Preparations are now underway for all things to end at 6:11 am EST on Friday, when 2012 actually happens.
Despite a number of recent setbacks, The End of the World was proceeding on schedule for Dec. 21, according to a long-standing plan previously known only to astrologers and people who ate a lot of mushrooms.
The original proposal was set in motion 1,871,995 days ago by a tiny cabal of shaggy-haired coca-chewing aborigines with mathematical skills eminently superior to other local savages and all future civilizations.
"Man, those guys could count," said the late Terence McKenna, who first turned the world onto 12/21/12 in his 1974 book The Invisible Landscape, speaking via a CD left in a time capsule for this moment, which was recently dug up next to his old apartment in Hawaii.
"By the way, this whole thing was a joke. We actually put that writing on the stairs at Chichen Itza," he said in the recording.
Corporations Prepare for the Worst
Despite this fact, as of press time, sources confirmed that the world was still Ending. Companies were proceeding with their preparations. Walt Disney Productions on Friday filed 70,456 lawsuits against U.S. and international media, claiming copyright infringement in all uses of the phrase, "The End of the World," and various derivatives, such as "World Ending," "It's Over," and "Oh, Well."
Monsanto filed a variety of patents for oxygen, nitrogen and hemoglobin, so it could sue any potential future survivors for breathing.
Speculation that The End might be preempted by global enlightenment, the New Age or a merger with the 5th dimension has turned out to be premature.
The End will come as a relief to everyone who is in debt, regrets how apathetic they've been for so long, or who is envious of anyone young and successful. Those struggling to start a diet or quit smoking can finally relax. If you received a broken speedometer ticket recently, there's no need to sign and return it.
Allstate, Prudential and Mutual of Omaha are engaged in a vicious price war, offering massive discounts on life insurance premiums. In a tsunami of insider trading, stock exchanges are flooded with investors selling short in the three-day SEC deadline before The End.
The Vatican issued a Papal Bull, the "Dispensatio Pro Continens Usum in Ultima XLVIII Horas, Sicut Finis," which granted dispensation for condom use in the final 48 hours, as The End would preclude the mortal sin of preventing conception. Oral sex will also be permitted for Catholics, under the decree, though theologists at major universities were debating whether this included to orgasm, or not.
The Steroid League, a secret organization operating behind the scenes of Major League Baseball, said that it would play its first and only sudden-death World Series on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. Tickets sold out in 45 minutes.
And at press time, Lance Armstrong was riding the Tour de France route on a unicycle, aided by the top-secret performance-enhancing drug that he hoped would be named for him.
As the big moment approached, Republicans were working hard to disrupt plans for The End. A visibly distraught House Speaker John Boehner said Friday that he was deeply saddened that a Democrat would be in office for The End. He sobbed poignantly as his tears flowed freely, causing a momentary short circuit in the podium's electronics.
"This is our side's issue," he said, as the speakers crackled and the lights flickered. "We've worked for a generation to bring on The End, and we're not going to allow Pres. Obama to get all the credit."
Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, threatened to filibuster The End, or at least put it on hold. He said he and his colleagues would read out loud from Zombie Apocalypse parts 1-41 rather than the traditional use of the Manhattan telephone book.
"They say they've been trying to save the planet all this time," McConnell added. "Now they want it all To End. It was our idea, but I'm against it."
The Republican conference hastily put together a bill to delay The End until at least Jan. 21, 2017, when Obama would be out of office. But some said it would take more time to plan. "The world is large," the Sierra Club said in a statement. "This will take many more years."
Tea Party members objected to the expenses involved, funds which would have to be borrowed from China or Cuba. "It's cost trillions to cause the apocalypse, and it's going to cost more to clean up from it," said Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, who is not really in the Tea Party, but pretends. "We already have a spending problem."
Democrats accused them of kicking the can down the road. "There's no further to kick it," said Bernie Sanders, who is actually a Socialist. "This time it's going to go right off the edge."
Texas last week ran out of lethal injection drugs, and resorted to axes and machetes in its race to execute its entire roster of death row inmates before The End does it for them.
Meanwhile, survival websites were trending vigorously on Twitter.Prepper News ranked the highest, getting more than a million hits a day, featuring instructions for how to make a homemade rabbit trap at #catchbunny.
"People think there will be hamburger at the store forever," said Melissa Suculent, the website's editor. "I have bad news for them. They're going to need Bunny Helper."
Meanwhile, Preppers were trading tuna fish recipes in record volume, getting ready for the inevitable -- that they would get sick living on the stuff after a week. "Wv bn Prpng fr yrs. Bg momnt arvng," twted one. But one commenter to the site asked, "If it's The End, why prepare for it?"
Walmarts across the country were selling out of Minute Rice, diapers and batteries, and were peppered with the sound of gunfire in the aisles as customers competed for merchandise. Radio Shack's national headquarters said that every store was out of walkie-talkies, and that customers were even buying Morse code keys, and asking how to type S-O-S.
Debate Rages On
Continuing the tradition of debate associated with 2012, a diversity of intellectuals continued to bang their heads against one another.
Over the weekend, expert panels debated how The End might arrive. At the Javits Center in Manhattan, one group of professors, moderated by John Major Jenkins, pondered whether The End would come in dribs and drabs, or all at once.
One panelist said that the world could not possibly end Friday, because there is not enough time, though others argued that we would have assistance from space aliens with advanced destructive capabilities, just like we did on Sept. 11.
In the main hall of the massive convention center, about 1,000 participants gathered for the world's largest ever ayahuasca binge, determined to finally figure out what 2012 really means. The event, which is still in progress, is being hosted by Daniel Pinchbeck and assisted by the Bulimia Society of Manhattan. Pinchbeck said he would drink a gallon of the medicine, and "hopefully come back with some useful information."
Willow of Web of Weeping Willow Astrology issued a statement in sky writing earlier this morning, which read, "This is all a crock of New Age bullshit." Sadly, it was not visible against the swarms of chemtrails crisscrossing the sky. But ascension expert David Wilcock countered that argument, saying on his podcast last night, "I told you something was happening. I knew it! Something really is happening! It really is!"
CNET, the high-tech site, was advising its users to print out their whole disk drive, in case The End arrives in the form of electromagnetic pulse from an air-burst nuclear weapon, solar flares which disrupt the power grid, or your laptop croaking.
"At least you will have a paper backup, if your disk drive is erased by the magnetic waves," the editors said.
Other pundits were more cryptic. "It is written in the book of NorQuest: After MyEnd Elders run the Buffaloed Buffalo-Soldier-haired Obama over cliff, then Chief BackTonO'Cash will emerge from Goldmen's Sacks, beginning a New Fiscal Age of Even More Glorious Exclusive Entitlement," said Paul Krugman.
The Doors have reserved Madison Square Garden for Thursday, Dec. 20, for their reunion concert, at which Jim Morrison is expected to play his final performance.
Apple announced last week that it would accelerate production of the iPhone 6, with an anticipated release on Thursday. Thousands of loyal customers were planning to spend their last week on Earth lined up to get one of the devices, which they would have approximately one day to use.
"I lost my job to get the iPhone 5," one customer said. "I'll give the last week of my life to have the iPhone 6."