Does anybody have an 800 number for the ancient Mayans? Because I need to lodge a complaint.
Seriously, 2012 has been something of a wash all around. Tragedies. Mass shootings. Anguish of all kinds. Local cataclysms of the flood-and-earthquake variety. Wars and rumors of war (well, yeah, we always have those, but this year has seemed worse than usual for some reason). Superstorms. Droughts and famines. Endless human pain. (And other species are suffering too, obviously, but in typically human fashion it’s our own pain we notice most.)
A nice hefty apocalypse would’ve really taken the edge off all of those.
Because just think of it. No more… well, no more [fill in the blank with whatever really gets on your case]. I have my own list: full of the great tragedies above, but also full of many lesser ones, of annoyances and disappointments and things that just get under my skin. No more Prometheus. No more robocalling marketers. No more fiscal cliffs. No more spam. No more Windows 8. No more Apple Maps. Crash a runaway planet or so into us and it’s all over with, and good riddance. (I really would miss never seeing season 3 of Sherlock or the remaining Hobbit films, but when so much evil would be wiped out at the same time, it seems petty to complain.)
Yet after all this effing buildup, what have we got this morning?
It’s been beyond annoying, really: partly because we were promised two others of these this year. One of them was going to be a few days after my birthday. I thought, “Yeah, typical. I hit a landmark year and then have three days to enjoy it: whose good idea was this??” And the day came — it was supposed to be one of those raptures or something similar — and what do we get?
Then immediately the guy responsible for the math says, “Whoops, no, calculation error, God moves in mysterious ways, I haven’t been told everything, uh, human error, that’s the ticket. It’s going to be October.” The designated date was right after Peter’s birthday this time. P. simply said, “Great, I get a party and no hangover!” — trust him to see the bright side of an apocalypse: this kind of behavior is the reason I married the man. And the day comes, and we have our little party, and the day goes, and what do we get?
Zip. Zilch. Nada.
What’s the saying? Once might be an accident. Twice could be coincidence. But the third time? Enemy action. The third time, any sensible person would pick up the phone and call Customer Service and say, “This is unacceptable. Something is really wrong at the fulfillment end. You need to do something to put this right.”
But who do I complain to?
Because now we’re going to hear the old song again… all the stuff about how complex the problem is, how you can’t possibly blame any one person or organization. It was this writer. Or that broadcasting personality. It was a runaway meme. It was publicity-seeking New Agers — that’ll be a popular one. You can just see what the news is going to look like tomorrow, as all these people who promised us an End Of The World that could actually be worth something start pointing at each other and trying to shift the blame.
“Miscalculations in the calendar” — I bet that’ll be the most popular excuse. Rounding errors. Failure to correctly convert metric to imperial, or the other way around. (At least one Mars probe went God knows where because of that: you’d think people would’ve learned better by now! Seriously.) Or wait a moment, no, it’ll all have been a translation error, won’t it? Such a subjective art. Yeah, let’s blame the translators. Like they don’t already have enough on their plates.
I guess there’s nothing for it but to settle in for a nice long session of watching the fingerpointing, until the news cycle gets bored with it and cycles on. (And I bet that won’t happen soon enough for some of these people, who’ve thought nothing in particular of inflicting their own crazy paranoias on the rest of the planet at large.) It’ll be just like the week after the US Presidential election all over again, with all the people who thought Romney was such a shoe-in suddenly finding all these great reasons how the other guys in the party screwed it up. “Wait, what? Women? Black and hispanic voters? Young voters? He said not to pay them any mind…! Yeah, him over there. And Romney, pff, I never really liked him anyway…”
Well, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m not going to let this slide. I want to march up to somebody’s desk and get this made right. I don’t care what it takes: they can bloody well get DHL or FedEx on it, for God’s sake, but I want that runaway planet or whatever the hell it was supposed to be on my desk by tomorrow morning at the latest. And in the meantime, until the email with the tracking number comes in, I just want an answer.
Dude, where’s my apocalypse?!