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Friday, May 6, 2016

Signs of the Apocalypse? Actually they're all around us

Friday, December 23, 2011

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In our oft-overhyped world, truly big moments suddenly necessitate their own countdowns.

After all, how else can we be expected to remember when these otherwise monumental events are to occur?

Why else have the Indianapolis media been reminding us daily for nearly a year now about how many hours and days and minutes are left until Super Bowl XLVI at Indianapolis?

As of today, incidentally, it's 44 days until the Super Bowl, according to WTHR, Channel 13 (although, don't forget, WRTV, Channel 6, is promoting that it has "everything but the game").

But the countdown to end all countdowns is now under way.

The End of the World is now on the clock, as the NFL likes to say. Whether the Mayans are right, wrong or just a figment or our imaginations, the date Dec. 21, 2012 is now officially on our radar.

Honestly, we do not need a calendar to watch this unfold.

Sure signs of the Apocalypse are already upon us ....

Consider that just this week, White Castle began selling alcohol at a test-market restaurant in Lafayette. Yes, White Castle.

It offers Sliders and Chablis at $4.50 a glass (I'll bet it's a plastic cup). Or Sliders with Schlitz at $3 per domestic beer (I'm betting on cans).

Seems a little like a getting a glass of Dom Perignon with your Chicken Nuggets. Perhaps to toast the end of the world ...

There have been other signs, believe me.

I was eating lunch the other afternoon, alone with my iced tea and cheeseburger when the middle-age woman in the booth across from me asked her much-younger companion, "Did you hear about Kim?"

She meant, of course, the little dictator from North Korea whose death had dominated the news earlier in the week.

The younger woman wrinkled her brow and posed a one-word response: "Kardashian?"

I spit out the iced tea I'd just sucked into my mouth like a bad sitcom spit-take.

Seriously. End of the world. Kim would have pushed the button had he been there.

But oh, we're not done yet ...

I am personally revoking my own freedom-of-speech card. I don't know whether it's because I've been extremely tired this week or the holidays are catching up to me or I've just gulped down so much bad Banner Graphic coffee that my defenses are worn down.

In a span of about 30 seconds, I used the word "dillydally" in a cell phone conversation with my wife, and then referred to the editorial staff (not once, but twice, mind you) as "my peeps."

So take me off the nice list. Move me over to naughty.

Geez. Next thing you know, I'm going to blurt out Putman, Kroger's or ex-specially.

Which brings me to a moment I caught on "Wheel of Fortune" the other night. I ever rewound live TV and recorded it just to be sure I was hearing things right.

The evening's big prizewinner got there in part by providing an answer to the puzzle phrase, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Only thing is, she actually said, "A pitcher is worth a thousand words."

Pitcher, not picture. It drives me crazy when I hear people say that, and here were Pat Sajak and Vanna White giving this woman $12,000 despite the fact she clearly said the wrong word. And this is a show that will, however, penalize those who inadvertently throw an extra "s" on the end of a word.

In my best Jack Buck, I wanted to scream, "I don't believe what I have just heard."

Not the end of the world, just another pitstop along the way.

All of which brings me to a radio discussion I heard the afternoon before the IU Hoosiers took on Howard University in basketball this week. Nobody could remember the Howard team's nickname (ends up that it's The Bison).

My first thought was the Howard Stooges (as in Moe and Curly Howard, which I'm sure would have been fine with Larry).

Then, as I was trying to dial my cell phone and make that silly suggestion, the real zinger dawned on me: The Howard Spragues.

Maybe this ain't Mayberry anymore, but I think that might have gotten a chuckle.

And with that doomsday countdown under way, I think maybe we can use as many chuckles as we can get.

Just ask the Mayans, I'm pretty sure they'd like to laugh again.