Here we all thought Babalú had a special patented seismograph which let it know whenever Castro's death was imminent. That the seismograph was not very good at forecasting Fidel's death or anything else did not seem as important to us as the blind faith that Val had in it. So great was his trust in this contraption that he staked his blog's reputation and his own by throwing his lot with Perez Hilton, the professional gossipmonger, who went out on no limb himself when he announced, in conjunction with Val, Fidel Castro's demise a month ago. His seismograph (known at other times as "gay radar") must have been beeping too.
In his latest post on Babalú, "Place Your Bets, Folks!" Val reveals that his seismograph is actually Google. Yes, the world's most popular search engine. What makes it a unique resource for Val is that he personally processes its information through a less powerful engine, namely, his brain, using a formula entirely of his own devising, which allows him to know how close Castro is to death hour by hour (or how close the regime is to announcing his passing). Whenever Babalú blog receives an unusual number of visitors via Google who use the search words "fidel castro dead" or some similar wording, and the number of such visitors and queries, as reported by Sitemeter, increases exponentially during the week, Val shakes as if the earth were opening around him and a bell goes off in his head: "Fidel Castro is Dead."
Val then transmits the word urbe ex orbe; an entire mid-size city of 100,000 rushes to his blog to hear more news about Fidel's extinction, which Val assures everybody has the City of Miami and even the White House on "Code Red;" the champagne is put on ice in thousands of Cuban-American homes; noisemakers from last New Year's are unearthed; the flags are unfolded; hearts are beating faster and everybody's imagination is running far ahead of actual developments, when, suddenly, the balloon bursts. Oops, Val proclaims Fidel's demise to be a false alarm. Or is it? Since Fidel is already dead (according to Val), is it really a "false alarm" to announce his death, once, twice or even one-hundred times? Does the truth cease to be the truth because it is pronounced before its time? Is Val not a prophet in the desert? Predicting the death of a moribund 81-year-old should be child's work for a prophet. And yet. It perennially eludes Val and not for want of trying.
Let me be the first to predict that Val will again announce Fidel's death this Friday. That is always a safe bet.