Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday's Contest: Well, hello Mr. Camping

For my 18th Birthday, I received a lovely gift. It was a box of nothing. A cigar box, with its title "NOTHING" on the top; and the weight, contents, and usual disclaimers on the sides. The gift was from Nowhere and inside there was a single, small slip of paper that read, "Inspected by nobody." For some reason, that gift seems strangely appropriate for what many people will experience tomorrow.

Imagine that it is Sunday morning, May 22nd. Your neighbor, Harold Camping, spent the day yesterday dressed in a white robe, sitting underneath his "rapture hatch" (see below). The robe was a fall back, you know, just in case we don't really leave out clothes behind when we are raptured. Then, he would have a step up on all the rest of the saints, showing up in their shirts and britches. (He could almost hear St. Peter say, "Well, Mr. Camping, how wonderful that you are already robed. You may skip the robe line and come straight to the head of our table!") On the other hand, if it is the case that we leave our clothes behind, the robe would slip off quite easily. (We will not conjecture whether it ever crossed his mind during the day that he actually likes wearing dresses.) But, alas, Mr. Camping's expectation is not met, the "rapture" does not occur, Mr. Camping's math, or interpretive skills, or theology, or something is decidedly wrong, and here we are on Sunday, May 22nd, and Mr. Camping's vaunted "Day of Judgment" has proven to be a dud.

So, it is Sunday morning, May 22nd, and your neighbor Harold Camping knocks meekly on your door with a simple request. "Good morning neighbor. Say, would you happen to have a cup of coffee grounds that I might borrow? I ... er ... didn't go grocery shopping last week and ... well, um ... I'd sure love to brew a pot of coffee to get my day started. Fortunately, I took the day off at work, so I can go shopping this morning."

Friday's contest: What would YOU say to your neighbor at this moment.

(Here's the "rapture hatch," sent in by an alert reader.)


  1. I would give him a cup of coffee, sit him down for a conversation, and return the deed to his house that I got from him last week...math was never my strongest subject either. And I can't blame anyone who gets caught forgetting to "carry the remainder." And if he got the irony of that joke...well, I'd return his car too. Thanks Mark.

  2. Precisely, Scott. If we overcome evil with good, then we overcome arrogance with humility, no?


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