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The Times
  • Gary Brown: To buy or not to buy as the end nears

  • I’ll admit, there’s nothing more useless than the world ending while you’ve got a closet full of gifts all wrapped and ready to go.

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  • The biggest question relating to the pesky 2012 end-of-the-world theory, since the Mayan civilization’s calendar stopped Dec. 21, is whether or not we should waste time buying Christmas presents this year or just wait and find out for sure if we’re wrong again about this apocalypse.
    I’ll admit, there’s nothing more useless than the world ending while you’ve got a closet full of gifts all wrapped and ready to go. Not going to the mall every weekend would allow extra time to watch those last few NFL football games or NBA basketball games before the league standings don’t seem to matter much anymore.
    On the other hand, delaying all holiday purchases would raise the risk of waking up Dec. 22 and finding out that we and the world are still here, but all the good gifts are gone. It’s difficult to locate thoughtful and meaningful presents for our loved ones when we only leave three days to think.
    Ends I've seen
    The fact is, we have been wrong before about the end of the world. I’ve personally survived several ends of the world, not the least of which was the time in 2011 — actually two different days that year — when the California radio minister first claimed that the end would come on May 21, and then said, no wait, that the world wouldn’t end until Oct. 21.
    I just pinched myself, and if my pain is any indication,  we’re apparently still here.
    Some people likely still have some jugs of water left over from when the world was ending during the Y2K scare, when 1999 really did turn into 2000 without much problem. Once they got it into the house and stockpiled, along with a couple of flashlights, they likely figured they would just save it all until the next end of the world.
    You have to be human to understand why we would think we could somehow survive the end of the world if we just had fresh water, working batteries, a few good books, and some shelves of our favorite canned goods.
    A list of lesser-known endings of the world includes, March 10, 1982, when the planets all were on the same side of the sun, and everything seemed cosmically out of whack. I don’t really remember that one. I might have played golf through it. You don’t notice much when you’re in the woods the whole day.
    And a complete list would need to mention June 6, 2006, or 6/6/06, which translates to 666 — potentially not a good number where the end of the world is concerned, but in reality something most of us got past without even our cars breaking down.
    What will happen?
    I’m no prophet, so I can’t tell you what to expect on Dec. 21. I’d say be spiritually prepared, but don’t give away the house.
    Page 2 of 2 - We could be less than two weeks away from the beginning of the end times. If you believe that I probably would advise you not to make too many downpayments on vacations that won’t take place until 2013 or buy cars that can’t be delivered until next year.
    Or the day might pass uneventfully. Maybe I’ll ski through it this time.
    Based on my personal history, I certainly won’t be terribly surprised if I wake up the next morning and the world hasn’t ended. The Mayans’ calendar may have stopped, but the last time I looked the Mayan civilization doesn’t exist anymore. They don’t really need a calendar.
    Contact Gary Brown at gary.brown@cantonrep.com.
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