Armageddon sick of hearing about it

Dec. 08, 2012 @ 03:00 PM

So, every day now I’m hearing that the end of the world is upon us. In fact, it’s supposed to be Dec. 21, 2012. Yep, 12 days from today it’s curtains for all of us ... So long, suckers! Bye-bye, planet! See ya later ... NOT!
I don’t mean to make a joke of it, but as a humor columnist ... well, that’s my job. It’s just that it seems like in the last decade, someone’s predicting the end of the world every 15 or 20 minutes, and I hate to rain on anyone’s parade, but take a look out the window – we’re still here! The world goes on, day after day, quietly chuckling at our naive declarations as it spins around the sun, and the years go by while we frantically scramble to prepare for The End ... (that’s right, baby – I can get my literary on when I want to!)
Supposedly, the ancient Maya – who weren’t called ancient back in the day, but were merely Maya, and would probably be insulted to hear themselves referred to as ancient even today, wouldn’t you? – wrote some stuff about the universe that makes really fascinating reading, if you’re into that sort of thing. And they also made this calendar, which I’m guessing, since it was ancient times, had etchings of kittens, flowers and insurance company logos on the top, rather than photographs.
Here’s what Wikipedia says:
“In the Maya Long Count, the previous world ended after 13 b’ak’tuns, or roughly 5,125 years. The Long Count’s “zero date” was set at a point in the past marking the end of the third world and the beginning of the current one, which corresponds to 11 August 3114 BC in the proleptic Gregorian calendar. This means that the fourth world will also have reached the end of its 13th b’ak’tun, or Mayan date 13.0.0.0.0, on 21 December 2012. ‘There is a suggestion ... that Armageddon would overtake the degenerate peoples of the world and all creation on the final day of the 13th b’ak’tun.’ Thus ... our present universe [would] be annihilated in December, 2012, when the Great Cycle of the Long Count reaches completion.”
Now, I don’t want to step on any toes, but you can bet your b’ak’tun that you know some of those “degenerate peoples of the world” yourself, in fact some of them might live right in your neighborhood ... maybe even in your house. And, not being one of those degenerates myself – no, dear readers, I am sickeningly, boringly, pathetically unworldly (which was again made clear on a recent trip to Ocracoke with six friends who know how to party, whereas I mostly curled up with my tuna salad, some sparkling cider, and a Patricia Cornwell novel; they would have kicked me out in disgust, but I was the only one sober enough to cook).
Anyway, I was thinking, you gotta expect those “degenerate peoples” to get it in the end, right? But, why did they have to go on to say that Armageddon would also “overtake ... all creation”? Why “all creation”? I mean, I’m a nice, well-meaning girl. Sure, I’ve made a few mistakes, and I’m not always sugar and spice, so what – (I’ve been a teacher for upwards of 23 years, I think I should get a pass now and then ... actually, I should get a frickin’ medal, but whatever).
So, in a nutshell, WHY ME?! And, why all creation? How much harm does a puppy do in this world? Or, a butterfly? Or, a hummingbird? (Ticks I can see – burn ‘em up!) But, why a buffalo, or a chatty chipmunk, or a beautiful deer? Seriously, what has a deer ever done wrong, besides enjoying an occasional brunch on the pansies? Come on!
And, naturally, I have concerns about this whole end-of-the-world thing coming four days before Christmas. Because, if that’s the case, I have to cancel a lot of orders on Amazon like right away, plus I’m supposed to be on my way to Ohio that very day, so who knows where I’ll be at the exact moment it all goes down! I mean, I don’t mind meeting my maker (and that was alliteration, students!) on a beautiful stretch of Interstate 77 where the likely-snowcapped mountains put a tingle in your blood ... but, if it happens in beautiful downtown Beckley, I’m going to be really ticked.
So, I say – if anyone up there happens to be listening – if this thing has to happen, let’s make it after Christmas, whaddaya say? Let’s all have one last merry Christmas, and then maybe save the last hurrah for New Year’s Eve, watching the ball drop to the bottom with one ginormous bang!
(Or, preferably, what do you say we just concentrate on those “degenerate peoples” and not worry about “all creation” ... of course, I’ll lose quite a few friends, but hey, that’s the way the b’ak’tun crumbles!)
Vicki Wentz is a local writer, teacher and speaker. Readers may contact her at chh@heraldsun.com, or visit her website, www.vickiwentz.com.