September 24, 2017
Dear The End of the World,
How are you? I’m fine, no thanks to you. Well, I’m not totally fine. My Play-Doh is all dried out because I didn’t see any point in putting the lid on it last night since you were supposed to arrive on September 23. I didn’t bother to floss, either, so my gums are a little swollen.
Why do you keep doing this to me, The End of the World? You promise and you promise and you promise, but when it comes time to deliver you don’t show up. You’re like The Fast and the Furious franchise.
Your Wikipedia page lists almost 60 times that you’ve stood me up. What gives? We have our best scientific minds on this, after all: astrologer Jean Dixon, televangelists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, Charles Manson. Do you really expect me to believe that The Amazing Criswell didn’t know what he was talking about?
No, the blame lies clearly with you, The End of the World. When geniuses like these calculate your arrival date, a guy should be able to depend on its accuracy. It’s almost like you have no respect for the precision of the Julian calendar, or don’t grasp the overwhelming significance of a comet passing by. Have you even read the most comprehensive scientific textbook ever written, the Holy Bible? Everybody knows that all dates can be calculated from that one inerrant reference book. Come on!
Here are just a few of the damages I have incurred due to your lackadaisical approach to your job—your one job:
- 1977: Gave my Schwinn Stingray to Ricky Brent after Minister William M. Branham announced that you were on your way.
- 1985: Upon hearing from Minister Lester Sumrall that you were near, confessed to my high school girlfriend that I thought Wham’s “Careless Whisper” was “kinda rad.”
- 1998: Killed myself along with my pals in the Heaven’s Gate cult during our mass suicide so that we could catch a ride in the tail of comet Hale-Bopp. (Note: I got better.)
I’d sue you, The End of the World, but you probably wouldn’t show up for court.
Listen, I’m not asking for much. All I want is sweet, overdue relief from the horrors of adult life in the 21st century: the political unrest, the environmental nightmares, the gluten free donuts. If you would show up and do your job just once I could stop pretending that superhero movies have some redeeming value, or that I understood the ending of Twin Peaks.
Maybe it’s partially my fault. Perhaps I should stop listening to charlatans with agendas. Maybe I should stop confusing superstition and arbitrary “signs” with fact-based reality. Maybe—just maybe–I should pay less attention to crackpots and more to actual scientists.
Because they predict you’re coming, too, The End of the World. They don’t base their predictions on random calendar dates or pseudo-science but rather measurable, repeatable observations. No scientist can state to the day when our sun will turn into a red giant or when climate change will make Earth uninhabitable for Mammalia, but they know you’re coming nonetheless.
We can’t keep doing this, you and I. Every time I get my hopes up that you’re going to finish me off, you leave me hanging, The End of the World. You’re as bad as my prom date.
I guess that’s all. I have Play-Doh to buy and a dentist appointment to make, and all because you can’t be bothered to show up when you’re scheduled. Maybe when I take care of those errands I’ll look up my old buddy Ricky Brent. I’d sure like to have that Stingray back.
(A slightly different version of this piece was published by YourTango.)