It's been a great weekend. We met up with my siblings and their spouses and/or children, as well as my parents. A good time was had by all, and there were tears when we left. To be completely honest, those tears were from our niece, and her cries were actually "I want an iPad!" Before you judge her for being spoiled, she did just start getting into the Toy Story matching game that my sister downloaded when it was time to leave.
If there's one thing you should know about young Holly, it is that you do not mess around when it comes to Toy Story. It's her entire world.
When I was a kid, I was really into Superman. When I was a little older than Holly is, I had the BEST pair of Superman pyjamas that any kid could hope for or want. I told my parents on more than one occasion that I wanted to grow up to be a midget so that I could always wear those pyjamas. I was heartbroken when the top basically fell off me. No, heartbroken doesn't quite build it up enough. It was apocalyptical in size. I don't know how long I cried, but I'm guessing it was long enough that my father eventually sat down and made me a new Superman top out of a sweatshirt and a piece of felt.
Did it matter that the top was red and the "S" was green? Given some of the other things that I'd flipped out over (white tube socks with different patterns on the top) you'd think I'd be reduced to tears again with the realization that what I had was gone and that it could never, ever be replaced. Nope. I was happy with my replacement Superman pyjamas. I couldn't believe that my father had made it for me. I think it is the only article of clothing that he'd ever made for me.
Speaking of the end of the world though, I'd like to talk to you about what this day really means, why it is especially significant to all our lives, and why we should all take a deep breath and chill out.
Today, May 12, 2012, marks the one year anniversary of the end of the world. Yes, one year ago today, the end of the world started.
Oh, it might not seem like it has. We've all been going on about our daily lives like nothing has changed. "Oy, but Oim alive!" you might say in a strange Cockney-style accent. No, maybe you aren't dead yet, but that doesn't mean that the world didn't end.
Nah, you got me, you're still alive. But I had you going for a moment there, didn't I?
May 12, 2011 was the day that Harold Camping predicted as the beginning of the end of the world, and paid for a massive advertising campaign to let everyone know about it. Well, he didn't actually pay for it, all of his followers kept giving him money and he used that money to pay for it.
Harold was just your average, run of the mill, crazypants who used numerology to decode the bible and determine the exact date of the end times. He used his radio show to let everyone know about it - take that people who say that radio isn't relevant anymore!
And if you didn't think his followers were anything less than completely and totally committed to the cause, they were giving away their possessions and life savings, content that none of that would make any difference at all once Satan was wandering around stabbing people with hot pointy sticks.
My favourite story from that time were the people selling rapture pet insurance. See, pets can't go to heaven (sorry kids, they go to a nice farm where they have fun all the time instead). For a small fee, these fine folks would give your pet the best possible care when you had been taken away to heaven. No word on how they would be able to do that, given the plagues and eternal torment that they'd committed themselves to as being unsaved.
"Can we hurry this up a little?"
"You dare make demands puny mortal?!"
"Right, it's just that I know how long it takes you to boil my soul in oil and I have to get back to the house to feed Princess and Mr. Bilbo."
"Princess and... Mr. Bilbo?"
"My neighbours dogs. They got taken up to heaven - my neighbours, not the dogs obviously - so they left them with me to take care of. Princess is fine waiting for a little while, but Mr. Bilbo just pees on everything when he gets upset,. And, no, you can't smell it that much because of the sulphur and brimstone, it leaves a stain on the carpet. So I'd appreciate it if we could just move this along, okay? Thanks."
"Oh, sure. We can do this later. I have an opening at 2:00 tomorrow, if that works for you?"
"Darn it, we have an appointment with the groomer at 1:30. How about 3:30?"
Please note that the preceding was intended for humour only, and is in no way an indication that I personally believe that all dog groomers will be left behind in the rapture. I mean, come on, it's not like I have to come out and say it, right? We're all thinking it.
Interesting side note - despite the fact that the end of the world was ABSOLUTELY TOTALLY NO DOUBT ABOUT IT happening, Family Radio didn't shut down on May 11, 2011. You'd think they would have cancelled all of their broadcasting licenses since they weren't going to need them anymore. I think that should be the true test of any and all predictors of the end of the world - you get to choose the date and time of when you think the world will end, but you have to give up everything - including any and all broadcast licenses, and all your assets are to be liquidated and the money given to fund science programs - if you are wrong. It's put up AND shut up.
I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the end of the world is coming folks. It is, really, honest and for true. There's no way to stop it. No Bruce Willis to set off a bomb on the asteroid or Will Smith to generate a cure for the disease that turned everyone into zombies or Ed Begley, Jr. to pedal us all to safety on his bicycle. Nope, the end of the world is going to come one way or another, and we don't get a say in how.
But I think we do get a say in how it doesn't happen. So let's clean up the environment, stop shooting missiles at each other, and maybe figure out a way off this planet so when the end of the world does happen we can all watch it from a safe distance.
Have a great long weekend everyone!