Saturday, May 21, 2011

Retirement Planning - Apocalypse Prep

As if I don’t have my hands full enough with retirement planning, I’ve just become aware of the chatter about the apocalypse happening this Saturday. (That would be today as I post this, but I’m writing it a few days earlier.)

Apparently some dude named Harold Camping has successfully prophesied some events using mathematical calculations that come from the Bible. Now it’s telling him that Jesus will return on Saturday and take only the chosen back with him before he pulls the plug on the rest of us.

I should mention that Camping predicted an earlier end date of September 1994. When we were all still here the next day, he explained that he’d made a math error. In my experience, one math error frequently leads to another. And another. And so on. Not wanting to bet the farm on this, in an effort to assess how real this prophecy might be, I Googled for related news items.

In the Huffington Post, I came across the Top 10 Signs the Apocalypse Is Upon Us, written by Dan Tynan and lifted from This is a site and writer I had not been aware of. If you enjoy my style of writing, check out Dan’s article. Here’s just one of his signs: “Scientists discover Jupiter-sized ‘rogue planets’ rolling around the Milky Way like bowling balls in the back of a pickup. You just know one of them is really the Death Star.” Read all ten at

A number of sites have bucket lists of things to accomplish before the end of the world, including the venerable (written by Claire Suddath.) The Daily What has a flowchart to help you figure out whether you’ll be raptured or… It’s too painful for me to type the alternative.

Even the Centers for Disease Control got into the act. Their post Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse (no joke) came out Monday and quickly overwhelmed their servers. Let’s hope they get them up again in time for us all to prepare.

Bucket lists and flowcharts aside, I have a handful of urgent decisions to make before midnight Saturday. The first one is: Will I continue to spell judgment without the middle ‘e’ the way I was taught in grammar school? Or will I cave in to the increasingly popular misspelling ‘judgement?’ If I make the wrong choice, I might not get invited to the rapture party. I wonder: Will the rapture be like a rave? Or more like a flash mob? Please, God, don’t let it be one big line dance.

Then there are more practical issues. I have a haircut scheduled Saturday morning. Should I keep it, so I don’t look like wild lady for eternity? Or is it a waste of money at this point? It’s not like I’ll be able to take the money with me, and even if I could, where would I spend it? On a related note, my roots are badly in need of coloring. I usually do that on the Sunday evening after the cut. Since I don’t know what time we’ll be called to judgment, perhaps I should dye my roots before the haircut this time.

Speaking of Sunday, which none of us will see, if the prophecy is correct, Sunday is the day I change the litter in the cats’ boxes. I should probably change it Saturday morning, just in case. I wouldn’t want to send them off into eternity with fouled facilities. I’m a better mother than that. Forced to choose, I’ll leave my roots gray and give them clean litter boxes. That alone should earn me a ticket to the rapture.

Slate magazine has an interactive feature where you can pick from 144 different scenarios of exactly how the apocalypse will come about. Some examples are loose nukes, space debris and The Matrix. If you’d like to review the full list, go to You can handicap favorites, but there will be small comfort in knowing you were right about how the lights went out.

Okay, rewind a few paragraphs in this post. After some additional searching, I’ve learned that the chosen will experience their rapture on Saturday on a rolling basis, at 6 PM local in each time zone. Those of us left behind (which will most certainly include me and very likely, many of you, dear readers,) will die off gradually due to various calamities that will occur from May 22 through October 21.

That’s the prophesied date of the real blow out Armageddon. It’s also the day after our anniversary, so my husband and I have a chance of making it to 21 years. Not quite silver, but we’ll take it. After all, one man’s Armageddon is another’s post-anniversary rapture. If you don’t believe me, just ask my husband.

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