Christmas Story: Rick Schwartz and the 2012 Mayan Calendar
It was December 1st, 2011 – a lunar month before the beginning of the End.
Rick Schwartz paced up and down in his lounge, an aged document laying open on his mahogany desk, lit by the fluorescent light of the Dell computer screen.
“It can’t be, it can’t be”, he muttered. “Everything I worked so hard for, it’s about to become obsolete.”
Rick turned the pages of the aged manuscript, his finger slowly running along the lines of the medieval scripture.
“After the last moon of the second millennium, ten plus one years, Serberon, the 6th Knight shall rise and the moon will turn red and the land shall burn and scorch from the east to the west, and from the north to the south, and people will run in the streets and into the chapels seeking forgiveness from our Lord.”
Rick let go of a sigh.
He looked around his office, the trophies of a long life’s achievements surrounding him.
There was the golfing tournament trophy from 1990, the Duke Nukem competition trophy from 1992 – and the much coveted AOL Chatroom Leader ribbon from 1993.
“I have to let everyone know, that it’s the end of the world as we know it!”, said Rick, exasperated. He reached for his brand new iPhone 4S and dialed Howard Neu’s number.
Ten rings later, Howard picked up.
“Rick, are you ok? It’s 2:00 am, what the heck is going on?”
Taking a deep breath, Rick responded in so many words: “Howard, I’m about to quit blogging and spend time with my family. The world ends January 1st, 2012.”
Howard was used to fighting off bad news such as UDRP notifications with strong responses, but this one felt particularly ominous.
“Rick, have you lost your mind, what are you talking about? Your blog is about to hit 25,000 in Alexa rankings. Why you’d quit now?”
Pausing for milliseconds, Rick blasted out.
“I thought you wouldn’t question my decision, Howard! I read the scripture about the Apocalypse, it’s all there. My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather Richardus Remulus Scwhartz who was a Freemason from Scotland, brought the book of the Mayans during one of his trips to Spain. It was written by a monk who deciphered the secret writings of the Mayans and their famous calendar. I am telling you, it’s over. Go get some donuts and let’s plan our final month on earth!”
Howard felt a shiver crawl down his spine. He had never before seen Rick deliver a more powerful message, with the exception of the opening day at TRAFFIC. He knew that Rick was serious; there was no chance that Rick would be playing a game.
“OK Rick, let me put my clothes on and I’m coming your way. I’ll grab some donuts from a 7-11 and we can discuss this. We need a plan, my friend, as you said. If the world ends in 30 days, you need to stop blogging and start building an underground survival fortress, for the Day After!”
Rick muttered something and hang up the phone. It would be a long night. He had to make a blog post that same morning, announcing the end of his blogging days and the message would have to be powerful and yet subtle enough, in order to avoid the controversy.
“The world must know, and yet the world must not go into chaos leading to its own demise”, said Rick. “What a sad ending for humanity and domaining”, he whispered.
Outside, the humid Florida night was filled with soothing cricket songs. Rick’s dog was sound asleep on the couch.
“So be it”, Rick said. “I will never give up. I will never surrender.”
And with those words he started typing his last blog post before the world would end.