Enough music, film and TV lists. Serious times call for serious topics.
Today I’m launching the apocalypse challenge. Over the next 10 days, I’ll be posting about catastrophes and almost-armageddons which had a big influence on me personally, and that also nearly destroyed the world. Feel free to post about your own global doomsdays in the comments.
The Apocalypse Challenge:
Day 1 – Judgment Day
In Catholic school, the nuns taught me that a fiery cataclysm would engulf the planet, the dead would rise from their graves and everyone who had ever lived would line up in front of Jesus, who would judge whether they ascended to heaven or were cast into the pits of hell.
This, of course, scared the crap out of me, especially since those nuns were pretty specific about all the terrifying things that would happen on judgment day (locusts, rivers of fire, plagues, beasts with seven heads), but really vague about exactly when all this would take place. “Prepare yourself,” was all they would say.
Looking back, I guess they were talking about my soul, but at the time I took it to mean I should pack a bag. So I found a paper sack and filled it with things I thought would come in handy for the end of the world: an old bottle of coca-cola that I filled with tap water (rivers of fire can be dehydrating), two packs of those cheez ‘n’ cracker snacks they give you at school, in case I got hungry, and a pocket bible, to demonstrate my worthiness. I also put some comic books in there, so I had something fun to read while I waited in line.
I’m still waiting.
And I still keep an apocalypse sack – although nowadays I call it a ‘go-bag’ – the name this sort of thing picked up after September 11th. It’s a sensible precaution to take in a world that seems to be constantly teetering on the edge (with more examples to come in future posts on this subject). The contents of my bag aren’t all that different from what I had as a kid: bottled water for hydration, protein bars for snacking, a portable radio and a first aid kit.
But alas, no bible. You can read into that what you will. But I confess you never quite get over your first doomsday.
Tomorrow’s armageddon will be brought to you by: