Literally the end times

It was after dark but still too hot outside, and impossibly, hotter inside. Stepping out of a nice nighttime shower, I wetly walked through the kitchen, toward my bedroom.

Sept. 3, 2022

Dean was there, in the chair beside the refrigerator. He was wearing a suit, as he usually does when he's dressed, and holding what appeared to be a whiskey on the rocks. The lights were out, so I hadn't seen him until I was almost past him.

He wasn't reading, just sitting there with a drink in his hand. He lifted his glass in a toast, and said, "Good evening," slowly, maybe trying to sound like Alfred Hitchcock.

"Uh, good evening," I said to the man in the shadows.

Once or twice monthly Dean forgets he's cooking something, so his food smolders and sets off the smoke alarm. I was momentarily glad he was in the kitchen, then. It meant the alarm wouldn't go off. When I looked around, though, nothing was cooking. Even the microwave makes a humming sound, which I did not hear. Only the sound of ice cubes clinking in Dean's glass.

So at 10:00 PM he was simply sitting in the kitchen, wearing his suit, with a drink in the dark.

Thankfully, he let me pass, didn't seem to want a conversation, and that's unusual. One doesn't quibble with good fate, though, so I slipped into my room, into my recliner, opened this file, and I was about to type, "Dean seems a bit off tonight."

Maybe he's not, though. All those years working in all those kitchens, and he loves to cook, so maybe it makes perfect sense that he'd seclude himself in the kitchen to relax and have a drink.

... Nah. Dean's a bit off.

I don't know whether y'all are following the end of it all, but at the moment, humanity's existence is in mid-air after bouncing up on a trampoline, and the trampoline is gone.

Here's a quick collection of clues, from recent headlines. Connect the dots, and see if your picture matches the dots drawn together from mine:

A third of Pakistan is underwater from floods, climate chief says 

Unprecedented flooding in Chad hits more than 340,000 people 

Chinese city dims lights as record heatwave hits energy supplies 

"Do not drink the water": Jackson water facility fails after flooding in Mississippi 

Major sea-level rise caused by melting of Greenland ice cap is "now inevitable" 

Climate change is increasing frequency of fish mass die-offs 

Night-time heat is killing crops. Scientists are rushing to find resilient plants. 

As Colorado River dries, the U.S. teeters on the brink of larger water crisis  

New Zealand reports warmest and wettest winter on record 

That's only a few of the headlines, not a comprehensive list, and only from the past week and a half.

News like that never used to accumulate so rapidly. Disasters were out of the ordinary, but not any more. Now it's a new disaster daily, often more than one, and it's just the beginning.

We are on the brink of the collapse of normalcy. Painfully soon, these will be "the good old days," and we'll all know someone, or be someone, whose life was ruined by the weather.

I am old, and had hoped that these end times would come a bit slower, so I'd be dead before climate catastrophes became commonplace. But, nope. Unless I very soon develop a quick and inoperable cancer or get flattened by a bus, I'm going to see some of the coming hell, and live it. We all are.

We are going where no-one has gone before, but instead of 'boldly', astoundingly stupidly. It all could've been prevented.

The end times are upon us, hellfire and brimstone — but not the silly Biblical 'end times'. This will be for real, literally the times that will end millions of us, and they're already underway.

From the window of the bus, I saw a pretty young woman riding her skateboard south on the northbound lanes of a busy road. She crossed a busy road somewhat legally, steering her board and herself into the crosswalk, then nonchalantly flipped the board into her hands as she reached the curb at the other side. She carried the board toward a building's doors, and walked into the same taqueria that had disappointed me the one time I'd tried it.

Don't do it, skater chick. Going into that taqueria is a bigger mistake than skateboarding dangerously. Didn't you read the review on my blog?

And now, the news you need, whether you know it or not…     

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Mississippi used welfare money to pay Brett Favre for speeches he never made 

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Texas school violates Texas law by refusing to display "In God we trust" poster written in Arabic 

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Cloudflare rejects role as internet or piracy police 

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Why baseball is mighty white 

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Nips ahoy: Experiments in chest equality 

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Lenin was a mushroom 

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One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...


copscopscops cops


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The End

Frank Drake
Barbara Ehrenreich
pǝǝꓤ ʞɔᴉꓤ
Tom Springfield
Pat Wright

Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...


  1. Thanks for the mention of Frank Drake who died this week at 92. Throughout the 1950s, Dr Drake worked on an equation to predict the number of intelligent societies in our galaxy and in our universe in an attempt to predict when we might hear from them. He published his famous equation quietly in 1960 and with more fanfare in 1961. Since then, the Drake Equation has been the standard by which our understanding of the occurrence of intelligent life throughout the universe at any time has been estimated. The equation has produced discussion, dispute and controversy as it was intended to, and helped keep the question of our potential communication with intelligent alien societies alive.

    Dr Drake introduced more questions than answers in the astronomical community through his long career -- this cosmic batting average made him one of the most important astrophysicists of the last two centuries.

    Now he belongs to the cosmos.


    1. Some, maybe most of the obits are people who'd been unknown to me until I read about their croakage, but I knew a little about Sir Frank Drake. Love his attempt, successful I think, to quantify the unknown.

      The truth is out there, I've heard,

  2. Thank you for your global warming rant. The future will hate us for what we haven't done, It's horrifying and it's an indictment of how awful our system is that ignoring it is "good politics" and "good for business".

  3. No snappy wisecracks or comebacks from me. What we've done to this place and to the future is unforgivable.



    1. There's no mistake in your comma usage, but as a former editor I am intrigued that your last few words present two possible interpretations. You might be saying that the end is here and now, and that there will be no tomorrow, or you might be saying that the end is here, and now there will be no tomorrow. I believe both are correct.

      Why the all caps, though? ARE YOU ANGRY?


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