The World Doesn't End…Again

Published 4:11 pm Thursday, June 2, 2011

Well, the world's really gone and done it this time.

Or gone and not done it, actually.

It was to have been the end of the world as we know it, but I feel fine.

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Only the world could continually mess up its own end.

Faced with a clear deadline-no pun intended-the world chose to do something else on May 21 rather than self-destruct.

It's a simple game.

You see the end.

You catch the end.

You be the end.

But our world keeps dropping the ball.

Our world is the Bill Buckner of the Apocalypse.

“Armageddon swings; there's the end of the world dribbling down the first base line; oh, it squibs under the world's glove!! Life wins!! And Stanley forgot to cover first!!”

Which is pretty cool.

Not many of us were hoping the May 21 prediction would be correct, except everyone who went and maxed out their credit cards on May 20.

Still, it was a sobering experience for me.

My wife, you see, knew the world was going to end but never told me.

There I was on May 20, shocked to read in the New York Times that the world was going to end, some thought, the next day. The first person I called was my wife. She knew. She had known for days.

But hadn't told me.

That's what a spouse is for, isn't it? To share vital information, like the leftover tuna in the fridge shouldn't be eaten after Thursday and oh, by the way, the world's ending on Saturday.

I need my wife to tell me when things in the refrigerator, and the world, itself, have reached their expiration dates. I don't want to spend Friday night cutting the grass if the yard's going to crumble into dust the next day.

She assumed I knew, given that I'm a journalist, but I had to tell her the truth, that there is no end to the things I know nothing about and the end of the world is one of them.

By a rough calculation, during my lifetime the world should have ended 4,285 times, according to people who have difficulty predicting when the world's going to end.

But how did my wife know that May 21, 2011 wasn't going to be the one time-and it only takes one time-that the Apocalyptic weather people got their forecast right through shear luck?

I would have felt pretty foolish without an umbrella.

So then I told her about the Center For Disease Control's website warning-which I had also just learned about-concerning how to respond to a possible Zombie Apocalypse. She already knew about that too.

I don't know what shocked me more-that the CDC would literally post a how-to message on facing a Zombie Apocalypse emergency or that the CDC had done so and my wife hadn't told me.

Taking the advice of Sherlock Holmes and dismissing the impossible-that I was a zombie and my wife didn't want me to participate in the Apocalypse-I fell back on the improbable, injuring my back slightly, and concluded that the CDC knew no more about Zombies than it does werewolves and so it didn't really matter.

In retrospect, I appreciate my wife's assumption that I am a reasonably informed member of the human race.

Which, other than total ignorance about the end of the world and related apocalypses involving the living dead-a total contradiction in terms-along with a million other things I know nothing about, I suppose I am reasonably informed.

(Caution: I wrote this column on May 20. If you are not reading it now it is because the world, in fact, did end on May 21 and The Farmville Herald never published another issue. If this is indeed the case I regret not maxing out my credit card, apologize for not being better informed on the Apocalypse and hope to do better next time.)