John Colson: Hit and Run | AspenTimes.com

John Colson: Hit and Run

John Colson
Aspen Times Weekly
Aspen, CO Colorado

Well, we’re still here.

Not that I believed all the hoopla about The Rapture, or the end of the world as we know it, which was supposed to happen on May 21, according to a deranged radio evangelist and bible thumper named Harold Camping.

According to Camping, who was trying to predict the end of the world in a Biblical framework for the second time, May 21 was to be marked by huge earthquakes and other natural disasters, as the signal that the End of Days had begun.

Interestingly, some of his more nimble-minded followers are now saying that May 21 really was Judgment Day, and that it actually took place. Those of us who are still here, well, we didn’t make the cut. And we can now look forward to five months of mayhem, death and damnation until the world actually does end, on Oct. 21, which is Camping’s revised end date.

Let’s set aside the natural question of, how many times must a man be wrong before we call him a fool? (Apologies to Bob Dylan). Instead, let’s take a look at what we can expect in the next few months.

One website, judgementday2011.com, calmly advises any visitors to “prepare yourselves for the End Times now by stocking up on water, canned goods, and appropriate clothing before the End of the World.”

Isn’t that nice?

It’s kind of like the big button on the covers of the “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” books by the late, great Douglas Adams, which in equally calm iconography advised us all, “DON’T PANIC.”

But, as any right-thinking modern man must be asking himself right now, I have to know, what is “appropriate clothing before the end of the world?”

The clear vote from the hedonists among us would be for all of us to get naked now and have the biggest orgy possible. I mean, if it’s all going to end, why not?

Marriage counselors and others convinced in the sanctity of wedded bliss, of course, would shake their heads and fingers at any such notion.

But, really, what should one wear to the End of the World? (Assuming that naked is not the way to go, so to speak, and in keeping with the age-old theory that clothes make the man, or woman.)

Should we spend whatever is needed to deck ourselves out in our favorite period costumes, from whichever historical epoch we feel most drawn to?

That undoubtedly would create a sudden rush on, say, medieval armor, as a way to shield oneself from the nasty missiles of muck and rock that are likely to fly around like bullets when the world ends.

Of course, it also might act like a personal oven and cause your brain to bake as the world’s temperature rises thanks to volcanoes, earthquakes and lava flows past your front door.

Or should we all try to look like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, decked out in top hat, tails and flowing gowns suitable for dancing?

Perhaps cave-man attire would be more appropriate. It’s what we were wearing back when the world was a much less hospitable place, and presumably it will soon be so again, if Camping is correct.

Of course, he’s been wrong twice already, and there is no evidence to back him up this time other than his idiosyncratic interpretation of a 2,000-year-old book that most now view as the most successful novel ever penned.

I wonder what he has to say about the stories of believers who sold all their worldly possessions in preparation for the Big Day, but unfortunately are still here with the rest of us and now are faced with going on welfare or depending on gifts from others.

Or what about that pitiable man in California who drowned 15 feet from the shore of a lake, which he tried to swim across to join God on the other side, according to a San Jose Mercury News report?

The problem in his case was, he couldn’t swim. Neither could his brother-in-law, who nearly drowned as well when he was pulled in by the frantic non-swimmer.

As you may have guessed, my take on all this is that it is a bunch of hooey, based on myths conjured up by power-seeking priests and other “church elders” so far back in history we can’t prove who was whom or what was what.

But, hey, it makes for interesting reading in the funny pages, right?

jcolson@aspentimes.com


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