The imminent end of the world, based on a Mayan calendar assumed to end on 21st December (presumably something about it being the shortest day of the year, otherwise some archaeologists have been terribly precise), has been provoking a great deal of media storm about how this catastrophe is due to come about. Interestingly some mad Americans with books predicting the Apocalypse were largely met with sniggers, while claims that the Large Hadron Collider would smash up the planet (between whiles of costing Europe rather more than we can really afford) were greeted by sarcastic headlines on the morning in question, but a long-extinct civilisation in a neck of the woods now more noted for producing hallucinogenic drugs has obtained months of interest, interested debate and great encouragement for everyone to book package holidays in a French village.
One basis for this catastrophe – its actual occurrence being of less interest than what form it will take – has been that all the planets will fall into line on the 21st and rip the solar system apart. I have written an opening to a story on this basis – and then decided to replace it with something simpler – but also recall it happened in February 2002 or some such time (when there were more planets, so theoretically more risk) and nothing much happened then. How the Mayans would have predicted eight planets in line without telescopes to observe the last two I haven’t the foggiest.
All this talk has reminded me of a rather peculiar dream I once had – ten or twelve years ago, it being one of those dreams which sticks in young minds – where all the planets formed into a big burning ball, came over and ate Earth. At least, I think that was the grand finale, though my alarm clock has a habit of interrupting such things.
The details are currently a little blurred, but I daresay enough time remains between now and the 21st for me to write a decent pamphlet on my prediction of the end of the world that came to me in a dream at some relevant moment – subject to some minor memory jogging, easily provided with the help of £50,000 or so.
On a slightly different note, the calendar on my wall above me ends on December 31st, a mere 10 days after the Mayan one, and all that there is after that is a blank back cover with no sign of more days. Should I be worried?