One Man's Plan: Time's up
Are you ready for the end of the world? I just learned that on Dec. 21, Planet Earth will be engulfed by massive solar storms, followed by a cataclysmic reversal in the magnetic poles. And then, as if that wasn’t enough, the planet Niburu will collide into our big blue marble, knocking us into oblivion, bringing everything we know to an abrupt and inelegant end.
Say goodbye to plans for that midwinter cat show road trip, getting started on your coming-of-age teen robot novel, making amends with your vegan friends or doing at least one pull-up before you die – we have only a few weeks until it’s lights out for our little corner of the universe.
Let’s blame the Mayans, those Mesoamerican math nerds who, through a complex series of calculations using their fingers, sticks, chalk and iguana bones, determined that on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, the world’s taking one big dirt nap, having calculated we have only 1,872,000 days here together. If someone had told me this as a kid, things would have been different.
More time on music lessons and less time with Tom and Jerry, for one. It’s too late now – learning “Frere Jacque” on the Pan flute takes a minimum of eight weeks, and all the sit-ups I can manage between now and then won’t earn me a one-pack, much less six of them.
I’ve done a little digging, and we have good reason to trust the Mayans’ ability to foretell the future. Did you know the Mayans correctly predicted the pet rock craze, every Preakness winner from 1971 to 1983, the lyrics to Gerardo’s hit song “Rico Suave” and that Fred “Gopher” Grandy would one day be elected to the U.S. Congress? They did not, however, predict the successful career of comedian Carrot Top – even the Mayans didn’t see that coming.
Sure, lots of post-Columbian math nerds have “debunked” this “myth” of the world’s demise, but I won’t let my plans for the end be ruined by fact checkers.
They claim the Mayans were good at some things, like pottery, maize-based porridges and human sacrifice, but not at complicated mathematical theorems involving the earth’s journey around the sun, leap years, lunar cycles and the End of Days.
They insist the Mayan Long Count calendar didn’t predict this calamity, that they ran out of stone tablets or were distracted by the cute girls at the Olmec-Mayan mixer after a long day of mathlete training – that all this angst about our planet dying is just a reflection of the human race’s sense of uncertainty in an unsafe, unstable and unpredictable world. And because of the Kardashians.
I’m not alone in this – some have been prepping for this day for years, stocking up on foodstuffs, weapons and bodily-fluid-to-drinking-water instruction manuals while others are looking to make a quick buck.
Want to watch the end from a bike seat? Pay $5,300 and join the Ruta Maya Doomsday Bike Tour through the jungles of Central America, a 35-day, 1,400-mile guided bike tour, culminating in a visit to an ancient Mayan temple in Belize to watch the horror unfold.
I don’t know about you, but after riding 1,400 miles in the jungle in tight spandex, I’d swap my water bottle for a nice warm mug of hemlock tea and end the misery early.
My plans to prepare for the end of the world are not elaborate, and none involve hoarding canned goods and ammunition in my root cellar.
The last thing I want to see just before my hair bursts into flames from a solar flare is a can of generic creamed corn or the words “Dinty Moore.”
I expect to spend my last few weeks on Earth writing combined holiday/thank you/goodbye notes, picking up my dry cleaning, returning all library books and enjoying equal dollops of mayonnaise and spicy cheese sauce at every meal.
If it’s time for our swan song, I’m going down singing.
I’ll miss early morning sunrises, bacon cheeseburgers, zombie movies and my family, and not always in that order. But I’m not really sad.
If the Mayans had it right and there’ll be no Dec. 22, then we all suffer the same fate equally.
Even the Kardashians.
(Email Tim your Doomsday plans at firstname.lastname@example.org.)