Nov. 3, 2002: Have You Heard? The World is Coming to an End

You may have missed this bit of news, but the world is coming to an end. I thought you would want to know. The announcement comes straight from the New Lighthouse sect, a religious cult in France. I don’t know about you, but I listen carefully to anything the French say. They only work six days a month, so that leaves them plenty of time to drink wine and analyze things that might blow by the rest of us.

Unfortunately, the Lighthouse crowd couldn’t be precise about the date on which we are expected to check out. The best they could do was “sometime before Christmas.” The French aren’t big on precision, except to make sure they don’t work more than precisely six days a month.

Chances are they have been aware for some time that the world was coming to an end, but you know how the French are. They want to drink up all the good wine before they go and leave us with only a case or two of Thunderbird with which to console ourselves.

I’m not sure if we are dealing with good news or bad news here. I’m not happy that I may have had my last gorging of corn-fried shrimp at the exquisite little Georgia Sea Grill on St. Simons Island. On the other hand, I have been trying desperately to come up with a good reason not to go on a cruise to the Greek Isles next spring. Voila! The French have come to my rescue. (“Honey? Remember that fun trip you had planned for us to the Greek Isles? I’m afraid we are going to have to cancel. The world is coming to an end. Isn’t that a bummer?”)

The end of the world could be a big break for the Atlanta Braves. No longer will they fold like a pup tent in October, because it looks like October has been canceled permanently. Also, the Braves will save big bucks not signing Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux to long-term contracts since there will be no long term. Larry Jones, aka Chipper, won’t have to whine about how tough his life is hitting a ball with a stick, because no one will be around to listen.

Arab terrorists are taking the news especially hard. Having run out of interesting and fun ways to annihilate themselves and innocent bystanders, Mullah Omar Whatshisname’s Holy Warriors had finally perfected a way to booby-trap their jockey shorts. (“Stand back, Infidel, or I will blow up my underwear! I’m not kidding!”) To make matters worse, the terrorists have just learned that Allah thinks they are a bunch of mindless jerks and is assigning the whole crowd to eternity in a roomful of camels with upset stomachs.

The announcement caught local politicians by surprise. Our soon-to-be-ex-Governor Roy Barnes immediately cancelled plans to pave North Georgia from the Tennessee border to a line just south of Canton. Barnes also announced that everybody in Georgia is now free to create their own state flag and that Republicans will finally be accepted in jury pools. U.S. Sen. Zell Miller is angry at himself for having wasted so much time shilling for his Democratic colleague Max Cleland’s reelection when he could have been hanging out in a karaoke bar in Young Harris, singing his favorite Merle Haggard tunes.

The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, site of the BCS national football championship next January, will no doubt get sucked into a black hole in space along with its tortilla chips, so there is no longer any reason to play the game. Therefore, I have just declared the Georgia Bulldogs national champions. All the remaining games don’t count and the Georgia-Florida game never happened.

I hope I haven’t alarmed you unduly, but I thought you should be aware of what our friends in France are busy discussing these days when they aren’t criticizing us for threatening to bomb Iraq or for chewing with our mouths open. I hope they are wrong. However, I am taking no chances. I plan to eat banana pudding three times a day and to continue to be the epitome of political correctness. Now, will somebody please pass that bottle of Thunderbird?