My brother has a saying, “A M F YO YO” – which loosely translated, means Adios, My Friends, You’re On Your Own.
When the Big Bomb drops,
When it all ends,
When we life turns to ash,
We will be on our own.
The mumbling has begun about the next Big Date — December 21, 2012. In case you didn’t pick up on the hype of the latest apocalyptic horror movie — in “2012” the Mayan calendar is supposed to end and that signifies something dreadful for the world.
I am not sure of the significance of the Mayan calendar ending — my 2009 kittens and yarn calendar from the credit union ends December 31, 2009, for this year. I’m not that worried, I plan on picking up a new one.
As if we aren’t in enough trouble with wars and rumors of wars, Taliban resurgence, earthquakes, tsunamis, melting ice shelves, a nuclear Iran, China and Russia plotting to remove the dollar as common currency, American unemployment nearing ten percent, AIDS and other diseases raging through Africa, shortages of water, banks teetering on the edge, violence in our cities.
And let’s not forget: millions upon millions of people with no health insurance, and millions more who cannot afford what diminishing benefits they have.
Twelve-twenty-one-twelve, bring it on, baby.
We’ve been through this apocalyptic hysteria twice in recent memory.
On December 3, 1990, the New Madrid earthquake fault was supposed to explode in the Midwest. A scientist named Iben Browning predicted a gigantic earthquake all along the fault line from central Illinois through Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, and Arkansas.
For weeks, this potential disaster occupied the news cycle — OJ had not driven his white SUV to Brentwood yet, and Monica Lewinski was still sippin’ sodas at the Sweet Shoppe.
The hospital where I worked beefed up its preparedness plan, always a smart thing for a place that specializes in disasters. On that day, we all wore casual clothes to work. We did not need to be in pumps and panty hose if the Big One happened.
Nothing happened. Nada. Not even a minor rumble from the famous fault in New Madrid.
The next fake disaster was Y2K.
We partied like it was 1999. By partying, I mean organizations acted like paranoid nut jobs over the next impending disaster.
Too many digits for our computers caused us to be nearly apoplectic as a country. Nobody had the foresight to think beyond 1999 when computer code was first written and categorized years by two digits.
What could this mean for organizations that had old computers, the government, our banks, Taco Bell?
My organization had a task force for the Y2K problem.
I behaved like a paranoid nut case myself and read too many apocalyptic articles.
I made a Y2K kit for our family which had: powdered milk, a case of canned tuna, a case of Campbell’s tomato soup, a Kerosene lantern, oil and extra wicks, a manual can opener, waterproof matches from the survivalist store and a hatchet.
And I purchased a healthy supply of kitty litter..
Have you ever tasted powdered milk? It assuredly will have to be The End for me to drink this stuff.
Now the canned tuna and the tomato soup, fine. That’s what I usually eat for lunch. The Kerosene lantern was probably extremely dangerous, and there’s a fair chance my husband or I would have burned down the house. Thankfully I bought extra wicks so we could have a mighty big accidental fire.
I guess my thoughts with the manual can opener was that I could open the tuna and tomato soup. The waterproof matches? Not sure on that one either. Guess I read it somewhere, maybe The Lutheran Housewives Guide for Armageddon.
Now on to the axe, my beautiful, leather-encased sharp as can be hatchet. Was my husband turning into a Shakespeare-quoting Paul Bunyan and felling trees for firewood?
Let’s review. Would you stay in small space with two, clueless, directionally challenged adults, a nine-year-old who doesn’t like tuna or tomato soup, two aging, indoor cats, and a hatchet (held onto tightly by a crazy menopausal nut case?) I think not.
Adios, my friends, we’re on our own.