Richard Heene, you're going to dig this story.
So, the other day we were kicking back, studying the Maya calendar, when we made two shocking discoveries:
• One, the ancient timekeepers totally predicted the movie 2012!
• Two, they totally nailed your family's Balloon Boy saga from start to Wolf Blitzer finish!
Not to brag, but here's how we did it—and, Mr. Heene, feel free to source us in any future reality-TV proposal:
First, we read in the Los Angeles Times about how people are freaking out over the forthcoming 2012.
At first, we assumed this was because Roland (Godzilla) Emmerich made the film, but then we learned this was because the film taps into real fears that the real world will end for real when the Maya calendar supposedly ends…in 2012.
Then, we read on Gawker about how you, Mr. Heene, are something of a 2012 doomsday buff yourself. (So, that's why you were in such a hurry to land a TV show!)
Anyhoo, all of this made us curious about the Maya calendar—namely, if the Mayans programmed it, so to speak, to foretell the end of the world, didn't they leave clues about other events and/or episodes of Lost?
Boy, did they ever! Check this out:
• On the Maya solar calendar, there is a month named Wo, and a month named Ch'en. And on the Maya ceremonial calendar, there is a day named Manik, and a day named Kawak. Put 'em together, and you've got Wo Manik and Ch'en Kawak. Or, 2012 director Roland Emmerich and star John Cusack, if you say Wo Manik and Ch'en Kawak about a million times in a row, and lose oxygen to the brain in the process!
• Now, Emmerich's and Cusack's names alone weren't enough to convince us of anything except that the Maya invented the people-working-with-other-people function on IMDb. But then we learned that the solar and ceremonial calenders interlock. Like gears. Or, like how movie studios tie movies, like 2012, to dates, like Nov. 12, to create a sense of synergy. Or destiny!
• The whole tie-in thing got us thinking: What would be the ultimate tie-in for 2012, outside of the actual apocalypse, which box office analysts feel would hurt opening-weekend ticket sales? Why, Balloon Boy, of course! See, while your family's saga itself doesn't touch on doomsday, Mr. Heene, your family's saga has provided you with celebrity, which has put a spotlight on your views, which include, yes, doomsday, 2012- and 2012-style!
• It was all coming together so fast, we could scarcely believe what we found next: The Balloon Boy story broke on Oct. 15, 2009—or, in the 12 Baktun cycle of the Mayan Long Count calendar. Balloon, Baktun…Baktun, balloon… Get it? But wait, there's more: Mr. Heene, your name, Richard Heene, has 12 letters! And your age, 48, or 4-8, adds up to 12! And people think Paranormal Activity is scary…
• While your rise to fame this year, Mr. Heene, was clearly predicted by the Mayans, sadly so was your downfall. As you'll notice, if you have your own Maya calendar handy, the symbol for the day known as Ajaw is a boy with his mouth agape, as if to upchuck because he let the hoax cat out of the bag to Wolf Blitzer. Either that, or the symbol's an approximation of Blitzer's own expression after realizing he totally missed the kid's "we did this for the show" slip.
Any way you intepret it, there you have it: Balloon Boy meets Wolf Blitzer meets 2012!
Omar W. Rosales spent a month in Guatemala with the resident Maya Daykeepers, or soothsayers, as part of research for his book, Elemental Shaman. When he asked them about the 2012 doomsday prophecy, they laughed.
"They don't take it seriously at all," Rosales told us.
We asked him if he thought they'd laugh at our Balloon Boy-2012 prophecy, too.
"Of course," he finally said. "Sometimes we may look too much into events. It can just go overboard."
Which, we figure, is a nice way of saying Ch'en Kawak doesn't sound exactly like John Cusack.