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It’s never too early to plan for the end, again

Tue., Jan. 15, 2008

I hate to always be the Doug of doom, but I thought you’d all want to know that the world is going to end again.

This time it’s Dec. 21, 2012.

I know. You’re thinking: “Come on. I can’t deal with any more calamities of apocalyptic proportion.”

I hear ya, man.

Every day is filled with one “why go on living” story after another.

Britney Spears’ continued slide into dementia, for example. Charles Rowe hanging up his TV anchoring duties …

Sometimes it’s all I can do to sober up every couple of weeks and stagger downtown to pick up my paycheck.

And this global warming stuff. Did you catch the front-page story about how the melting ice sheets in Antarctica may speed up the rise in sea levels?

The consequences are scary. Like, once this happens, the glut of cheap beach frontage could literally sink the Lake Coeur d’Alene fat cat market.

Think about it. What’s so special about owning a waterfront mansion when you can look out the window of your Airway Heights doublewide and watch the cruise ships glide by?

Even my mail is enough to make me pull out what’s left of my hair.

True story: On Monday I opened the box to find this classy small pale yellow envelope.

“Oh, boy,” I think. “An invitation to a party!”

It was an invitation, all right.

An invitation for me to “win a pre-paid cremation.”

Many public officials have wanted to see me charbroiled, but never quite so literally.

I opened the envelope.

“Dear Douglas,” read the letter from the Neptune Society.


Where do these Neptunians get off? Only my mother and angry creditors ever call me Douglas.

“For a variety of reasons, more and more people are choosing cremation over traditional funeral arrangements.”

Reading something like this raises those Big Questions we all put off thinking about.

Big Questions like: Wouldn’t Mercury Society be a more logical name for a cremation club?

And: Who gave these pyros my name and address?

I’ll be honest. Times like this make me look fondly on the simpler days when I was getting death threats from neo-Nazis and Chamber officials.

Not that any of this matters because, like I said, it’s all going to be over Dec. 21, 2012.

I normally don’t fall for end of the world scenarios.

Like that Y2K malarkey. Other than buying several assault rifles and filling my basement with generators and freeze-dried food, I barely gave the millennium a second thought.

But this scare is even more credible than the 06/06/06 scare when Satan was supposed to take over.

Turned out it was just Katie Couric.

I wouldn’t buy this prediction if it hadn’t come from such a reliable source, namely one of my readers who got it off the Internet.

“I urge you to research both sides of 12/21/12 and start reporting!” wrote Jane, who gave me a link to

I took a look and marveled at the depth of scientific research and T-shirt design.

Apparently, all the great minds in history knew about this. And I quote from the Web site:

“The highly intelligent ancient Mayan civilization developed an intricate calendar which anticipated the end of their Great Cycle of the Long Count – better known as the apocalypse – on Dec. 21, 2012.”

Too bad the Mayans weren’t smart enough to forestall their own demise. But with The End still four-plus years away, I suggest that you all follow my lead and make a “bucket list” of things to do, such as … .

“Tell editors where to stuff it.

“Max out all credit cards.

“Burn self-help books.

“Say no to extended warranty offers.

“Join Cheesecake of the Month club.

True, there’s always the slim chance the Mayans might have gotten it wrong. So in the disappointing case The End doesn’t occur on 12/21/12, I have come up with a fallback plan.

I’ve entered the Neptune Society’s number on my speed dial.


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