Roger Marolt: Roger This | AspenTimes.com

Roger Marolt: Roger This

Roger Marolt
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

Good-bye. I don’t want to draw this out and make it sappy like some columnists do when they round the last turn of a phrase, but I did want to say thanks to all of you for putting up with me over the years. It’s been great fun, my editors excepted.

There are too many people to thank for making Roger This possible, so I won’t even thank a few to spare the majority from feeling jealous and/or forgotten. Besides, tomorrow, sometime after noon I hope, none of this may matter.

Someone a few thousand years ago (or at least the font they used in the dire warning makes it appear that way) put together what must have been an incredibly enticing chain letter. Circulated orally by crackpots until the advent of Facebook, it has now reached a lot of people who have given it enough time of their days to pass the gist of it to enough family, friends, and acquaintances so that now millions of people around the world recognize the possibility that the world will come to an end tomorrow. Yes, this news appears on several Websites and you can verify it on others, so I think it’s safe to assume it’s true.

I recognize that it may be the greatest of all conspiracy theories or a pretty darn good Internet scam, but I am also one of the 43 percent of Americans who feel that the world will end at some point and don’t see any reason why tomorrow isn’t as good as any other day for this to happen. In fact, I have found a few indicators that suggest that tomorrow, Saturday, May 21, 2011, may have a slightly better chance than most days in the immediate future for this once in a lifetime occurrence.

Get a load of this: I had designs on another column idea centering on how many words I have written over the years for Roger This and how much money I have earned for each one of them with an aim to figure out an approximate value for sweat when I came across a stunning find. It turns out that, if this column ends up equaling the average word count of all the columns I have written to date of 910, the grand total for Roger This will be exactly (and I include in this 14 words I made up intentionally and not) 500,000 words. Exactly! Not rounded a single digit. Exactly! An omen?

Well, if that’s not weird enough, I have been writing this column for seven years and six months, as in a “7” and a “6.” Together that’s 76. ’76 was the year our country declared its independence. In case you haven’t been keeping track, tomorrow will be exactly 12,739 days since July 4, 1776. That number multiplied by 76 divided by 500,000 equals 1936.328, which so closely approximates my father’s birth date that it’s scary. If my father hadn’t been born then neither would I and Roger This would never have come into existence and I would still be writing anonymous letters to the editor. And how ironic is it that this might have been better for the world and thus it wouldn’t need to be totally destroyed now?

For those of you connecting the dots incorrectly, this does not mean that if the world happens to end tomorrow it will be my fault. If you were planning ahead and writing pre-emptive hate email, your time, in my humble opinion, will be better spent having the newspaper delivery suspended and making sure you have a few bottled-waters in the fridge (Don’t worry. If the world does explode, in a sense everything including petroleum-based plastics will be recycled anyway.) until this thing either blows up or blows over.

All this aside, if the world ends manana, I think it occurring on a Saturday will be nice. If people don’t go sky diving, Rocky Mountain climbing, or riding 3.7 seconds on bulls named Fu Man Chu or Ball Buster, they won’t have work to blame. Nobody will have to quit their jobs to do all this kind of stuff and the banks will be closed so we don’t have to worry about blowing our life savings on the last hurrah in case this isn’t the end of time. We’ll have to go out conservatively and within our means, the way we should have lived. It’ll be refreshing. A nice dinner on the credit card at an expensive restaurant’s early seating might be the extent of it. I think that makes it easier to believe that it is really going to happen.

The fact that the end of the world might be coming with what nobody can claim is not fair warning and on a weekend puts to an end to all the highfalutin blah blah about what folks would do if they only had hours to live while making the rest of us feel like we lack normal hormone levels. Despite what most say I’m betting lots of people will be sleeping in or mowing the lawn before a round of golf when it happens. So much for the Bucket Lists.

I mean, I really hope that I am back here in this same space next week laughing with you about this. But, in just two more words beyond this sentence my average word count for this column, as discussed above, will be reached. Another coincidence?


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