Well, dear readers, Saturday came and went and, as far as I know, no one got raptured. The charlatan who promulgated this latest millenarian hoax, one Harold Camping, is reputed to have enriched himself to something on the order of $80 million USD from donations made to his religious outfit FamilyRadio.com. by the sadly deluded. People like Robert Fitzpatrick who spent his retirement savings of $140,000 helping to put up billboards advertising the coming Rapture.
The New York Daily News ran a story on Sunday that featured Fitzpatrick. "I don't understand why nothing has happened," a deflated Fitzpatrick said in Times Square just after 6 p.m. "I did what I had to do. I did what the Bible said. I obviously haven't understood it properly, because we're still here," added Fitzpatrick.
One of our local television stations, KTLA5, ran a story about a Palmdale woman who tried to kill her two daughters, aged 11 and 14 by slitting their throats, before trying to kill herself, all in order to avoid the May 21 "tribulation." The woman, Lyn Benedetto, is not your garden-variety loon: she was to all outward appearances an affluent, solidly middle-class person. But she still fell victim to the crazy.
I also read an account of someone in the Detroit area who killed his dog so it would not suffer when the Rapture happened. Left unanswered was the question of exactly what kind of loving Jesus would rapture a pet owner but leave the pets behind unattended.
So, while there was much levity to be had in the Rapture spectacle -- Alma and I went to a Rapture party at our local coffee house on Saturday night where we heard a great country singer named, appropriately enough, "J.C." (full name on the program was 'J.C. Hyke') -- there was also a lot of pathos.
The next Rapture is scheduled tentatively for December 21, 2012. Stay tuned. As for May 21, the photo below says it all: