Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chicken Little Panics Over Apophis

Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened." –Churchill

Gary the Angry Easter Bunny, diabolical man-rodent that he is, left the closet of fear and anxieties open just a crack last night. We had hidden Chicken Little’s laptop in there for fear that she was spending too much time surfing the web. Her pessimistic and paranoid personality makes her easy prey for all the doomsday and conspiracy theory sites that are in over abundance in cyber space.

Sure enough the overwrought fowl snuck in and soon learned that an asteroid is plummeting through the vacuum of space on a trajectory toward earth. Sometime in 2036 a small trailer park in Kansas will be transformed into a smoking crater. If that is not bad enough their will be drastically changed weather patterns, droughts and hurricanes and tornados – oh my! We might even find ourselves born aloft on a strong wind and transported to the magical land of OZ.

My morning quiet time with Mary Magdalene, which consists of yoga and meditation followed by a rich and robust cup of dark coffee, was disturbed by our feckless and undiscerning pet fowl, which after a night spent on the web was in a wing dinger of a foul mood (pun intended). We had a busy day ahead of us planning the Beltane bonfire for this year and we were looking forward to some uninterrupted time.

“Cluck – We are doomed, doooomed!” Chicken Little screeched bursting into our small yoga studio.

My eyes rolled reflexively and I let out a big long exasperated sigh. What now was the message that I hoped would be read between the lines.

“If you keep doing that your eyes are going to get stuck that way, “Mary said as she playfully punched me in the shoulder.

I offered her my middle finger.

She stuck her tongue out at me.

“Don’t do that unless you mean it,” I said.

“You wish buddy boy”

“Cluck, Cluck, Cluck!” Chicken Little was flapping her wings and spinning in non-concentric circles. I was mentally calculating what piece of furniture she would collide with first for my amusement.

Mary reached out and pulled Chicken Little toward her. She was green from her twirling and I was afraid she was going to vomit all over the place. Unconcerned for her safety, Mary pulled the frightened fowl on to her lap as she always does and began gently stroking her feathers. Chicken Little rested her little head against Mary’s chest. I am still trying to figure out why we haven’t put her on medication yet (I think I always say this).

“What’s this all about?” Mary asked in her most soothing voice.

“Asteroid…”

I groaned again.

Mary shot me a dark look

“Fox news said there is chance that the asteroid may still strike the earth,” Chicken Little whimpered.

“Well, if Fox news says so…”

Another dark look from Mary…

Maybe now that Sarah Palin has been added to their news team things will improve. With any luck she might be their science reporter.

“The LA Times says that there is only about four in a million chance that we will get hit by the asteroid Apophis,” I said, “Besides everyone knows that the world ends in 2012 so we won’t have to worry about the asteroid anyway. We’ll all be dead.”

“Cluck!”

Mary pointed her finger in a gesture that I could only take to mean, “Gey avek” or “Go away.”

Unfortunately as I was turning to leave the whole house shook as it an asteroid how decided to hit us ahead of schedule. Chicken Little leaped from Mary’s lap flapping her wings she started bouncing off the ceiling and the walls.

“Oh my God the Sky is falling…the Sky is falling…”

Well, not exactly. Given the giant string that was poking through the window the logical answer was that Boneless Frank had just driven the Playtex Tampon Mobile into the side of the house. Since retiring from the parade circuit Boneless and the Hit Man had refurbished the novelty car into a tow truck and had actually started to make some decent money in the repo business. Frankly given the work ethic of the two men their success was most likely due to the fact that there were many folks with a twisted sense of humor who enjoyed seeing a giant tampon towing objects behind it. I have to admit giant tampon cars are kind of funny.

“I’ll go check it out,” I said and left the room. Chicken Little had just been spared Br. Ezra’s sermon on living life today. We are all going to die. It is inevitable. Regardless of how it happens we shall all go kaput. Our hearts will stop and we will cease to breathe. Our flesh will rot from our bones.

We may die taking a dump on the crapper. We may get hit by a car. We may die in our sleep at a ripe old age. We may all die in the fiery apocalypse of 2012 or, if we are lucky, live out the next 26 years in time to get hit by an asteroid. If I live I will be 70. The point is we are all going to die. It really doesn’t matter when or even how (unless it’s something foolish that can be prevented).

The other point – the more important one – is that until we do we have plenty of living to do. We can’t solve all the world’s problems. But, we can be kind, generous and exercise empathy for our fellow creatures, two legged, four legged and winged. We can enjoy the ride and marvel at what we have around us. That way when we do bite it we can do so with minimal regrets and maximum love.

The house shook again. I nearly fell down the stairs. I managed to catch myself on the railing. I could hear the muffled clucks of Chicken Little and started making mental notes to myself.

Find out what Boneless Frank is doing and make him stop before things get worse
Kill Gary the Angry Easter Bunny
Throw out Chicken Little’s Laptop

I was not prepared for what I found when I walked out the door…

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