Planning for the end of the world
Sept. 14, 2015
by Ivan Raconteur

The end, apparently, is nigh.

I know this because I received a brochure in the mail last week. It arrived in a hand-addressed envelope, and was mailed from the State of New York. One of my esteemed colleagues received an identical brochure.

The headline on the brochure proclaims that there is “a strong likelihood that Oct. 7, 2015 will be the end of the world.”

That’s good to know.

I confess I didn’t read the eight pages of tiny print, liberally sprinkled with Bible verses, outlining why the senders believe the curtain will fall on that day, but since they took the trouble and expense to have these things printed and mail them to warn us, the information must be true.

I went ahead and wrote it on my calendar just in case.

I didn’t have any other engagements scheduled for Oct. 7, so I won’t have to cancel any plans.

The brochure made me wonder what other preparations I might need to make, knowing that judgement day is less than a month away.

I don’t suppose I have time to overcome all my years of evil and sinful living in a few short weeks, so I won’t bother trying to walk the path of righteousness. I’m afraid it would be too little, too late.

It seems like it might be a good idea to tie up loose ends and put my affairs in order, but after I thought about it, I realized that, since the world is going to end, there won’t be anyone left for me to put my affairs in order for, if you see what I mean.

Looking at it from another angle, I gave some thought to the things I don’t need to do, based on this new revelation.

I probably won’t bother with the dusting or other housekeeping chores from now on. There doesn’t seem to be much point in keeping the bachelor pad spotless when the world is going to end next month anyway. To be honest, I don’t enjoy housework all that much anyway.

I won’t need to do any early Christmas shopping, since the world will end long before Santa gets here.

Recently, I have been looking at real estate. I guess I can quit doing that. I won’t have time to close on a house in the next few weeks.

I can stop contributing to my retirement accounts, since I won’t be around to collect. I never really thought I would last until retirement anyway, so there is no surprise there.

I’ll probably keep working, since I basically enjoy my job, but I might not spend as much time planning future projects as I usually do. Based on this new warning, any deadline after Oct. 7 will be meaningless.

I’m not the most health-conscious person in the best of times, but I really don’t see any reason to watch what I eat now.

Forget the low-fat, low-salt, low-flavor alternatives. Give me the good stuff, and plenty of it. I might start eating dessert for breakfast, and having a big beaker of gin and a good cigar after every meal. How much harm can that do in a month?

I’d say I will quit exercising, but let’s face it, I haven’t worried much about that for ages. It’s not possible to do less than none.

As far as things I would like to do in the month I have left, I’d like to spend some time with my family.

They are an eccentric lot – just plain odd, some of them – but they are the only family I’ve got, and I like them, despite their quirks.

I’d like to do some traveling, but I probably won’t make it far in the time we have left.

It would be fun to see Montana again, and spend time in the mountains.

I’ll definitely have to visit Lake Superior one more time before judgement day. The North Shore has always been among my favorite places.

I’ve had a pretty good life, so there aren’t all that many things I haven’t tried at least once. At least not things I want to do. There are plenty of things I haven’t done that I don’t want to do, and that’s just fine with me.

I’ve tried to live my life with no excuses and no regrets, so I will be at peace when closing time arrives Oct. 7.

I thought about doing some really wild and adventurous things in the weeks we have left, but I have a suspicious nature, and one thing is bothering me.

The brochure says there is “a strong likelihood” the world will end Oct. 7, but it is not guaranteed.

I’d feel pretty silly if I went hog wild, burned all my bridges, and then the world didn’t end on schedule.

That would be embarrassing.

Maybe it is best to just keep on living the dream, as I have been doing, and not gamble too much on the advertised end of the world.

I might relax on some things for awhile, like the dusting and the diet, but I think overall, I’ll continue to live a reasonably responsible life, because it’s just possible the world might keep turning well beyond Oct. 7, and I want to be in position to enjoy life if it does.

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