Somewhere in the Dominican Republic, Jordi anxiously hauls sandbags onto the side of a road. Meanwhile, Cora panics amidst the traffic as she attempts to evacuate Manhattan by car. In another hemisphere, Akbar hurries to take shelter in his home in Karachi, Pakistan, as Jack buckles the seatbelt and ducks on his flight to China. It’s Dec. 21, 2012. And it is real. Suddenly, the Dominican Republic goes underwater, and Jordi’s frail body is washed into the Caribbean. Cora looks out the window, just in time to see a massive tsunami pummel New York. The ground splits underneath Akbar’s home in a violent earthquake, and he falls into an endless crevice. Jack screams and watches the destruction below his flight — but suddenly, a meteor falls from the sky and strikes his plane. But wait! It’s actu- ally Dec. 7 — the beginning of the WEEKEND. You have two weeks to prepare, and two weeks to anticipate your ending. How will you survive? How will you perish? WEEKEND investigates.
As we know it
// BY CINDY OK
It was the end of the world. When my parents went to New York one weekend 15 years ago and forgot to tell my sister and me. When my second-grade best friend Emily’s family moved away and we didn’t stay in touch. When I came to college, leaving the place — and all the people — I loved most. In each of those moments, I thought to myself. with childlike earnestness, everything has changed — everything.
And in some ways, everything did change, because it wasn’t just that it felt like the end of the world, it was the end of A World. But those were different worlds than my world today, weren’t they? And my world that I call “the world” today will end — maybe when I move back to California, maybe on Dec. 21, maybe before this goes to print.
Some of my favorite people in the world are graduating this spring, and you should know that it really is the end of the world. Everything will change, because everything can’t stop changing.
The world is always ending, and our hearts are always breaking, but we separate the zombie movies and the Oakland evangelicals’ predictions, and we go on. We get out of bed, we feed the cats in our backyards, we laugh till we almost vomit with the people we love and stop and chat with people we have to tolerate. Because those things are part of what it means to be one of the living, and we’re one of the living as long as we continue to be.
I know that’s a tautology, but are you really about to judge me on the strength of my reasoning at this very moment when we both know that the world is about to end?
And I feel fine
// BY AARON GERTLER
“12/21/12 survival tips?” Bah! If almost everyone’s dead and the world is covered in water/blood/zombies/killer bees/fire/ice/Britney Spears backup dancers, what’s the point of surviving? The real killer app for the apocalypse is ensuring one’s place in the world to come. Each of these tips you remember will increase your chance of a happy afterlife by 33 percent. The other 1 percent involves you being part of the 1 percent, in which case you’re reading this on an escaping space shuttle and chuckling to yourself.
1) If the afterlife is real: There are way too many gods for you to please many of them in the scant weeks remaining, but material trickery is much easier to plan for. When the looting begins, find a costume shop and grab a monk’s robe, a nun’s habit, a Sufi turban, a kippah, a toga and Groucho Marx glasses in case you get to an underworld you don’t recognize. With the right disguise, and given the billions of souls they’ll have to process, you should slip on by to heaven/paradise/Valhalla/whatever.
2) If karma is real: You’ll want to be reborn as a life-form that thrives in the post-oblivion world. I suggest great white shark or honey badger, depending on whether there’s any dry land around. Either way, that’s just a step below human, so commit a minor sin within the next two weeks. Which sin is up to you, but I’m partial to lust and gluttony.
3) If aliens are real: bone up on your math and mime skills. You’ll have to impress them enough to seem worthy of rescue; linguistic babble and/or your political science term paper won’t cut it.
Personally, I plan to mix things up by sneaking onto the space shuttle in Groucho Marx glasses. We all just need to do what comes naturally.
Lama Wilds gets s000 schwasty
// BY WILL ADAMS
I don’t know about you, but I want the apocalypse to be something I REMEMBER. We get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of preparing for the end of the world — everyone’s milling about, all, “Of COURSE I’m stealing this king-size bag of Sour Skittles and a copy of ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ on Blu-ray because ‘HELLO the WORLD IS ENDING’” and, “What if Karmin doesn’t release another Gucci Mane cover before then, OH NO!” If we don’t take the time to step back and take a breather, we’re not going to remember the important stuff.
That’s why I’m hosting a celebration where we dedicate our last few days to treasuring these moments for posterity! It’ll be at my swanky apartment in Chicago; everyone’s free to come! I’ll set up a fun photo booth so we can take pictures, we can write letters to ourselves in the future, and — this is the best part — we’ll make a time capsule and bury it in Lincoln Park, so 15 years later we can dig it up and see just how much we’ve changed!
So it’d be really awesome if you came. I understand that people are really busy leading up to The Day, so I’ve decided to schedule the party afterwards, on Dec. 22. It’s kinda cheeky, right? Can’t wait!
Will’s “Remember December Forever Bash!”
9 p.m. on Dec. 22, 2012
Will’s Super Cool Chicago Pad
Chicago, Ill. (duh)
RSVP at email@example.com
Knee pains > World pains
// BY LARA SOKOLOFF
During the last alleged apocalypse, I was in my bed. I was supposed to have arrived at school by 9 a.m. for a club event. At 11 a.m., I rolled over to find multiple missed calls and text messages inquiring after my whereabouts. I had slept through my alarm — happens to the best of us. Most of the text messages and voice mails either directly or indirectly alluded to the apocalypse and how I had somehow managed to be its only victim.
And for this alleged apocalypse, I again expect to find myself in my bed. But unlike last time, I won’t be sleeping through alarms and rolling over to fan mail on my current location. I’ll be recovering from knee surgery.
Backstory: two weeks into freshman year, I tore my ACL. I decided to try out for the girls’ club soccer team the night before tryouts. Having not touched a soccer ball for two years, I knew my chances of making the team were slim, but I saw almost no possible pitfalls. Worst-case scenario, I wouldn’t make the team, and I would be exactly where I had been had I not tried out at all. Fast forward to day three of tryouts and picture me posted in my bed, my knee swollen to double its size with an ice pack on top of it to somewhat mitigate the situation.
So what am I doing to prepare for the apocalypse? I’ll be going extra-hard at my biweekly physical therapy sessions with my physical therapist, Nick.
Me and Jose by the meteors
// BY CHLOE DRIMAL
Dec. 21st: my 22nd birthday. I’ll be drinking margaritas in Mexico with those closest to me — my family and a man named Jose. Even the end of the world can turn into a party. Guess the Mayans meant for me to die at 21.
Sex = Death
// BY MILA HURSEY
In season 3 of the “The Walking Dead,” Lori dies from childbirth. Duh. People have babies when they have sex, and lots of women die from it. There are only two solutions to this problem when you’re about to enter an apocalyptic scenario: Have some foresight by taking control of all the contraceptives and OB-GYNs. You will be rich because you can grow food. You can’t grow condoms. Alternatively, you can bump ‘n grind willy nilly and have babies cut out of you. Good luck with that.