The world ends this week. Saturday, 6pm PDT, to be exact. Life as we know it will be over. That’s the message on billboards around Southern Oregon and the Norhwest these days. No one’s quite sure just what comes next. There’s also a sizeable caravan of RV’s, trucks and cars out on the roadways of the nation with the same warning for all who pass their way. Or whose way THEY pass. Whatever. I’m wasting precious time.

While the messenger behind this current warning of our extinction has been wrong at least twice before, well, maybe the third time’s the charm. We all know, if he keeps doing it long enough, someday – somewhere – we’ll look at him and say, “Well, you were right.” My world will probably have ended before that. His, too, I imagine.

But I’ve been thinking! Have you ever thought about the world ending before you do? I mean, really thought about it? I used to have a very good Methodist pastor friend who had. With a couple of hours notice, he said he’d take out that bottle of rare Italian wine he’d kept for years, share it with his wife, then get on his 250cc motorcycle and try some of those trail jumps he’d looked at in the Boise Foothills. Crash and burn? So what?

Seeing these billboards along our Interstate highway everyday has made me not only think about our impending demise, but also to come up with a list of things I want to do before Saturday. Some items I’ve thought about for years. I want to find Jimmy Swearingen who was in my second grade class in East Wenatchee, WA. The little sucker hit me in the head with a rock at recess one day and my bloody little scalp required four stitches. Scared my Mom to death! I’ve always wanted to pay him back.

Many years ago, when I was working with several real estate developers on new subdivisions, my broker fired me one day because someone had told him I was going to take my considerable pile of listings and go to another office. He yanked my framed license off the wall and threw it down the stairs and told me to follow it. Post haste. A month or so later, he found out he’d been lied to about my intentions and he fired the other guy. Never apologized to me, though. I’d like to bloody his nose after all these years. Before the world ends, I mean. Oh, wait. He died two years go. Well, I’m still mad.

Before Saturday’s world-ending cataclysm, I want to take Barb to Ruth’s Cris Steakhouse in Seattle for one last really great steak dinner. Nobody does it better! Oh, the Dodge House in Omaha is good but not enough to waste a last dinner on. We’re talking really “last” here!

Before we end in a fiery Hell Saturday, I want to take our much-loved rat terrier to Bandon for an unleashed long run on the beach. Winston loves chasing up and down the sea shore, getting all those exotic smells only dogs can find. If the world is going to end in a couple of days, I doubt Winston can come up with a much better final image. We do love him so and only want the best.

I’ve got to call my banker before Saturday. Our very fine small community institution has been charging us a $2 monthly service fee for a couple of years. We’re supposed to have one of the free senior accounts. But the folks repeatedly tell me there is a computer glitch they can’t find and the charge keeps appearing. Haven’t been able to talk them into an offsetting credit so the angst has been building up. Yep, the banker’s definitely on the final list.

In the next day or two, before extinction, I’ve got to take care of a couple of political things. I’ve been wanting to email House Speaker John Boehner to tell him to watch his back. That Republican majority leader of his is just waiting to take Boehner out if he gets a couple more Tea Partiers on the GOP side. Nasty little man from Virginia.

And Sen. Harry Reid. I’ve got to get an email off to him, too. Worst majority leader in years. Great when on minority defense. Absolutely incapable of leading when in the majority. Real personality flaw.

You know, this end-of-the-world business is really quite interesting if you just let loose and go with it. I can forget about house payments, cavities, next year’s taxes, dementia, which day to put the garbage out, renewing my driver’s license, getting a haircut, shaving, that messy old deodorant cream, prescription refills, liver spots, buying groceries and watching Newt Gingrich self-immolate.

There’s just one disappointment in our imminent demise. I’ve got thousands of frequent flyer miles I’ll never get to use.

Wait a minute! I know what to do. I’ll call the guy who’s on his third end-of-the-world prediction and offer half to him. Maybe he’s got someplace to go. Next month

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