Believing Saturday could be their last day on earth has put a lot of pressure on people who are trying to figure out how to spend it. For Patti Rowlson and her 19-year-old daughter Kelsey, the big question is what to wear.
The Rowlson family has responded to evangelical preacher Harold Camping's prediction that the end of the world is set for May 21 by having an "end of the world party" in their home town of Everson, Wash.
"We think that if the world is going to end we want to be hanging out and celebrating with friends," Rowlson told AOL Weird News.
Guests have been asked to bring canned goods as emergency rations -- just in case the world does actually start to fall apart.
"If all goes well we will donate the rations to our local food bank," she promised.
Rowlson says death by chocolate is her preferred choice of leaving the earthly plane -- not alien invaders or natural disasters -- so there will be ample helpings among the provisions.
In keeping with the party's theme, Rowlson will offer prizes to guests who wear the best outfit to be buried in. Her daughter is a bit flummoxed by the options, she said, even though it was her idea.
"She's torn between pajamas or sweatpants or getting all dolled up," Rowlson said.
What Do You Wear To A Rapture?
Meanwhile, Jean Miskimon in Baltimore, Md., says clothing preparations are also important to her 18-year-old son.
"He wants to take a pile of clothes that no longer fit and leave sets of clothing about town on Saturday so it looks like people have been taken up to heaven," she said. "I told him he'd have to include underwear, so it looks real and that, although it would be funny, don't do it."
"We donate our used clothing to Goodwill," she added. "While I couldn't condone the idea, I thought it was clever."
What Should Your Last Drink Be?
The prospect of the end of the world has Glyn Caddell pondering some serious questions -- such as what to drink.
Caddell, who runs a tutoring business in New York City, signed up for the "Crawl for Cancer," a bar crawl that aims to to support lifesaving research and those affected by cancer.
"We didn't plan it especially for 'Doomsday,'" he admitted. "But if it is the end of the world, cancer wouldn't be much of a problem any more."
Still, if he is going to go out, he'd like his last alcoholic beverage to be special.
"I think I'd like a pina colada," he said. "I don't always drink them, but they're relaxing."
When The World Ends, Everyone Gets A Five-Fingered Discount
While some think of May 21, 2011, as "Doomsday," Ben Conner, who does IT for a financial company in Tempe, Ariz., hopes to refer to it by a different name: "Christmas for Adults."
Conner is one of the creators of "Post Rapture Looting," a Facebook event that more than 317,000 people have agreed to attend.
"I came up with the idea last month," Conner said. "I heard the rapture was set for May 21 and I thought, 'So soon?' I thought it was incredible that something like this could happen and nobody is paying attention."
Alas for Conner, even though he created the event, he may not benefit as much as other participants.
"I live near a bunch of college kids," he griped. "Chances are, they're sticking around. On the other hand, there's a block of Mormons over in Mesa, they may have more stuff to loot."
Assuming the rapture happens, Conner says there should be plenty for the taking. Still, he is touched by how humble some potential looters have been.
"One woman told me, 'I just want a car that runs and isn't rusted,'" he said.
Although looting has been a major problem after other disasters -- and it's safe to assume the world's end would qualify as a disaster -- Conner expects the clamoring hordes to be well-behaved this time around.
"We're not taking from each other," he said, adding that some etiquette does apply to the situation.
"You really should help the older people by offering to throw their brick through windows for them and the atheists should take care of the pets," he said.
People Still Need Chicken -- Even In A Post-Apocalyptic World
Some people are taking a more pragmatic approach to pillaging, like John Widgett Robinson.
Currently, he's a webmaster and editor of NeedCoffee.com, a pop culture website, but, if the rapture goes off without a hitch, come Monday, he'll be the owner of every Chick-Fil-A franchise around Atlanta.
"A guy named Wes M. laid claim to the Chick-Fil-A restaurants in Chicago and I thought that was brilliant so I laid claim to the ones in Atlanta," he said.
Then he got generous and created a Facebook page giving others the chance to take over their local chains come Armageddon.
"It's going to be a post-apocalyptic world -- people gotta eat!" he said. "The rapture comes on May 21, but, as I understand the Bible, there will be another five months until the world ends on October 21 and somebody has to supply the chicken."
A Chick-Fil-A representative declined to comment on Robinson's post-rapture entrepreneurial zeal.
'Rocky! Watch Me Pull Armageddon Out Of My Hat' 'Ah, That Trick Never Works!'
Although Harold Camping's prediction has focused attention on the end times, serious doomsday purveyors such as Peter Kling, who claims he is the premier expert on Armageddon and prophecy, says there's nothing in the Bible that suggests Camping's claim of doomsday is credible.
"It's the equivalent of Bullwinkle saying, 'Rocky! Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat," he said.
It's not that Kling doesn't think the world as we know it is going to end, but that more stuff needs to happen first.
"Only 50 percent of the Biblical prophecies have come true," he said. "In order for the end of the world to happen, we need a one-world government -- and the only way that will happen is if there's a natural disaster."
Good to know.
"Still," he added, "Japan has had more than 1200 earthquakes registering at least 4.0 on the Richter Scale since March. You know, if Japan slides into the sea, the resulting tsunami would wipe out the west coast of the U.S."
No plans for doomsday? Don't worry. Even if this one world ending doesn't work out, you still have 18 months to prepare for the next one on the calendar: Dec. 21, 2012.
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