(SNN) - "It represents one of the gravest dangers to our modern way of life since the last one!" That's the shocking conclusion of an influential think tank, which reported to the United Nations Global Anxiety Committee this week. But this isn't anything to do with climate change, pollution, or the rumours that George W Bush will become a peace envoy to the Middle East. It is a threat, which, while overlooked by scientists everywhere, was first mentioned by the Sage News last month.
In her article entitled, 'GRANNY'S STILL GOT IT (and Grandpa too)', Jan Marshall referred to 80 being the new 60 which was the new 30. Since then, web forums have been inundated with people worried about the ramifications of the modified numbering scheme. Sage News itself has received many millions of messages from worried individuals, concerned online pharmacies and one very persistent vendor of marital aids.
Comments received from our legitimate readers include one from Miss K Murgatroyd of Edinburgh, Scotland who wrote, "I was born in 1984 so does that make me 30 years old or ready for retirement?" Meanwhile, an officer from the Texas Highway Patrol was puzzled about the consequences for national speed limits. He tweeted, "If I record a driver travelling at 80 mph, I don't know if he's breaking the law or doing a leisurely 60 mph under the new system." Even academics have expressed uncertainty. Dr Tanya Jaeger, a lecturer in advanced mathematics from Newcastle, Australia asked, "Will someone please tell me if 60 add 10 is 70 or 40?"
There may be still more trouble ahead as experts at Oxford University consider the prospect that other numbers might also be affected. Even NASA chief and star of 'The Big Bang Theory', Jim Parsons, has been told to forget his lines and turn his massive mind towards finding an answer. To this end, the US Goverment has offered him state of the art resources, which it says, "will be the envy of every nation on the planet, but mostly Andora and Lichtenstein."
Wearing a 'Green Lantern' pyjama set and a worried expression, Parsons told me that he was "pessimistically optimistic rather than optimistically pessimistic." Nevertheless, he suggested that, "Even if each figure, all the way up to infinity, has to be revised downwards, there might be benefits. It could mean that alien civilisations may not be tens of light years away. One might even—" and it was here that he used his many years of experience in the acting profession to create dramatic tension, "—be languishing on our doorstep. Rather like a drunk ex-lover fumbling for a key after the locks have been changed." Whilst he refused to elaborate on the sophisticated equipment promised by the Obama administration, he was observed giving the small Casio calculator in his shirt pocket a series of withering looks during the interview.
And as the world waits for clarification, the Doomsday Clock, which predicts how much time humanity has left, stands at a symbolic five minutes to midnight. Or does it?
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