The end of the world is predicted to come this Saturday, which is a bummer because I have big plans over the weekend.
But if I listen to self-proclaimed prophet David Meade, my plans might be derailed by the tiny inconvenience of the world ending. It kind of makes me wonder if I should wait a few days before paying my cable bill, just in case he's right.
I've always been a bit skeptical when it comes to prophets and Meade's prediction is no different. Anyone who looks at our sports section knows I can't predict a football game. If I can't figure out how the Vols are going to play, how is some guy going to know about the end of the world?
I find it interesting all these clairvoyants can't tell me something that might be a little more beneficial, like what Microsoft stock is going to do over the next year. I'd love it if one of these prophets were to slip into a trance and come back with an 8-digit username and password I could remember.
Instead, Meade has given us the familiar end-of-the-world scenario, which is really not useful information at all. Are we supposed to make sure the bathroom is clean before it arrives?
If you believe Meade's version of events, another planet is going to collide with Earth and lead to our speedy demise. I hate to be argumentative, but I'm not buying it. All these soothsayers have been wrong before. It will take somebody finally getting it right before I believe.
Before hotdog eating contests and Netflix, predicting the end of the world was one of our most popular diversions. According to Wikipedia, the first religiously motivated doomsday predication came in the year 30. I would think at that time, Earth was still under warranty.
In a well-written story published Wednesday in USA Today, it talked about doomsday predictions through the centuries. It included a group of Americans called the Millerites, who followed William Miller. They were certain the world would end on Oct. 22, 1844. They were so convinced, they left their fields unplanted and sold all their worldly belongings.
I don't know if there was great despair when the world was still intact on Oct. 23, but there was probably considerable hunger and a quick crop management meeting for the Millerites.
Even in recent years there have been people capable of convincing others the end is near. Harold Camping put up billboards, mounted a radio campaign, and encouraged his followers to drain their bank accounts and send him money because a massive earthquake would hit on May 21, 2011. After months of ruin, Camping said the world would come to a complete halt in October, 2011.
All things considered, I'm going to operate under the assumption the world is not ending Saturday. That means I plan to come to work on Monday. If I'm wrong, I'm going to be awfully upset I didn't take a vacation day on Friday.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.