During a long and pleasant conversation with Tom yesterday, we covered a bit of the territory involving the latest palaver over the … dumb da dumb doom… end of the world, which according to some nut case in Oakland should be rolling around a week from Saturday.
May 21, 2011, is the latest attempt to get a jump on Judgment Day, courtesy of Oakland, Calif.-based Family Radio, a nonprofit evangelical Christian group.
Apparently, this particular flavor of nut has cracked before, but this time is really sure.
Family Radio, whose president, Harold Camping, predicted the End of Days before: Sept. 6, 1994. Camping had been “thrown off a correct calculation because of some verses in Matthew 24,” a company spokesman told ABC News this month.
The Christian radio broadcaster is apparently more confident this time around, spending big bucks on 5,000 billboards, posters, fliers and digital bus displays across the country.
And why not? Spend, spend and spend some more, I say, as what the hell else would one do on the last days?
Say the end really is nigh, there’s a week or a month or a year left before the planet explodes, implodes, offloads … whatever … and we somehow know this to be fact.
What do we do differently?
Okay, we spend time with our loved ones, touch all the bases that need touching, convey all the emotions as best we can. Depending on the time allowed, perhaps we watch the sunset from a pyramid or ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower or swim the English Channel or otherwise check off bucket-list items.
Some might choose to get in all the get-backs they’ve been venomizing over for years. but the idea of taking an enemy out loses impact when we’re all in for it, dunnit? Why do some asshole the favor of an early checkout?
And there’s the point … we ARE all in for it. Sure, probably not at the same time under the same circumstances in the same conflagration or whatever, but the fact o’ the matter is, none of us get out of this alive so we might as well live as if we’ll die someday, somehow, somewhere.
That, of course, is hardly the point of the predictors of pending extinction, however, and maybe … just maybe … they’ve got the better handle on the big picture: End of the World = money in the bank.
Those who buy into the idea might very well run up their credit cards in what they are convinced is a “live for today” frenzy, but there’s hell to pay if they’ve been sold a bill of goods that doesn’t deliver.
For some, though, it delivers well enough …
Edgar Whisenant didn’t get it right the first time, either, when he predicted a mid-September 1988 Rapture, even publishing the books “88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988” and “On Borrowed Time.” No Apocalypse, no problem. The former NASA engineer simply pushed his predictions off to three subsequent years and wrote books along the way, none of which reportedly sold as well as the first two.
Interestingly, there’s no little advice on stuff you should have on hand to … and this I so don’t get … survive the end of the world.
Here’s just one list:
# Canned food something that does not need refrigeration
# Canned meats, spam , chicken, tuna etc you need at least 3 ounces of protein per person per day.
# Water can be stored in the 2 ½ gallon containers with the pour spout which are sturdy and easily stackable. Other sources of emergency water are discussed in the water section.
# Blankets should be available for all
# Water filter Brita or pump type
# Sugar cubes for energy, breakfast bars
# Small grill , propane barbeque or camping grill ( power is likely to be out)
# Cash for purchases if the power is out using small bills because change may not be possible.
# Parachute cord 100ft 550 pound test
# Duct tape one roll to seal around doors and window, tape bags together for emergency shelter or rain gear, and general mending.
# Needles and thread just sturdy thread clothes will need to be mended and occasionly a cut will need to be sewn shut as well
# Survival manual one that has a lot of pictures and information in it several are recommended on this site
# Plastic tarps with grommets at least 2 of 10 ft x 10ft each.
# Plastic coated playing cards
# Battery operated radio preferably crank type rechargeable and two changes of batteries
# Dishwashing soap and clean dish towels 2 or paper towels water can be scarce
# Manual can opener either the ecko hand crank type or the smaller survival type
# Trash bags 30 gallon or larger two for each person with twist ties. They can be used as emergency ponchos, trash bags, emergency toilets ( the plumbing may not work)
# Buy a 3 gallon paint bucket, one cheap toilet seat $5 and use the seat on the bucket and deodorise with aqua chem, an RV tank sanitizer to control the smell. Otherwise twist tie the bag closed it will smell bad in a confined area.
# Some sturdy dishes metal plates work fine and can be found at camping stores. A family sized mess kit will have pots plates and cups inside along with some silverware usually but check it.
# One or more really good flashlights. The new LED lights use a lot less power and last longer than regular bulbs.
# Bug repellent larger size since bugs will come in out of the rain as well
# General medications like aspirin ibuprophen, pepto bismol, mouthwash,
# Deodorant you may be living cramped for quite a while and a couple of washcloths and towels.
# Air matteresses are good but blankets and bedding are a must for sleeping.
# Candles the power is likely to be out a long time and it gets real dark without it.
# Box of wooden matches in plastic with the striker so they do not get wet
# Butane lighter at least one more is better one of the long ones to light the candles and stoves
# Coleman lantern and Coleman stove
# Two gallons of the liquid fuel they are interchangeable and it can be used to start a barbeque pit or wood fire later if the wood is wet.
# Prescription medications at least enough for two weeks lots of times you can get a 30 day supply for travel etc and just rotate it out to keep it fresh.
# Towels and wash cloths with a bar of soap
# Diapers and extra trash bags if you have infant children any lotions or powders you may need and dry or canned formula.
# Several changes of clothing which are comfortable and right for the season
# Tooth paste and brushes
# A portable toilet seat and extra 20 gallon size trash bags with wire ties for your shelter if indoors.
# Handy wipes or baby wipes, water may make cleaning up difficult.
# Sanitary napkins for any women likely.
Well, that could push the edges of the credit envelope, but if the 22 of May dawns there’s always next year … Yikes! 2012! … to fall back on if MasterCard comes a knocking.
Think I might just put together a series of eBooks on fun stuff to do in those last 48 hours of Earth …
Amorous Armageddon: End of the World Sex That’s Out of This World ($9.99)
Ashes, Ashes All Fall Down: Entertaining Kids In the Final Hours ($9.99)
Sudden Death: Fun Games for Judgment Day($9.99)
… and an iPhone app that will send and manage goodbyes, last wishes, apologies and excuses in 4,000 languages. ($1.99)
Better get on this before the world ends, or I do …