December 20, 2012

Looks ominous. (Edgard Garrido/Reuters)

Well, if the Mayans were right, tomorrow is the end. Of the calendar or of the world, remains to be seen.

We have always lived in apocalyptic times. As long as there has been a world, people have been expecting it to end. But so far it has entirely failed to oblige. Dorothy Parker noted this phenomenon. “Eat and drink and laugh and lie,” she wrote, “Love the reeling midnight through. For tomorrow we may die — but, alas, we never do.”

So I just don’t want to get my hopes up. I’ve been burned before. Y2K still burns in my memory. Not to mention all those times Harold Camping cried “Apocalypse” and nothing much happened except that his flock lost their life savings.

Still, I have to say, there are a few convincing signs.

  • Miss USA wins Miss Universe. This seems improbable, when you consider the size of the universe and the richness and diversity of its life forms, or the fact that while Miss Universe was wearing a long-sleeve red gown with a plunging neckline and performed nothing at all, the cellular life form from Gliese 581 G was wearing nothing but a porous membrane and performed mitosis several times. Whether the Mayans object to it or not, this competition is rigged in favor of multicellular life forms with legs. 
  • I keep getting ominous e-mails that say I only have “One Day Left To Shop.”
  • A new study finds that unbelievers make up the world’s third-biggest “religion.” And even if they didn’t, most of us do not worship the Mayan gods, no doubt prompting vengeance.
  • Congress appears to be waiting until we are absolutely certain the world will not end in order to reach a resolution on the fiscal cliff. It is hard to argue with this. This is just what I used to do when I thought there might be a snow day.
  • The grapefruits have turned on us, probably in response to a hatchet job that appeared in Slate.
  • Numerous bars scheduling “End of the World” theme nights. Hey, they were right about St. Patrick’s Day coming.
  • NASA says not to worry about it. Given their current funding level, how could they possibly know?
  • Honey Boo Boo exists, is major national figure.
  • That guy on Facebook who is always posting unconfirmed screeds in capital letters seems convinced.
  • Canada’s strategic reserve of maple syrup was briefly depleted by robbers.
  • We discovered evidence of something called the “God particle” using the Large Hadron Collider, and now they say that the LHC is working more efficiently than ever.
  • Every single TV station and radio show playing “It’s The End of the World As We Know It” seemingly on loop must be on to something.
  • Several birds flew over in a threatening manner. Or maybe a regular manner. It’s hard to tell with birds.
  • Disney bought “Star Wars” and is making “Star Wars 7″ in 2015.
  • Donald Trump lives, thrives.

Frankly, anything that happens these days, can be taken as a sign that the world is about to end. That is just the crazy end times we live in.

If you still believe, here are 12 Things To Do Before the Mayan Apocalypse.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.