HOW IT WILL END FOR US: We got up early on Doomsday. We turned on the coffee maker and went out to get the paper.
We left the water running in the sink. Why turn it off and just have to go through the whole hassle of turning it back on again later? Who knows? We might be thirsty one more time before the world ends.
Our column was predictable, especially the Playlist: "Five Years" by Bowie, "It's the End of the World, etc.," by REM... People celebrating their birthday on Doomsday were Samuel L. Jackson, Ray Romano, Jane Fonda. The horoscopes were kind of pointless ("Plan for some exciting changes in your career.") We checked the Lottery numbers. We won $156 million. Finally!
When our son was a baby, we worked part time for a year so we could stay home with him. Each day when he went down for his midmorning nap, we chased our tail around. Should we watch TV? Read? Do some housework? Take a nap? Work on our mad guitar chops?
We found that Doomsday was like nap time except with a whole different slate of options. We weren't, for instance, going to do housework. In fact, we didn't even put a coaster on the coffee table for our coffee cup. We ate the top off a blueberry muffin and threw the rest on the floor.
Our bucket list was useless. Everything on it required more time than we had: Wrestle a Maori tribesman in southern Queensland, learn economics, travel to the mysterious Orient in search of rare spices and bolts of colorful
We thought about death row guys and how they get to pick their last meal.
We drove to Ralphs to buy a pack of hot dogs and some relish. People were walking out of the store carrying sacks of food. The checkers weren't even bothering with charging them, unless they needed bags, which were 10 cents.
The good kind of hot dogs were gone. We weren't going to blow our last meal on second-best hot dogs. We walked around the store until we found a lady who had a tri-tip roast. We negotiated briefly with her for it, took it home and threw it on the BBQ - no time left on this earth for the three-hour marinade.
We sat down to read, but it was hard to concentrate with the end of the world looming fairly large in our mind.
The TV was more wasteland-y than ever. TMZ was showing what celebrities were doing for the end of the world (Lindsay Lohan was planning on doing about a pound of coke and stealing some scarves). ESPN was calling the Celtics' Bill Russell, a guy who, in his prime couldn't put a letter on Kobe Bryant in a game of H-O-R-S-E, the Best Basketball Player Who Ever Played While Earth Was Here.
We were bored. We thought the day would be full of horror and mayhem, or that we would run around doing wild things - we don't know, maybe drive crazy fast on the freeway, break into neighbors' houses that we've always been curious about just to kind of look around and see what they've been doing in there all these years, hit a bucket of golf balls off the roof of our Barn.
At this point, sort of like what would happen in a lousy sitcom when the writers decided the only thing that'll save it is if more characters are introduced, our wife and kids came out to see what we were doing.
"Nothing. Waiting for the world to end. You guys wanna play UNO or something?" We spread the blanket on the grass and dealt the cards, which was our dog Jimmy's cue to wander over and walk through everything while we yelled at him.
We straightened out all the cards as a fireball approached.
"Doesn't look big enough to destroy the world," said Ray as he put a yellow 2 on a blue 2. It was true. It was kind of a little fireball. True, you don't want to see fireballs at all, really, but it didn't look like a world-destroyer. It passed by, heated things up maybe 20 degrees, and was gone.
"Uno," said Hannah.
We took the tri-tip off the barbecue and sliced off a piece and gave it to our wife to sample.
"How's it taste?" we asked.
"Like a million bucks," she said.
We didn't tell her we paid 156 times that.