The summer silly season started earlier than usual this year. Since I had nothing better to do in early May, I was cruising around the Norwegian fjords, north of the Arctic circle and close to the Russian border, when I read an article in an on-board news bulletin about an 89 year old so-called ‘true believer’ by the name of Harold Camping predicting that a giant earthquake on Saturday May 21, 2011 would mark the start of the world’s destruction and by 21 October all non-believers will be dead. The true believers were to be swept up immediately to heaven – or ‘raptured’ as he called it.
The fact that I’m a staunch non-believer and actually writing this on May 26th sort of puts a kibosh on his prediction, but what worries me is that thousands of people – including non-Americans around the world – actually believed his doomsday prophecy and headed for the beaches to be raptured. However, my faith in humanity was quickly restored, when I read about an entrepreneurial American clearly not of the same ilk as Camping, who set up a company to look after the pets of the raptured. More than 250 clients paid US$135 in advance to have their pets picked up and cared for after they had zoomed heavenwards.
In an interview, the atheistic minor mogul indicated that his clients would more than likely be disappointed twice after the 21st since not only would they still be earthbound, but also as he explained, “I don’t do refunds".
I don’t know about you, but it seems the raptured are not too rational in their thinking because according to their leader, an earthquake or some similar cataclysm would swallow up the so-called non-believers, so what’s the point of paying a heretic to do something knowing that his day of reckoning is imminent?
Mr Camping who said he would be sitting watching television on Judgement Day, more likely than not watching Homer Simpson uttering, “I’m normally not a praying man, but if you’re up there, please save me Superman”, has now apologized for his miscalculation and has re-scheduled the end of the world for October 21st. In the meantime, thousands of his followers have little or no money since they either made enormous contributions to Camping’s media campaign or have given away all their worldly possessions. Don’t you just love ‘em?
As if Camping wasn’t enough of a blot on the landscape, we are now reminded that the Mayans predicted the world would end on December 21st 2012 (I suppose it’s a coincidence that on December 21st 1620, the Mayflower carrying the Pilgrim Fathers from England landed in Plymouth in Massachusetts). In his book The Prophecies written in 1555, Nostradamus also predicted that the world would end in 2012, although he wasn’t precise about the actual date. Written in ambiguous quatrains (four-line verses) they leave enough manoeuvr-ability to re-assess the prophecy if the end of the world turns out to be a damp squib. Numerology (that’s think of a number, make a horrendously outrageous prophecy and expire) has been a favourite with soothsayers for centuries, so I thought it might be fun to make a few prophecies myself – based on this year’s mystical configuration of numbers.
2011 has four unusual dates: 1/1/11 - 11/1/11 - 1/11/11 - 11/11/11. What’s more, if you add your age this year to the last two digits of the year you were born the result is … 111. Another subtle sign using the integer 1, is if you multiply 111,111,111 by 111,111,111 you get 12,345,678,987,654,321, which according to my numerological studies reveals that the gold price will rise and the effect of Viagra will be the opposite.
Based on this exceptional set of numbers, I am prepared to stick my neck out even further and predict that bikinis, mini skirts, see-through tops and g-strings will continue to be very much à la mode in my neck of the woods; the forthcoming Watchmaker’s Ball on June 23rd in Gland may turn out to be a raffle rather than a dance (but for his sake I will not divulge the name of the unwilling donor); the SIHH will not become a part of BaselWorld if the Mayans and Nostradamus have anything to do with it and finally, the percentage of photocopier faults worldwide caused by people sitting on them to photocopy their nether regions will increase from 23% to 37%.
As is my wont, to conclude I have to tell you a story a Norwegian told me when we were both freezing out on the deck of the cruise ship taking photographs – and please excuse the accent. Ole stepped out of the shower and said to his wife Lena, “It’s yust too hot to wear clothes today. Vhat you tink the neighbours vould tink Lena if I mowed the lawn like dis?”
“Probably that I married you for your money.”
Well, you’ve got to laugh haven’t you.
Source: Europa Star June - July 2011 Magazine Issue