"While browsing through some dust-covered archival material in the recesses of the Roman section of the British Museum, a researcher recently came across a tattered bit of parchment. After some effort, he translated it and found that it was a letter from a man called Plutonius with the title of 'Magister Fastoriumí, or keeper of the calendar, to one Cassius. It was dated, strangely enough, 2 B.C., Nov.24. The text of the message follows.

Dear Cassius,

Are you still working on the YOK problem?  This change from B.C. to A.D. is giving us a lot of headaches and we havenít much time left. I donít know how people will cope with working the wrong way around. Having been working happily downward forever, now we have to start thinking upward. You would think that someone would have thought of it earlier and not left it to us to sort it all out at this last minute.

I spoke to Caesar the other evening. He was livid that Julius hadnít done something about it when he was sorting out the calendar. He said he could see why Brutus turned nasty. We called in the consulting astrologers, but they simply said that continuing downward using minus B.C. wonít work. As usual, the consultants charged a fortune for doing nothing useful.  As for myself, I just canít see the sand in an hourglass flowing upward. We have heard that there are three wise men in the East who have been working on the problem, but unfortunately, they wonít arrive until ifs all over.  Some say the world will cease to exist at the moment of transition.  Anyway, we are still continuing to work on this blasted YOK problem, and I will send you a parchment if anything further develops.


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