Instead of End Times, think of today

  • Article by: JON TEVLIN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 21, 2011 - 7:10 PM

If you are reading this column, well, welcome to my club.

You either were left off the E-vite for the Rapture, like me, or got conned by some preacher who promised that the End Times were about to begin.

Either way, we both have to go to work come Monday.

The preacher, Harold Camping, predicted that on Saturday good Christians would be sucked up to heaven by a giant Dyson vacuum (I think even God believes things should work "properly") and that the undead would arise from their graves and wander the earth, behaving rather poorly.

Camping had singled out dates for the Rapture before, and when it didn't happen, he said his addition had been wrong. Math can bedevil even the Righteous, you know.

By Friday, however, I was starting to think Camping was right. Neon billboards around town flashed news of the Rapture and an airplane towed a banner heralding the same, and giving the address for Camping's website so terrified old ladies would send him their pension checks.

Then a homophobe headbanger named Bradlee Dean got up on the podium of the Minnesota Legislature in a track suit and destroyed decades of decorum and nonpartisanship with a loopy, meandering "prayer" that slammed our president.

Everyone was so outraged that Republicans hit the "reset" button and literally erased the event from the legislative record.

What? An awful prayer, you say? We didn't see anything.

Dean was invited by one of those freshman legislators who run around the Capitol with their hair on fire. They seem to have taken over the place. Clearly, the End Times were in sight.

I woke up Saturday to a steady, ominous rain. While I lay in bed, my mind raced through my life's Rolodex, just as they say it does when you are about to die. It was the greatest hits version.

I saw myself as a boy, shaking hands with Richard Nixon at the Boy's Club in the 1960s, then delivering a knockout punch to a kid in the Central High lunch room. I saw myself in a London hash den, and escaping a knife attack in Bogota, then getting married on the beach, spending a day in a Mexican prison, getting a hug from the actual Girl from Ipanema in a bar in Rio de Janeiro.

I realized, it's been a good run. I was ready for the Rapture. Bring it, Camping.

But where should I spend my final moments? I wanted to get a jump on the undead. What would they do after rotting in the earth for years? Probably Google "Zombie Bar" and head to Donnie Dirk's Zombie Den.

But it was closed, and the time was nearing, so I went down to Hell's Kitchen. I figured I might as well get a jump on anyone from Wisconsin and get a seat near the booze and food.

Hell's Kitchen was, sorry, dead. A lonely news truck sat outside, reporters waiting for perhaps their last story.

I ordered the Pick Your Poison Cosmo. It never tasted so good. The bartender said that I'd missed Chevy Chase, who had been in earlier and ran into a locked door (I am not making this up). Chevy Chase pratfalls are probably on someone's list of things you see in hell, but not mine.

Doomsday hour passed without notice, except one guy across the bar who raised a glass and said: "To today."

Some atheists were throwing a "Blasphemy Ball" later in the night, but I just wanted to get home to my wife.

The sun had come out and bounced gleefully off the pavement. It was turning out to be a good day. But somewhere in the back of my mind was the lingering notion that for all of us, sooner or later, Camping's math will be right.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the Twins replace Ron Gardenhire?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close