Thanks to fans and foes

 

This is it. 2012. It's the year

that the world will finally, mercifully, come to an end if you believe the Mayan

calendar

. It's also the year I've been waiting for my entire life.

How unlike history it would be if it came to an end, but I'm

willing to play along with the idea. People have been predicting the end of the

world for thousands of years and who's to say that they're wrong this time? Not

me, Jack. I'm counting down the days to Dec. 21, 2012, when the ancient

prophecies claim the end will come. There are 359 days between when this column

appears and then, and I'm planning on making the most of them.

The fun thing about the

apocalypse

is that it gives you an excuse to do whatever you want with no

repercussions. So feel free to ruin your credit rating, commit insurance fraud,

take that trip to Spain or Hawaii. Go on and have that extra piece of cake or

that affair with your coworker. It's the end of the world; what else do you

have to do?

If it is really the end of days, there are some things you'd

be well-suited to keep in mind.

You'd never be able to stock enough guns, food or gold to

survive the rest of your life. To think otherwise is self-delusional. You'll

eventually run out. You're better off looting the pharmacy or liquor store

before society breaks down completely so at least you'd be able to leave the

earthly plane with a good

buzz

.

I hate to say it, but you are seriously screwed, so you may

as well give up any idea of emerging from your bunker ready to assume

leadership of the world. Either you will be dead or you will be a few weeks

from starvation, so you may as well make yourself as comfortable as possible.

There will be no cell phone reception, or, for that matter,

electricity. So you might want to invest in some solar-powered chargers so you

can at least play Angry Birds or listen to your iPod while you wait to die.

There are some basic things every

person should know before leaving this mortal plane.

Truthfully, most of the really

good songs that The

Beatles

wrote are on 1, their

greatest-hits album, but so are a few of their absolute worst tunes. The world

could have survived just fine if they'd never recorded "From Me to You," "Hey

Jude" or "Yellow Submarine" but maybe not "We Can Work It Out" or "Here Comes The

Sun."

John

Lennon

wasn't kidding when he sang "The way things are going, they're going

to crucify me." He was proven right about 10 years later when Mark David

Chapman killed him offering only The

Catcher in the Rye as his statement of motive.

No matter what you thought of Barack Obama, he really was an

honest man who did the best he could, given the hand he was dealt. Unlike many

of his predecessors, he committed no felonies while in office and told the

truth as much as possible. If the world really does disappear in December, he

would have been as good a president as we deserved.

Fox News lied to you. Hamburger Helper doesn't live up to

its name. Stephen King was a pretty good writer; certainly he was better than

his worst detractors would have had you believe. White Castles were a pretty

good value. Big business in all its forms really was evil.

George

W. Bush

really did steal that election but 9/11 wasn't a conspiracy, nor

were Pearl Harbor or the JFK assassination. Sometimes things just happen and

they don't make any sense except to the people who do them and maybe not even

then.

If the Mayans were correct, you have less than a year to

exist. You'd better make it a year to remember. Don't waste a minute of it. Eat

good food, hug the ones you love, encourage and comfort the people who need it

most. Forgive any family members with whom you have any grievances, whether or

not they're justified,

Most of all, live your life to the fullest extent possible.

Don't waste an hour or day. Even if the world doesn't end in 2012, you'll still

feel better if you do those things. Possess as few regrets as possible and

you'll be happier, by and large.

Whatever 2012 has in store, here's to a happy and prosperous

new year. And, as always, thanks for reading this column and for reading NUVO, the one newspaper

that will always believe in people like you and me.

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