Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
So, are you guys still alive? Yeah, me too. I have to say, I’m a little surprised. I thought for sure Harold Camping was going to be right this time.
I mean, I didn’t believe him when he said the world was going to end back in 1994, and I thought he was nuts when he claimed the rapture was coming on May 21 of this year, but he seemed so sure this time. I really believed all us sinners were going to perish while all the good souls like Camping, the head of a Christian broadcasting network called Family Radio, ascended into heaven.
As you can imagine, the world’s failure to end has put me in a bit of a difficult spot. I’m the sort of person who figures only an idiot would keep working for the man when he or she knows the end is coming, so, wanting to appear non-idiotic, I quit my job many months ago and have since blown all my money achieving the goals on my bucket list.
You probably think a guy like me, fascinating, athletic and sophisticated as I am, would have such goals as “see the ruins of Angkor Wat at sunrise” or “climb the north face of Aconcagua” on my bucket list. I would have thought so, too, but apparently my bucket list consists of lying on the couch watching every episode of “Saved by the Bell,” eating Cheetos and shaving once a fortnight.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s been a wild ride. I wouldn’t trade a minute of Screech’s zany antics for all the money in the world. But with all my savings having been spent on snack food and Mr. Pibb, I find myself overweight, nearly diabetic, with my fingers stained permanently orange, ill-prepared to face a future I never thought I’d have to deal with.
The way I see it, there are only three possible ways to save myself and my family, and none of them are guaranteed to work. The first would involve somehow trading Screech’s zany antics for all the money in the world. That one, I’ll admit, seems a bit of a long shot, but I’m going to keep it on the table anyway, just in case.
Possibility No. 2 would involve suing Harold Camping and Family Radio for everything they’ve got. Sadly enough, this concept, here in ultra-litigious 21st-century America, might actually have a chance.
Sure, you may think suing a man because he convinced me the world was going to end sounds baseless and stupid, but I’d like to remind you that a woman recently sued the makers of the film “Drive” because they didn’t put enough car chases in the movie. A lawyer took that case. Seriously. I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to find one unprincipled enough to take mine.
To be honest, though, if anyone’s going to sue Camping, it really ought to be the saps who not only quit their jobs because of him but also left their families and agreed to drive around the country in buses to spread the “awesome news” of Camping’s doomsday prophecy.
Those people were way stupider than me, and as we all know, the stupider you are, the more likely you are to win a lawsuit or get your own reality TV show. After Camping’s done paying off all those folks, he presumably won’t have any money left for me, so I think I can probably scrap that option.
The final option would involve getting a bailout from the U.S. government. Unfortunately, I’m afraid this one, too, has little chance of success. Oh, it’s not that the government doesn’t like bailing things out. That’s not the problem. It’s just that my current situation presents an interesting Catch-22.
You see, I need a bailout to make me rich, because right now I’m dirt poor, but the government only bails out people who are rich to begin with. Therefore, I can’t get a bailout until I’m rich enough to not need a bailout, and I can’t get rich enough to not need a bailout until I’ve been bailed out.
Damn. It looks like I’m kind of screwed, doesn’t it? Oh, well. I guess I’ll just wrap all my belongings in a bandana, tie it to a stick and head off to a new protest I’m inventing called Occupy the Underside of a Bridge Somewhere. It seems I had that little nugget on my bucket list as well.
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Columnist Roger Marolt is learning to hold his breath longer during these hot, dry summers, he writes.