Lifestyles: A perfect storm of apocalypse
Busy with Christmas shopping, I hand this week’s narrative over to a guest columnist, the Voice of Doom.
DOOM: Soooo, last week Jupiter was closing in on the moon. We’re still cleaning up after the latest monster hurricane. The NHL remains on strike and a new Congress is about to convene. All these signs lead to a single doomsday scenario: The Fiscal Cliff!
ME: Hold on a second, Doom.
DOOM: I thought you were shopping.
ME: Why shop? If you’re right, there won’t be a Christmas. Or a Hanukkah. And don’t get me started on what all this will do to Kwanzaa.
DOOM: Yep, apocalypse can put a damper on the holidays.
ME: But you’re a scientist, Doom. In fact, I should call you Dr. Doom because it says here you have a Ph.D. in Downhill Studies. So surely you don’t believe —
DR. DOOM: Hey, I’m just the Voice of Doom. It’s freelance work, no benefits.
ME: But take the fiscal cliff.
DR. DOOM: Delicious metaphor. Wish I’d thought of it. I’d be on cable news every night.
ME: But you don’t think our politicians are so clueless —
DR. DOOM: It’s not just the politicians. Or the cliff. Throw in this Mayan 2012 doomsday and you’ve got a perfect storm of apocalypse.
ME: Wow. I mean ... Wow!
DR. DOOM: The cycle will start at the approach of Dec. 21. That’s the end of the Mayan 5,000-year calendar and — coincidence? — the last day of this Congress. As doomsday approaches, GOP congressmen will dress in ancient Mayan garb, gather outside the IRS building and begin a primitive chant: “No New Taxes! No New Taxes!”
ME: Is Mitt Romney involved in this?
DR. DOOM: Not yet. But the chant is just the beginning. That afternoon, black clouds will gather as major retailers reveal their flat holiday sales.
ME: I’m guessing Paul Ryan ...
DR. DOOM: Then our Kenyan-born president will convene the elders at the White House. While they babble in foreign tongues, the nation will inch closer to the cliff …
ME: Will this be produced by Jerry Bruckheimer?
DR. DOOM: Go ahead — laugh. You won’t be laughing when that giant tidal wave of debt sweeps over Wall Street, washing financial advisers out to sea!
ME: Really? Will that be on YouTube?
DR. DOOM: And how will you feel when roving Super-PACS of feral billionaires prowl the streets, devouring the 47 percent who think the government owes them a living?
ME: I knew we’d get to The Mittster.
DR. DOOM: And then… the cliff! Oh God! It’s so huge! So steep! The whole country is being dragged toward it! Obama is chanting now! We’re getting closer! Closer! We can see the bones below, bones of countries that went over and crashed on the rocks of austerity. Greece! Spain! And still we inch closer! The 24/7 cable pundits are screeching! Obama is growing a spine! The Mayan Congressmen are doing the Macarena! Closer! It’s the end of —
ME: Calm down, dude. We still have two weeks. Isn’t there any way to avert this doom, Doctor?
DR. DOOM: Well ... yes. Mayan scripture demands that GOP congressmen gather at the Tomb of the Unknown Taxpayer. There, in a secret ritual they must burn an effigy of Ayn Rand. As flames rise, each tribal congressman must prostrate himself on the tomb and agree, upon pain of death, that he might, if pressured by his constituents, agree to a very, very, very slight increase on taxes for the very, very, very rich.
ME: Yeah, like that’ll really happen. So, I guess Jupiter will crash into the moon?
DR. DOOM: Tomorrow night. Details at 11.
ME: And then it’s over the fiscal cliff?
DR. DOOM: Look out belooooowwwww!
ME: So how does the world end? A bang or a whimper?
DR. DOOM: Neither. It ends when the new Congress convenes.