A slight air of excitement is rippling through the nation today, as the 6th June 2006, or 666 as it is affectionately known, arrives. This phenomenon is based on a disputed passage from the Bible’s Book of Revelation, which in several popular versions declares the “number of the beast” to be 666 — although some biblical scholars claim there was a mistranslation and the number should really be 616. Tuesdays are usually humdrum days for British office workers. They are too far away from the coming weekend and hold only fading memories of the previous one. But the chance of an Armageddon brings to this Tuesday a sniff of drama.
Today, fans of Iron Maiden, the heavy metal gods, will be humming the Number of the Beast song on their way to work. And cinema-goers will lapping up the first release of the The Omen 666 a re-make of the 1976 horror hit The Omen. Midwives around the country will be hoping for an easy time. They know that expectant mothers will be doing all they can – avoiding green leaf tea, hot curries and energetic sex - to hold off giving birth for fear of spawning the Anti-Christ. Today is also a lucky day for Seventh-day Adventists, a Christian denomination established in 1863. On a scale of one to 1,000: one being most likely that the Lord will arrive and 1,000 being least likely, they award today a 156 rating. In their terms, this means “fasten your seatbelts.”
British people adore disasters. Many were psyched up for the explosion of the Y2K timebomb – a technological bug that could cause computers to malfunction. They stockpiled on baked beans tins and stuffed their cars with petrol. But nothing happened.
Now, a new Day of Reckoning beckons. Even though the last 666, well 6666, June 6 1966, passed without incident, the nation still waits in nervous anticipation.