This will be my last post . Tomorrow is the end of the world . I went to the bank today to withdraw some cash to pay the gardeners and to give them a little Christmas bonus . The young teller told me about the end of the world tomorrow . I hadn’t been paying attention to end -of-the-world-news . I thought it had ended December 1st .
I tend to be more than a little skeptical about most things , so I sought some verification . I don’t have a Mayan calendar at home any more . I couldn’t read it , anyway , even if I had one . So I Googled : ‘Mayan end of the world’ . Sure enough , December 21 will be the end of the world . So it’s true . We have to update the long-gone cowboy comedian Will Roger’s statement about believing only what he reads in the papers . Now it’s all on the shoulders of Google .
I think we’ll finish the Christmas tree . I would hate to leave it undecorated since we went to the trouble of going out yesterday and buying one . For a few years we have bought our trees at a church on Shamrock Avenue in Monrovia . The youth group sponsors the sale and gets the profit . I hope they do , because the damn thing cost us $ 48 and the man wouldn’t give us a discount . Ada tried to bargain . No negotiating this year . Maybe he knows it’s close to the end of the world . Maybe that notion somehow played a part . Maybe he would’ve liked to have given us a deal , a few bucks off . Last year and the year before he did . But this year ? Who needs a few bucks off when the end of the world is so near ? Maybe he thought : why waste precious moments bargaining ? He could have gone the other way , too . He could have just given us the tree . No bills to pay , no youth group activities after December 21 , after all ! Right ?
Christmas trees after the end of the world ——– a bit anachronistic , I think . I should have read the book about Mayans that I had out in the garage . Anyway , I think I donated it to the library last year . Maybe I would have known what a Mayan after-world is like . I don’t imagine that Christmas trees would be part of it . If there is a Mayan afterlife .
And then there’s a Ben Stein essay that has been circulating on Facebook for the last few days . It starts out well . Why not say ” Merry Christmas ” instead of ” Happy Holidays ” . Ben Stein , a Jew, is not offended . O.K. , sounds good so far .
His essay drones on for awhile . He says the world has gone to hell , it’s not now the America he knew . It’s all because God is being left out from public life as well, I guess, as from private lives . Dr. Spock is somehow also to blame for the wreck of things America . . Stein speaks of “we” as if “we” Americans all get together to decide this or that about our culture and it happens that way . Just like that ! . He ends with a veiled threat that if you read his essay and don’t forward it onward , then you are one of those godless heathens destroying America ( paraphrased ) . So people are forwarding it and Agree , Agree .
I say : Read ! Read ! and , if you have to , then read it again and then between the lines .
I know , I’m a cynic , but there were no’ good old days’ , where ” the America we knew ” was an idyllic , peaceful , civilized place . Maybe it was God-fearing . O.K. But America has always been a violent society . And would ” the America we knew ” be, maybe , the America where blacks and women knew their place ? Where hotels and clubs were ” restricted ” ? Where Chinese were excluded from immigration to the U.S. ? Where ” spare the rod and spoil the child” was the going dogma and children were ” to be seen and not heard ” ? Where polio struck mercilessly ?
And did it work so well , Ben Stein , back then , but now not , and now we are ” reaping what we’ve sown ” ? God would help us , but He is too much of ” a gentleman ” to interfere ? You write your essay from your estate in Malibu . Maybe you are swimming in an infinity pool or soaking in a hot tub , looking out to sea , as you suggest pointedly that the world has gone to hell and America has gone to hell . If only we could bring back the good old days !
It won’t matter , anyway . The end of the world is tomorrow .