Today we are faced with the very publicized possibility that the World, or Life on Earth, or Civilization, will end.
I have personally not worried about doomsday theories since being very young, when I spent a lot of time worrying about Doomsday theories.
It all started when my best friend Chris and I were playing in the street, aged about 7. We lived on the lowlands, and on the hills there was a radio mast with a strip of red lights to warn aircraft. After a bout of enjoying some sci-fi movies, we noticed these lights, and convinced ourselves that Aliens were coming.
We each picked a load of flowers, and tearfully went home to tell our parents we loved them.
We had the classic “can-and-yarn” telephones between our bedroom windows (we lived real close), and after our farewells had been said, I got Chris to report on the alien activity (he had a telescope) while I recorded it in my Secret Diary. We did some specimen analysis on rocks from the street and deduced that the aliens would attack biologically (or “with poisoned air” as I recorded).
Luckily, Chris had a granny flat in his back garden, which we had turned into a cinema (tv, beanbag, crate of juice), so we set about attack-proofing our bunker. That consisted of hanging a curtain over the door, filling the room with blankets, crisps, nutella, milk & cordial , a few toys and movies, and I brought 2 dolls Moses baskets, for our brothers.
After a grueling few hours’ graft, our bunker was complete, and we decided to part ways to say our final farewells.
I must have known that the aliens weren’t really coming, because when I went home to pick my brother and dog up for the rescue mission, I told my Nan I was sleeping over at Chris’ and to pick my brother up later that evening.
So, me, my brother and our faithful dog Skip headed for the bunker to meet Chris and his brother. His mum made us some pizza to take with us, and shut us in the “cinema”.
Then we waited for the end of the world.
About 15 minutes in, “fire and brimstone” (sand and stones) pelted our hideout, tree branches smacked against the windows, and an eerie green light flowed through our badly blacked out curtains.
The babies were asleep by this point, despite the dog doing crazy barking and Chris and I crying, trying to build weapons – and finally deciding the safest option was to hide under blankets.
The attack stopped as quickly as it started, and we were left in silence. Assuming the world had ended, we decided to watch Blast from the Past to give the blast-radius enough time to neutralise (we didn’t know exactly what had happened – Invasion, nuclear attack, apocalypse).
We put on the movie, but instead decided to wake our brothers up and have a party to celebrate being survivors. We played “Carry on up the Charts” by Beautiful South, and took it in turns to flick the light on and off since we didn’t have a strobe.
It was a great party.
Fast forward 15 years and several “end of the world” prophecies, all of which I have survived. Well done to the rest of you survivors, too.
Needless to say, I am not holding my umbrella up in anticipation of brimstone rain this time, but I will be playing “carry on up the charts” and reminding Chris of our great survival mission.