For those who may not have heard, according to some fundamentalist Christians, the world will be coming to an end tomorrow. I apologize for such late notice. Then again, with something like this, maybe it’s best not to have much advance warning and waste all that time worrying.
Spearheading the campaign to warn the world that the end is near is Harold Camping, who will be 90 in July. (Unless he’s right about the Rapture, in which case he won’t be here for his 90th birthday.)
Camping is a Christian radio broadcaster and president of Family Radio, a California-based religious broadcasting network that spans more than 150 outlets in the U.S. In 2009, Camping’s network was valued at $100,000,000. As P.T. Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
A recent story reported by UPI reminded me of Barnum. A retired New York City transit worker, Robert Fitzpatrick, has spent $140,000, his entire savings, on billboards and ads warning bus and subway riders that the end is near. Using donations from the public and other income, Camping reportedly has spent $4,000,000. While the Apocalypse sounds horrific, it appears to have been a boon to the billboard industry.
Here’s essentially how Judgment Day will work. Starting in the Pacific Rim, at approximately 6 p.m. there will be a great earthquake “such as there has never been before in the history of the earth.” (I’m hoping that’s an exaggeration.)
During the Rapture, true believers will fly up to heaven while the rest of us will be left to a hellish fate. (Which, as it happens, is exactly how I feel about the 10 freeway at rush hour.)
And as if this earthquake and the world turning into a fiery ball are not bad enough, Camping says 153 days later the planet Earth and the entire universe will be destroyed forever. If he’s right we can look forward to five months of hell before the real hell. (And recently I thought moving all my furniture to get new carpet was a nightmare.)
Naturally I’m not pleased that Judgment Day is upon us. But should the world come to an end tomorrow, well, it kind of takes the sting out of the Lakers getting swept by the Mavericks.
Someone else who might welcome End Times is former Gov. Arnold Schwarezenneger. On Monday, Arnold confessed that 10 years ago he fathered a child with Mildred Patricia Baena, his and Maria’s housekeeper. Yikes!
Arnold’s statement to the press read, “After leaving the governor’s office I told my wife about this event,” Event? Arnold makes it sound like he had an inadvertent erection, perhaps he tripped over one of the kids’ skateboard, and next thing he knew the housekeeper was pregnant.
Arnold’s “baby mama” who goes by Patty, is now 50. She worked for Arnold and Maria for 20 years before retiring this past January. Her job included cleaning, cooking, laundry and, evidently, other “chores.” The boy’s age means all of this happened well before Arnold first ran for governor. (And we all know what a bang up job he did as governor.)
After the birth, Patty worked in the house, and was a confidant to an apparently unsuspecting Maria, for the next 10 years. And the four Schwarzenegger children played with their half-brother, totally unaware that they were related.
Not surprisingly, Arnold’s confession hasn’t gone over terribly well with the public or at home. Recently, his son Patrick ended a Tweet signing, “Patrick Shriver.” (Not a good sign.)
Ironically the L.A. Times had some evidence of all of this in 2003 when Arnold initially ran for governor. The Times seemingly was persuaded (aka “bullied”) not to report the details of Arnold’s philandering for fear of being labeled part of the “liberal press.” On Wednesday, Times columnist Steve Lopez didn’t seem afraid. He ran a column entitled, “Arnold Schwarzenegger’s lies have a familiar ring.” How true.
Poor Maria’s heart must be broken. Right after the separation, she went on YouTube seeming to seek advice from viewers on how to get through “this painful transition.” Maria’s best friend is Oprah. By all accounts it was on Oprah’s show in 2003 that Arnold, with Maria by his side, won over the female audience.
I somehow don’t think Arnold is going to be on Oprah again. Actually, nobody is as Wednesday, the 25th, will be her final show. This is proof to me there won’t be an Apocalypse tomorrow. There’s no way ABC, and especially Oprah, are going to let any Rapture cut into profits.
My guess is come May 22 the world will be perfectly normal, meaning two things: I wouldn’t be surprised if Arnold has another “love child” somewhere; and for those donated End Times money to Harold Camping, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a refund.
Assuming the Rapture does not occur, Jack can be reached at Jnsmdp@aol.com.