The Mayan Apocalypse was really disappointing. Rapture 2011, the greatest Armageddon showcase since Millennium Bug 1999, brought the goods. It was foreshadowed by true believers walking the streets with posters. When the day came and went, true nonbelievers walked the Internet with funny fake photos.
It was fun. We all had a laugh. Mayan Calendar 2012 failed to match, despite so much anticipation for greatness. By the time it arrived, all the devout followers had fizzled into a guy calling talk radio who knows a friend who might have gone to a mountain to hide.
But this apocalypse did not entirely go to waste. For one, it served as a rather nice universal icebreaker. For a short period you could walk up to almost anyone and start the conversation about how the world hasn’t ended. Or it has and nobody’s noticed. Or just something nasty about ancient Mayan calendar makers.
The other person would give a knowing look of some sort and perhaps throw in their own apocalypse quip. You’d both then smirk, shrug and take in some of your drink, since you have nothing else to say.
But communication had been established, jokes have been made, drinks have been drunk. And by the time you circulated the crowd with apocalypse hellos, you’d have imbibed enough to introduce yourself to a tiger. So have everyone else, which means as long as you manage not to fall over or throw up, you might get lucky.
Thank you, apocalypse. It’s a bit like the reverse of a massive natural disaster. Tsunamis, monster storms and nuclear meltdowns are all universal conversation-starters, but they come at the cost of incomprehensible destruction. Apocalypses are free, except for the few strange ones who sold all their stuff.
Ultimately, though, this is a tale about timing. Always schedule your apocalypse for late December, in time for that final puff of a week the year gives - when most of us lose our minds and put the brewer’s kids through school.
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