Reluctant Townie: It's a happy New Year/lease on life
Duders, we beat the Mayan Apocalypse. Final boss battle, programmer credits, enter your initials for high score. The game is over.
We just lived through the single biggest event in mankind's history. Has it sunk in yet? We dominated the Mayan Apocalypse with such ferocity that it didn't even bother to show up to its own fight.
After all the tough talk, after all the fear-mongering inscriptions in ancient ruins, in the end it just sent us a text that said, "Yo, Earth, I know we've been beefing for what seems like a baktun now, and in all realness, I thought about coming at you, but I've been watching you from afar and you bring it way too hard, Earth. There's no way I would be able to apocalypse you, and I think we both know it. So go ahead and do your thing. Whatever that may turn out to be."
Of course, mankind promptly replied, "Ding-Dong, you're Dumped, Mayan Apocalypse!" and updated its relationship status on Facebook accordingly.
The Mayan Apocalypse was last seen bumming around some of its old hangs looking wistful and reminiscent of better days. Rumor has it the new civilization it's been seeing is all nostrils and chin fat. So, double win for mankind.
But what do we do now? Where do we go from here? What is our purpose on this planet if not to avert and/or survive the wrath of some rampaging forgotten god?
Certainly, I have things to rethink in my own life philosophy. I've been coasting through the last decade as if the world were assured a timely and manageable end.
Adjustments will have to be made in the light of this new information.
One thing is for certain: I feel a little foolish for spending my entire savings on a cache of "I Perished in the Great Mayan Apocalypse" sleeveless tie-dyed T-shirts. What was going to be my get-rich-quick-after-the-fall scheme has turned into more of a run-out-of-surface-area-in-my-apartment scheme.
I tried donating the shirts to charity in the wake of the non-apocalypse — and even went so far as to ship 200,000 units to a remote corner of the Antarctic — but ultimately every last shirt was returned to me with a copy of a photo of a middle finger attached.
As a Mayan Apocalypse survivor, I am at a loss for direction. Now that I don't have to look over my shoulder for the greedy, outstretched claws of Quetzalcoatl, I have more time to pursue personal projects. But what project is worth undertaking when you know you're just going to live forever until you die one day and there's no overarching design or third act to bring all the loose ends of your life together and tie them in a neat thematic bow?
What if you simply exist here in this time and space — good, bad or indifferent?
Or what if maybe, just maybe, the Mayan apocalypse was a decoy planted by the Illuminati to lull us into a false sense of security? But I digress ...
I was pretty excited for the world to end in December. I planned on taking up smoking again, equipping my Honda Civic with a flamethrower and teaching my daughter how to fashion formal wear out of recycled tire tread and scraps of chain-link fence. I didn't really have a backup plan — just a variation on survival strategy determined by the form armageddon might take. It's as if now I have all this powdered water and no reason to chew it.
I am leaving 2012 in slightly worse shape than I entered it. In one marathon week of "Home Alone"-worthy pratfalls, I pulled a back muscle, a butt muscle and a neck muscle and broke the smallest toe on my left foot. Yet I still can't help but think the future looks bright.
If we can beat the apocalypse, we can beat anything: Killer asteroids, childhood obesity, the new "Assassins Creed."
All things are possible in a post-non-apocalyptic world. (Except maybe getting my wife to admit she's ever been wrong about anything in her life.)
There are beliefs I might reconsider in 2013, as it is the Year of New Beginnings:
1. My adversarial stance on robots. Maybe robots are our friends after all. I mean, they sure help me do a lot of everyday things, like comparison shop for pectoral implants or avoid writing this column with pointless Wikipedia binges. Plus, I should probably start playing nice — besides the Department of Homeland Security, no one knows more about my Google search history than the robots that live in my Internets.
2. My adversarial stance on zombies. Maybe zombies are our friends. Wait, who am I kidding? Zombies are definitely not our friends. Friends don't eat friends' brains, no matter how pulsating and delicious.
3. All eight seasons of "According to Jim" on Netflix. Hey, if I could be so wrong about one thing ...
Ryan Jackson wishes you a happy New Year free of doomsday prophecies, and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.