It’s not the end of the world, as we know it

Derrick Knutson

Let me start this column by noting I do not believe the world will end Dec. 21.

I will now brace for the inevitable e-mails that will be sent to me from the doomsday believers.

Goodness knows I’ve already started receiving the out-of-state press releases from groups claiming the Mayans have the date of the apocalypse down to a science.

I don’t know what the aims of these messages are, other than to scare the heck out of the reader.

I recently received an e-mail out of Texas from an organization that purports we’ll need lots and lots of guns come the end of December.

I’d guess those weapons would be needed to fight space aliens or blow up meteorites before they enter the atmosphere.

The press release states – and I do not argue this logic – that there has been a spike in people attending gun shows and buying firearms in Texas over the past couple months.

Here’s an excerpt: “From your basic survivalist, to expected military veterans, to the 80-year-old, 95-pound soaking wet grandma, they are all present and accounted for. Rambo seems to take all shapes and sizes these days.”

There’s nothing more reassuring than the thought of your elders equipped with automatic rifles and grenade launchers, right?

The release then goes on to direct the reader to visit a website that offers a myriad of survival gear for sale.

My favorite part of the site is the “Defense/Safety” section, which is easily spotted because of the photo of an attractive woman holding up her fists in what I’ll surmise is supposed to be an imposing manner.

Also, a graphic of the American flag blowing in the breeze is superimposed behind her.

This just says to me, “It feels good to be patriotic when you’re kickin’ alien butt with our products a la Will Smith, doesn’t it?”

Playing on people’s fears and insecurities is the staple of far too many companies, but I think this is taking things a tad too far.

What’s next, water bottle companies offering “Survival H2O”?

How about shoe companies selling sneakers that, in a pinch, could be consumed for sustenance?

Sure, your feet would be sore and cold after eating the shoes, but your belly would be full!

If there’s money to be made off the prophesized end of days, there will be shark-like salespeople out there taking advantage of the gullible suckers who think they’ll survive the impending doom if they buy 15 years worth of canned goods.

I will admit there is the small possibility I might be wrong and the contingent of people who believe the Mayans are indeed correct.

They’ll be well armed with an assortment of military-grade weapons and I’ll be left with my pens and paper, which are really only good for combat if you plan on stabbing someone allergic to ink or slicing a foe repeatedly with the thin edge of some parchment.

But like I said, I really don’t think much will come of this alleged prophecy, and I doubt I’ll have to use my journalistic tools as weapons come Dec. 21.

However, I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for grandmas decked out like special forces troops.

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