Okay, so if you’re reading this, the world did not end on December 21st, the last day of the Mayan calendar. I looked up the Mayan calendar on Wikipedia and learned that the Mayans had three calendars they used for different purposes. The one that’s caught our collective attention is called the Long Count, for which I’m sure the Mayans had another term, as they did speak an ancient language. Researchers pinpointed the start of that calendar to be August 11, 3114 BCE, and with all kinds of calculations and equations, determined the calendar to end in a couple of weeks.
I am writing this on December 9th and I’m about to open my Outlook calendar to see what’s going on for me on the 21st, which is a Friday. Mmmmm. I have a work-related event that day that ends at 7pm. Because we are having friends over for dinner the next night, I plan on doing some food shopping on my way home. I wonder if there will be a rush for any last-minute provisions, for a world that doesn’t end but merely becomes uninhabitable, as was the prediction of that whole Y2K thing back in 1999. However, that one seemed plausible to me, because it was computer-related, the fear being that systems would shut down or go renegade, not able to calibrate into the 2000s. I do admit to having planned for that apocalypse, buying an extra gallon of bottled water every time I went shopping during the six months prior. I also bought a lot of Chef Boyardee and cat food.
I kind of remember a Doomsday prediction around the time I was graduating college: something about all the planets being in some sort of alignment that would do something to the Earth’s axis, and thinking that would be unfair to my parents who’d shelled out a lot of money for my education. And then there was the Rapture predicted on May 21, 2011, slated to begin at 6pm local time, wherever local was for you. That seemed a bit too choreographed to seem real. Still, when I woke up that day, I checked the news to see if Japan had anything to report.
So here’s what I think happened with those Mayans. Maybe the guy who was in charge of the Long Count…died. And no one carried, or counted, on. Or maybe they just got tired of all the figuring out and figured that the world couldn’t possibly survive more than another 5,000 years anyway. But here you are, reading this column. We do survive. Happy New Year! Happy 2013!
Now, about the number 13…