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An end-of-the-world experience

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webmaster | 12/21/12

As this is being written, it’s already Dec. 21, 2012, in London, England, and a quick check with The Associated Press reveals London has not disappeared or blown itself to smithereens. So much for the predictions of the Mayans and the hopes of those who for some reason look forward to Armageddon.

There was a time in my life when I thought Armageddon had arrived. I was a college freshman at the University of Missouri, and the end of the world had been predicted by a usually reliable source. Being a college freshman, I, along with my friends, knew everything. And we knew the world wasn’t going to end … or did we.

Just in case I might be wrong, I called Mom and Dad back in Idaho and told them I loved them, which must have been a surprise. Usually I only called when I needed money. Naturally, I didn’t mention the end of the world, because I didn’t want them to think they had sent their son to “that kind of college.”

Then, some friends and I decided to go to the roof of the dormitory and watch the world’s demise.

This was in late September, and along about 5 p.m. we noticed a big bank of low, black clouds forming in the distance and moving swiftly our way, as they are wont to do in the Midwest. We were sitting on some metal folding chairs we had brought from the social hall, and somebody, probably an electrical engineering major, happened to mention that metal conducts electricity.

At about that moment, the sky lit up with lightning, which was followed a few seconds later by a roar of thunder that sounded like a cannon blast.

We looked at one another. Then we saw more lightning, and more deafening thunder. That was followed by a cloudburst that had us all soaked by the time we made it back inside. We certainly had our fill of the end of the world.


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