By JEREMY OLSHAN
Round numbers make us feel rough around the edges.
This, after all, is why we celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. Fear.
Fear of the punishment to be promulgated by big, bad round numbers such as forty and
"By my calculations, the Queens Tribune
will go on forever."
Jackson Heights Numerologist
In several months, the world will throw the biggest party
in the history of civilization. Not out of any real significance in the space-time
continuum, but because we know full well that bad-ass round numbers like 2000 are known to
have terrible tempers, and if he isnt having a good time by 11:30 p.m., Mr. 2000 is
likely to run over all of us not to mention our outmoded computer systems
like so many bowling pins.
Then there is number 30. Number 30s reputation precedes itself. Why
just last Thursday, number 30 rolled into the bedroom of one Abe Rabinowitz, while he was
selecting socks, and threatened to flatten the poor man like a pancake if he did not spend
the next sixteen hours flipping through pictures of himself in old photo albums; pictures,
that is, taken before Mr. Rabinowitz discovered his penchant for Butter Pecan ice cream.
It is therefore, with some trepidation that the Queens Tribune prepares
for its appointment with the Big Three-O.
After all, this paper grew up at a time in which people were told,
"dont trust anyone over 30." Mr. 30 hates the expression, and has
reportedly squashed people up against a wall just for paraphrasing it.
Anyway, in order to help the Tribune cope with turning 30, and
fending off the wrath of the round number, we sought the help of the boroughs top
psychologists, numerologists, and psychics.
"The milestone makes you take a look at yourself," said Forest
Hills psychologist Henry Seiden. "Whatever you have accomplished you feel proud of,
whatever you have not accomplished, you worry about."
According to Seiden, this reflection tends to accentuate the positive or
negatives, depending on which are more predominant at that particular moment.
"But this is more a problem for people, not a newspaper," he
said. "People tend to feel that the best has past them by, that they have missed
opportunities. But that doesnt really apply to a newspaper. You have very little to
Other experts agreed.
"Exactly," said Jackson Heights numerologist Hadi Abdul.
"By my calculations, the Queens Tribune will go on forever."
When asked for a more detailed appraisal of our situation, Abdul plugged
in the Tribunes date of birth, the latitude and longitude of our original
office on Kissena Boulevard, and began to explain the good news.
"The Sun and mercury are moving into your first house with
Venus," said Abdul. "So your circulation will continue to grow, thriving in
territories previously unexplored. Saturn looks to be also in good shape, so from an
astrological point of view, things will be looking up."
Looking for a second opinion, if only to make sense of the first, we
consulted psychic Bob Cecilio, who has advised the Tribune in the past on the
future of the borough, and the outcome of several local elections.
"I see changes in the newspaper industry," said Cecilio.
"Changes caused by electronic media. I see less and less people bothering to sit down
and read the paper to get their news."
Cecilio added that he did not necessarily disagree with Abduls
numerological determination that "the Queens Tribune will go on forever," but
stressed that in order for the newspaper to survive it would have to change with the
"Psychically, everyone is looking to the new millennium for
change" said Cecilio. "By moving toward the new, moving to change, we hope to
move toward peace and higher consciousness."
Personally, we responded, peace and higher consciousness would get pretty
boring to write about after the first couple of weeks.
Fortunately, the experts said, all of the peace and higher consciousness
in the world isnt going to change the fact that 72 percent of the earths
computers will start speaking pig-Latin on Jan. 1, 2000, reminding us of how base and
immature we really are. You, go, Mr. big, bad 2000.
"There will be plenty news to cover in the future," added Abdul.
"News does not end at 30. Dont worry Tribune, you have nothing to