Three months ago a nearby university--my old alma mater, in fact--released to the media an earth-shaking announcement: mathematicians there had discovered--drum roll, please--a NEW PRIME NUMBER. Holy inter-terrestrial integers, Batman! Now we can all sleep at night.
Never mind that this 17-million-digit miracle would require reams of paper just to be printed so that we could feast our eyes on it. Though the article I read failed to specify just how this numerical wonder would ease world hunger, bring the country together over gun control, or tell us what really happened in Benghazi, I have no doubt that such answers lurk there somewhere.
Indeed, such an arithmetical anomaly causes us more alphabetically-oriented types to hang our heads in shame. Why can't we find something new? After all, just how long have we been using these same old twenty-six letters?
In fact, we have so few letters that some of them, like c and g, have to do double duty by representing more than one sound. Those poor little letters must exist in a continuous schizophrenic quandary as we require them to shuttle constantly between "hard" and "soft." And just think of those poor vowels! They never know what they are supposed to sound like, so a lot of times we relegate them to an undignified "uh" and go on.
Resting my head on my hand, barely able to type on, I gaze in bitter remorse on this sadly impotent computer keyboard. I am just about to put it out of its misery with a sledge hammer when--wait!--there it is! It has nestled quietly there below my fingers all this time, just waiting to be discovered and lavished with the recognition it deserves. Sure enough, quite by accident, I have discovered the twenty-seventh letter of the alphabet. It looks like this: [:].
How could I have missed something so phenomenal as this? Oh, how I rue the years, fraught with nonchalance and complacency, when my fingers flew across this keyboard oblivious to such potential just waiting to be tapped. Guiltily, I take my right forefinger and scrape it repeatedly along the top of my left. Shame, shame, shame on me.
The potential uses of this newly-discovered letter are myriad. I don't think even Carl Sagan could count them all. Like the new prime, it would take reams of paper to explore them all, so I let it suffice here to mention only a few.
How many times, when deeply engrossed in your writing, have you settled for using the clumsy and verbose phrase "electrical outlet cover"? Or how about "shirt with two buttons"? Or "jar with two suspended peas"? With potential this awe-inspiring, I must give it a name that reflects its true wonder. I hereby christen it "bazinga."
"X-Y-Z-Bazinga." At this point my mind virtually explodes with possibility, so I must hurry on to seek out media coverage of this life-transforming discovery.
Welcome to our world, bazinga. The forty-eighth known prime number pales alongside the likes of you.