It’s almost here, that day we’ve all been warned about, Friday, December 21st, 2012. In the 1970’s, New Age scholars revealed to the general population what they believed was a Mayan prediction of the apocalypse. That prolific day in December of this year marks the conclusion of what is called a “b’ak’tun” or a a 5,125-year-long-cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. Although some people believe this date marks some type of spiritual enlightenment for all mankind, many choose to put their faith in the more morbid portents that point to an “end of times.”
According to doomsayers, in the wee hours of Saturday, December 22 we might experience massive, planet-wide devastation from simultaneous earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, hurricanes, floods and tornadoes, caused by a polar shift or planetary conjunction that offsets the natural gravitational pull of the Earth. Perhaps we’ll be subject to a secret, global alien invasion where folks we know and love are taken and replaced by convincing copies or a man-made “super-flu” that ravages all but less than one percent of the population who are left to fight a battle between good and evil with an elderly black woman prophet and the “Walkin’ Dude” who makes his stand in Las Vegas.
Even if humanity’s annihilation is what the Holy Bible predicted in Revelations, i.e. fire and brimstone, the Four Horseman or pestilence, war, famine and death, folks all over the world are going to hunker down and prepare for post-apocalyptic survival. People have already built bomb shelters for their families, stocked up on dried goods, water, first aid equipment, medicines and blankets. They’ve made peace with their God, Gods or Goddesses or even with themselves and prayed for elation in the afterlife or simply hoped for a painless death.
But what about all the Y’ats and Momandems right here in New Orleans? Perhaps it’s because of the “laissez-faire” attitude, the endless celebrations and festivals or simply the day-to-day existence on the edge of complete disaster, but I believe folks in the Crescent City will be planning a gargantuan blow-out where the booze will flow like water and the music will play all night. Cooks, both professional and amateur, will likely be devising a feast to end all feasts, after all, it might be our very last meal.
What about turning to the religious leaders in our community? What will they enjoy for their last meal?
At St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church, right next to Audubon Park, Pastor Paul Powell confessed a desire for crispy, fried chicken and for dessert, his favorite black walnut ice cream. Over on the West Bank, Assistant Pastor Keith Sartin at the First Pentecostal Chuch in Marrero giddily admitted to craving a large pepperoni pizza with cookies & cream ice cream for dessert.
In Metarie at the Beth Israel Synagogue, Rabbi Uri Topolosky has already made plans for Friday, December 21st with a Sabbath feast at the temple where he will encourage responsible indulgence in the the sweetness of wine. The rabbi also plans to partake, as he is a big fan of French whites.
Vodou priestess Sallie Ann Glassman, owner of the Marigny shop Island of Salvation Botanica, would choose to delight in dessert first, preferably in the form of a huge chocolate chip cookie from the New Orleans Food Co-op (made by another Marigny denizen, www.BillyBites.com). Sallie would make the cookies herself, but knows she’d end up eating all the dough before the cookies got a chance to hit the oven. After her solitary cookie, her vegan nature would take over and the rest of the meal would be nothing but healthy, delicious greens.
New Orleans Secular Humanist Association’s founder Harry Greenberger has a different plan for his last meal. Dedicated to a philosophy that embraces reason, ethics and social justice, Mr. Greenberger would reject the consumption of the Eucharist and instead enjoy a couple of steamed lobsters with a glass of white wine. Since he is certain the day would pass without having to face judgment, he’s positive he won’t have to “eat crow.”
Although New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Michael Aymond couldn’t be reached for comment, one might assume he would indulge in the body and blood of Christ for his last meal. Let’s hope it takes the form of a decadent, vintage red and a fresh-baked loaf of ciabatta.
*Article originally published in the December 2012 issue of Where Y’at Magazine