11 August 2010

"It's the end of the world as we know it" --R.E.M.

I can't make this stuff up.

About a mile from our house, on a busy corner that I pass every day, stands a house. Originally, it was a small stone house and it was fine. Charming, even.

Then, the owners decided to build a house two to three times the size of the original house, right next to the original house, and attach the two. They didn't actually match the two houses in any way. Because attached to a small stone cottage, you want a great big, wood-sided, Aspen style, ski lodge of a house. Niiiiiice.

Grandma and Grandpa moved into the small stone portion of the... *insert Kathy Griffin suspicious look and tone here* ...family compound.

They cleared the front yard except for a half-dozen, four foot diameter boulders which they put on the corner. Different!

They made half of the front yard a driving pad. Whatever, right?

In the process of clearing the front yard, they left half a tree in the front, center. A four foot stump. Pretty!

To the four foot stump they attached a placard advertising a Christian radio station. I'll bet their neighbors were really loving them at this point.

Then, they put up chain link fencing... but not around the house. Not even up to the house. Not these people. They created a rectangular enclosure on the grass part of the front yard around the stump/sign post. It's maybe 20 feet by 10 feet. I imagined that maybe it was a space for a puppy. Nope, a chain link "play area" for their toddler. They moved molded plastic toys into the enclosure and placed them on wooden pallets instead of just on the grass. The kind of wooden pallets you'd expect to see on a loading dock. Fancy!

Then, they moved the Christian radio station sign from the stump out to the fence and affixed two more identical signs to other parts of the fence.

I try hard not to rank on people for poor taste because, lets face it, I've been known to wear quite a few regrettable outfits. But every time I drove by, I couldn't help but wonder, "Don't they care how their place looks?"

And, then, the other day, I got my answer. They don't care.

They now have an SUV parked on their driving pad, positioned for optimal viewing. It is painted/has a skin with depictions of skulls and fire and other Armageddon-like images. It also has the following printed in great big letters:

"The End of the World is Almost Here!"

Underneath that it says:

"Holy God will Bring Judgment Day on May 21, 2011"

Because we wouldn't want to wait all the way to 2012 for the end of the world, with those goofy Mayans, right?

Amazing, no? No wonder these people don't care how their house looks. End of the world? Higher priority.

Here's the kicker:
One of their other vehicles is an official Homeland Security vehicle. I kid you not. Isn't it comforting to know that the folks who are keeping us safe are of the belief that the world is coming to an end in 2011?!

I called Homeland Security to report it. I'm very Agnes Kravitz, that way.

They asked me why I was calling. I explained the two vehicles. They asked, again, why I was calling. I said I thought they might like to know that one of their employees believed the world was coming to an end and I was concerned said employee might do something strange (like, oh, I dunno, create a doomsday scenario themselves?) or at the very least they might require psychiatric evaluation. The call taker said they would look into it. I never heard back from them.

So, in the interest of blogging--I mean keeping America safe--I called Homeland Security back to find out what happened. They hedged. They gave me a website where I could submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and then they would provide information on the case. According to the website, by just submitting the request, I agree to pay as much as $25 for the information.

So, um, no.

Consider this your warning that we may have less than a year here. So, considering the short time we have: screw work. You may as well spend the rest of your time reading and commenting on blogs, right?

Questions du jour: What do people who think the world is going to end on a particular day do when that day comes and goes (hopefully) without incident? And--long shot here--should we be invited, what is the appropriate hostess gift for an "end of the world" party?


The Bug said...

Oh my sweet lord. I seem to be saying that a lot lately.

I don't know about everyone else, but if I knew the end of the world was coming I'd need a LOT of chocolate, so I think that would make a lovely hostess gift.

A while back I did a post on rapture pet care services. That's right - these are people who do NOT expect to be raptured who will take care of your pets when you're gone.

Liebchen said...

Frankly, I'm curious where they got the date from. I mean, May 21, 2011 is pretty specific. I'm sure they'll get even more interesting to watch when the date gets closer.

Kate said...

Sigh. The government seriously hires people like this and don't do psychiatric evaluations?

HKW said...

Wow. Just...wow. This house is in a serious need of Curb Appeal: The End of the World is Coming. And it doesn't seem like Freedom of Information if the fee is $25 - seems like a poll tax sort of a thing.

For the party I'd bring...Bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers?

AbbotOfUnreason said...

Am I the only one who thinks this post sort of demands pictures?

If I were a bank, say, I'd be pretty nervous about lending money to people who think the world will end next May.

froggy said...

End of the year party? Something HOT and BURNING since most of us are going to Hell anyway.

Oliveira said...

1) they are often found to be committing suicide, which I hope is not something your neighbours have planned in case something goes wrong and we aren't all dead already o_O

2) I am torn between something hot and burning as per Froggy's suggestion, or something very cold and vanilla along the line of ice cream with whipped cream and, hell, skin cream because we will need a lot of that in hell*

* mind you, I am one of those people who find heaven to be a painfully boring shithole, and hell with all the flames and horny devils to be waaaay more interesting, so I'll have some more chili thankyouverymuch

Mike said...

Pictures pictures pictures. And start planning an event for their special date. Fireworks at midnight?

Anonymous said...

no. effing. way! just no way. god i love people! by love i mean i hate them a lot too, but what endless entertainment. too bad you have to see all those blights on your neighborhood.

Bowie Mike said...

I was thinking "pictures" and "call their mortgage company," when I read Abbot's comment. Scary. Soon I will be placing little clay figures around the country.

NG said...

I lived in Sedona, AZ when the entire hippie population of the world came there to await the end of the world after the Harmonic Convergence in 1987. I'd like to say they were disappointed when the world didn't end and they all woke up the next day, but I'm pretty sure they were all too stoned to notice.

Mac and Cheese said...

As a child, I learned of Nostradamas' theory about the world ending in 1999 with the beginning of WW3. I remember thinking at the time, 'Well, I'll be 26, so I guess I will have already lived a fairly long life, so no biggie.'

Brutalism said...

Oh. My. God.

And of course they procreated.

Pretty optimistic for people who believe the world is ending next year.

suicide_blond said...

freaking homeland..all they did was open a file on YOU... ;-)

Pauline said...

I'm wondering too what they will do when the date comes and goes without (hopefully) incident.

Maybe they just spray paint some other random year on it.

Neighbours are fun aren't they? :P

Little Ms Blogger said...

Ya know, I'm completely devastated that you don't like what I've done with my new home.

I guess adding the couch and fridge won't change your mind.

Cyndy said...

I know some people live as if there's no tomorrow, but with so much time left I wonder what they'll do with themselves? It is indeed creepy that they are somehow associated with Homeland Security.

Alice said...

wow! that's.. uh... different.

please remind us of this post next may, and i vote we all camp out in front of their house on may 12th, with like beach chairs and snacks and everything, so we can see what they do / laugh at them.

lacochran's evil twin said...

The Bug: You give chocolate? No wonder I like you.

Liebchen: Right? I should knock on their door and ask about the time of day. Wouldn't want to miss it, after all.

Kate: It certainly makes *me* wonder.

HKW: I expect the FOIA charge is to minimize "nuisance" requests. Yeah, they saw me coming.

AbbotofUnreason, Mike: I had a picture in the post and took it out. I'm not sure why I draw the line there, but I do.

froggy, Oliveira: *cheerfully* See you there!!!

lustyreader: Way. I'm just glad they're not on my block.

Bowie Mike: *runs screaming* AGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

NG: What a beautiful place Sedona is. If I was going to harmonically converge, I'd want it to be there.

Mac and Cheese: Isn't it weird how 26 is ANCIENT when you're a child? I'd kill to have the bod of a 26 year old again.

Brutalism: I can hear it now... "Did you stop by the drugstore?" "No, what's the point..."

suicide_blond: Of course by your writing that, they opened a file on you, too.

Pauline: At least they haven't built an altar in their front yard. Yet.

Little Ms Blogger: The lime green Topsy Turvy tomato plant containers were a nice touch, too.

Cyndy: Rethink every choice they ever made?

Alice: Deal!

GreenCanary said...

May 21, 2011? Well THAT'S a relief! That means that I'll never have to see 33 and that I can stop worrying about my breasts sagging. They should be okay for another nine months.