Now, as we all know, the media has gone all ‘scare-mongery’ on us again, this time, with classically festive cheer; by ‘reporting‘ in gleeful, technicolor detail, about the Mayan prediction for the end of the world.
I just LOVE it when the media does this. You can almost imagine those journo types now, can’t you. Sprawled over their desks, feeling grumpy and distinctively irritable, as the weather is crap and there is a distinct lack of newsworthy things to write about. All gathered in the boardroom, tapping their biros against the laminate surface table, desperately trying to think of something, anything to write about.
Then one guy, (probably a rookie) pipes up – ‘hey guys, what about that old Mayan prophesy thing? You know, the one about the world ending?’
Cue another, more seasoned journalist. ‘Ah, not that old chestnut again. Look at the coverage we wasted on the CERN experiment, when the black hole was apparently going to suck us all up?’
Then speaks the editor. ‘Well, quite frankly guys, we’ve not got anything better to work with. Yep, ok, let’s run with that. Let’s make it sound utterly terrifying as well, just to scare the living be’jesus out of everyone before Christmas.’
(I bet it’s something like that anyway.)
Anyway. I’m not a believer in all this nonsense. And incidentally, in case you were interested, neither were the Mayans in this particular instance, but, if the media reaction is anything to go by, apparently that doesn’t matter.
However, driving through town yesterday, with the rain pounding down against my car window; and threats of flooding once again across our region, I did ponder. Flooding? Check. Pestilence? Well, with the Norovirus threatening to engulf the nation, yep, that one’s a check too. Famine? Well, the rate at which the supermarket shelves were being stripped for Christmas (and presumably in preparation for the ‘end of days’ tomorrow) it could only be a matter of time.
Which left WAR.
But, I think we’ve got that one covered too – and again, I refer back to the supermarket. I had the misfortune of visiting the supermarket this morning, armed with a list as long as my entire person, full of food to buy for Christmas.
The scene I was greeted with, even at the early hour of 9am, can only be described as pandemonium. I watched with horror as people swore at each other out of car windows, battling over spaces. (Imagine my smugness as I managed to whisk into a plummy space right outside the door – much to the chagrin of other drivers, who had frantically tried to speed at around 50mph to get there before me…hee hee!)
The mania continued inside. People wrestling with each other to seize armfuls of sprouts in the vegetable aisle. Women grasping armfuls of discounted toys from the shelves, with warrior-like expressions on their faces, just daring anyone to try getting any of the bargains themselves. Other women, deliberately using their trollies to block off the access to other shelves, as they hastily scooped up wedges of stuffing, sausagemeat and pigs in blankets, glowering in ill-concealed rage as other people attempted to ask them politely to move.
It was a bit like a scene from a Hieronymous Bosch painting, but updated with a 21st century twist.
(substitute these monsters for angry old men, aggressive mothers and grumpy kids and you have it!)
I really did feel as though I had descended into some sort of a hell as I desperately tried to manouevere my trolley (typical, I’d picked one of those sods that won’t be steered, no matter how hard you yank it around) through a minefield of livid, red faced citizens.
So, perhaps those Mayans / the media had it right after all. Perhaps the End of Days has begun, right here in a humble supermarket in the West Country.
I have one thing, and one thing only to conclude with.
CHILL OUT LOVE, IT’S ONLY A BAG OF CARROTS!