My son thought it tacky that we hadn’t cleaned all the bird poop off the satellite dish that partially blocks the front entrance to our house.
He doesn’t know the half of it…wait til early December when we don’t clean the bird poop off the 50-foot inflatable Santa or the 50-foot inflatable Jesus, or, three weeks later, the 50-foot inflatable Martin Luther King.
But the kid has a point. When he grabs his towel, hands it to me and points to the dish, he’s saying, “Come on Dad, anybody can see that this needs done.” Even the kid who finger-paints with ketchup nightly on the kitchen floor and pees in his own bathwater 202 nights in a row — and counting.
What the lad forgot, however, is what we adults had been preaching, literally, for lo these two or three weeks now…the world is ending on May 21 anyway. Originally we thought the End of Days would come “like a thief in the night” (Bible’s words), but this time it seemed to have the advance notice and subtlety of an American Idol premiere. I frankly expected wall-to-wall coverage my last day on Earth, and if there were a God, pray He dispatched Al Roker to New Zealand for a firsthand account of His wrath. “That’s what’s going on in this life, here’s what’s happening in your neck of the afterli…” We seem to have lost connection with Al. Pity.
I and many, many like-minded Americans used Rapture Day (or whatever it’s called in the Gospel according to Blondie) as the perfect excuse to get out of the spring chores. In our household, nobody bothered to clean the bird poop, call the roofer, put the screens in, find all the Easter eggs, shower, go to work, or even update our Facebook status.
We did pick up the dry cleaning. If we were getting called Home, we wanted to be seen in our Sunday best, even on a Saturday. Plus we had “that stupid wedding” to go to. (my wife’s words)
So on Judgment Day my Lord and Savior would find me sitting alone at a dinner table, picking cherries and only He knows what else out of a sliver of cake, watching uncles or business associates in short-sleeved dress shirts and goatees attempting to grind it out with women 15 years their junior and/or senior. Not the way I originally envisioned it. But apparently we accepted the invitation before we knew our ultimate fate, and to back out of a wedding on the Apocalypse is generally considered worse than leaving bird poop on the satellite dish.
And then the world failed to end, so all my stalling and procrastinating did me no good and now my spring chores are leaking into my summer chores. And I had to find a new job, and we had to re-schedule the Cable Guy to come out. So perhaps our lives will end anyway before we see him.
With egg on my face, grass up to my knees, and a dish that looked like it had fallen into a snow bank, I set out on May 22 to reluctantly tackle some of my hated outdoor tasks. But as I was wiping down the dish with the boy supervising, I remembered what my third or fourth cousin Maya told me one day many years ago:
“The world will end on December 21, 2012.”
Of course! I forgot all about that. Son, we’re going inside and sticking tin foil in the microwave for fun. Maybe we’ll even hook up our own cable or steal someone else’s or build the world’s tallest peanut butter and banana sandwich. Maybe we’ll plant satellite dishes painted the color of Skittles straddling the driveway from the garage to the curb. (Always a dream of mine.) Who cares? The world is gone in 17 months anyway. Because if there’s one thing the Mayans could be counted on, it seemed they were good with their calendars. The only problem is there will be another Presidential election season to endure.
But maybe NBC will bring back Willard Scott to finish out the today show? If there is a God…