It’s crunch time.
The world ends Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 according to the doomsday theorists. Although planetary collisions and Nostradamus have been thrown into the mix, most of the hubbub focuses on the long-form Mayan calendar (the ancient civilization had three, which probably gave them few excuses for missing parent-teacher conferences and social events). That calendar began on August 11, 3114 B.C. and ends Dec. 21, 2012. Although scholars point out that the Mayans wrote about events well beyond that date and explain that the calendar’s end simply marks the beginning of a new era, I’m not taking any chances.
What have you been doing to prepare? I’ve been watching all the shows that have been piling up on my DVR. There’s been plenty of time for that, since I don’t have to worry about Christmas shopping.
Also, I’ve stopped working on all of the columns I had scheduled to run after this one. Sorry, editors.
Over the past month or so, I’ve been collecting thoughts from notable Austinites on how they plan to fill the Earth’s final hours. Enjoy reading them, then get to work on emptying your own bucket list.
It’s the end of the world as the ancients knew it, and Austin feels fine.
Sarah Bird — author:
I guess I’d like to stand up on a surfboard and hike to the top of Machu Picchu. But, honestly, what I’d most like to do is clean up my office which has become just another word for nothin’ left to lose.
Jenni Lee — Fox 7 news anchor:
1. If the world is ending soon, then I would gorge myself on Salvation pizza, Hill-Bert’s hamburgers, and Iron Works smoked turkey wings until I throw up.
2. Repeat step one.
3. Wax my legs. I’ve always wanted shiny smooth legs like those ladies on reality shows.
4. Put on as many belts as possible because I have a bad habit of buying belts and never wearing any of them. I have been wearing the same belts for 40 years.
5. Tell many, many lies.
6. Find my 8th grade art teacher who was mean to me and punch her third chin. She sent me to the principal’s office. And I feel the need to tell her kissing the popular girls’ butts by buying them shoes is creepy. Too much? Too bad, it’s the end of the world.
7. Make my toddler wear his brand new blue blazer I felt he needed. With his plaid bow tie.
Evan Smith — journalist, KLRU television host:
If the world is indeed ending on December 21, I will eat a steak and smoke a cigarette on December 20 — in fact, on every day between now and then. I became a vegetarian in January 1984 and a nonsmoker in March 1995, and I’ve been in a lousy mood ever since.
Elizabeth McQueen — singer/songwriter:
If I only had one day left in Austin, I would wake up and drive straight to the original Tamale House. I’d get two orders of Migas, eat them all and then head home for a Migas-induced food coma nap.
I’d rouse myself around noon and head to Barton Springs with my husband and kids. I’d lay on my blanket in the hot sun until the heat was too much to take, and then I’d plunge myself in the freezing water, savoring the feeling of being alive that only the magical waters of Barton Springs can give you. I’d do this several times during the day. When I wasn’t swimming I’d be watching the divers dive off the diving board, the little kids bending like twist ties, the big ones flipping and belly flopping. I might even jump off myself, if only to encourage my daughters to join in the fun. We’d stay there until the sun went down, because dusk at Barton Springs is as magical as the Springs itself.
For dinner I’d try and gather all my friends and family in one place — maybe at Polvo’s? Definitely somewhere with outdoor seating, chips and salsa. We’d gab until we could gab no more, and then all head over to the Broken Spoke to see Dale Watson where I could dance one last dance with my husband in the honky tonk where we were married.
And when we drove home I’d drink in my favorite city for the last time. The neon and the funk mixed with all the new. The bustle of downtown and the emptiness of my neighborhood. And before I went to bed I’d make sure I spent time with my favorite people in the world, my husband and my two girls. I’d get as many hugs and kisses in as they could stand. And then, I’d go to sleep.
Matt Bearden — comedian, writer, KLBJ-FM radio host:
The end of the world, huh? Bummer. Like, how much time are we talking? Not that it matters much, really. Because half of it will be spent arguing with a 3-year-old — just trying to get her dressed, out the door and into a car seat. Then it’s endless circles around the neighborhood as the wife and I go back and forth, back and forth, never deciding where to eat. Finally: comet, kaboom, and silence. The kind of silence neither of us has heard since our single days. So … silver lining, people! Silver lining.