December 20, 2012
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.
Well, so here we finally are.
The end of the year.
And, also, this isn't just any average end of the year: This time, not only is it the end of the year it's also the end of the world.
So, that adds a little gravitas to the year-end festivities this time around.
Because, sadly, as you've no doubt heard, the world will end on Friday, Dec. 21. I wish it weren't true either, but there's no getting around it; the news of the impending end of the world is all over the internet, and, as I'm sure you're aware, if it weren't true, there's no way something like that could have made it past the internet fact checkers.
By now, everyone knows the daunting date of definite doom, but you might not know the time so I'm going to tell you that too: According to the expert interpretations of the ancient Mayan texts interpretations that have been verified on not one but many internet blogs it happens at 11:11:11 Greenwich Meridian Time, which, for us, here in our humble community, will be at exactly 11 seconds after 6:11 a.m.
Ironically, the AccuWeather forecast for Dec. 21 calls for it to be "Bright and Sunny," and the forecast for Dec. 22 the day after the end of the world calls for, "A full day of Sunshine."
(Yes, the weather people are still putting out forecasts for the days after the apocalypse. I'm not sure what the point of that is exactly, but I think it's some sort of sick and twisted inside joke among the AccuWeather people.)
The good news is that, when the end of the world happens, it will be early morning here just after 6 a.m. So that means that, if you time it right, you'll be sound asleep when it all goes down.
In fact, my parting advice to you in this, my last column, is to stay up late Thursday night, and really blow it out hard at whatever End of the World Party you attend, so you'll be passed out cold when it all goes down; and therefore you won't be awake to witness the black hole, alien invasion, plague of locusts or whatever form of destruction the world's final death blow takes.
I have to say I do think that, despite my advice to you, when it comes to myself I'm going to get up early and make some coffee, and turn on the TV, just to see exactly how it all happens, because by nature I'm curious like that.
And, end of the world or not, I'm determined not to get all down about it.
I mean, please. Try not to be so depressed. Come on, sure it looks bleak, but it's not like it's the end of the wor—
OK, so that usual line of encouragement doesn't really work very well in this case.
But, I mean, really, if you think about it, there's still plenty to live for.
Well, OK, so that's not exactly true right now either.
Granted, there aren't a lot of positive upbeat phrases that work in this situation but the very last thing we need at the end of the world is a bunch of doomsayers moping around complaining.
Everyone needs to remember that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile, and that's important because you'll probably need that extra energy to run from the zombies, locusts or whatever, for as long as you can.
Don't think about the future (or, really, the lack thereof). Instead, at this time, we should think back over the existence of the planet. Listen, let me tell you why I don't think we should be too sad about the end of the world: The earth has had a pretty darn good run about 4.6 billion years to be exact.
I'm sorry, but any world that gets 4.6 billion years of existence simply isn't allowed to complain when its time is finally up: 4.6 billion years is a heck of a long time to hang around.
It's the time it took for the earth's planetary mass to form into a solid surface and then for life to arise from the cosmic soup and for men to evolve into beings with opposable thumbs so that we finally reached the height of human evolution the ability to text each other from our iPhone 5's.
Or, to think about that same length of time in somewhat more mundane terms, 4.6 billion years is approximately the amount of time it takes to renew a license tag sticker at a local DMV office.
Which, if you think about it, is a really solid run of time. If you put it in college basketball terms, suppose the same team, say, Duke, won the NCAA championship 4.6 billion years in a row well, I'll bet the opposing team wouldn't even show up for the championship game the following year. Their coach might be like, "Don't be intimidated; this, is our time; this is our moment!" but I'll bet his team would just stay home anyway.
My point is that a 4.6 billion year run is nothing to sneeze at.
And there are some good things about the end of the world happening as well. Normally, when you meet your demise, other people live on; but there's something highly comforting to me in knowing that, when I die, the whole world will die with me.
You'll be able to take solace in that too.
Since everyone is going at once, you won't have some jerk that you hate outliving you for any length of time, and, with any luck, you'll even get the enjoyment of watching that jerk being torn apart and eaten by the zombie hoards before they turn and swarm on you.
Not that it will necessarily be zombies.
I don't think the Mayans were that specific in their doomsday prediction. They didn't say whether it would be zombies or another form of cataclysm that will bring about the end.
And not knowing all the details is probably a good thing. I'll bet that if the ancient Mayans were around today, and you asked them how it was going to happen, they would just hold up their hand to signal you to stop, and they would say, "Trust me, you don't want to know."
And, who knows, maybe it will be something quick, which would be good. Like that Dylan Thomas poem says, "It's much better to go quickly into that good night."
I do hope it's not something that makes the end long and drawn out over a period of days, or Heaven help us all weeks, with the world gradually getting hotter and hotter, and people running around screaming: "Soylent Green is people! It's people!"
Anyway, I say 4.6 billion years is a pretty good run no matter how you slice it and, with any luck, the end will be swift and painless.
I do wish we had gotten to see one final Christmas maybe even a white one. That would have been nice.
If there were any order to the universe, the apocalypse would happen at midnight on Dec. 31 just simply because that would be cleaner from an accounting perspective. You know, allowing us until the end of the year would have closed out both the heavenly and earthly books nicely.
I just hope the method of destruction is not the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz because, to this day, they scare the living tar out of me every bit as much as they did when I was 5 years old and saw the flying monkeys for the first time. I'd much rather it be a black hole than zombies or the flying monkeys.
If it's a black hole, well, the funny thing about that is that, if it really is a black hole from the Hadron Collider in Europe, then the last living creatures on earth would be the penguins, because the poles would be the last place the black hole would hit....continued on page 2