Time is running out. Or is it?
January, 2012

Not one to be distracted by daily minutiae (bills, making the bed, brown or black shoes), wading into 2012 got me to thinking about more ominous matters, like the End of The World. Now that puts the dead in deadline.

All the talk is about the economy, the weather, elections, the 49ers, freeways, occupiers and gang bangers. Mere distractions. Down in Mexico, they’ve started the doomsday countdown to next December 21st. Didn’t we just go through this with that kooky preacher up in Oakland? When his absolute lock, Bible-based predictions didn’t happen, he had to scratch his head and solemnly declare that he would be getting back to us. I wonder if he’s not down in Mexico, dancing around a fire in a feathered cape and working out the schedule with the neo Aztecs.

If you’re like (as old as) me, you might remember dozens of doomsday predictions. They’ve all suffered the blindingly ignominious fate of sunrise the next day. People hiding in caves, collecting in communes, or just tripping on too much peyote. There have been thousands of predictions about the clock running out since, well, the beginning of time. In the West, nearly all of them have carried the solemn imprimatur of a literal, albeit freewheeling, interpretation of the Bible. Looking back, it’s safe to say that none of those learned exegetes knew what they were talking about.

Then there are the legions of mystics, psychics, numerologists, astrologers and lesser prophets who’ve predicted the day we can all let our Californian subscriptions lapse. As sure as the sun rises in the East, the sun always rose in the East the very next day.

Just as an aside, I’ve often wondered exactly which time zone falls off the planet first. I mean, is it going to be GMT, EST, PST or Jerusalem Time? What if it’s Beijing Time? Maybe the exact time zone is the missing detail behind all the hang-ups. Then there are the Samoans. They decided that making time with the East was more profitable than with the West so they just hopped the International Date Line by skipping December 30th altogether. Now that’s creative time management. Too bad if it was your birthday. Talofa!

But I digress. The Mayan, or Aztec, Calendar strikes zero just in time for next Christmas. So far as we know, the Mayans weren’t constrained by anything in the Bible, so it’ll give us a great chance to see if they knew any more about the passage of time than the learned Doctors of Divinity, Nostradamus, the Chinese or that guy who used to sit on the flagpole atop the El Rancho Drive-In in San Jose.

There is a problem, however. The Mayans told us to clock out on December 21st with a backup of the 23rd, just in case. And “just in case” is huge, because if all of a sudden the sun comes up on December 24th, it’ll be Doomsday alright. We’ll all have to remember the Christmas list we never made and beat it down to Northridge like there’s no tomorrow.

On the bright side, we could ignore all the stupid laws that will certainly kick in next January. As of this month, for example, I can’t wear my pistols in public, my grandkids have to care about which gay person did what, hypodermic needles and illegals aren’t illegal, but plastic bags and shark fins are, kids don’t need parents, you can’t give prisoners cell phones and labor unions are untouchable. There’s even a thing about mixing caffeine and alcohol (but I thought you took strong coffee for a hangover). Some pot is illegal, but most of it isn’t. Evil employers have to provide paid maternity leave (so why hire young women?). But if 2013 never happens it won’t matter what they come up with.

On second thought, maybe the Apocalypse already snuck up on us and nobody noticed.