It's Friday, the day before May 21. You've had ample warning. So, if you're left behind, consider it your own fault. Good riddance. You'd probably be getting what you deserve anyway.
Purveyors of doom have been around a long time. I don't recall, however, when the public, or the press, has given this much attention to the most recent doomsday predictions. I think it's the billboards that have done it. Brilliant. Targeted. Urgent. Effective. I was returning a few nights ago from a speaking gig somewhere between Appleton, Wis., and Milwaukee and I passed by two or three of the billboard reminders. It was a clear night, too. Full moon. Eerie. I felt duly warned.
If you haven't seen the CDC's action plan for surviving doomsday, here's a last-minute reminder for those of you who'll like me will be Left Behind. Yes, and I'm even a Christian, too. But since I'm a proponent of all faith traditions and believe with my Ba'hai friends there are many paths and one destination, I've been deservedly banned by some believers. Just as well, I suppose. We'd probably have a hard time getting along in the world beyond.
1. Prepare an emergency kit -- standard stuff to start with. The Walgreens, corner of Poplar Level and Trevillian, Louisville, still has a generous supply of bottled water, flashlights and first-aid supplies. I stocked up on Charmin -- still the softest, in my humble opinion, and a few creature comforts will be nice. Sam's Warehouse has flats of Charmin everywhere. Soap, too. You've got to have a membership there. I think they're still accepting new customers. Oh, and I'd stock up on guns. Should be plenty of those around since the Pre-millenial rapturists will have left theirs behind. I have a neighbor who's sure he'll be among the raptured, so I've asked him to leave his arsenal he hides under the mattress.
2. Stock up on a supply of drugs, too. For me, I've got several bottles of Zyrtec for my allergies and a generous supply of Ambian. What has been an occasional sleepless night, since I turned 50, is likely to get worse after doomsday. Sleeping through some of the anticipated madness will be a needed respite.
3. Don't forget the documentation: driver's license, passport, birth certificate. Too late for visas.
4. Devise an emergency plan. I'm in New York City today. But since my flight from New York to Cincinnati is not until early afternoon on Doomsday, it would be nice to know what time the Rapture is to occur tomorrow. Looks like these predictors of the end could be a bit more specific, doesn't it? You'd think if they alone know the date, they could clue the rest of us in on the actual time. Don't want to be late for the party. Don't want to be too early either. So, if anybody knows, would you be so kind as to inform the rest of us? That way, I'll know whether to hail a cab to LaGuardia or flee to the Poconos Mountains instead. I love New York, but I don't want to be caught on this lone island when chaos ensues. Now, what would really be cool would be to fly over the Rapture as it occurs. If you don't know, the faithful are to be caught up into the clouds. So, I'm thinking, at 33,000 feet, well above the spectacle, it should be spectacular -- better than orchestra seating at the Radio City Music Hall.
5. Set a meeting place. Too late for me on this one. Since I'm in New York and the family is in Kentucky, I'll have to pass on this one. As a backup, however, I think I'll call Hertz and rent a car just in case my plane is canceled. Unlike Hilton, Hertz won't charge your credit card if you don't show up. I should add an XM radio. A Never-Lost system, too. Might come in handy.
6. Plan your evacuation route. I'll have to let this one go. I've been to NYC dozens of times and I still can't figure out the difference between uptown and downtown or the blue line from the red line.
7. Or, stay put. Now, that sounds like my only option, especially if the Rapture occurs early in the morning. Which is why I asked the night clerk for the top floor at the Doubletree. If I'm going to be stuck here in NYC during the fireworks, I wanted to make sure I had a good view of the city and the sights. To my right is the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden to the left. In between, nothing but open sky and the streets way down below. Perfect.
8. Identify emergency contacts. Our entire family has iPhone 4s, except for one. He has a hand-me-down 3GS. But, it works well. Two of us even have iPads. I'd say we're good to go. Since I don't know any of the police force here, I was a little concerned at first. But then, I remembered, New York is known for its firefighters. They're the best. Need I say more?
9. Finally, stay cool. It is actually. But, I think the CDC means "Don't lose your cool." I won't. Pretty good chance you won't either. In fact, I'd say there's a good chance life tomorrow will be much like life today. Which is why I'm looking forward to going home. Seems the mother robin we've been watching sit on her nest for weeks just hatched three baby robins this morning. I can't wait to see them.
Meanwhile, it would be nice if the sky would stop raining so much and the sun would come out. I wanted to take a stroll through Central Park. They say it's beautiful at spring. Later today, I thought about visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I hear it's a favorite of many. Ever since I arrived in the city, however, raindrops keep fallin' on my head.
Which reminds me of the song B J used to sing...
Raindrops keep fallin' on my head
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turnin' red
Cryin's not for me
'Cause I'm never gonna stop the rain by complainin'
Because I'm free, nothin's worryin' me.