Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


December 17, 2012

This weekend the end of the world? Not likely

EFFINGHAM — A few short days from now, the world will end. At least, that's according to some interpretations of the Mayan calendar.

On the positive side, of course, is that this is the last time we'll have to listen to people tell us how much they don't care for Mondays. The down side is that if you're like me, you spent your last Saturday on earth doing something quite lame, like buying groceries you're not even going to be able to eat.

I know we each have our own list of things to do before the end of time. For example, I'm going to go see "The Hobbit." I understand that early reviews have been less than stellar, but who cares? I will also open presents early, drink fancy coffee and read books to my children, even the long ones without plots. We have about 20 hours' worth of PBS children's programming saved on our DVR, and so we will be watching a lot of that, too.

Personally, the end of the world works in my favor, anyway. Now it is very unlikely I will ever be tempted to purchase one of those stand-up bath tubs you see advertised in magazines like Parade or AARP. It's a neat idea I guess, but seriously. Bath tubs with doors? Get real. Why don't I just nix the suspense and pour a bucket of warm water on the floor?

Historically speaking, the fiery destruction of the planet will be good for the country as a whole, too. This way we won't have to worry about paying back all the money we borrowed from China.  

We won't have to sit through another two-year presidential election cycle and we'll never have to hear another baseball fan lament, "Well, maybe next year."

After all, you really can't play a lot of baseball without bats, which will almost certainly be incinerated sometime during the big fat game of "nuclear tag" getting ready to happen. Or maybe they will be smashed by the comet, or saturated to uselessness by all the exploding icebergs.

I don't know. The Mayans weren't too specific. The point is, after Dec. 21, no more baseball.

I hope, by now, readers realize I am being entirely facetious. I am not about to let my children sit through more than 60 minutes of television, regardless of how educational it is, without asking them to turn the channel. I also have every intention of waking up on Saturday, Dec. 22 to find that PBS and every other public service prone to fiscal gutting will be functional, or, at the very least, as functional as they ever were.  Why?

Because humans cannot predict the end of the world.

Oh, I know. We're quite clever, we humans.

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