Apocalypse Not: Harold Camping wrong – again – about 'The Rapture'

Harold Camping had prophesied that the world as we know it would end today. But the time has come and gone, and "The Rapture" has not occurred.

Followers of Christian broadcaster and May 21, 2011 doomsday predictor Harold Camping spread his word on the streets of Manhattan.

Hello? Hello?

Anybody there? Are we still here?

Oh, whew! For a moment there I thought Judgment Day actually had come today, as California preacher and religious radio broadcaster Harold Camping had predicted. And I’m really, really not ready.

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There’s a lot I still have to do. Like organize my sock drawer and change the strings on my banjo. Not to mention apologizing for some – er – indiscretions that have been weighing on me since forever. (Which have nothing to do with the banjo.)

I mean, if there really is going to be an “end times” or “the rapture” or whatever, I definitely don’t want to be left behind. So whoever’s listening out there, I do believe, I do believe, I do believe! And I promise to be good from now on.

But it looks like we’re all off the hook … for now, anyway.

Mr. Camping had prophesied that at 6 p.m. Saturday (local time around the world) the “saved” would ascend to heaven and the rest of you – OK, the rest of us – would be wiped out by October in earthquakes, floods, and war.

But that fateful hour has come and gone in the Pacific islands, New Zealand, Australia, and on through east Asia, and it’s turned out to be “Apocalypse Not.” Either that or nobody in that part of the world was worthy of ascension.

So it’s been rough times for the folks who filed for a tax extension because they figured they wouldn’t be around when the IRS came calling. And for those who tried to cash in on the predicted end of the world as we know it. (Cue R.E.M.)

Like “Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, USA,” which bills itself as “the next best thing to pet salvation in a Post Rapture World.” For a mere $135 the online business “will guarantee that should the Rapture occur within ten (10) years of receipt of payment, one pet per residence will be saved…. A small price to pay for your peace of mind and the health and safety of your four legged and feathered friends.”

"What we try to do is reassure our clients that they can trust us, number one," company founder Bart Centre told NPR. And just in case, Centre suggests, clients could "find a friend who may be a Jew, a Hindu, a Muslim, an Atheist, a Wiccan, a Catholic, an Episcopal, anyone they think is not going to be Raptured and appoint them as their post-Rapture power of attorney."

And what about Mr. Camping? His web site has gone dark. You don’t suppose…

In any case, I'm taking this as my new anthem regarding the future:

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