That's a Wrap


I don't know if you folks are hip to this, but I've been doing some research and it appears 2012 is going to be quite a year. The year 1978 was pretty big, too; Johnny Rotten quit the Sex Pistols. But I'm learning that 2012 is going to be even bigger.

It's the year the world ends.

A lot of people are finding this news rather depressing, and not just the class of 2013 (boy, are they screwed). The view is that this will be a devastating tragedy, like reaching the one-hour-and-57-minute mark in The Big Lebowski where the credits roll and everybody has to leave the theater.

Most of those people following the 2012 reports have already entered the stages of grief (the first one being denial). I'm trying to look at it differently. I'm into this whole lemonade-out-of-lemons thing.

My best friend, Rick, is a motivational speaker. He often spouts bon mots like "It's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." He makes big money off this pith, so I try to listen whenever he's holding court. Lately his words have me thinking "opportunity" come 2012.

How about we all choose to truly live those last few months of our existence? Not like Denny Hecker or Tom Petters--no lavish spending sprees. I mean live like free men, alive and unfettered.

I don't think I'm out of line pointing out to reformed alcoholics that 2012 might be the year to jump off the wagon. When you really think about it, what's the worst that can happen? Are your loved ones going to reject you? I think they'll be so preoccupied with their own steady circling of the drain they'll hardly notice. Think of 2012 as the year that lock is joyfully ripped from your hooch hamper.

Tasting the lemonade yet?

Also, 2012 is a Summer Olympics year. I can't see people getting that bent out of shape if athletes cheat a little bit. Nothing over the top, just some mischief that says, "Being banned from all future competition doesn't bother me like it used to."

The year 2012 should be seen for what it is: an encore, a grand finale, a last hurrah. Remember how Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid went out? There was a pair who probably caught a motivational speech or two. Let's find inspiration in their final moments.

I'm not saying shut off all emotion. There is sadness at the end of most anything. As Rick says, even John McCain must have gotten a little misty-eyed when finally bidding farewell to Vietnam. The point is, don't let it paralyze you. Get the melancholy out of your system and then go play splat ball in the sculpture garden. Better yet, tell a bomb joke in the Humphrey Terminal. What are they going to do?

The year 2012 should be the one for which Earth was made, the year all events have guided us toward, from the very beginning of time.

I wish we could remember that very beginning. It too must have been a celebration worth uncorking a bottle over.

Imagine the absence of a past. Only that blank future waiting for the brushstrokes of time. Who knew what would come of it all? Wondrous possibilities must have been entertained. No one was thinking Spanish Inquisition, Jonestown, or Jay Leno. Great achievement was the dream, and there was the hope that whatever happened, in the end the feeling would be that it had certainly all been worth it.

Well, we can't say that it has, but we can give those expectant folks from yesteryear a proper bookend to their Big Bang. We can make 2012 its own barnburner. Let's show them how to send a planet out in style. The alternative, I'm afraid, is that fetal position I was in prior to my illuminating conversation with Rick.

And I don't ever want to be seen on my kitchen floor like that again.