April 20, 2011

Save the date!

Here’s another bumper sticker I never got around to making: When the rapture comes, can I drive your Chevy Suburban?

It’s too bad I never printed them up. I probably could have made enough money to build that fallout shelter and stock it with beer, a solar-powered deep-freezer, and a couple of steaks.

Yes, folks, for the second time, a group called Family Radio Worldwide has determined the exact date of the apocalypse, and this time it’s right in the middle of the damn weekend. Their first prediction that the world would end in 1998 didn’t count, and May 21, 2011, will really, really mark the beginning of the End Times for sure this time. No one’s even thought to schedule a parade yet. Dang old apocalypse just creeps right up on you when you least expect it. Now does that beast have seven heads and 10 horns, or is it just a three-headed dog with two peckers? Jesus is coming back, and he’ll answer these questions and more — right before he kills us.

In the meantime, if you’re one of the unlucky non-Christian sinners who won’t be “gettin’ raptured” like your evangelist neighbors next month, you might consider amending your summer travel plans.

Before the travelogue, a Raised Relief public health announcement: Regardless of where you go on your vacation, if you drink one too many rum runners and find yourself feeling adventurous, DO NOT GET ANY TATOOS ON YOUR HANDS OR FOREHEAD and especially not of the number of the beast. This would be pure folly, and you’re just asking for it at that point. Best to play it safe and get a little dolphin on your ankle or another Taz.

Now, the coastal regions that aren’t already radioactive hotspots or oil slicks will be completely overrun with golf pros and tennis hos recently raised from the dead looking to hit the links and have another round of bloody marys before the final roll call. Getting a tee-time or a reservation at the club will be absolute murder. Additionally, the ocean will be filled with blood, which could conceivably ruin any romantic sunsets, so a beach resort vacation should be reconsidered.

The mountains will have crumbled into the sea (which doesn’t matter to us so much since Massey and King Coal have saved God the trouble by tossing Appalachia into the crick), so a trip to Yosemite or Rushmore’s a non-starter, and seeing as how Gatlinburg, by some strange biblical loophole, has been experiencing the apocalypse this whole time, a little family jaunt to Tennessee before the second coming seems a moot point.

Euro Disney? Enough said.

So, where to go for this last and very special vaca? You guessed it: staycation. That’s right, the commonwealth of Kentucky is your No. 1 tribulation travel destination. Just this week, the state legislature passed a measure to remove every stupid “Unbridled Spirit” sign along all seven bordering states. They’ll be replaced by tidy green signs with white lettering that read: “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Kentucky, where everything is 20 years behind.” —Mark Twain. “Welcome to the Bluegrass State!” The cost to us taxpayers will be $75 million, but who cares? Think of all the extra revenue that will be generated when everybody finds out they can skip the End Times and head to the commonwealth!

Look, I don’t mean to make light of the situation. It’s just hard for me to believe a benevolent and loving God would call the whole thing off before the men’s Cardinal basketball team gets another solid shot at the NCAA title, or at least a hard-fought Final Four. Seriously. Are you reading this, Coach P? Stick around! The Big East is getting ready to undergo some major renovations, which will place us securely at the head of the field.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not suggesting that everything isn’t going straight down the tubes around here. I’m just saying that passing responsibility off to a tiff between God and the Devil is a little disingenuous and lacks any sense of our collective culpability. We’re doing all this to ourselves.

You know what’s scarier than a three-headed dog with two peckers? Ideologies and institutions that would have you believe this world and your life are merely an illusion whose fiery destruction is part of God’s plan. You know what’s even more frightening than that?

The truth of existential responsibility. 

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