By SAM BROMER
Last Tuesday, my father and role model, Harry Bromer, celebrated his 66th birthday. My dad is a wonderful, sweet, kind, gentle man. I can thank him for my taste in music and books, my passion for discomfort-inducing jokes and my Michael-Cera-going-through-puberty-esque features (check the columnist photo … and make sure you’re sitting down, ladies). He’s a great dad.
But if you’re expecting a saccharine collection of anecdotes, culminating in a sweet, self-deprecating tribute to him, you might as well stop reading. The stakes are far higher than that.
I might as well cut right to the chase: I believe that my father might be the Antichrist.
Consider the evidence, coming at you thanks to Wikipedia. First, there’s his birthdate. October 27th, 1949 — the 300th day of that year in the Gregorian calendar. How many days there are between his birthday and the new year, you ask? Obviously, 66.
Do you know what else happened on October 27th? In 312 A.D., on the eve of a battle that would determine the fate of the Roman Empire, Constantine the Great received a vision which led to his conversion to Christianity. Three years later, in 315 A.D., he built an arch to commemorate the event. That is exactly 1700 years before 2015. That’s the year we’re living in RIGHT NOW. Evidence.
And do you know who else experiences strange, hallucinatory visions? Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, in Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist, when they encounter a horribly-CGI’d fox that utters the words “chaos reigns.” Yeah. I know. Eerie.
You think that’s it? I’m just getting started. October 27th, 1682. William Penn is anchored off the coast of New Castle, Delaware. With the blessing of the King of England, he founds the place we might call America’s Sodom: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Yeah, they might call themselves the “city of brotherly love,” but we all know what Philly is best known for: cheesesteaks — which scientists recently proved are cancer-causing Satan sandwiches — and the smell of urine after a football game. Where did Donald Trump go to college? The University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia (after transferring). Where was the playground on which Will Smith’s Fresh Prince spent most of his days? West Philadelphia. What city worships a bell, a central image in pagan imagery? PHILADELPHIA.
To help further prove my point, I consulted 666truth.org, which I heartily recommend as a resource for pursuing any totally not crazy conspiracy theories about the upcoming apocalypse. I took the website’s “Antichrist quiz” — yes, this is a real thing made by an actual, human person — which challenges the participant to choose who they believe might be the earthly vessel of Satan from such world leaders as Bill Gates, Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, Mikhail Gorbachev and, of course, President Obama. I wouldn’t want to undermine the compelling research I found here — there are some convincing arguments for each of these world leaders. For example, Reagan’s first, middle and last names each have six letters.
But don’t let them fool you. All the evidence points to my dad, whose real name, I assume, is Mephistoles. I have meticulously arranged all the evidence on my bedroom walls, and everything adds up, except one thing: How is he going to deceive humanity, and spread false prophecies of chaos and discord throughout the planet? I recently discovered the answer, and, in hindsight, it’s sickeningly obvious: Spotify.
You see, my dad and I share an account. That fact should be enough to make your blood curdle, or, I don’t know … make the skin of your hands terrifyingly dry. How am I supposed to maintain my status as an arbiter of music taste among my friends, colleagues and admirers when my “Recently Played Artists” section lists Adele, the Bee Gees and Mariah Carey? What is the point of carefully timing my listening of obscure, avant-garde, postmodernist composers at peak people-noticing time when he screws it all up by playing a cover version of “House of the Rising Sun” by some group of bored baby boomers that calls itself The ’60s Hippie Band?
There can be only one explanation. He is using my vast following to subliminally spread a message of terror throughout the globe.
So, there you have it. We’re screwed. The end. You might not believe me — but even if you don’t, please, keep your eyes open this Halloween for strange, numerically-shaped birthmarks and steer clear of open graves. I, on the other hand, will be in an abandoned laboratory, working on ever-more radical ways of convincing my dad to stop using my damn Spotify account at the same time I am.
(Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Any resemblance to real content, serious or satirical, is also purely coincidental. Happy birthday, dad … and happy Halloween, everyone).
Sam Bromer is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. No Place Like Brome runs alternate Thursdays this semester.