I’ve lived multiple times now through the End of the World.
The first of these “Ha! Still here!” scenarios occurred when I was barely out of my teens. A classmate (we’ll call him Tony, because that was his name) was for weeks seen to be toting about a book written by a man who had calculated the End of the World. Tony was preparing, because it was close, very close. The year of our coming graduation, in fact.
Since we were in our senior year of high school, I wondered that Tony bothered coming to class, seeing as it was going to do him no good whatever, bound as we all were for the Celestial Chopping Block. But he did, all the while blithely anticipating an Armageddon that somehow failed to happen. Sadly, Tony and I had long graduated and parted ways when the End of the World didn’t happen, denying me the pleasure of rubbing it in.
Then there was the Great Planetary Alignment. That was the next biggie I remember in the raft of EOW scenarios. The planets were going to align, and the resultant gravitational forces exerted were literally going to rip the earth apart, pulling it piece from piece.
Didn’t happen. The planets lined up, nicely, like little soldiers falling in, and the birds tweeted, a soft breeze blew, and everything went peacefully on. (Well, except for wars, devastation, plague, and starvation, but that’s all been going on since the beginning of recorded history. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.)
Haley’s Comet missed the Earth. The Rapture failed to happen multiple times. Nuclear war did not break out on the predicted dates (although it’s currently looking pretty ominous, with Twit and Twat running opposing countries). Nostradamus and a whole lotta others got it wrong about 1999. The Y2K bug failed to trigger worldwide destruction, economic meltdown, and panic. Nibiru didn’t collide with Earth.
And then there was December 21, 2012. Despite a massive publicity campaign, including a big disaster-flick, it just didn’t happen. The world didn’t end. Very thoughtless of it, after all that work.
Of course, most recently, the world was expected to end in September this year. When it failed to happen, the date was bumped up to October.
Or perhaps it was just that, in all the chaos surrounding the final preparations for my daughter’s wedding, I missed it. Although, considering all the things-gone-wrong scenarios I dealt with during that final month prior to the wedding, I would almost have welcomed the end of the world to put me out of my misery.
I clicked up Wikipedia to check on the future dates for the EOW. 2020 seems to be the next one to watch out for. That’s not such a bad idea, I’ve decided; at least Social Security won’t have the chance to run out of money for all us pensioners. Most of the dates, though, were far enough in the future that I will likely be sitting on a comfortable cloud in Heaven, watching the puny little beings scurry about below, stockpiling canned goods and searching out deep caves to hide in and possibly survive the devastation.
Having been to Mammoth Cave once as a child, I recommend it. It’s nice and deep and large and even has its own ecosystem. Great place to survive Armageddon…if it ever happens.