As the world was about to end, I foolishly wrote this column

Yet even if the mayor promised to make me Commissioner of Lotsa Stuff at the Airports or head of the BSP (Bicycle Secret Police), the painful truth is that I couldn't cash in. Not with the world ending because of those blasted Mayans.

But I'm not the only one who's upset. Old School, who helps me with the column, must have been really, really angry that Earth got crushed like an eggshell under the boot of a bloodthirsty god.

"I was thinking more like I probably melted like the bad Nazi in 'Raiders of the Lost Ark,'" Old School said. "Ah, that's my fate."

He was young, so he didn't even get to put a full bucket list together.

Old School had hoped to drive a souped-up, bright yellow, pinstriped Dodge Challenger, with all the street racing technology and the real big-boy engine. And buy a 3-D TV.

And what about telling your boss what you really thought of him?

"I'm not dead yet," said Old School, in more animated times.

He planned to travel beyond the South Side, where he's spent 98 percent of his life.

"I wanted to go to California, to see if I hated it or not," Old School said. "I wanted to see what being relaxed felt like, instead of being a fist of nerves like I am here."

Is it me?

One thing you realize when it's too late is that we waste a lot of time in the news business, wondering what people think about certain politicians and ideas.

We poll endlessly, asking them about tax increases, health care, the soon-to-be$17 trillion deficit and all the foolish government spending.

It turns out, that was pointless.

Because before the world ended, an outfit called Ipsos Global Public Affairs surveyed the people of the Earth earlier. And they found that 10 percent of all Earthlings believe that the so-called Mayan prophecy signaled the end of the world.

And 12 percent of Americans believed the world would end Dec. 21.

What does this mean?

It means that here, in America, 88 percent of the people didn't know what the heck they were talking about. So no wonder our country was so screwed up. It wasn't the politicians after all. It was the people.

Of course, there is a tiny chance that the Mayan death gods have no juju, and we're alive. If so, then, do me a favor and just forget what I said. But let's give the ancient Mayans the Moutza anyway.

Twitter @John_Kass