Have You Ever Thought About the World Ending, You Jerk?

Have you? I don’t think so. I know that for a fact. Really, I do. You see, you are here, sitting in front of your computer, complacent as a cat on a warm windowsill, thinking, well the end will never come for me. I’m just going to play with ball of yarn and think of sweet nothings…

BUT…. DUN DUN DUUUUUUUN. IT CAN. Crack open a history book, jack. It does. Oh yeah. Sick stuff happens. Oh yeah, sometimes the stars are just right… Gotta remember that. Things go south and things get real ugly, like when you try to use a Diner’s Club card at Buffalo Wild Wings and that punk P.O.S. waiter with the acne looks at you like you just unzipped your fly and used the guacamole as a urinal. Remember the old Romans in Britain? They saw the last legion take off and leave them to the who-evers. Braveheart looking guys, from what I suspect, with murder and burning on their mind. Or maybe those poor Iraqis in Baghdad who saw the Mongols come swooping in, burning their libraries and then tossing their Caliph into a rug and then running it over with a thousand horses? They saw the “end of the world” and civilization as they knew it. Don’t get smart with me you know that’s a real thing. Civilizations end. Dinosaurs die. Jurassic Park is no more.

Continuing on a dark and uncomfortable theme, do you know how many times the world has almost ended for the entire human race? Twice in the 20th century, which most of us grew up, you say? You’d be right. Three times if you count the Cuban Missile Crisis. But you know all about that, smart guy. Hell four times, actually. You’ll see.

You see, World War Two was a close moment. I mean, it could’ve thrown us back into the dark ages. Nazis get Atomics, Nazis run the world, Japanese people making us bow to them in San Francisco under threat of Samurai attack, all that grim possible stuff. It would have been for every educated and decent soul a decent into total darkness and death if the Axis powers (Germany, Japan and their comedic relief partner Italy had won). The Cuban Missile Crisis like I said before. Or for example, if that guy in Russia hadn’t had stopped an automatic response to a radar glitch that could have caused World War Three in 1983. That could have been the end for a lot of us living right now.

Petrov

Don’t know about him? Look him up, rube. Stanislav Petrov. Lieutenant Colonel. In charge of an early warning system in the Soviet Union that malfunctioned and believed that the USA was launching five nuclear missiles at the Russian heartland on September 26, 1983. Ignored it for multiple reasons, went against standing orders, didn’t report the launches to his gerontocracy of superiors that would have more than likely lead to the Soviet Union splattering U.S. cities with high grade hydrogen weapons that would have made Washington, D.C. and a helluva lot of other cities smoldering radioactive ruins that you could play Fallout 3 in for real. Because, if they launch, we would launch, and join everyone in a final dance of ultra-violence. That’s how people thought in the 1980s. Take the other bastards down, make them burn or eat radiation if they were doing the same to us. That wasn’t that long ago. Back to the Future was set in 1985 and that movie was crazy good and everyone saw that.

So think about. You knew about two. Did you know about the third one? During most of our life times, a simple man sitting in a small probably smelly bunker with nothing but Vodka and time saved the world. And you didn’t know about it. You had no idea. That’s how close the entire human race came to living in some cool Mad Max-esque poophole. You had no clue. I didn’t at all for the longest time. I didn’t know my life was owed to some Russian guy. So when I heard about this whole escapade I wondered, wow, my life could be totally different (or totally not-existing because I would be vaporized in the first wave).

It made me think about the end of the world, really. First off, I realized one truth. That one truth was when you die one day, that’s the end of the world. That’s your personal apocalypse. You’ll feel that deep in your bones and want to avoid it. But nope. LOL. By the way that’s totally going to happen. Sorry. Bet you didn’t see that coming.

Second, and on a happier note, what will you do when the world ends? In that sort of civilization-ending sense, not your personal existence being blown out to oblivion sense which will happen no matter what?

Sorry for the reminder on that first thing I just said.

Well, I know what I will do. If the big red balloon goes up and there’s nothing I can do about it, I’ll probably drink myself into a stupor and get up on the biggest high rise in the area and watch it all play out like a Greek tragedy played by high schoolers.

Or… if it’s a cooler ending, and just like the world ended but I’m still alive, I think I’ll start a gang of cannibals who ride in diesel trucks. I’m a smooth talker and I can present a damn fine power point presentation about the need to sack nearby still living towns for human flesh.

I’m sorry I don’t have anything more to say about that. But maybe you should think about it. The world could end. The Apocalypse could show up, and it could get weird soon. You should think about it.

And death. That’s gonna suck. That Apocalypse is always here for you.

About Forbes West

Forbes West was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and graduated with a Master's Degree in Political Science from California State University, Long Beach. He currently lives and works mostly in San Francisco, CA and owns a home in Ojima, Japan- a village five hours south of Tokyo by car that is in the foothills of Mt. Fuji.

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