So, I’ve been working pretty hard lately. And by working hard, I mean that I’ve been working really hard, for long hours (12 or so of them every single day) for about the last two years. As a reader of this little article, you might wonder what I’ve been working at for all of these hours, but that’s not important. What isimportant is that at this point, the only thing that really punctuates my working of really long hours is the drinking of highball glasses of Jim Beam, which helps me work more but alas (according to all of the addiction recovery books I seem to be reading lately) doesn’t really relax me. At least not in the way a good vacation would. A good, sober vacation. And what better place to get away from it all (or at least the burning, wood-fired Tandoori oven that is LA right now) than Palm Springs, California, just two hours away!

At first this seems like a great idea, right? A relaxing desert, a pool, room service… All awesome things. However…

The twist on this vacation was that I was going to do it totally sober. No Jim Beam to keep me company, no flaming shots of tequila to wash down my sickly sweet roadside tamales… nothing. Now, if you’re anything like me, the idea of going on a vacation without libations seems like a suicide mission. I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t go to Vegas to gamble or see shows/get prostitutes. No, I’m the kind of guy who goes to Vegas based solely on the fact that you can drink and smoke indoors. Indoors! Now, I know that doesn’t sound terribly novel or interesting for those of you who don’t drink or smoke, or perhaps live in places that let you do that anyway, but for those of us who do, well, let’s just say I would (and have) crossed a burning desert (the Mojave, to be exact) to do so.

So anyway, as a result of this vacation, I have now watched over 16 hours of the History Channel, which, lucky for me, happened to be running an “Oh Shit, It’s the End of the World” marathon. That’s not what they called it (likely the studio execs nixed that one) but I like my title better. During this stint I learned about the Mayas, the ancient Greeks, Charles Manson, and, my personal fav, how the world will end in 2012. Allow me to summarize:

Charles Manson

Charles Manson killed a bunch of people basically because he couldn’t get a record deal. Now, to be honest, I thought he was a lot crazier, what with the whole Helter Skelter/race war thing, but now I kind of understand. Here you have a guy who just wants a break. But no one will give him a break. Worse yet, he’s hanging out with that no-good Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. To deal with this obvious discrepancy he rounds up a bunch of drifting hippies, gets them addicted to drugs and group sex, and tells them to kill a bunch of people. When faced with career failure, most people in LA just move to Encino or get jobs in HR. Charlie was obviously slightly more ambitious. And he would have gotten away with it, you know, had he not killed some of the most insanely rich and famous people of the time. Whoops.

The Mayans

Oh those crazy Mayans. All this time I thought they were just a bunch of crazy Indians living in Mexico but it turns out they were actually wicked good at astrological stuff. According to the many semi-obscure authors of conspiracy books the History Channel interviewed, the Mayans had the most accurate calendar ever made by man. And not just accurate in the sense that they knew when eclipses and such would happen, but accurate in that they could tell when, say, Cortez would show up to wipe them all out. Pretty impressive, I think. But also sort of depressing. Why can’t my iCal do this? I mean, thousands of dollars of transistors and doodads and all iCal can do is tell me when my next doctor’s appointment is. All the Mayans had were like, sticks and shrunken skulls and such. Come on Apple! It’s time to get your (non-shrunken) head in the game!

2012: High Budget Movie OR the End of The World?

So here’s where it gets interesting. See, the Mayans, what with their fancy calendar and all, had this weird thing about the year 2012. Namely, their calendar stops there. No “to be continued” or, “sorry, we ran out of stone,” but nothing. It just stops. According to more semi-obscure authors who write about the topic, 2012 is supposed to be the year when there is some kind of galactic alignment wherein the earth and all surrounding planets will get sucked into a black hole in the middle of the galaxy.

It’s a little depressing.

Even worse, the account of the Mayans is authenticated by ancient Greek oracles who basically said the same thing. Not to be a downer, but when the year 2012 rolls around, well, let’s just say you might want to cancel your gym membership.

What the fuck is up, History Channel? You know, isn’t shit bad enough what with the not drinking and all to go and lay this shit on me? Granted that at home I don’t have a TV and don’t give the History Channel any money whatsoever, I still don’t think it’s too much to ask the powers that be at the History Channel not to be so damn heavy handed on my vacation. Telling me about the Apocalypse? All while I’m sitting in a room with a fridge loaded with beer and liquor that I, absolutely, must not drink?

This is probably why I don’t have TV.

John L. Singleton lives and works in Los Angeles, where he is the co-founder of WordHustler.com, the world’s first online submission management platform for writers. His fiction has appeared in places like Political Affairs, Puke!, and other publications. He was most recently head writer on the Emmy-nominated Internet TV show "Stranger Adventures" which has since been sold to Electronic Arts for further development.

One response to “Things I Learned About the Apocalypse Over Labor Day While Vacationing In Palm Springs, California”

  1. Carl D'Agostino says:

    I think Mayans already evaporated when Cortez shows up 1519. But he sure put the ropa-dope on the Aztecs. El apaclyptico mucho grande. Perhaps the Mayans did foretell the apocalypse. I live in Miami and the oil leak is at Pensacola and heading for Tampa and will swing north after permanently poisoning the Keys. And I live in Miami and my God I am so devastated because it’s going the be THE END OF THE WORLD here. And the spill will also reach the western Gulf to the Yucatan Peninsula where the Mayans began and ended. And our world ends in 2010 just two years shy of 2012 so if they left any other predictions…..

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