For the first time in I don’t know how long, my birthday – Oct. 22 – falls on a Saturday. And then today I find out that the world is going to end on Oct. 21.
Well, great. Just freakin’ great.
I’ve had my birthday fall in the middle of the week, which precludes any serious partying. And I’ve had birthday parties rained out, and that sucks, too. But I have never, until now, had a birthday pre-empted by the end of the world.
The source of this disheartening news? Well, the Internet, natch. According to a website belonging to Brother Mike, the Rapture will occur on May 21. Then, on Oct. 21, turn out the lights ‘cause the party’s over – before it even got started.
Brother Mike (no last name, unless Brother is his first name) has succeeded were others have failed – he has decoded the Bible and determined not only that the world is coming to an end, but also the exact day that it will do so. That’s great but I wish he could specify a time so I’d know whether to bother setting my DVR.
If you’re not familiar with the Rapture, here’s what Wikipedia says about it (full disclosure: I thought Rapture was just a song by Blondie). According to some, Jesus is supposed to come back; and when he does, those who believe will be taken by God up into the sky – literally and physically. The rest of us will be left behind to suffer seven years of tribulation. And apparently we don’t get credit for having suffered through eight seasons of Two and a Half Men.
A note here to anyone who might be driving around May 21: Buckle up! It will make it that much harder for God to snatch you out of your car. On the other hand, if God can snatch you out of your car, a seat belt is probably not going to be a lot of help. And if he really is the kind of guy who goes around snatching people out of their cars, he’s probably someone you don’t want to piss off.
According to the Bible, JC won’t just pop in unannounced like your pain-in-the-ass neighbor wanting to borrow your weed-eater; his second coming will be audible. The book of Matthew says Christ “will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet.” Trumpets are fine; as long as it’s not one of those damned vuvuzelas, that’s cool with me. And since I’m often listening to my iPod, an audible heads-up like a trumpet solo – maybe some Miles Davis or Chet Baker – would be most welcome.
Brother Mike is hardly the first to predict the end of the world. This sort of prognostication is extremely popular, especially amongst certain Christian sects. But it’s certainly not confined to Christians. Perhaps most famously, the Mayans predicted the world will end in 2012 – a full year after Brother Mike is predicting the final curtain. But ask yourself this – when was the last time you saw a Mayan? The world’s still around but where are they? And do they have a Web presence? If you want people to listen to your end-of-days predictions, a giant stone calendar is impressive but a Facebook page is better.
Anyway, Brother Mike got me to thinking – before I do a lot of planning, maybe I should check out his claim and see if it’s valid. No sense in sending out a lot of Evites if the world’s coming to an end the day before my birthday, right?
Several things make me question his judgment (you should pardon the expression). Chief among those is a note on his website that says it is best viewed with Internet Explorer. If he doesn’t know any better than to code for Explorer, I wouldn’t trust him to order lunch, much less predict the end of the world.
Jeff, this is as funny a rumination as I can imagine on the subject of the End Times. Bummer about your birthday, though. No one would have a problem with your moving the party up a week or two — a minor inconvenience in the big picture. Also, love the idea of jazzbo angels heralding the big finale with a bit of smooth improv on “My Funny Valentine” — or, more appropriately, “Closing Time Blues.” We can chill and smoke a little gage as we wait to see if we get the elevation or the tribulation. Be a drag if you got the velvet rope snapped in front of you because of this column…
Thanks for the heads up. But we should be OK next Oct. 22 if we all remember to avoid cars (including Cadillacs and Lincolns too), bars and, especially, guitars.
I’m planning on buying you a VERY expensive birthday gift. So I hope Brother Mike is right.
Man, Jefe, it kinda sucks to be you!
“JC won’t just pop in unannounced like your pain-in-the-ass neighbor wanting to borrow your weed-eater” Hmmmmmmmmmmmm who could you possibly be talking about?