Well, I’m not Cecil or Ed… but my mother says I’m special.
My guess: those numbers are set aside for one of four things:
A) The fora that you and I can’t see, but Moderators & Administrators can. There is, I’m told, a forum where threads are moved (rather than dleted) either for mod reference, or to save on the board resources required for deletion.
B) The numbers are set side for later use as new fora are created.
C) When I signed up, one of those ‘inactive’ fora seemed to be home to some giant, wider-than-one-screen pseudothread where a member or somebody had complied a vB/UBB tutorial or something… I only saw it once when it was referenced in another thread, and I’m not sure it still exists.
D) Something altogether else that I can’t think of.
As for Cecil responding, well, that’s always a tremendously rare and momentous event… if the Perfect Master responded to every thread where he was mentioned, it wouldn’t be long before every thread mentioned him. Anyways, that’s what he has Admins and Mods for. And as for Ed, I dunno. I haven’t seen him post in a while.