After many years, many words and many angry phone calls, letters and emails, this will be my final column.
It’s not my choice, and I wish it could end differently, but, well, it is what it is.
This will also be the final Sunday paper that you will ever read. Make sure to savor that last Garfield comic strip.
Thanks a lot, ancient Mayan calendar makers.
Most of you probably know that Dec. 21 marks the end of the world. Certainly we’ve had our share of false starts and premature doomsaying in the past. Y2K, that California radio preacher, the crazy guy holding the sign in Times Square.
This time, however, we have the work of well-respected Maya scholars and mathematicians, who created a 5,125-year calendar that ends Friday.
Skeptics theorize that perhaps the calendar ends because the scholars felt that it didn’t make sense to schedule dental appointments any further than 5,000 years into the future. They wonder if the Maya people meant to extend the calendar, but let it slip after Samuel de Champlain and the rest of the Spanish conquistadors ravaged their lands.
All the skeptics have are lame theories, however. The Maya have cold, hard facts, facts that have been verified by NASA (Northeastern Alpaca Shearing Association). We know that an extinction event is coming; we just don’t know what form it will take.
Maybe our sun will go supernova and envelop the solar system in a fiery inferno. Or maybe the sun will turn into a black hole and suck the earth into it’s inescapable darkness.
Maybe it will be a fast-moving global pandemic, like the zombie apocalypse, but more deadly.
Maybe a comet or giant asteroid will strike the planet and tip it off its axis, causing an instant and deadly new ice age.
Maybe the $10 billion European particle accelerator will erupt in a cataclysmic reaction after accidentally mixing matter with antimatter. Scotty on Star Trek always thought that would be a bad idea.
Maybe the Maya — after traveling to a distant planet from their pyramid-based teleportation devices more than a thousand years ago — will return to disintegrate the Earth with their new alien-hybrid technology.
Hey, the planet’s had a good run. Four billion or so years. Now it’s time to go.
I don’t want to see any of you panicking. There’s nothing you can do to stop it. Bruce Willis isn’t going to fly into outer space and save you at the last second.
Please don’t run out to the store to stock up on supplies. Canned goods and an extra five gallons of fresh water won’t buy you any more time, and you’ll just make the checkout lines longer for those shoppers planning fancy last meals.
If you’ve been stockpiling Twinkies, take them out. Now is the time to savor their chemically infused creamy goodness. If you’ve got any left over, please send me them to me; I haven’t been able to find one anywhere, and it’s literally killing me.
Stop worrying about things. Don’t worry about getting a late fee if you don’t send in your credit-card payment. Don’t worry about paying your taxes or that insurance bill. Don’t worry about the extra calories on that pie a la mode.
Don’t worry about Christmas shopping — but promise your children three of whatever they want.
If you always wanted to buy a boat, go ahead, take out that loan. The boat could give you an extra few minutes if the apocalypse turns out to be flood-based.
Don’t worry anymore about Global Warming. That would have taken forever to end the world; in a few days, the Earth’s molten core could shoot to the surface and swallow everything in a boiling tempest of destruction. So leave your engines running, overnight if you like. Break out those aerosol cans. Enjoy.
Now is the time, the last possible time, to do everything you’ve always wanted to do. Skydiving, bungee jumping, bull riding, ballroom dancing, cat juggling, cross-dressing, abstract painting, fire-walking, sword swallowing, tuba playing. Visit the Grand Canyon. Write that book (maybe a novella).
Now is the time to tell your boss what you really think of him, then take the rest of the week off. Now is the time to tell somebody you love her. Heck, tell everybody you love them, even if it’s not really true.
Stop planning for tomorrow; there is no tomorrow. Unless, of course, there’s some kind of ancient Mayan clerical error.
Still, at the very least, we’re in for the most dangerous Winter Solstice ever.
Email Steve Ouellette: firstname.lastname@example.org