficial results.

Advisors to the Food and Drug Administration recommended that the agency approve.

And
then
five
years
passed.

Listen, o gentle reader.

I promised you in my last letters column that I would leave you in suspense for as long as possible about whether there would be a letters column for February 2007.

I hope I have fulfilled this duty well.

Best wishes,

Jenna

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