Chances are that the world will have ended by the time I finish this sentence. No? Ok, I can probably get a few more paragraphs in before the cataclysm and what St. Matthew calls the time of "great tribulation" (clearly a biblical Star Trek reference, indicating how well he could see the future).
The big question must be HOW the world is going to be ended. Millions of years in the making, surely the denouement will have to be something spectacular. No mere separation of the sheep from the goats, the Book of Revelations promises us a 3D sound-and-light extravaganza that will (quite literally) blow our minds.
And then, as the world will be at an end after the show, no need to remember where we parked.
[Checks at the window; notes continued existence of the world; pours a drink].
It is deeply gratifying to me that you are spending these last few moments before the destruction of civilization and all of its delights and devastations with me. It does put a bit of added pressure on me to ensure that the last words you are reading will be of SIGNIFICANCE and might even be of some use in the Hereafter.
Sadly, as TS Eliot would have it, the world will probably end with more of whimper than a bang. Much in the way Osama bin Laden was dealt with - wham, bam, thank you ma'am, where's the body? We will receive the new of our destruction in real time thus making it far less dramatic than the End of the World deserves. Real time always disappoints as the action is always far more quickly dispatched than the narrative version could make it. Suddenly the lights will snap off. We will curse and blame the storm (rather a nice meteorological touch for E. of the W.), and then suddenly it will be:
"The world has ended."
"It's probably just a fuse..."
Assuming the worst, however, we should probably have all out Monday morning affairs in order nevertheless. The excuse about the world NOT ending when it should have will probably not fly. No one will take pity on our lost souls if we try to use that old chestnut. Best rely on Blaise Pascal's old standby for believing in God - if you believe and it turns out he does not exist, what's the harm? But the contrary could get you into a spot of bother on Judgment Day (i.e., today).
[Still got a world out there...]
Just a moment ago, I spoke with a very good friend in Singapore who is already well and firmly into tomorrow, time-zone wise. Talking to her was like talking to the future. And in the future, she exists, therefore... et cetera.
But just in case this is goodbye, thanks for the memories.
Planet Earth: signing off.
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