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Monday, May 27, 2024

PHALON’S FILE: The End of the World. Not.

If you are reading this, it means that the Great Solar Armageddon of April 23, 2023, as predicted on TikTok, failed to wreck all our stuff and turn us all into Hot Pockets.

But that doesn’t mean we’re in the clear. Sir Isaac Newton predicted the end of the world at some point between 2023 and 2060. But he is believed to have made that prediction after he was hit on the head.

And there are always asteroids.

The world will come to its end any time between now and a couple billion years from now. Those among us who want to meet the coming apocalypse with a clear conscience might want to consider returning those library books.

So before giant irradiated scorpions proclaim, “Welcome to MY world,” let’s take a look at past predictions, many of which suggest reports of our demise are greatly exaggerated.

1806: The Prophet Hen of Leeds causes widespread panic across Great Britain when she lays eggs bearing the words “The End Is Coming.” It’s later discovered a neighbor had written the dire prediction on the eggs and returned them to the Prophet Hen’s end. ’nuff said.

1936: The Rev. Herbert W. Armstrong promises rapture by Dec. 31. When 1937 rings in with champagne and noisemakers rather than frogs and locusts, he revises his prediction to an equally erroneous 1943.

1956: Mrs. Dorothy Martin, a housewife from Chicago, Illinois, receives messages from the planet Clarion that a great flood is coming and that she and her followers will be rescued by an alien spaceship. When the waters and their ride fail to materialize, they set about asking for their jobs back.

1975: Rev. Armstrong is wrong again.

1976: Televangelist Pat Robertson prognosticates curtains for 1982. He again frightens people in 1988 when he runs for president.

1997: Heaven’s Gate, a California religious sect, predicts Comet Hale-Bopp will bring the end of the world. They will escape the hellfire by transporting—via after-dinner mass suicide—to a spaceship following in the wake of the comet. Hale-Bopp missed. No word if they made it to the spaceship.

2012: The long-extinct Mayans leave behind a pocket planner that modern-day doomsday
aficionados interpret as predicting the end by the end of the year. The only disaster was the
movie “2012,” in which director Ronald Emmerich wrecks the Earth. Again.

But…What if the Mayans had it right? A great philosopher in the 1960s wrote,“Make love, not war. Be prepared for both.”

While I’m not about to turn my entire net worth into $20 bills that I might rain from a penthouse suite in Vegas, it might be prudent to make some contingency plans. Just in case…

Here’s my To Do List for the pending cataclysm:
– Change my car insurance payments from yearly to monthly.
– Learn to prepare salted meats. Hey, that’s a talent that’s going to be in big demand come End of Days. And in the meantime, I’ll have a marketable skill. Jerky for everyone!
– Leave the toilet seat up. OK, I already do that, but this time it will have meaning.
– Purge my iPhone. If advanced civilizations years hence are to recover data from The Cloud, I don’t want them finding any Barry Manilow on my playlist.
– Hold off on the new carpet until January.
– But as an act of good faith, I’ll renew my E-Z Pass for another year.

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.