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Predicting's just a world of trouble

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

By the time you read this article, you will probably only have a day or two left to live. Or at least, that's the prognosis according to Harold Camping, a preacher and founder of the Family Radio. You may have seen signs staked in the median of the four-lanes or at stop lights, saying that Judgment Day is coming May 21st.

Yes, that's May 21, 2011.

I think the signs have been placed illegally but I guess if you know the end of the world is coming May 21st, you don't worry too much about being summoned to court for such a transgression.

Reverend Camping is the head of a California-based Christian radio network called Family Radio. He says the world will end with a series of earthquakes, which will occur at sunset on May 21st. Wow. I have a hard time predicting what I'll be doing this weekend and he's not only predicted the date, but virtually the exact time this calamity will occur.

I guess I should be somewhat concerned about the end of the world coming. But my fear is somewhat tempered by the fact that he also predicted the world would end in September of 1994. Apparently, back in 1994 he did not have the expertise necessary to predict the end of the world with certainty of date and time, but he did have a month and year. So far, he's been off at least 17 years on that prediction.

I don't know about anyone else, but I have a hard time following an end of the world predictor who has already missed on at least one previous occasion. I mean, I might give you a by if you're predicting who will win the World Series next year and then you miss. The next year if you make a prediction, I might still give it at least some thought. But if you're predicting the end of the world, as far as I am concerned, you damn well better get it right the first time or me and you don't have much to talk about from here on out.

Reverend Camping says he made the earlier mistake because his complex mathematical formula which is derived from scriptures was incorrectly computed. I guess since 1994 he has converted a few more accountants, or statisticians, so that he is now more accurate.

Just imagine if I was a follower of Reverend Camping. If I knew I only had a few days left to live, I'd do a lot of things, but one thing I'd do for sure is let a few people who deserve it how I really feel. I can see it now.

May 20, 2011, I call Judge Hardtail.

"Judge Hardtail, this is T. Gamble. I need to have a discussion with you."

"Go ahead, Mr. Gamble, what do you have on your mind?" says Judge Hardtail.

"Well, I just wanted you to know that the correspondence law school you graduated from couldn't educate Einstein and Junior Samples would have graduated magna cum laude from it. You've got the legal reasoning power of a dim 40-watt bulb and the personality of a brown paper bag. I'll come to your funeral just to watch them screw you in the ground. I have met many great legal minds in my career, but you ain't one of them. By the way, your wife looks like a baked potato with marshmallows glued on for legs and arms. Have a great day."

May 21, 2011. "Sheryl, it's just about sunset. Did I feel the house shaking?"

"No, honey, I didn't feel a thing."

"Are you sure that the plates didn't rattle a little?"

"Nope not a thing."

May 22, 2011. "Judge Hardtail, this is T. Gamble, I need to ..." buzz!

"Judge, T. Gamble again, I just wanted you to know I was off my medication the other day and really don't even remember calling. Huh? You've already ruled on the Jones case, you say? I lost, and I better get used to it, you say?"

Oh well, I better stay away from the end-of-the-world predictions, I've got enough problems without worrying about such things.

Contact columnist T. Gamble at t@colliergamble.com.