There’s No Turning Back Now, Folks

Welcome to the other side of the predicted Great Earthquake and concomitant (this-time-it’s-for-real) Judgment Day.  A sick side of me turned on the telly Saturday night to catch news coverage of fallen faces as the world, undeterred, insisted on existing, same as before, despite these guys’ predictions of the Great End.  Karma must’ve been wagging her fat finger at me, for I couldn’t find the coverage I was looking for on any of the usual suspsects: CNN, CNBC, or even Fox “News.”  I did find, to my delight, a channel on DirecTV that plays all the news all at once, letting you arrow over a box to hear the sound.  Just when my partner suggested I search online, I caught myself and stopped, thought better.

They’ll have a hard enough time of it, I realized, trying to get back the jobs they quit, the husbands and wives and – some of them – kids deserted on their quest to announce the end, the life savings they blew through like there was no tomorrow, quite literally, without all the rest of us nyah-nyahing them.   Besides, they probably did us prediction disbelievers a favor.  It’s not a bad thing to be reminded of our immortality, inspires us to update that bucket list, maybe pick a new plant to grow, really activate the compost, or perhaps even just appreciate that we’re still here.

My partner turned to me Saturday about 7 p.m. or so and said, “I’m glad you’re still here,” teasing me over this little obsession I’ve grown sort of fond of harboring.

Getting to a question, not so much gardening related but it’s been bugging me since I started thinking about it earlier today …. I wonder if news outlets have canned coverage for when/if the world does end.  I remember hearing that the BBC had prepared a broadcast many years ago after Orson Welles participated in the radio performance of H.G. Wells’ 1984 and it caused panic among audiences who thought it was for real, even getting some people so freaked out and, realizing it was theater, pissed off that they tried to storm the station.  I heard that folks at the station had to whisk Welles out the back and sneak him away to safety, kind of like a modern-day Justin Bieber but with the oddly adoring fans being an angry mob, and without the hair.  I also heard that the BBC prepared this tape which reassured people everything was okay, telling them not to panic, we’ve been invaded by aliens, or some other catastrophe had struck.  I heard that the most challenging piece for BBC to figure out was how to reassure people once the tape started to loop and then wouldn’t people REALLY start to freak, realizing it wasn’t live?  I also think they released the tape not too long ago, but I’m not sure with what/whether they replaced or updated it.


I am wondering, do major stations in the States have anything like that ready to go now?  Do you think they did when all this Great Quake chatter started up?  If you know, divulge!  Give us all the dirt … tell us: is there a canned broadcast ready for the end of the world?  How about in print?  Do newspapers have a story ready to run in case the Great Big End begins?  How is the media preparing to tell the poor saps who are left what the heck just happened, and what to do next?  Who are the experts called in to comment?  Do they know they’re on deck?

“Um, Father Joseph, is it okay if we call ya if, like, if the pale horse shows up round here?  Can you, uh, you know, give some words to the peoples?”

“And what makes you think I’m still going to be here?”

“Well, you’s Catholic, ain’t ya?”

QUESTION: should I plant my tomatoes in the ground or in boxes on the ground?  If boxes, how deep?  And, please someone tell me if there’s a canned broadcast for the end of the world as we know it (yes, yes, granted every day is the end of the world as we know it, as is every moment but you know what I mean).  Are there pre-drafted articles for an alien invasion?  How about the Great Quake – is there another story ready for that one?  Go ahead…gimme the dirt.


This being the last Sunday supposedly as we know it, I made sure to get my butt into church today, or my favorite Brooklyn version of one anyway.  And thus I found myself this evening in Williamsburg at Pete’s Candy Store, discussing Kindles and the impending would-be apocolypse with the offspring of the famed televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker.  After the service, in the bar that is home to Revolution Church, Jay Bakker was reassuringly unfamiliar with the details of the prophecies promising to upend us in a matter of days.  “Oh, that’s this week, right?  Yeah, I totally forgot about that.”  Thankfully, the sermon as well was devoid of any nod to the obviously well-funded doomsayers who have begun to draw the attention of more mainstream media.  On NPR this week, I listened, wishing it was a joke, to a young couple with a baby who are using up their life savings because they are certain they won’t be here on May 22.  It’s not that there won’t be a May 22, they say, it’s just that they expect that they, themselves, won’t be here.  Let’s hope that proverbial needle guarding the gates of heaven is as wide-eyed as they are.  Jay told me about being twelve years old and anticipating an upcoming day identified by Nostradamus to be the big End.  Having survived that, he isn’t too worried about such prophecies anymore.  My mother, also, told me about one of these they had when she was a girl, and how skin was thickened after many of her classmates, certain it would be the last time they saw each other, came face to face the next day, rabidly denying they had ever believed what they had rapturously professed just the day prior.  Like Jay, she recalled the particular source of the end-of-world rumors, but the current doomsday soothsayers remain oddly murky in their identity.  Who are these people bankrolling the proclamations on subway billboards, city buses, and even national commercials to announce yet another Judgment Day?  And why do they bother if, as they say, there’s nothing we can do about it anyway since it’s a private party, and the invitations are already engraved?  Some of the folks at Pete’s Candy Store speculated it might be a movie in the making.  I’m wondering if Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck aren’t behind the camera somewhere, hoping for a shot at redemption for their failed mockumentary on Joaquin’s supposed quick-change career leap from acting to rapping.  Maybe this is the sequel, and they’re working out the name, and it’ll focus on all those left behind… “I’m Still Here, Part II,  Joaquin Phoenix in the Rap-ture.”  Speaking of Joaquin, he’s an official vegan. 

QUESTION: if you’re having a dinner party, and you’re feeding vegans, can you feed them food grown using compost that has ice cream and meat-eater’s urine in it, or, at least what once was ice cream (yes, of course, cow’s milk or I wouldn’t be asking) and meaty pee?  I need some experts to weigh in here, so if you’re like me and totally absolutely in the dark on this stuff, you are precisely the person I’m looking for…go ahead, gimme the dirt.