Who Raptured My #!&% Tire?

by Bill Brenner on May 20, 2011

All this talk about The Rapture has me thinking. Allow me to share.

Mood music:

First, this whole thing reminds me of a day in fifth grade when I was scared out of my brains by a prediction that the world would end because of something called the “Jupiter Line-up,” in which all the planets in the solar system were supposed to shift orbits and crush us all like bugs in the process.

This was a March Wednesday in 1982. I spent the days leading up to it acting crazy as a shit-house rat. I freaked out whenever the new came on. The day came and there was a lot of ground fog. I was sure we were all fucked. But we had to go to school anyway.

I was OK by lunchtime when I realized the world hadn’t pulled a Krypton.

The rest of the years between then and 1999 were tainted by that damn movie on HBO about Nostradamus and his predictions. According to Orson Wells, the narrator, we were supposed to have a global drought and earthquakes the next time Haley’s Comet came around. I quickly looked it up and saw that the comet would pass by in the spring of 1986.

I knew for sure that we’d all be dead after that.

The comet came and went. I was baffled, because Orson looked pretty damn serious about the whole thing.

But he also said the world would be incinerated in a nuclear third world war by July 1999. Despite the non-event of 1986, I continued to worry about 1999. When we first heard the name Saddam Hussein in August 1990 when he invaded Kuwait, everyone started gum flapping about how he must be the third Anti-Christ Nostradamus warned us about.

That drove me into a nearly suicidal depression. It’s not that I would have tried to take my life. It’s just that I pictured death as a good alternative to what I saw going on in the world.

I got over it, but still nervously waited for 1999. Once that came and went, the spell of Nostradamus was broken. When people started to say he predicted the events of 9-11, my eyes glazed over. I guess that was progress for me.

But it didn’t matter. By then, I was blazing a path of self destruction that wasn’t going to let up no matter how bright the future looked.

Why all this worry? Because that’s what someone with OCD does — worry about every single thing we have no control over.

As regular readers of this blog know by now, I got over that, too.

If you pushed this Rapture prediction back about a decade, I’d be crippled with worry. What if these crackpots predicting the end of the world were right?

Today, I’m not worried.

For one thing, my faith tells me that only God knows the day and time the world will end. When anyone else suggests that they’re in the know, I quickly dismiss it.

I like these Facebook “events” going around about post-Rapture parties and such, because it shows that cooler heads prevail.

I RSVP’s with a maybe. If the Rapture really does happen, my hope is that I’ll have lived a good enough life to be sent to the next level. That’s what any good Catholic wants.

But if I’m left behind for some reason, I may as well use the time wisely and party with whoever else is around.

Unless they’re zombies.

In that case, I’ll just pull out the rifle I’ll have looted from the nearest gun shop and blow their heads off.

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