The Day After the Day the World Ended

Hmm. We’re still here. I think we can cue up “Looks Like We Made It” by Barry Manilow. Is anyone out there? You? You as well? Good. I think we’re okay here. We can decorate the Christmas tree and do the last minute shopping we’ve been putting off (somehow, an apocalypse that did not happen is no excuse for giving a loved one a sub-par Christmas). I put off buying a new side-view mirror until the last possible minute yesterday. I sacrificed the old one on the side of the garage earlier this week and figured “What ho! It won’t make any difference after Friday.” Now it does, and I’ll spend Sunday, or at least part of it, installing it. And be glad for it. I think.
Thrillers have long been obsessed with end times of various sorts. A cottage industry of sorts arose a couple of years ago which produced some interesting books (and many that…well, weren’t) about what happens when ancient calendars run out of days, but I’ve been reading books about the world’s end since I could first read, which was a long time ago. My favorite is I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson. Yes, I know, it’s not quite the same thing, any more than Walking Dead is in either graphic novel or television form, but it amounts to the same thing. The characters in those books, and others, keep on trucking, to the point and the extent that one wonders why. I mean, is the biological imperative that strong? To ask another way, and from another direction: is there anyone out there who was actually hoping that things were going to bite the moose on December 21, 2012? Maybe a little bit, in some dark corner of their psyche they normally keep in a little tiny closet with a triple-bolt deadlock on the door, and that has been scratching like crazy to get out the past few days? I’m not talking about something to the extent and degree that we hoped for blizzards to hit during exam weeks in grade school. I mean something that whispered, “Wow! Now we can go flirt with the neighbor, forget about shoveling snow, and send that pesky collection agency a big foaming cup of…” Well, you can fill in your own end-time dream.
Now that tomorrow is the today that some folks didn’t think would happen, there are things to do. I’m going to bring the granddaughter home and make cookies. That side mirror isn’t going to climb onto the car and attach itself, so I need to do that. The tree is up, but not decorated. Our cat, christened “Fennec” by my younger daughter but nicknamed “Demonspawn” by myself, has claimed it, and attacks anyone who touches it. I think, until the end of time that it has all of the decoration that it needs. You be the judge.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! And we’ll see you in 2013, if the Good Lord is willing and the creek don’t rise.

17 thoughts on “The Day After the Day the World Ended

  1. Methinks an angel or star works best upon the top of a Christmas tree, but I understand this decision may not be available to you at the present time.

    In any event, have a blessed Christmas with family and fauna, Joe.

    P.S. I have been unable to confirm the etymology of the term “bite the moose.”

    • Jim, Fennec is no angel. I have had pets all of my life and none of them have done some of the things that he does.

      “Bite the moose” is an all-purpose term for “mess-up” and is unique to northeast Ohio.

      A blessed Christmas to you and your family as well, Jim! May all the Bells be ringing this year!

  2. Joe, it’s currently 48 degrees in South Florida. As far as I’m concerned, the Mayans got it right–it’s the end of the world. Merry Christmas to you and yours. BTW, the cat looks good.

    • I agree, Joe. It was actually colder last night in Baton Rouge than it was in Columbus. We had snow, however.

      Merry Christmas to you and yours as well!

  3. I see you’ve done the opposite that we have with the tree. The last two feet of our tree is bare, which coincides with the height of our 9 month old son…

    Personally, I really enjoy apocalypse fiction. I’m also a sucker for doomsday movies, no matter how poorly done. I’ve read interesting articles about the social contract theory that attempts to explain why we love envisioning apocalypses. Mostly I think it’s because no one really wants to get out of bed in the morning. 😀

    Have a Merry Christmas!

    • Merry Christmas to you as well, Elizabeth! As far as the social contract theory goes, I hope you are watching Walking Dead, which heavily explores several aspects of that. The writers/producers were actually able to present the Walkers as sympathetic characters at one point this season.

    • I am so watching the Walking Dead! I am writing a zombie apocalypse novel, so I get to call it “research” 😉 I’ve really enjoyed how the graphic novels and TV series explore the morality of the characters.

  4. Love your kittytopper. Anyone can do a star.

    We’re okay in Texas, although some folks could argue that point.

    As for the great apocalypse…I’ve seen better.

    Merry Christmas, buddy!

    • Jordan, I think you and I could produce a better apocalypse with a blow torch and a pair of pliers. Though I think that’s been done before.

      Merry Christmas to you and yours as well! Hope to see you next year!

  5. Out here in the wilds of Bucolia, we have some bunker-builders out in the farmland who, I am sure, are quite disappointed. In my new job as apoc-planner for the county, I have discovered my predecessor harbored a few fantasies of his own given the email lists he was subscribed to. As for me, I met the day after in my bathrobe and that stack of laundry is still there . . . mocking me.

    I LOVE post-apoc books and movies. The best, of course, being King’s The Stand. I can also highly recommend “Swan Song.”

    Merry Christmas one and all and I look forward to another great year at TKZ.

    • Merry Christmas, Terri, and thanks for being one of our most loyal readers and contributors.

      I’m with you on The Stand. The unabridged one, natch!

  6. I don’t like apocalypse books, but Alas, Babylon remains one of my huge favorites. I guess because it’s more about how they survived afterward and rebuilt their community. My brother and I always talk about how if the bombs fell today, everyone would just die, because we’ve lost all the knowledge that was still around in the ’60s, when Alas Babylon was written.

    • Kessie, I agree with you and your brother. If the fit hit the shan whoever knew how to build and control a small fire would rule, at least temporarily.

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  7. Don’t know what this says about me but I like end-of-the-world books and movies.

    My favorite movie is “On The Beach” (the scene where Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner kiss while elegiac “Walzing Matilda” is sung in background is heartbreaking).

    Also loved “The Road.” (Book not movie).

    Here’s to a healthier, happier and saner new year to all of us.

  8. P.J., The Road remains one of my all time favorite novels. It’s an unrelentingly grim one-sit read.

    Happy New Year to you as well. We’re all looking forward to your new novel!

    • During an unguarded moment, Paula, I described one of The Demonspawn’s unmentionable behaviors to Kelli Stanley. I believe that she is still in search of her jaw.

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