By Jeff Girod
Maybe it’s a volcano, an asteroid or a 50-story fire-breathing, smoke monster. But you, your pet hamster and everyone you’ve ever cared about, Googled or flipped off—they’ll be deader than a door nail come Dec. 21, skin melting off their faces like Velveeta, limbs akimbo and bones exploding into powder.
That is, if those know-it-all Mayans were right.
According to a Reuters survey of 16,000 people in 21 countries, 10 percent are genuinely worried that the world will end on Dec. 21—based on doomsday predictions related to the Mayan calendar.
And if a Mayan said it, it must be true. After all, their 5,125-year-old calendar ends Dec. 21, 2012. Or maybe, just maybe, after 5,125 years of staring at the same wall calendar, the Mayans wanted to switch it up with a different calendar—something with fewer sacrifices, more Dilbert.
I’m just glad “the end of the world” is finally here. I’m getting sick of hearing about it.
We all know someone who seems obsessed with the Mayan calendar and end-of-the-world scenarios. (You’re probably thinking of that person right now. For the fun of it, let’s call him “Greg Johnson of Temecula.”)
You could be having the greatest day of your life and people like Greg will pipe up with, “What does it matter? We’re all going to be toasted briquettes on Dec. 21.” I don’t want the world to end on Dec. 21. I just want it to end for Greg.
People like Greg actually seem to be looking forward to the end of the world. It’s the one popular party they’ll finally get invited to. Like dying in a molten sulfuric haze will somehow improve Greg’s social standing.
Still I can’t help but thinking the last earthly thing I might ever see or hear won’t be a beautiful sunset or my child’s angelic face. It will be Greg’s nasally whine saying, “I told you about the Mayu-u-unnns.”
Do I think the world is going to end on Dec. 21? You’re still reading this, aren’t you? Because if I actually believed I had a week to live—and none of this was going to matter—I wouldn’t waste my precious last days not trying to mount something.
Most people say they would surround themselves with loved ones, but c’mon. Haven’t we spent enough quality time with our loved ones? I’ve been to enough birthdays, Thanksgivings and Christmases where I wished a flaming asteroid would tear through the living room and kill everyone.
Forget loved ones. I want to get freaky with strangers—the stranger the better.
The extinction of me would come way before the end of the world, a victim of alcohol poisoning, too many chemical enhancements and asphyxiation under a pile of cake-frosted Raiderettes. Once you know there’s no point to keeping it in, holding it back, behaving, obeying or faking it, it’s really not a long walk between socially respected, contributing member of society and naked, screaming, jaywalking poo flinger.
It’s why this world is so desperately looking for an old-fashioned Armageddon. We’ll believe just about any excuse to finally let our hair down, rip off our pants and begin starting every sentence with, “You know what your problem is?”
Maybe the Mayans picked Dec. 21, 2012, as the last day of their 5,000-year calendar because even they realized it’s pointless to try to cram life into a series of black-and-white numbered squares.
Odds are there will be a Dec. 22 this year, just like the last 5,125 times. But don’t let that stop you from living more in the next seven days than you have in the last seven years.
Now sure, you probably shouldn’t drink your body weight in peppermint vodka and kiss every girl named Britney. But you don’t have to be convinced that Armageddon’s coming to finally do that thing you always promised yourself you would.
Take a risk. Quit your job. Make a trip. Or tell that someone how you really feel.
Or at the very least, call in sick to work on Dec. 21. Nobody should have to work on End of the World Day. Except Greg.
Contact Jeff Girod at firstname.lastname@example.org.