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End of Year Predictions

Author: Bill Barnett. Category: News Column - Phuket Gazette. Posted: 29th Dec 2012

I am without a doubt a derelict dad. Just call me DD for short.

No, it's not a matter of child abuse, beating my two small daughters or locking them up in a car with the windows rolled up in the parking lot of Central Festival.

Perhaps the latter is more appropriate for dogs, though my wife continues to be convinced that I spend an inordinate amount of time with our three dogs. Let's face it, dogs are much less complicated than people, but lets move on before I get myself in even more trouble (as if that were possible).

It's all about Friday night and my love of the television show Survivor. Come 8pm I try to give my undivided attention, for just an hour, to what has become a year in and year out passion.

Just hearing those words "the tribe has spoken" wakes me up from mundane channel surfing on cable television. Aged three and six the two girls are growing and, unlike years past, you can't rely on tucking them in and being ready on alert in advance of the magic hour. Poised and ready with remote in hand.

So whether they like it or not, I accelerate any reading activities and goodnight kisses, put them in bed, turn off the lights and make a run for it while my wife is still in the shower. If they resist, I resort to any tactics necessary. These range from bribery: ice cream in bed; candy; pulling out the iPad, or just handing them their own TV remote and saying I'll be back.

I have no intention of returning.

For the next 60 minutes that is.

As our world turns another cycle and 2013 is upon is, we also need to reflect on the possible end of the world. According to the Mayan calendar, this happens at the end of 2012.

Truthfully I often get the Mayans and the Incas confused.

Which ones invented football? Which ones chopped the heads off of bad dads at the top of pyramids? Tribal life in the old days certainly was harder than playing for a million dollars and all those great challenges, where the winners get giant cookies and hot chocolate.

It's altogether possible that by the time this comes out in print, every last human being on Earth will be proverbial toast. I'm not quite clear on the rules of the impending Apocalypse. Do we all die at midnight? What about time zones, or the dateline? Or leap years? Has that been factored in? Does a giant buzzer go off? Or like football games, is there a few minutes left on Earth of extra time? So many questions about doomsday, and not very much clarity. Quick answers just seem elusive on Google, Wikipedia and I'm still waiting for my Mayan friend request on Facebook to be accepted. Maybe I'll log on to one of those Craigslist discussion boards or even the ThaiVisa Forum. Hearing from insomniacs in Pattaya might bring some much needed insight.

And yes I do realize that the end of the world has indeed come.

That season's final Survivor episode and that special one-hour reunion show have exited stage right. That's about as late as I stay up these days. With the kids it's hard to recall the last time I even made it the duration on New Year's Eve.

Sitting alone in my dark living room, the television has gone silent. Even the sound of sleeping dogs can't break the spell. Which brings up another end of the world question - do only humans die as the world ends? What about pets? I might be caught up in a confused state of Christianity, though I'm not sure what religion the Mayans were.

Word on the net has it that they were Mormons, but that's just hearsay.

A bit of Mitt Romney bashing never hurt anyone.

Barring the total evaporation of our kindly planet, I intend to make it through to another season of Survivor. Yes, there will be high and dry days ahead but soon enough, the tribe will be back again. Heads will roll, hearts broken and sinister schemes launched. Gotta love that.

As for the Mayans, well, it seems they just didn't have staying power and after all, when was the last time you said: "let's eat out and have Mayan tonight"?

I rest my case.

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