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“Arm-a-geddon” Ready for the Apocalypse

Jon Kaufman
Jon Kaufman

For most people, turning fifty-three years of age is NOT the end of the world. Aside from the usually body aches and thoughts of retirement, few of us fret over such a benign number. However, if your date of birth is December 12, 2012 (like mine) the ancient Mayans have predicted a rather serious kink in your birthday celebration.

According to the Mayan calendar the world will end on either December 12, 2012 or December 21, 2012.  I am not sure why, but there is some debate regarding which date will spell the end of mankind.  Was the Mayan prophet who forecasted our demise dyslexic, inverting vital numbers which will determine our fate? Either way, I wouldn’t make plans for New Year’s if I were you.

The Mayan calendar (which resembles a big old pizza with a face in the middle) stops on the year 2012 leading researchers to believe that this was the ancients’ way of telling us not to buy ripe bananas. Maybe they just ran out of paper?  Maybe the guy who was chiseling the calendar in stone got a cramp and was sacrificed to the record keeping gods?  I don’t recall these Mayans predicting a rise in gas prices or warning us about Bernie Madoff, so why should we lend any credence to their foretelling now?

Whenever any form of prognostication is being discussed, Nostradamus, the fourteenth century mystic, always seems make an appearance. Being dead for a few hundred years never seems to deter this chap from putting his visionary two-cents in. He too believes that the earth will cease on or near the Mayan’s prescribed date.  For those of our readers who don’t get The History Channel in their cable package, Nostradamus’s method of divining the future was to stare into a bowl of water and envision events yet to come.  Similarly, I have stared into a bowl of water many times in my life and have failed to portend any visions of the future.  I have, however, bargained with a higher authority promising that I would never drink tequila again if, somehow, I was temporarily empowered with the ability to lift my head out of the aforementioned bowl.

Conceivably, Nostradamus could have experienced clouded conditions when foreseeing our impending doom.  Suppose, one evening, Mrs. Nostradamus substituted a bowl of clam chowder in place of the prophet’s favorite tureen?  A diced potato mistaken for the anti-christ might make quite a difference in the accuracy of his prognosis, I dare say.

Another apocalyptic theory, also pointing to December of 2012, centers around the alignment of planets on the prescribed day. Still another speaks of dangerous solar flares causing significant damage to our little blue planet.  There is even a movie entitled “2012” that depicts incredible disasters and the destruction of landmarks all over the globe, including in New York, which seems to always be obliterated in films of this type.  Why do these Hollywood studios always pick on New York?  Isn’t bad enough that New Yorkers have to live next to New Jersey?

In preparation for the upcoming annihilation, I have been giving some thought as to how I will spend my fifty-third birthday amidst the devastation.  Rising at my usual hour (7 a.m.), I will shower, let the dogs out and turn on Headline News.  If Robin Meade does not announce that the world is ending, I might have a bowl of cereal in celebration.  I am a big fan of Robin’s. She often makes me late for work, my thoughts hopelessly lost in her loveliness.  I once mentioned my unwavering passion for Robin to a friend who thought I had said Robin Reed instead of Robin Meade.  While the “Dean of Roanoke Weather Forecasters,” is a fine fellow and a local icon, I have never found myself gazing into his eyes as he analyzes a low pressure system closing in on Covington.

Should Robin fail to deliver any good news, I will let the dogs back inside and relax in my recliner.  I always said that I wanted to be buried in my recliner, remote in hand, and on that particular day, I just might get my wish.

Hopefully all of this nonsense will pass with a Y2K whimper, and the world will continue moving forward until another extinct civilization predicts an enormous global cataclysm.  Just in case, I will be checking with Dairy Queen on the quick availability of an Armageddon-themed ice cream cake with fifty-three candles. There is no sense in waiting until the last minute.

By Jon Kaufman
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