Thursday, May 19, 2011
Yesterday I drove by one of those billboards which announced the end of the world this coming Saturday. Upon doing a little research on Harold Camping, I was relieved to find out that this coming Saturday, May 21st is merely Judgment Day, and that the actual end of the world is not coming until October 21st.
So we actually have five more months.
Now that I know it's all coming to an end, I have found a strange peace of mind. I just don't worry about things as much.
I no longer have to lie awake nights worrying about my son, who is now in Afghanistan. Since we're all going to perish at the same time anyway, I will be spared the pain of mourning him.
I no longer worry about my investments. I'm not even going to bother to rewrite my will, since no one will be around to inherit what little I have. In fact, it will amount to exactly nothing anyway, since the world is going to end. (Happy thought for today: if the world explodes tomorrow, you and I will be worth the same as Bill Gates.)
I've always hated thought that I won't be able to find out what's going on after I'm dead. I now find solace in the knowledge that nothing will.
Fortunately, my bucket list is rather short. And since it's composed mostly of things I think I ought to do -- like read more Shakespeare and Tolstoy -- I'm actually a little relieved that I won't have time to do it.
As far as all the women I've wanted to have sex with but never did, well, I'd already made peace with that long ago. And frankly, telling women that they ought to have sex with me because the world is ending anyway has never been a particularly successful line for me.
The last time I used this line was in 1994 -- which happened to be the last time Harold Camping predicted the end of the world. I must admit, I was a little embarrassed when those women sneered at me afterward, when the world didn't end.
Okay, I didn't actually use that line. But I've always wondered: how embarrassed was Camping himself? On the off chance that he might be wrong this time, how will he face his parishioners? What will he tell them? Will he just admit he was wrong?
Pat Robertson, a one time Presidential candidate, famously predicted the end of the world back in 1982. He has also predicted various other natural disasters, none of which have come to pass. He actually took credit for some of the misses, saying that his prayer had averted them.
Perhaps Camping can take a similar tack. It's doubtful that shame will stop him. That emotion rarely seems to affect people in the televangelism (or radio evangelism) business.
If Camping is capable of embarrassment, at least he won't have to feel it all that long: he is 89 years old. When you think about it, how many 89-year-olds do you know who can command this kind of attention:? Think of all the other people in their late 80's you know of. Even if they're ex-Presidents, ex-athletes, or ex-movie stars, you simply never hear about them. And the next time you can expect to is when their obituaries appear.
My own life has been such that I will not rate an obituary in the NY Times. But at least now I feel better about that, knowing as I do that after October 21st no one will get one.