By: Sam Killenberg
For those of you finding this issue of the ECHO after wandering apprehensively out of the bunker which you have huddled inside since December 21, you will be surprised to know the Mayan apocalypse you were so sure about didn’t occur after all. Somehow (probably by the grace of Quetzalcóatl), the dawning of the 14th b’ak’tun came about with no more than overcast skies and blustery winds here in Chapel Hill instead of the scattered showers of lava you boldly forecast to skeptical friends and relatives. While you cowered in your underground cement shelter, forcing down can after can of baked beans and wondering why your iPhone still worked, the rest of the world went about its daily business without you.
But now you’re back, and without a few adequate excuses, conspiracy theories or hypotheticals, you’re going to end up looking foolish. Here are a few things to throw out there in order to save face if you’re teased by non-believers:
1. The math was off! Even though you wore this excuse pretty thin after the May 2011 Rapture, it’s equally applicable here. Who really knows when the b’ak’tun ends anyway? For all we know, it could be any day now, but it’s definitely coming soon. Quick, get back into the shelter!
2. Asteroids… asteroids everywhere. Failing a Mayan-style Armageddon, NASA tells us there are over 4,700 asteroids close enough and big enough to nail the Earth with an apocalyptic blow. A 40-meter wide asteroid would strike the Earth with the same amount of force as 600,000 Hiroshima bombs. What’s worse, NASA has only identified the location of 30% of these asteroids. It makes you just want to huddle up in fetal position in the dark behind the canned corn.
3. War to end all wars. North Korea launched a rocket in mid-December, and tensions in the Middle East are once again on the rise. And while a nuclear war would be cataclysmic, it would definitely make that $2,000 Geiger counter you bought look like a great investment.
4. Faulty predictions. Let’s face it. Wikipedia cites numerous examples of people predicting Armageddons, including sixteen in the last ten years. Since none have happened, then logically, this can mean only one thing: since humans are zero for ever in predicting the end of the word, it will simply come when we least expect it!
So maybe the Mayan apocalypse was just some sensationalist hoopla. So what? The end of the world is bound to happen sometime, right? And despite a recurring trend of the world not ending, its easier to believe in Armageddon than to believe you can consume your massive store of canned goods before they expire.