Today is 6/6/6. This means, according to some people, that the end of the world is nigh. I hope not. I just finished vacuuming my carpet and the last thing I need is some lout of an Armageddon getting mud all over my floor.
I don't know how I feel about the Last Judgement. On the one hand it means I get to be all snooty and stand around criticising. How the special effects are tacky. How that guy blowing the trumpet isn't a patch on Wynton Marsalis. On the other hand, I haven't made up my mind yet whether I really want an afterlife. It's kind of like deciding whether you want dessert, isn't it? You suspect it might not be good for you. You figure that given how much life in this place has sucked so far, Heaven is probably going to be a disappointment too. The spiritual equivalent of a blog of half-melted vanilla icecream. With Bournvita syrup on top. The trouble is, you know that if you pass it up, someone or the other is going to say to you "You went through life and didn't stay for the last course? What's wrong with you? That's the best part!" Plus you're kind of reluctant to get up from the table anyway.
I think the problem with this whole afterlife thing is that you can't get any really useful information about it. What you need is a Lonely Planet guide to Hell. Something that will get past all this Key Attractions stuff the holy texts keep going on about and cut to the important details. Like whether you need an adaptor for your laptop. Or how much a taxi from the Airport to Downtown costs in Hades. Half your soul? A quarter? Do you need to tip?
The thing that scares me is - if there is a Pearly Gates, what's the bet that it's like a visa office? You think you have an appointment with Death. You show up all punctual. There are 13,784 auntyjis and unclejis in front of you. You stand in line for hours. Finally you get to the counter and it turns out that the document your recording angel gave you is a fax and they need to see the original. You're going to Hell. Sorry. Next.
Someone once told me that he had this dream where he woke up one morning and he was the only living person left on the planet. Apparently the angels of death had overlooked him. Some kind of clerical error. Anyway, he said he was pretty depressed about it and everything until he tried going into office and it took him all of 12 minutes to get from Bandra to Nariman Point. This cheered him up no end. He spent the rest of the morning driving up and down Marine Drive trying to get from one end to the other in under 3 minutes, until the angels of death came along and arrested him for speeding. Apparently the speed limit in the afterlife is 40.
Personally I think this whole End of the World thing is just a rumour. I'm pretty sure the world's never going to end. But then I thought Munich was never going to end either, and then it did. (Dear God. Even if there is an apocalypse coming, can it please not star Eric Bana? ANYTHING but that.) Still, at least I've got my iPod. Sound-cancelling headphones in my ears, Hendrix playing, I probably won't even notice that the world has ended. They'll have to tap me on the shoulder and point.
But maybe I should take some precautions. Nothing serious. Just, you know, in case. Don't worry, I'm not hoarding up on canned food or anything like that (that's all I need - an eternity spent eating Chicken Noodleos). I just figured I'd put off doing my laundry till this whole 666 thing had passed. What's the point of having five clean shirts if the world is going to end tonight? And with all that fire and brimstone stuff, I'm pretty sure no one's going to notice the way my socks smell. And this way, I'll actually have saved 10 whole quarters. That's important you know. Worlds come and worlds go, but you never have enough quarters when you need them. I wonder if they have vending machines in Hell? With my luck they probably have nothing but Diet Cherry Coke.
Oh, well, there's always reincarnation. Trouble is, I'll have nothing to wear.