Are you as excited as I am about the very important date this week?
I'm speaking, of course, of the countdown to the Mayan Apocalypse. One leap year from this past Wednesday the world will come to an end, at least according to cable TV.
I absolutely love this Dec. 21, 2012, nonsense. You can keep your Kardashians and singing shows. Give me an hour or two of the Mayan long count calendar and astronomers talking about global dust clouds blotting out the sun and call me entertained. I have already watched three very gloomy shows -- including one hosted by no less an authority than Samuel L. Jackson -- in which "scientists" and other pontificators ruminate on the various scenarios that could might maybe possibly happen in just 364 days.
The leader in the clubhouse seems to be an asteroid or comet smashing in to us, turning the Earth into a cinder and ending humanity's extended engagement. Because a big rock just a few hundred yards wide could take us out with little or no warning, it continues to be the odds-on favorite. But the doomsday possibilities are endless.
There's plague, tsunamis, new ice age, earthquakes, super volcanoes and of course that old standby nuclear war. In fact, the pointy heads on the History and Discovery channels have a very long list of ways for the human race to meet its maker, and all because a pre-Columbian calendar maker decided that 5,000 years was probably enough for one calendar.
He was probably just tired of carving that many days into stone. And yet here we are some 1,000 or so years later and a portion of the world's population is making preparations for yet another predicted end.
The survivalists that used to run around in the woods prepping for a Russkie missile attack are now spending their energy on riding out the Mayan Armageddon. And, I kid you not, at least one millionaire is building an ark.
Yep, an ark. Some rich guy is building his own version of the so-called indestructible floating refuges from that ridiculous John Cusack movie. Not only is he spending $20 million on his Mayan security blanket, but his lawyers were apparently very upset when footage of the ark's construction appeared on CNN.
Here's a question that just popped into my head: What do you do with a $20 million floating fortress on Dec. 22, 2012? Maybe he can sell it to the Navy. I'm sure the federal government will overpay him for it. Might as well make a tidy little profit off this nonsense.
Speaking of profits, the Mayans are getting in on the act as well. The Mayan regions of Mexico are gearing up for an expected boon in the tourist trade as 2012-minded extinctees-to-be make pilgrimages to the ruins, presumably in some effort to understand or receive some mystical revelation.
In all seriousness, I do feel sorry for the collateral damage that is certain to come from all this when apocalypse-anticipating people do foolish or violent things because they think the end is nigh. But in the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the countdown. And on the off-chance that the Mayans are right, I'm still not going to worry about the consequences.
It's not like there'll be anyone around to tell me, "I told you so."
Email Nate McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.