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Comets and magma and earthquakes, Oh Maya!

Thu, Mar 1, 2012

Not long ago I recall switching on the History Channel to watch a Hitler documentary, a Bigfoot inquiry or a show about how the Earth was made. It was all very good and I slept, peacefully thinking about the next day, and the next day after that – but not any longer. The channel may as well be renamed Doomsday Network and it appears that there is nothing anyone can do to stop their frenzy of programs that declare this is the year to end all years. The kicker is that it all seems so believable, thanks to prophecies given by good old Nostradamus, the famous seer, and the Maya who murdered people with spears but were astronomical experts. But, there is still hope; the channel airs Pawn Stars and American Pickers for those of us who are left on this planet to cut some serious deals.

Well, I finally took my Mayan calendar off the wall of my dining room because I could no longer eat breakfast in there thinking of humankind as toast. Still, I don’t have the heart to throw this artifact away because I bought it in Acapulco for about 220 pesos back in the early ’90s, totally unaware of the countdown to Armageddon, which is allegedly on December 21, 2012. To me, it was a really cool souvenir and a reminder of better days on earth. Now I’m wondering if I should pay a visit to Mexico to demand a refund.

Mind you, the Mayans weren’t the only ones who hinted that 2012 wouldn’t be so great. The authors and experts on these “end of days” shows discuss the possibility of a caldera beneath Yellowstone National Park blowing everything to smithereens because it is allegedly overdue to explode. And here’s something to think about the next time you’re ordering a Big Mac: they say a crew at McDonalds outnumbers the astronomers watching the skies for Earth-annihilating comets. I think I’ll have the large fries, too, in that case.

All along I have held to a philosophy that states that believing in anything – be it winning the lottery or, conversely, losing everything – may lead to actual experience. The conundrum, then, is trying to avoid thoughts about the possibility of life permanently ending. I’ve even made a game of it; each time I think about 10.0 earthquakes I shift my attention to, say, milkshakes.

I’ve been taught that if I am ever presented with bad news, I shouldn’t shoot the messenger. That’s all well and good, but personally, I’m holding a wooden calendar bearing the face of a Mayan in self-defense.

Written by Joan Voss
StreetWise Contributor

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