In the last week I have found myself having to come up with a sympathetic demeanour on three occasions after being confronted by some of kent’s finest moon units. Now,I should explain that this represents a major problem for me as my knee jerk reaction is to point and laugh heartily at them, so I felt very proud of myself for being able to retain an outwardly sympathetic appearance and stifle my natural urges. The first disturbed individual was a man in his fifties spotted outside sainsburys in Tonbridge walking quickly towards the store wearing a leather jacket,white ankle socks, brogues and a knee length pleated skirt.Despite wanting to break into a chorus of Aerosmith’s ‘Dude looks like a lady’ I managed to keep quiet and walk on by and have a jolly good laugh at him under my breath. The second individual was spotted in another Sainsburys this time in Sevenoaks on Saturday night. We had gone to get a few bits and pieces with a view to save going the following morning,when it would of course be far busier,and as we walked along the main aisle of the store a man in his thirties was walking towards us in a scooby doo style onesie. Now had he been in a group of others dressed the same this would have been jolly funny but the fact that he was on his own was more than slightly bizarre. I’d love to know if he was on the way somewhere and stopped at the shops to get some supplies, or if he just happened to like dressing like that at home and simply couldn’t be bothered to get changed before going out or even whether he was just a basket case who thought that everyone else was dressed oddly. The third poor soul happened to be in the showroom at work . Dressed head to toe in beige and having recently brushed his hair with a toothless comb and a pint of crisp n dry, he told me he needed a car big enough to sleep in. An awkward silence broke out while I visually checked him over looking for a hidden camera but it turns out he was clean. He went on to tell me that all of our cars were probably too small and when I suggested perhaps a crew van he said that his wife probably wouldn’t like that too much. Really??? WIFE.???
Anyway,the amount of Kent based troubled souls pales into insignificance compared to those gathering elsewhere in the world to prepare for this coming weeks apocalyptic end of the world event. It seems that the Mayan civilisation was able to put together a 5000 year long calendar that was to last right up until 21/12/2012 but clever as this is they had the bad manners to die out before explaining why. Since then all manor of crack pots and nut jobs have ‘foreseen’ the end of the world and then sat around slightly embarrassed while it never happened.Presumably you only ever get one go at predicting the end of the world? I don’t imagine that you can retain any credibility if the world doesn’t end as predicted and then have to be told ” hang on, sorry I meant next week instead”. And what happens if they were right? Nobody would be around to hear their gloating claims of ” see, told you”. However, so serious is this latest threat to the world ending that nutters of all nationalities are gathering together to ” celebrate” this event. The Telegraph reports that in Russia there are reported shortages of ‘candles and essentials’ (?) while in France, a country not normally associated with large scale lunacy, the mayor of Bugarach has reportedly barred access to the local flat topped mountain which has previously been associated with a different ‘ end of the world’ type mass suicide cult. Apparently the local population regard the deep crater in the mountain as a place where extraterrestrials will emerge on the 21st and take over the world. Anyone wanting to witness this in a bit more comfort can take up the offer from one local landowner who will rent out his 4bed house for €1500 a night out or allow you to camp in his field for €400 a night instead.Things get even more bizarre in China where it seems that when hollywood made the film 2012 nobody had any idea that any of this was about to happen and far from seeing it as a piece of entertainment they have taken it as more of a documentary and mass panic is setting in. One man has spent his life savings of $160,000 building an ark that will save himself and his families once the flood waters set in which is a canny investment assuming that the end of the world will present itself in the form of a flood but no use whatsoever if the 4 horsemen arrive during a direct meteor strike.
So if your life savings are not going to be enough to spare you from succumbing to the inevitable then why not take the view of trying to make a good living out of it,after all there is more than a good chance that come the 22nd of December nothing will have have changed and last minute Christmas presents will still need to be bought. American Ron Hubbard has a manufacturing business making high tech underground survival systems and has been quoted as saying his sales had ” exploded” over the last few months as people rush to buy his equipment at the rate of more than one a week.Hubbard goes on to say that he doesn’t have an opinion one way or another about the Mayan apocalypse but will spend a few days underground “just in case”.Or a 5 star hotel as its also called.Other perhaps more organised attempts to cash in on the end of the world come from some very different type of companies. Paddy power aim to fill their coffers and will give you odds of 5000/1 that the world will come to an end on the 21/12/12 which to put it into perspective makes it twice as likely to happen as an amateur golfer getting a hole in one and roughly the same odds as getting struck by lightning.Each year 2000 people get struck by lightning and most golf courses report 10-15 holes in one,so long odds like that all of a sudden don’t seem to generous. Also a Russian discount voucher business is selling online vouchers for about £20 which once bought will guarantee the purchaser that the Catholic church will pray that they and their family’s survive intact, which of course is very nice of them indeed. But actually what is the church’s view on all of this? Well, it’s not really possible to tell as they don’t seem to have anything to say on the subject. Sure this particular end of the world panic is due largely to people misinterpreting both the Mayan calendar and the book of revelations and twisting it into something that it isn’t,as well as the usual whack jobs who insist that the world must be coming to an end as their rhubarb sprouted early or they spotted a magpie on its own. Given the amount of people who seem to be flocking to French or Serbian mountain ranges there clearly are a number of very worried people in the world But from what I can see the Church of England,among other brands of religion,have been far too busy recently deciding that gay people can’t get married and women can’t become bishops to notice what’s been going on in the world.
So the advice for surviving the end of the world, should it happen of course, seems to depend on which country you’re in with French and Serbian police being ordered to make sure crowds stay away from various so called mystical places and the American authorities simply saying that nothing is going to happen so don’t worry about it.In the UK the AA advises that people should check their cars are roadworthy and to allow more time for journeys while keeping an eye out for the weather forecast. The London fire brigade have advised that smoke alarms should be fitted on all levels of the house so that if the end of the world does occur a warning would be sounded as soon as possible and the RSPCA have announced that most pets don’t have any human type fears about the end of the world so there’s no need to worry. But they also went on to say that should the Mayan prophecy turn out to be true we are advised to spend any remaining time we have left with our pets “wisely”.
Personally I have no plans of any description for how to spend the next few days before the end of time. Nobody seems to be saying what time of day it’s all due to all kick off so I’ll assume,until told otherwise,that it’ll be an early start.So with Thursday technically being the last full day I might treat myself to a change of socks or possibly even a full breakfast before work and maybe a nice bottle of red in the evening when I get home.Apart from the great many reasons why it would be a bad thing should it happen, it just happens to coincide with my day off and pay day which will then mean a day of massive spending before Christmas. So for now all that remains to be said is good luck, have a good apocalypse and catch up next time. I hope.