A forward, backward, right side up, upside down kind of year

I am one of the few million living world citizens to have survived a palindromic/ reciprocal year.

"What," you gasp, "is a palindromic/ reciprocal year? And who cares anyway?"

Well, now, listen up. Expand your intellectual horizons. You don't want to miss anything.

A palindrome is something that reads the same backward and forward (forward and backward, too). The classic is the often cited "Able was I ere I saw Elba," attributed by some to Napoleon.

This was followed by Teddy Roosevelt's supporters with, "A man, a plan, a canal, Panama."

So a palindromic year would be 1881. That's 1881 either way. No, no, that's not my palindromic/reciprocal year. Mine is 1961.

"But, but, but ..." you but! "That's 1961 forward, but 1691 backward. Fie, phooey, and shame!"

Whoa there, Nellie. I said palindromic/ reciprocal year. The palindrome is but the first half of it.

"What?" you murmur. "Could you speak English, please?"

Gladly, I reply happily. A reciprocal is an inverted fraction....

"Oh, yeah," you say with a yawn. "Well, wake me when the ballgame starts."

It's got nothing to do with any ballgame, I protest. Take a fraction. Take three-fourths, for example. Turn it on its head: four-thirds. You've inverted the fraction. Now do that with my palindromic/reciprocal year of 1961. What do you get? You get 1961 upside down or right side up. So there! And fie, phooey, and shame right back at you!

Hey, did you miss out? Were you born after 1961? Many people were.

Take heart! There is more than one palindromic/ reciprocal year.

Looky, there's 808, 818, 906, 916, 1001, 1111, 1691, 1881 ... just a whole bushelbasket full of them.

Even so, when is the next one?

Mark your calendar; you don't want to miss it!

It's 6009.

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