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

John Kass

December 21, 2012

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You're probably all dead — me too — swallowed by the Mayan apocalypse that many of us (foolishly) thought was utter nonsense, once.

Which means you're not even reading this. But still ...

I probably shouldn't have spent my last day writing a column, sitting next to the stuffed smallmouth bass that decorates my desk and the portrait of the Rahmfather contemplating the back of my neck from its perch on my office wall.

I should have gone fishing and smoked a cigar on the flats of southwest Florida. Or learned to shoot dice or make a killer veal saltimbocca or take my wife dancing. And I hate dancing.

I really should have given the Mayans the Moutza of the Month for December. Why? Because they caused so much aggravation, hogging at least half of the Discovery Channel with their doomsday prophecies, and they made that underground bunker guy rich.

Nah, you stupid ancient Mayans. Nah!

They get the last Moutza.

Regrets are pointless, what with the Earth in steaming ruins, but I must point something out:

Remember that British academic? The one who ridiculed the Mayan business as nothing but nonsense created in the crazed, psychedelic-mushroom dreams of goofy New Age thinkers?

He was wrong. But now, do you really care?

Still, those of you who are wise in the ways of science know there are always survivors. Certain insects seem to thrive in the worst catastrophes. Such bugs are invincible. They crawl on their wretched bellies and leech off the remains of once-great civilizations.

I'm talking about the politicians.

What really burns me is that I didn't take all my vacation days. And I should have gone tarpon fishing with my sons.

What's even worse is that Friday's "The Good Wife" marathon on TV is ruined. So I won't know if the sexy investigator with the boots ever killed her lowlife drug lord husband who wants a city of Chicago towing contract.

And to think I bought a new Snuggie and a tin of International Coffees for the three-hour "Good Wife" thing. What a waste.

I'll also never get to witness what promised to be the most amazing legal demonstration since the Family Secrets prosecution: "The Trial of Socrates," Jan. 31 at the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago.

The brilliant U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Richard A. Posner was to preside, with lawyers Dan Webb for the defense, and former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and former fed Patrick Collins hoping for a death sentence.

But now, thanks to the Mayans, there will be no trial of Socrates, and no Greektown meal afterward.

This end of the Earth thing is depressing. As Socrates said, maybe in an '80s movie, we're dust in the wind. All we are is dust in the wind. Or perhaps a plate of flaming cheese.

At least I got to present a copy of the legendary Rahmfather portrait to Mayor Rahm Emanuel at City Hall, with the artist, Eric Brightfield, in attendance. He created the original for me and made a copy for the Rahmfather.

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.

jskass@tribune.com

Twitter @John_Kass