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Apocalypse Update

Posted Thursday, May 12, 2011, at 10:02 AM

Left Behind?

This just in: World still here. Eternal Earthbound Pets dodges bullet.

Given the current climate, this may not be the best time to go into the prophecy biz. However, I will venture the following predictions with absolute certainty:

1. Notwithstanding his latest bust, the Rev. Camping will not be daunted. ("Ah! Forgot to carry the two. OK, I got it this time!")

2. Notwithstanding his track record, he will find no shortage of new suckers for the next apocalypse he pulls out of his hat.

All kidding aside, the whole kerfluffle did produce some real metaphysical disasters.

One man in Illinois found that his wife had vanished from the house. He assumed that she had been taken up to Heaven. In fact, she had been taken out to lunch. By her sister. It was her birthday. The man had forgotten his wife's birthday.

That man is now in Hell.


Don't worry. It will all be over in a few days.

Word has been going around that the World As We Know it will be coming to a close on May 21st. I'm not sure who did the calculations, but some apocalyptic number-cruncher, beginning presumably with Bishop Ussher's famous and impressively precise creation date of noon on October 23, 4004 B.C., has figured in Jesus' sandal size, the distance in cubits from Meggido to Bayonne, New Jersey and other arcane factors in order to come up that date (May 21) as the Last Day.

So get your affairs in order.

But there is one such affair to get in order which had completely escaped me. The problem is what happens to your dogs and cats when you are suddenly Taken Up on that Day of Days. What brought the problem to my attention was learning of its solution. The friendly atheists at Eternal Earthbound Pets will take care of your critters for you. They aren't going anywhere, after all. When you've been Raptured away, they will come to your house and take Fido away to a good home with some godless, hell-bound animal lover. It will only cost you $135--payable now while you're still here, of course. But it isn't like you're going to need the dough after May 21st, anyway. (Unless your assumption that you are one of the Chosen turns out to be wrong. But that's impossible, right?)

What perplexed me about this service, though, was the revelation that you can't take your dog with you to Heaven. That seems pretty cold. I have a hard time picturing a "No Dogs Allowed" sign on the Pearly Gate. Really, what kind of Heaven can it be with no dogs in it, anyway? There's also the plain injustice of it; while I've known a few cats who would certainly be questionable, I have never really known a dog who didn't deserve to get into Heaven. If I had a dog and couldn't take him with me, I would have to seriously consider giving the whole thing a pass. Luckily (unfortunately?) I am unlikely to be called upon to make such a choice.

It brings to mind Mark Twain's comment on the relative attractions of the various afterlife options: One should go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.

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