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Books

End of days: Are the Mayans on to something?


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There are six days until Christmas but only two days until the Mayan calendar abruptly ends (after 5,125 successful years) Dec. 21.

For those of you who don’t get the significance of that, it may mean the end of the world. Whether you actually believe this or not may depend on how badly you want to get out of paying your credit card bills.

At any rate, I get very muddled trying to understand the implications of this – and even more muddled sorting out the differences between the Mayans, the Aztecs and the Incas. They all kind of run together in my head. Didn’t they all exist around the same time (early 1600s), practice human sacrifice, live in Central America and come to a bad end (not unlike what they predict for the rest of us a few hundred years later)? The Mayans may have invented revenge.

In 2009, I visited Machu Picchu. I spent three days there. It was magical in every way and did not disappoint. Even though it was an Incan ruin, I remember it as a Mayan ruin. My bad. Maybe I just wish it were a Mayan ruin so that I could say on Dec. 21 as the world blows apart that I was there where it was all predicted, feeding my sense of validation and somehow making it all right.

If you are one of those people who put off your Christmas shopping until Christmas Eve, you may die with a lot more money, although, word has it, you can’t actually take it with you. A better plan might be to celebrate Christmas early and spend your entire fortune on Christmas gifts, thus earning eternal brownie points for your generosity before your demise.

I found one book on the New York Times Best-Seller List on end of days – “End of Days” (Forge Books, 2011) by Robert Gleason. It is fiction, of course. But you must read very quickly. In fact, you might want to download it in the interest of time. You can google many books on the topic, but amazingly many of them are out of stock. By the time they restock them, it will probably be too late.

There is also an Apple app for surviving 2012 with lots of good information on where to store your survival goodies so that you can seed the new, surviving population, if you fancy the idea of living like a caveman.

Personally, I would not want to survive doomsday. In fact, put me at ground zero. Make it quick and painless. I’m just saying … life without new fashion trends and great food probably isn’t worth living. (Did you know that emerald green is the hot color this spring? And goat is the new chicken?)

Sharon Lennox-Infante, contributing editor for Book Buzz, is a Los Altos resident.

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