As long as the world is coming to an end, there's a few things I need to get off my chest

What? You haven't heard what's coming down next month?

It starts with a polar reversal — the sun will rise in the west — spurring cataclysmic earthquakes, giant tsunami and volcanic eruptions.

Then things really start to go south: ferocious fires, melting nuclear reactors, crashing buildings, howling winds, collapsing bridges, choking dust...

It's all true! Not according to some crackpot preacher who wants you to send him money, or a bed sheet-garbed doomsday prophet shouting on street corners, or to some other crazed lunatic such as Karl Rove, but according to the Mayan calendar — and after all, who has more credibility than an ancient Mexican-Central American civilization that collapsed 3,000 years ago?

Acolytes regard Dec. 21, 2012 as the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar devised by the Mayans. Evidently the Mayans didn't bother continuing the calendar past then because the world is going to end that day. What's the point?

I, for one, am mighty p.o.'d about this, mainly because now it's clear I wasted hours and hours and hours — not to mention all that wear-and-tear on my back — building two woodsheds and stocking them with more than 10 cords of wood.

I won't even have gone through half a cord by Dec. 21.

I also wasted weeks building deer-proof enclosures around my vegetable garden, blueberry bushes and a mini-vineyard I planned to plant next spring — except there won't be a next spring, let alone another harvest. Damn!

I could have been kicking back with a few brewskis and a barrel full of Doritos instead of digging post holes, lugging rocks and assembling metal fences.

Speaking of Doritos, I've spent decades turning up my nose at Big Macs, pepperoni pizzas and the entire KFC menu, choosing instead to gnaw on granola, raw veggies and tofu, in the mistaken belief that it would prolong my longevity. Had I known earlier on about the impending doom I might have indulged in a few more treats.

Imagine: I'll be checking out the same day as Rush Limbaugh! Arrrgh!

Here are a few other things, in no particular order, that I wish I hadn't done:

-- Run all those stupid marathons.

-- Climbed all those stupid mountains.

-- Kayaked all those stupid rivers.

-- Swum in all those stupid lakes.

-- Skiied all those stupid trails.

-- Sailed, skated, sledded, hang-glided and otherwise moved around in the stupid great outdoors without the use of an engine.

Instead, I could have been learning how to drive a snowmobile, ATV or Jet-Ski, or how to shoot a rifle — in other words, becoming a REAL outdoorsman.

Oh well, with only a month to go there's no point in changing horses in midstream — or more accurately, now that I've almost almost reached the other side.

I might as well go back to my dish of yogurt with a side order of bean sprouts. If I finish in time there may still enough light to split a few more logs.

Reader Comments


Utah Rocks: Adventures Among The Arches And The Rapids (Part I)

You know how it feels when you witness something so astonishingly exquisite and surreal it literally takes your breath away, and all you can do is gasp in amazement?

Oops. I Meant To Say, Whatever You Do, NEVER Try To Pose For A Selfie With Bear Cubs While Mama Grizzly Is Watching, And Other Corrections

• Alert readers have correctly pointed out a slight flaw in my instructions for the proper rock climbing command when you have unclipped from your rope. You should loudly announce, "Rappel off," not "On rappel."...

Use It Or Lose It: Trails Disappear If Nobody Hikes Them

Nature really hates a vacuum when it comes to paths.

Plunging Through Plum Gut And Bongo Sliding Through The Race In A Kayak: Maybe There Is Such A Thing As Too Much Fun

So a rabbi and a psychiatrist are kayaking in the ocean when a giant wave crashes over them and knocks the rabbi unconscious. The psychiatrist manages to pull the rabbi ashore, where he regains consciousness.

Once Again, Pink Gloves (Plus a Clever Signal) Help Save The Day At The Josh Billings Runaground Triathlon

"On your left!" Phil Warner shouted from the bow of a tandem kayak, racing toward a buoy during the paddle leg of last Sunday’s Josh Billings Runaground Triathlon in Lenox, Mass.

It's Swallow Time Again On The Connecticut River

Early Thursday evening was a magical time to paddle on the lower Connecticut River near Lyme.

Rocks In Their Heads Again: Another Bunch Of Idiots Knock Over An Ancient Stone Formation, This Time In Oregon

"Every now and again people do something so monumentally destructive, dimwitted and dishonorable it belongs in a class of disgracefulness normally reserved for trophy hunters ... It’s almost as if they wake up one morning and say to...

Who Needs Bug Zappers When Dragonflies Are On The Prowl?

Citronella candles, bug zappers, insecticides – people go to elaborate and often poisonous lengths to combat mosquitoes, deer flies and other nettlesome insects as we move into the steamy weeks of late summer, but I’ve been letting...

Life's A Beach: Eavesdropping In The Sand

"Sweetie, do you know what that is?" No response. "Look at that bird! You know what they call it?" Still no response. "It’s a seagull!"

Surf’s Up! Hanging Ten In A Kayak

All right, technically my buddy Spyros "Spy" Barres and I weren’t hanging 10 toes off the end off boards while riding waves at Westerly’s Fenway Beach on Thursday, but we were surfing.

I'm Always Chasing Rainbows

All of us who have ventured atop mountains, out to sea, or simply into a nearby park have occasionally faced Mother Nature’s wrath – a sudden thunderstorm, pounding blizzard, gale-force winds, locusts …

Loading Your Backpack: Less Is (Usually) More

Some years ago, preparing to hike the Hundred Mile Wilderness – the final stretch of the fabled Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, I stuffed my backpack with what I initially considered to be the absolute bare minimum for a week in...