Dear Friend and Reader:
Preparations are now underway for all things to end at 6:11am EST on Friday, when 2012 actually happens.
Despite a number of recent setbacks, The End of the World was proceeding on schedule for Dec. 21, according to a long-standing plan previously known only to astrologers and people who ate a lot of mushrooms.
The original proposal was set in motion 1,871,995 days ago by a tiny cabal of shaggy-haired coca-chewing aborigines with mathematical skills eminently superior to other local savages and all future civilizations.
"Man, those guys could count," said the late Terence McKenna, who first turned the world onto 12/21/12 in his 1974 book The Invisible Landscape, speaking via a CD left in a time capsule for this moment, which was recently dug up next to his old apartment in Hawaii.
"By the way, this whole thing was a joke. We actually put that writing on the stairs at Chichen Itza," he said in the recording.
Corporations Prepare for the Worst
Despite this fact, as of press time, sources confirmed that the world was still Ending. Companies were proceeding with their preparations. Walt Disney Productions on Friday filed 70,456 lawsuits against U.S. and international media, claiming copyright infringement in all uses of the phrase, "The End of the World," and various derivatives, such as "World Ending," "It's Over," and "Oh, Well."
Monsanto filed a variety of patents for oxygen, nitrogen and hemoglobin, so it could sue any potential future survivors for breathing.
Speculation that The End might be preempted by global enlightenment, the New Age or a merger with the 5th dimension has turned out to be premature.
The End will come as a relief to everyone who is in debt, regrets how apathetic they've been for so long, or who is envious of anyone young and successful. Those struggling to start a diet or quit smoking can finally relax. If you received a broken speedometer ticket recently, there's no need to sign and return it.
Allstate, Prudential and Mutual of Omaha are engaged in a vicious price war, offering massive discounts on life insurance premiums. In a tsunami of insider trading, stock exchanges are flooded with investors selling short in the three-day SEC deadline before The End.
The Vatican issued a Papal Bull, the "Dispensatio Pro Continens Usum in Ultima XLVIII Horas, Sicut Finis," which granted dispensation for condom use in the final 48 hours, as The End would preclude the mortal sin of preventing conception. Oral sex will also be permitted for Catholics, under the decree, though theologists at major universities were debating whether this included to orgasm, or not.
The Steroid League, a secret organization operating behind the scenes of Major League Baseball, said that it would play its first and only sudden-death World Series on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. Tickets sold out in 45 minutes.
And at press time, Lance Armstrong was riding the Tour de France route on a unicycle, aided by the top-secret performance-enhancing drug that he hoped would be named for him.
As the big moment approached, Republicans were working hard to disrupt plans for The End. A visibly distraught House Speaker John Boehner said Friday that he was deeply saddened that a Democrat would be in office for The End. He sobbed poignantly as his tears flowed freely, causing a momentary short circuit in the podium's electronics.
"This is our side's issue," he said, as the speakers crackled and the lights flickered. "We've worked for a generation to bring on The End, and we're not going to allow Pres. Obama to get all the credit."
Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, threatened to filibuster The End, or at least put it on hold. He said he and his colleagues would read out loud from Zombie Apocalypse parts 1-41 rather than the traditional use of the Manhattan telephone book.
"They say they've been trying to save the planet all this time," McConnell added. "Now they want it all To End. It was our idea, but I'm against it."
The Republican conference hastily put together a bill to delay The End until at least Jan. 21, 2017, when Obama would be out of office. But some said it would take more time to plan. "The world is large," the Sierra Club said in a statement. "This will take many more years."