when the world ended

December 23, 2012

Image…were my husband’s football socks, very cosy those, and a pima cotton nightgown from Peruvian Connection, the latter dovetailing very nicely with the whole South-American-Mayan doomsday theme. I could have chosen a more iconic, more pertinent getup — hiking boots and a diamond tiara sound about right — but the truth is I had forgotten the world was about to end. On the appointed hour of the appointed day I was preoccupied with trying to squeeze a few drops of goo out of a tube and into the pug’s eyes so she won’t go blind and start bashing into walls — she’s already walking into furniture. By the time I remembered I’d forgotten, it was noon and there I was, still alive, still in my nightie, chasing a visually impaired dog around the kitchen table.

Missing something that fails to happen is a real conundrum. If you’re the one doing the missing – in itself a confusing concept, like being the person who doesn’t hear the tree that didn’t fall in the forest – does it make you more, or less, a part of the Zeitgeist? Cool or sad? And how does one classify this particular phenomenon, the much-heralded weird event that, surprise, never occurs?  Many would categorize it as sensationalist fluff that filled the gaps in the news media.  Most would agree with the modern-day Mayans, the few thousand still kicking around who kept trying to tell anyone who’d listen that it wasn’t about the end of days, just the end of the calendar. The pages ran out! Time to nip out to the store and get a new one!

I think the whole business deserves a place in the special filing cabinet that is the source of all witty tee-shirt slogans: put the Mayan Doomsday Prophecy in a folder alongside Esperanto, Kohoutek’s Comet and the Sinclair C-5 and label it Great non-starters a lot of people spent a lot of time talking about.

Given there will be a 2013 after all I wish you all a wonderful new year.

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