September 23

“Dear Apocalypse”

[The Advice Column for our Troubled Times]


Dear Apocalypse,


A friend of mine, let’s call him John, insists that the world will end on September 23.  He claims that Planet X, also known as Nibiru, will strike the Earth.  Or, barring that, it will brush close enough to affect our gravity, leaving catastrophic floods and fires and earthquakes in its wake.

Apparently, John pinpointed the date by manipulating numbers in a back chapter of his Bible.  He says a lot of religious experts agree with him, and that they’re all more trustworthy than scientists.

Scientists haven’t been so helpful lately, so I’m inclined to agree with him.  Also, they gave Planet X a specific name, which makes it sound kinda real.

Considering that the world basically ended a couple months ago, and the handful of us remaining are struggling with limited food and radioactive fallout, I’m not really sure we can withstand a direct hit, or even near-miss, from a massive space object.

Any words of comfort would be much appreciated.



Worried in Wisconsin.


* * *


Dear Worried,


If you can read this, your friend John is wrong.  Technically, at least.

You’ve survived.  Take a deep breath, and relax.

Or don’t, because conspiracy theorists are never satisfied, and want to continue their prophecies of doom…even after they’ve already come true.

Perhaps people like your friend are here to remind us:  things can always get worse.  We’d like to think one apocalypse is enough, but doomsayers will happily remind us that a second one is potentially just around the corner.

Or, just within striking distance.  It’s not as if full-sized planets can appear out of nowhere and bocce-ball us into oblivion.  Instead, think of Planet X as a metaphor, standing for any actual event that might occur to ruin your day…or end all days.

If that’s the case, then your friend John is right.  Like most prophets, though, he’s a little fuzzy on the dates and specific details.



The Real Apocalypse