Cloudy with a Chance of Rapture

Posted on May 21, 2011


I have a small electronic weather station on my desk, and this morning I was surprised to find the following forecast:

Partly cloudy, 20% chance of rain, 10% chance of Rapture

You’ve probably heard of the Christian preacher who predicted the Rapture would come today, May 21st.  If you’re not familiar with the Rapture, you could be excused for confusing “Rapture” with the word “raptor” like I did.  When you hear “the raptor will come May 21st,” you don’t pause to consult the Internet or the Bible, you race to board up windows, and you watch Jurassic Park for hints of the velociraptor’s weakness.

They have no weakness!

Once I learned the Rapture was coming–and not the raptor–I didn’t take it too seriously, but just to be sure, I called all the people who owe me money and told them I needed it by May 20th at the absolute latest.

Next I borrowed as much money as possible and told all my new creditors I would pay them double on May 22nd.

Yesterday I told my wife I would start doing yoga with her for a year starting May 22nd in exchange for her making me a sandwich.  The worst part is my wife probably would have made me a sandwich anyway.

But May 21st has come, and I’m still here, and still dressed up in my best slacks and tuxedo t-shirt.

I’m not an expert on the Rapture, so I looked it up on Wikipedia, and it seems only the righteous will be taken.  I don’t mean to sound like I’m criticizing the Rapture, but could I suggest it might be a lot more fun if we were all taken, kind of like how Christmas is more fun and inclusive because everybody gets a present instead of only the birthday person?  But I don’t want to criticize the way the Rapture is run–I’m sure there are all sorts of logistical details to work out when millions of people are traveling through the sky together.  I know I get exhausted just planning bathroom breaks for a wife and two kids while traveling–imagine the rest stop logistics for 200 million people.

Just to be sure the Rapture hadn’t actually happened, I called my friend Shannon, who is the only person I know whom I expect to be Raptured, and she’s still here.  I haven’t personally seen her yet, so it’s possible she was speaking on her cell phone from heaven.  (Note: If she was calling from heaven, the cell phone reception is excellent.  I wonder who their carrier is.)

I hope people don’t give this preacher too hard a time because the Rapture didn’t come.  I say kudos to him for making a bold prediction.  I myself wouldn’t have the moxie to predict something as big as the end of the world.  I would start small by saying, “I predict this pie will be excellent!” and when the pie turns out to be excellent–because pie usually is–right from the start I’m batting 1 for 1.  (If you haven’t heard of pie, I suggest you try it.  I predict you won’t be disappointed.)

I predict deliciousness.

Next I will predict Oprah’s last show will get dynamite ratings.  Now I’m batting 2 for 2.

My final prediction would be that Thanksgiving will take place on the last Wednesday of November instead of Thursday–a prediction so oddly idiosyncratic people will stop and listen.  Most people probably won’t believe me, but maybe 10% will remember Paul was right about pie and Oprah and think, maybe we should get a turkey on Tuesday instead of Wednesday, just to be sure.  Pretty soon everybody is buying Thanksgiving food on Tuesday, cooking it on Wednesday morning just so it can be ready on Wednesday or Thursday, and then Wednesday afternoon everybody smells that pumpkin pie, and they remember my earlier prediction about pie being excellent, and they just can’t wait until Thursday to eat that pie.

Paul just made Thanksgiving come on Wednesday.

Posted in: Columns