End of the World Reports
When the end of the world arrives how will the media report it?
- USA Today: WE'RE DEAD
- The Wall Street Journal: DOW JONES PLUMMETS AS WORLD ENDS
- National Enquirer: O.J. AND NICOLE, TOGETHER AGAIN
- Playboy: GIRLS OF THE APOCALYPSE
- Microsoft Systems Journal: APPLE LOSES MARKET SHARE
- Victoria's Secret Catalog: OUR FINAL SALE
- Sports Illustrated: GAME OVER
- Wired: THE LAST NEW THING
- Rolling Stone: THE GRATEFUL DEAD REUNION TOUR
- Readers Digest: 'BYE
- Discover Magazine: HOW WILL THE EXTINCTION OF ALL LIFE AS WE KNOW IT AFFECT THE WAY WE VIEW THE COSMOS?
- TV Guide: DEATH AND DAMNATION: NIELSON RATINGS SOAR!
- Lady's Home Journal: LOSE 10 LBS BY JUDGEMENT DAY WITH OUR NEW "ARMAGEDDON" DIET!
- America Online: SYSTEM TEMPORARILY DOWN. TRY CALLING BACK IN 15 MINUTES.
- Inc. magazine: TEN WAYS YOU CAN PROFIT FROM THE APOCALYPSE
- Microsoft's Web Site: IF YOU DIDN'T EXPERIENCE THE RAPTURE,DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE PATCH RAPT777.EXE
Headline In The Paper
Headline: A hole has appeared in the ladies changing rooms at the sports club. Police are looking into it.
Signs and Notices 13
These are supposedly actual signs that have appeared at various locations.
- In a Hong Kong supermarket: "For your convenience, we recommend courteous, efficient self-service."
- At fast-food place: "PARKING FOR DRIVE-THRU CUSTOMERS ONLY!"
- Outside a Hong Kong tailor shop: "Ladies may have a fit upstairs."
- In a Rhodes tailor shop: "Order your summer suit. Because in big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation."
- From the Soviet Weekly: "There will be a Moscow Exhibition of Arts by 15,000 Soviet Republic painters and sculptors. These were executed over the past two years."
- In an East African newspaper: "A new swimming pool is rapidly taking shape since the contractors have thrown in the bulk of their workers."
- In a Vienna hotel: "In case of fire, do your utmost to alarm the hotel porter."
- In an advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist: "Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists."
Sodom Village Gone
The following is supposedly a true story. To be included, besides being true, the story is most likely strange, weird, surprising, or funny.
February 1, 1993: The Associated Press reported that the village of Sodom, Conn., disappeared, like its biblical namesake. Though it appears on maps, the AP writer interviewed residents of Sodom Road and the Sodom Corner intersection, both hallmarks of the village of Sodom, and discovered that everyone claims now to live in North Canaan.
Chocolate is God's way of reminding men how inadequate they are. I am vividly confronted with this fact every time my wife and I go out to a restaurant. When it gets to dessert, my wife usually orders the most chocolate-saturated dessert possible. It's the one called "Unstoppable Double-Fudge Chocolate Mudslide Explosion" or some such thing. I always wonder why anyone would want to eat anything that promises a catastrophic natural disaster in your mouth. The dark brown monstrosity arrives at the table, and my wife takes the first bite. Before the fork is even removed from her mouth, a small moan escapes her lips. Her eyes, previously perfectly aligned, first cross slightly and then faze completely, pupils dilating in pure chocolate pleasure before the eyelids clamp down in ecstasy. The hand not holding the fork clenches into a fist and starts pounding the table. The silverware rattles. After about six minutes of this, she finally manages to swallow the bite, realign her eyes, and take the next shuttle back from whatever transcendental plane she's been visiting. Slowly, her sphere of consciousness expands to include me, her husband, her life-long mate, her presumed partner in all things ecstatic. "Hey, this is pretty good," she'll say. "You want some?" No, I don't. I want nothing to do with an object that does to my wife in one bite what I've worked for an entire relationship to achieve. It wouldn't do any good, anyway. Men just don't have the same relationship with chocolate that women do. It's not even close. I wandered around the office today and asked men -- "Chocolate. Your thoughts?" -- and the result was always the same. First, a confused look as to why they're being asked about something so trivial, and then some lame, obvious statement: "Uh...it's brown?" Ask women the same question, and you get responses like "The ONLY food group," "ESSENTIAL to life as we know it," and the ultimate casual swipe at every member of the Y-chromosome brigade, "better than sex." Ouch. Some women will try to make up for that last one by quickly adding that chocolate is supposed to be an aphrodisiac. Uh-huh. Chocolate certainly increases desire; problem is the desire is usually for more chocolate. The best a guy can do is buy a box of chocolates and hope he'll be considered somewhere between the cherry truffle and the strawberry nougat. Don't get me wrong. Guys like chocolate just fine; it's just not essential to life as we know it. Respiration is essential to life as we know it; chocolate is simply one of those nice little bonuses you get. We won't usually pass it up if it's offered, but I don't know too many guys who would get substantially worked up if it were to suddenly disappear from the face of the earth (ironic in a way, as back in the days of the Aztecs, only men were allowed to have the stuff). When I eat a chocolate dessert, I enjoy it, yes. My world view doesn't narrow to include only the plate that it's on. Maybe we're missing something. On the other hand, we don't have to pick up our silverware from the floor after we're done with our tiramisu. Life is about trade-offs like that. All I know is that come Valentine's Day, chocolate will be among the things I offer my wife. I can't truly appreciate it, but I can truly appreciate what it does for her. Which is close enough.
copyright(c) John Scalzi John Scalzi is a columnist and humorist living in Virginia. For more columns and essays, visit his website: www.scalzi.com