If you haven't been following, this is the fourth and final post about my gullible, Mayan apocalypse-fearing, whiskey-guzzling friend, Dubs McClusky. If you want to understand this post I strongly suggest that you read the first three parts first. Parts one and two have been combined and can be found here. You can read part 3 here.
- - -
He was back, looking spiffier than I'd ever seen him. He had really cleaned up. None of his clothes had stains, and it looked as if he might have attempted to iron his shirt. He really wanted to look good for the last day of the world.
"Wow, Dubs," you really look good.
|Smoke on the steps of the cathedral in Chichicastenango, Guatemala are part of mystical Mayan magic.|
"Yeah, thanks. Well, I just thought I should... just in case... you know. It's the big day and we're still here, so I guess I got here in time. And you've got your camera. That's good." He looked around. "Where's Maria?"
"She's out, Dubs. She'll be back in a while."
"I hope she's not too late. I wanted to spend my last minutes with both of you, you know."
"She shouldn't be too long, Dubs." The truth is that I had told her of my elaborate plan to make the end of the world really exciting for Dubs, and she wanted to have nothing to do with it. She told me she would be back after my cruel joke was over.
A couple of days earlier, I had talked with my buddy, Rob Coleman, the news director and well-known anchorman at one of the local television stations. We had gone to college together in the radio and tv program, and both of us had worked together at the same station for awhile. He agreed to help me produce a newscast just for Dubs, which we would record immediately after the 10 p.m. news on Wednesday night and play for Dubs on the world's last day, as if were happening live. I had written the script for Rob, and also produced some graphics for the video production. Rob even agreed to send a news truck to my house at just the right time if it wasn't too busy of a news day.
"Well, Dubs, it's a little early to be drinking, but this might be the end of the world, so why don't you go to the bar and get that last bottle of 18 year old Scotch, and we can drink against the end of the world again."
"Okay," he said.
"And I think the local TV station is supposed to be doing coverage of the end of the world. I'll turn it on and see if anything is happening."
"Okay," he said, as he started to the bar.
As he was gone, I turned on the TV and inserted the DVD that I had recorded. I turned the sound on the TV loud and clicked play just as Dub appeared at the doorway with two big tumblers of whiskey.
Rob Coleman was at the anchor desk, looking just like he does every weekday night at ten. Now, though, his face seemed filled with worry. "...and this really does seem to be the end of the world, just as the Mayas predicted," his voice echoed over my surround sound speakers. "Cities across the world seem just to be disintegrating..."
"Noooo..." screamed Dubs.
"Tokyo, Rome, London, now gone," intoned the newsman, somberly. "Other places across the globe crumbling...." He then paused for a second as if something even bigger had happened. " I don't know if our viewers are feeling this," he said, "but here in the studio, we're feeling a shaking, sort of like you might feel with an earthquake..."
At that moment, I quietly hit a foot pedal switch that controlled a small electric motor I had put under the sofa. I had placed an off-center flywheel on the motor and attached it to a leg of the sofa, so vibrations would be carried to the seats.
"This is it," screamed Dubs. "This is it!"
The news anchor continued, "We're told that a mysterious crystal skull in Guatemala, Central America, has been speaking in Spanish to news people there and said that the end of the world could have been avoided by a simple sincere toast against the end of the world. And we're told that the one man in the world who could have made that toast lives right here in our own hometown.... Okay, this just in Paris, France, now gone along with Moscow, Berlin, and Geneva.
|A museum curator holds the mysterious Crystal Skull.|
I hit the foot pedal again, and the sofa moved again.
"Those vibrations in the studio getting stronger now," said Rob Coleman. "As I way saying earlier, I seems that a local man named Doobes McCloosky may be responsible for the end of the world. We have a remote truck out now to interview Mr. McCloosky if we can find him in time, to get his side of the story."
"Noooo... nooooo...nooooo," Dubs was in tears. "Against the end of the world," he yelled and took a gulp of whiskey. "A most sincere toast," he screamed, "against the end of the world."
Just then there was a knock at my door. I got up to answer it.
At the door stood newswoman Sandra Boskey, and a man with a TV camera on his shoulder. The light on top of the camera was bright in my face.
Sandra Boskey with Action Witness News she yelled while holding out a microphone.
I moved aside and let her in.
"Are you Doobes McCloosky?" she asked.
"No, he is," I pointed.
Dubs was in a panic, just screaming, "Against the end of the world." He would then take another drink, the repeat the process.
Rob Coleman continued speaking on TV. "Apparently the skull is saying that there's still time for the end of the world to be averted --- yes, this sounds wild --- but that one sincere toast against the end of the world by this Mr. McCloosky would create a time warp, and none of this would have ever happened...."
"Put down the camera, put down the the microphone," Dubs insisted. "I promise, I'll give you an interview, but first we're all going to toast against the end of the world." He quickly filled two more glasses and handed them to the news crew.
Dubs was calm now. "Gather 'round," he said, "everyone sips when I do, Raise your glasses and repeat after me"....
"Probably not long left now," said the anchorman.
With all the glasses raised, Dubs said, "to the skull, and most sincerely against the end of the world."
Everyone took a sip as Dubs gulped down a big measure.
Apparently I had timed everything well. The TV screen went blank with static for a moment. Then Rob Coleman was back, looking cheerful and relaxed. "It appears the Mayan apocalypse is just another doomsday story," said the anchorman. We'll all be telling our children about waiting for the end of the world on a day that turned out to be like any other day...."
"Well, thanks for inviting us in for a whiskey," said Sandra Boskey, "but I can't really remember why we're here."
"Funny, me neither," said the news cameraman. "And thanks for the drink, but we probably shouldn't be drinking while on the job."
"It worked," Dubs said in disbelief. "I saved the world. I saved the world with a sincere toast to the skull."
"What are you talking about, Dubs?" I asked. "I mean you didn't really think the end of the world was here did you.?"
"Huh?," he said, "you don't remember, either... And Paris, and Rome and London are all still there?"
I switched off the TV because it was reaching the end of the production. "What do you mean, Dubs? Why wouldn't they still be there?"
Just then my wife came back in the door.
"I saved the world, Maria. I really did! I really did!" Dubs looked intently at her.
Maria looked at me and said, "You're mean!" She then walked away.
" Why's she upset?" asked Dubs. He then smiled. "Take a picture of me Tom," he said. "I'm the only one who will know why, but we have to document this moment."
I lifted my camera and photographed Dubs standing proudly with the glass of Scotch in hand, as if he were making a most sincere toast.
You can view my website at: tombellart.com.