If we have learned anything from Harold Camping’s prediction that the world would end on May 21st, it’s that if you’re going to prophesize a specific date for the rapture, don’t pick the weekend before Oprah’s final show. God may work in mysterious ways, but he’s not crazy enough to mess with Oprah. You piss off the Almighty O, and she’ll open up a can of whoop-ass that’ll make the apocalypse seem like a happy ending.
Needless to say, had Camping followed the example of most Christians by spending more time reading US Magazine than he spent reading the Bible, he could have saved himself a lot of embarrassment.
And let’s face it, getting jilted by God while the entire world watches has got to be devastating. I mean, there you are, sitting at the bar at Chili’s, slowly sipping a happy-hour margarita for 30 minutes while some idiot, agnostic waiter keeps taunting you by asking if you’re ready for your bill. “Oh no,” you protest, making a sign of the cross, “my savior will be joining me soon. Probably just got hung up with some last-minute crucifixion.”
Everyone is watching, whispering, and you just know you’ve officially become the staff’s entertainment for the evening.
Now, I’ve never been a waiter, but I imagine moments like that are what make up for the fact you’re working for tips in a Post-Bush economy. I make this assumption because, personally, I’m enjoying the hell out of Camping’s public disappointment. Seriously, it’s better than Wii Sports. Well, maybe not Wii Tennis or Bowling, but it beats the hell out of that Boxing game.
Understandably, Camping spent the weekend in hiding, but when he finally spoke to the press, all he initially had to say was, “It has been a really rough weekend.” And I have to admit, part of me does feel bad for Camping. After all, he was devout in his belief that, at this moment in time, he and a select few would be up in Heaven while the other six billion of us would be eviscerated in the unrelenting brutality of God’s wrath.
Now, there is little in this world as heartrending as the death of a dream, so just imagine the miserable disillusionment Camping must feel each time he sees someone on the street who’s not suffering eternally.
That’s right: every breath you breathe is a continuation of Camping’s personal purgatory. Bummer.
So yeah, I’m sure it was a rough weekend. That said, I doubt the weekend was as hard on Camping as it was on many of his followers—some of whom quit jobs and borrowed thousands of dollars to pay for those silly roadside billboards that popped up all over the country the past few months. I’d imagine for them our continued existence feels, in a very real way, like the end of the world—assuming the end of the world is heralded not by exultant trumpets but by a thousand calls from bill collectors.
Eventually, Camping did admit to his mistake. No, not to the mistake of being an unethical, parasitic fuckface willing to say anything to vacuum up every last penny his moronic, missing-link followers have. No, he’s not going to cop to that mistake until judgment day—the real one. Actually, what Camping admitted was that he interpreted the Bible incorrectly.
This is a brave admission on his part because, of course, no one has ever misinterpreted the Bible. And how could you? I mean, the wretched English translations perfectly transmit the cryptic meanings of the original horribly illiterate Greek in which the New Testament was written (we’ll leave out the Old Testament for now because America’s a Christian nation, and I’m not a communist).
If you have ever read the Bible—and let’s face it, you haven’t—you know it’s pretty straightforward: Do this, don’t do that, vote Republican.
In any case, Camping says that May 21st was not the day of rapture; it was simply the day God judged us. What that means is that we now have all been judged and grouped into Heaven and Hell camps, and we only have to wait for the rapture to learn our ultimate fates. It’s not a long wait either because, according to Camping, that day will come on Oct. 21st of this year.
That’s right. Your fate has already been determined, as has mine. As such, let me be blunt: I’ve been given the gift of five months of post-judgment time to be the sinner I’ve always wanted to be. Morality? Ethics? Right from wrong?
Screw that: it’s nothing but hookers and steak from here on out.
In fact, my plan is to turn the next five months of my life into the next 18 sequels for the Hangover movies (the last 13 of which will likely star Ashton Kutcher and Steve Guttenberg). In short: get off the streets.
Well, okay. Maybe I’m playing a bit. You know, having a little fun with the public shame a fanatical zealot like Camping is experiencing. Truth is, Camping’s new prediction is as pathetic as his last, which was just as pathetic as his original end-of-the-world prediction back in 1994—though nowhere near as pathetic as the followers who have stayed devoted to Camping despite the ongoing failures of his apocrypha.
Of course, to be fair, the Republican revolution did occur in 1994, so perhaps Camping wasn’t that far off. But I digress…
Plus, I have good news: a prophecy of my own. Now, I’m not a prophet, but as that doesn’t seem to matter, here goes:
The rapture did in fact happen. Not this Saturday, and not even in 2011. No, the rapture happened many years ago, sometime before my birth in 1973. At that time, all the good Christians—the ones who read the Bible for guidance as opposed to those who read it to justify their prejudices—were spirited away to Heaven.
Since then, the rest of us have been toiling around in Arizona wondering why, each and every year, it keeps getting hotter.
Seriously, it was 100 degrees in March. The only thing missing was Sparky from ASU shoving a pitch fork up my ass while lighting my cigarette with a blow torch.
So yeah: Arizona is Hell. That may sound crazy to you, but ask yourself this: Why is it that everyone you meet in Arizona is always from somewhere else? They come from the Midwest, from the Pacific Coast, from Mexico, from India. You almost never run across someone from Arizona, do you?
No, everyone’s a “transplant.” We all just “find ourselves” here, don’t we?
We came for jobs. We came for education.
Really? You came to Arizona for a job? You came to Arizona to get an education? Sure you did, and I’d sell you a bridge from Brooklyn if the world hadn’t ended on Saturday.
Sorry people, it’s time to get real: You’re here in Arizona because you’re a sinner, a heathen and a whore, and now you get to spend the rest of eternity with a weeping Glenn Beck selling gold, a Russell Pearce telling you the constitution was written by open-border activists with no respect for the law, and a Jan Brewer telling you “yes, we have did find heads in our dessert.”
And if you think, even for a second, any of those things could happen in a world God created, you are lost in ways a rapture can’t fix.
Still, if you have any doubts, consider this: One of the Bible’s seven signs of the apocalypse is death, riding in on a pale white horse.
Sarah Palin just bought a house in Scottsdale, and her only connection to Arizona is John McCain.
I’m just saying.
That is my prophecy. Of course, I could, in a future column, explain in greater detail why Arizona is indeed Hell, or I could simply get drunk and write something up about how the Macho Man Randy Savage was the Citizen Kane of professional wrestling. Time will tell.
As for now, I’ll simply offer a word of advice to Harold Camping.
If you’re really anxious to leave this world and get to Heaven, keep in mind: God helps those who help themselves.