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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Outlandish (05/19/11)

TITLE: Its The End Of The World As We Know It....
By sandra hoolihan


After the news broke that “All My Children” had been canceled, our local news anchor, Gail, then followed up with a story that reported that by 6pm the world would be coming to an end. I had to rewind my DVR to be sure I heard it right, and upon confirming the alarming news I immediately began to mull over what I would do with my afternoons now that my favorite show was going off the air.

The newscast repeated itself with news of the end of the world. “You may have heard that today, May 21, is Judgment Day. Also known as the Rapture. Also known as the End Of The World.” Gail said with her deep chain-smoker's voice.

It wasn’t until I heard the third sentence that my thoughts moved from Erika Kane. I was standing over my bed. I folded laundry reveling in the fact that if the end of days was truly upon us, I could proudly say I was doing something so domestically productive when I heard the news. I always hated the questions of “Where were you when the Challenger blew up?” (in the principals office getting detention) or “What were you doing when 9/11 happened?” (stuck in traffic - I decided not to listen to the radio that day so I arrived to work unaware and tactlessly chipper) I became giddy. I imagined that when the question of “Where were you when the Rapture occurred?” I could say folding laundry, secretly proud of the fact that everyone in my family would have clean underwear on Judgement Day.

Gail interviewed a couple people convinced that The End of All Being was upon us who had quit their jobs and sold all their possessions. It reminded me of our family’s all too recent Y2K experience and the tubs of peanut butter and mountains of rice we have stockpiled in the pantry. My kids still seem inconvenienced at having to use dry milk in their morning cereal, but am I wrong for wanting to use up our reserves before the due date catches up to us?

An atheist group has listed an “After the Rapture Pet Service” on Craigslist, Gail further reported in her husky tone. The going rate is $50 for a small dog. My black labrador, Darth Vader, curled up the corner of my room looked at me knowingly as I refused to pick up a pencil and write down the number. I did, however, scribble the number of a gentleman offering free dryer vent cleaning with a full duct cleaning for anyone who survives the rapture. I was rabid with pleasure over being on the verge of winning a contest I never even knew I had entered. The dog exhaled loudly seemingly unamused.

“What’s new?” my husband asked carrying a USA today newspaper while headed toward the john.

Still giddy at the prospect of a free dryer vent cleaning, I told him the news, “Apparently today is the end of the world. We have until dinnertime.”

“Ummh,” he grunted picking something out of his teeth with his tongue.

In a voice unnaturally low for a woman her age, Gail had noted that the newspaper ran a full page ad explaining the details so I didn’t bother giving him further explanation. He would get to that page in due time.

Gail’s baritone blared with news of nationwide “I Survived the Rapture Parties” across the country. I fingered a new blouse I was about to fold, but remembered that tonight was my evening to run my meals-on-wheels route. My disappointment of missing the festivities turned to hope when I heard Gail wrap up the coverage by stating, “The Mayans have predicted that December 12, 2012 will be the end of the world. So if you miss tonight’s parties you will still have another opportunity in a year and a half.”

Perfect, I thought. I have time after all.

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This article has been read 428 times
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Leola Ogle 05/27/11
Absolutely delightful take on the end of the world phenomena. I'm sure your MC is one of my good friends, because that's exactly how me and my friends viewed the whole subject. :) Great writing! God bless!
Linda Goergen05/28/11
Loved the way you mock the “worldly” hysteria of lost soap operas and false prophet rapture prediction in this lighthearted story.

The symbolism and fun of hubby taking the news “to the john”, having clean underwear in a situation, where if real, all that would matter is clean “inner” wear…the “where were you scenarios”, all denoting your humorous mockery! Serious, powerful message delightfully delivered!
Joe Moreland05/28/11
All I can say is this is a great example of how I felt when hearing about this...I just couldn't figure out how to say it. Thanks so much for eloquontly, and hilariously, putting into words what so many of us wanted to say. You have a real gift for subtle humor, which in my mind is much funnier most of the time.

Thanks for sharing this with us!
Lisa Fowler05/28/11
Drama! Drama! Drama! Love it!
Noel Mitaxa 05/29/11
I enjoyed your self-deprecation and humour, even as you feel for those who have been taken in by well-meant but inevitably deceptive teaching on a date that Jesus himself did not know. It's worth recalling that Jesus said it was not for us to know such times.
Theresa Santy 05/31/11
I smiled through this entire piece. :)
Edmond Ng 06/01/11
Interesting take on the topic from a fictional angle. Like you, I also wrote about the May 21 outlandish claim and about the pets care service, but from a serious note for a devotional Bible study. The partying will not be the same for all the claims, but when the day comes for us to meet our Lord face to face, what a great celebration is will be!
Rachel Rudd 06/01/11
This is great! Made me LOL with the clean underwear and Y2K comments. I well remember that hysteria. Thanks for a humorous look at something that is truly outlandish.