Tonight, after much hard thinking and weighing things up — seeing my friends for potentially the last time in the world ever, I finally concluded, was slightly more important than staying at home and moaning to myself about buying Christmas presents — I decided to go all the way to the pub. Even though I didn’t really feel like it and getting to the pub meant traipsing through the rain and the wind to the other side of town. Even though many men with colds — not mancolds, but real, actual, proper genuine colds that women also get — wouldn’t have dreamed of even considering doing so while in such a state. Just in case. Because you never know, do you? At least I never know. Sadly, I am not a Mayan. (And if I was I’d keep it quiet, to be honest. During my last few hours on Earth, the very last thing I’d want is hundreds of thousands of people turning up at my door and asking me annoying questions about Mankind’s imminent destruction.)
So it’s like this: the moment I prepared to leave the house, ominous things started to happen. Really ominous, obviously weird/bad things that were clear warnings of the biggest and baddest apocalyptic thing on the horizon. I wouldn’t normally think of the following things as ominous — my friend Jonathan, who believes in almost nothing other than The Hobbit and bizarre theories, has attempted to drill into me that we may not actually exist, and more or less everything is pointless, etc — but I thought I’d get into the spirit of things. I wasn’t even trying to look for obviously ominous things, as I bet you thought I was. If you’d have been me then I’m sure you’d agree that they presented themselves to me. All I did was take a great deal of notice of them and attach value where 99% of people wouldn’t have bothered, because they were too stressed about the world not ending, and having to keep on paying the mortgage. I feel sorry for those people.
So yes, very worrying.
Here are those things…
1: my dog, Jojo, growled at me moments before I was set to leave the house. I was stroking her soft head and we were saying goodbye in that ancient of ways. She’s a dog, so it goes without saying that she’s growled at me a few times before — there was the time I made her wait slightly longer than usual for her treat, and that other time when she told me in no uncertain terms that she was feeling grumpy and existential — but this time it was different. There was that look of woe in her eyes, for example. This was no lovegrowl, as I have called these vocal showings of affection and loyalty which we have shared many-a-time, over the years. This was a sign which meant I may never see you again because I’ll probably be asleep when you get home. That’s a bit sad, isn’t it? Don’t stroke me when I’m sleeping, though. End of the world of not, I will bite you if you wake me up.
The signs had already started and I hadn’t even left the house yet!
2: upon leaving the house, things were to grow increasingly disturbing in a matter of minutes. I’m not just saying that in a Mayan-foreshadowing kind of a way — I really do mean it. There I was, just walking down the street, away from the train station, and what should I see but some carol singers engaged in a dispute with a woman. I couldn’t hear what either party was saying, but I knew then that Jojo’s growl held significant meaning, and I feared the worst for what was to come.
When do you ever see carol singers engaged in disputes with anyone?
3: a few steps down the road towards the pub, I was feeling emancipated. In the days before, I’d been panicking a bit, worrying about whether or not the world really would end on December 21st. Now, knowing with certainty that it indeed would end, once and for all — that there would be no more of those bloody property programmes where irritating young couples buy first homes worth half-a-million pounds while discussing technical-over-my-head-housing-things in a nonchalant, vilifying way, and that I’d never again have to endure anyone asking me why I hated Marmite, when it was obvious why I hated Marmite — I felt like anything was possible in those few limited hours.
This was when the third sign of doom came with brutal force: to my right, to my purest horror, I saw and heard two things simultaneously. Thing 1 was the familiar sound of music I despised — Maroon 5‘s annoyingly catchy Happy Ever After song — booming from a vehicle, and thing 2 was the driver of the vehicle being excruciatingly annoying…there he sat, also emancipated, but this time in a way which was surely causing offense to countless people aside from myself. He was dancing to Maroon 5 with his hands, mainly. Not just a bit, either. The guy was really going for it. He just didn’t care. Upon registering this fully, and coming to terms with it, I realised thing number 4: the man was also singing loudly to the music.
My God! I had never felt such pure, blatant doom. Apart from in the instances which I have described before this.
4: Hobbit-loving atheist Jonathan told me that all this meant nothing, of course. That I was doing that thing that all human beings do when word starts going around that the end of the world is just moments away: looking for signs, seeking out confirmation of my basically ridiculous notions which were based in no way upon any firm foundation. Yet Jonathan hadn”t been there, was he? He had not witnessed the Maroon 5 incident! Similarly, he hadn’t witnessed Jojo’s lovegrowl strangeness, or felt the general sense of foreboding in my body. Not that he’d of taken any notice of it if he had have felt it, by some miracle (which he also doesn’t believe, but actually that’s quite endearing, because most of the time, neither do I).
And this was when thing number 5 reared its ugly head. On this one fateful day, Jonathan was in a spectacularly good mood and smiling lots and not trying hard to convince anyone that it wasn’t really the end of the world. This was the final nail in the coffin. With that, and the freakish lack of discussion about the end of the world from other bar-goers nearby (number 6, which I really hadn’t been expecting) I knew that was it.
Goodbye, then. Thankyou for visiting my blog. It’s been fun on Earth. I hope you liked it.