It’s the end of the world as we know it

December 21, 2012—the big day, right?

Maybe. Maybe not. However, for the sake of my next questions, let’s pretend it is. If you knew you had two years until the world ceased to exist, what would you do?

Ground rules

Let’s lay some ground rules so we’re all playing the same game.

  1. It is a confirmed fact that the world (as we know it) will cease to exist on December 21, 2012.
  2. Everybody knows the final date, although some may not choose to believe it.
  3. Although most societal norms will also cease to exist with this knowledge, let’s stay within the bounds of the current legal system.
  4. Pets (especially anything other than dogs) are logistical nightmares, so we’ll leave them out.

Now, based on that – here’s what I would do in the next two years.

I’ll go first

Without entirely over thinking it, here are the five things I would do:

  1. Quit my job.
  2. Sell my worldly possessions and cash out (i.e, cash advance) any form of credit that I have.
  3. Travel to, and around, Europe.*
  4. Become a ladies man.
  5. Try anything and everything.

1. Quit my job

I’m willing to bet this will be everybody’s first answer. Sure, if you think of that outside of a worldly catastrophe then it can be scary and overwhelming. (How will I pay for everything?) But a looming catastrophe might change your attitude. Some people love their job, but most don’t.

Now here’s where this gets sticky. All right, so everybody just quit their job – how would anything function?

Want to grab that ridiculously caloric-packed burger you’re always dreaming about? Good luck with no workers. Want to stock up on food? Well, I hope you’re a great hunter-gatherer, or at least good at looting, because nobody will be working at the corner supermarket. Want to report those looters? I think you get the point.

Our only saving grace would be the people who don’t believe the confirmed ending date. And since these people don’t believe in science, and they are the only ones working, they effectively run the world. That’s scary.

Since that’s a huge logistical problem for this scenario, let’s just ignore it for now.

2. Sell my worldly possessions and cash out my credit

Who needs stuff when the world will be gone in two years? Not this guy. When I talk about selling everything, I mean everything.

I would keep a weeks worth of clothes, a personal tent, blanket/sleeping bag, and some form of personal protection (i.e., gun).

Now discussing this with Aaron, he made the good point that everybody would be selling their possessions, so most if would effectively be worthless. I’m willing to bet that somebody will want to hoard everything (maybe one of those non-believers), so while I may get a reduced price (what used item sells for full price anyway?), I would still be able to make some money.

Cashing out credit is a simple premise: the world is ending, so our hard-earned credit means nothing. Outrageous cash advance fee – oh well. Now this is skirting pretty close to rule three, but I would argue that it’s within bounds.

3. Travel to, and around, Europe

Why Europe? Well for one, I loved Germany and have every intention of going back there someday. Two, I want to see more of the world before it’s gone.

That cliché of college-graduates backpacking around Europe – yeah, that’s what I want to do with the last two years of my life. I want to see as much of Europe as humanly possible, migrating to different locations based on temperature and climate changes. I will become one migratory motherfucker, walking the Earth Kung Fu style.

And here is where the asterisk comes into play. I’ve already looked at some logistical roadblocks, so actually getting to Europe might be impossible. If this is the case, I would buy a cheap motorcycle to travel around the U.S.

4. Become a ladies man

Yes, I know what that makes me sound like – a complete douchebag. But the fact is I’m single, have no foresee-able relationship, and think this will further two more goals.

  1. Fun – hooking up with as many girls as possible sounds like it might be fun (although two years of living with STDs does not.)
  2. Finding the right girl – ideally being a “ladies man” would lead to a serious relationship; somebody I can spend the rest of time with (literally).

5. Try anything and everything

What’s the risk of trying something new when you have nothing to lose? Worst case scenario is that your short time is cut even shorter.


I’m not sold on the 2012 apocalypse, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued. Remember how that Y2K thing turned out?

There are huge logistical problems when you are thinking about a completely augmented reality. Nobody truly knows, but pretend you are watching Back to the Future and put logic aside.

I know there are truly catastrophic events going on in real world, most recently with Haiti. Believe me, I’m not trying to be insensitive, but a question I posed to a friend out of boredom really got me to think, what if?

Your turn

Now that you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the world will end – what five things would you do? I guess you could call this the ultimate Bucket List