Many people — more than a dozen, at least — think the world will end Saturday. They've found the evidence in the Bible, so you'd be wise to quit making fun of them.
These people are not crackpots. I know this because I attract crackpots. Recent emails I've gotten:
"I just wrote a book. Could you do an article on it? It's about ghosts."
"I need you to write about me so I can be on 'Oprah' and promote my DVD and find a cure for my disease."
"Please write a column about devil dogs."
And those are just from bosses.
Those who believe the end is at hand are generally people with deep faith, a nobility born of suffering and the capacity to believe in miracles - or basically, the same psychological profile as Bobcats season-ticket holders.
Here's how they say it will work. Saturday, there will be earthquakes and other sphere-splitting events, followed by lava, brimstone and a chance of rain. There is no point in lying down in a ditch, no matter what they tell you on TV.
This unpleasantness will go on for five months, then in October everything will be vaporized, which is probably just as well, given the NFL lockout.
Saturday will be a busy time for Twitter as we will be lifted individually to the heavens for sorting and judgment ("Dude! Unpd prkg tix don't count!").
Bring your long-form birth certificate, just in case.
Now, some of you are probably thinking that Seers of Doom have been around since ancient times, and you'd be right. Scholars have even traced them to the pre-dial-up era, when people communicated largely through grunts and congregations of elders at the school-bus stop.
But adherents point out that recent events, stuff on a cosmic scale, are playing out like big movie trailers for this week's Rapture. Stuff like:
We finally land a quarterback who knows how to play.
Harry Jones says the county should give the school board more money.
Ahhhhnold. Love child.
It is hard to argue with such logic. Plus, even if the believers are doomsday kooks, one of them has to hit it sometime. Even the warranty on the sun runs out in another 5 billion years, right?
So, that's that. No green bananas this week. No point in investing in Powerball. Skip the car inspection.
Eat a cherry with red dye No. 3. Allow a person unknown to you to place objects in your luggage. And chuck that silly dental floss.
Most of all, don't let it ruin your weekend. In the unlikely event we're not actually Raptured, readiness is always worthwhile.
Remember, the Mayan calendar runs out in 2012.