On this apocalyptic day…noBy Steve Estes
If you’re reading this, either the world did not end as the Mayan Apocalypse devotees would have us believe, or we are in the final day of our time on planet Earth.
I choose to believe that the Mayans simply knew that astronomical changes would take place, such as the shifting axis of the Earth, and the coming warming period that we exacerbate every day, and knew that the calendar would have to be shifted to new changes of seasons.
And it is appropriate that the changes take place on the winter solstice, the day when there is supposed to be the least time for sunlight of the year.
But let’s say, just for argument that we are indeed in the last day of our existence on planet earth and the Mayan Apocalypse is hurtling toward us in the form of some rogue planet that has broken free from its star and is on a collision course with our Earth. For that is one of the few scenarios under which the earth could cease to exist in a single day.
Now what would you like to be doing when that massive planetary body sends us all up in smoke?
So I took this question to folks on the street this week.
I didn’t realize how many people we have around here that either don’t read anything, either print or online, or only listen to Fox News.
One person commented that if this was to be the final day of the human race, he’d like to take a few enemies out before Mother Nature got the chance. I hope this dude hasn’t bought a gun.
Two folks actually asked me what the Mayan Apocalypse was and how did they go about getting in on the ground floor? I told them just stand still, they’d be where they needed to be.
Three people told me that the Mayans couldn’t even spell their own race, so how could they know anything about the future of the planet? I asked them to spell Homo sapiens. None got it right.
From what were obviously Fox News aficionados, I got the response that the non-existent global warming couldn’t be the cause of anything and tomorrow it was going to snow in the Keys because some almighty person told them so. So much for the Mayan Apocalypse.
I had one response that they were going to try and seduce every female they ran across because, what the heck, they wouldn’t have to worry about calling them the next day.
One guy was going to go steal a Lamborghini because he wanted to drive one before he kicked the bucket. Now that’s a short bucket list.
I got several people who were going to pray away the apocalypse. They were in a win-win for them because if it occurs, they can’t be proven wrong, and if it doesn’t….well.
From a colleague, I got the answer that they planned to go to the local tiki bar and just keep running up the tab until the moment of catastrophe. After all, who would be around to collect?
From what are obviously the pragmatists among us, I got one who said he planned to cut his grass, just like every other Friday afternoon, and another who said he’d rush to the bank to cash his paycheck so the survivors didn’t run his local branch out of cash.
One despondent female said she was going to quit her job by throwing things at the boss. If the apocalypse occurs, she won’t have to answer for it, and if it doesn’t she’ll have the satisfaction of having beaned the “bird brain” who needed to get smacked anyway.
So after all these rather strange responses, I tried to decide what I would do if I actually thought the world were coming to an end today.
And I couldn’t come up with a list.
It’s not that I couldn’t come up with a list because I don’t have some idea, I couldn’t come up with a list because I know that the apocalypse is simply an idea with a basis in misunderstanding between rival cultures thousands of years apart.
I looked at the Christmas tree, and I know that it will still have to be stocked for Tuesday, and I look at the weeds in the yard and know that I’ll still be fighting them come tomorrow, and I look at the cars and know they still need to be washed tomorrow, or the next day, and I look at the floor and know that the carpet still has to be replaced.
With a list like that, who has time to worry about whether the world will end today. If it ends at the first midnight, you aren’t reading this anyway and I don’t have to wash the cars, kill the weeds, stock the Christmas tree, or any of the other 300 items on my to-do-list for the weekend.
And I won’t care.
So maybe that’s a better angle to take.
Perhaps I should believe in the apocalypse and put off all the stuff, the mundane, that has to be part of our every day life and go join the guy on the barstool at the local tiki bar and run up the tab until the end.
But I can’t, because I don’t hold my liquor as well as I used to (that getting older crap again) and when I do have to wash the cars, kill the weeds, go shopping to stock the Christmas tree and start tearing up the carpet, I really, really don’t want to do it with a hangover that makes we wish the apocalypse had occurred.