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String of Failures Forces Minister of Apocalypses to Resign

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zombiesMegiddo, Israel, December 21 (AP) – Following the latest in a long series of abortive global cataclysms, Minister of Apocalypses Mark O’thebiest announced his resignation today, acknowledging ministerial responsibility for the string of non-events.

O’thebiest had presided over decades of ministerial activity to oversee cataclysms and the hype surrounding their arrival, including famous false alarms such as the “War of the Worlds” alien invasion radio broadcast and the entire cold war. In recent years, however, the various end-of-the-world scenarios that caught the public imagination and led the gullible to stockpile basic necessities did not live up to the anticipation, and O’thebiest accepted responsibility for those disappointments. His deputy, N. T. Christ, will assume ministerial duties until the position’s term expires next century. Each term lasts 666 years.

Among the failures contributing to O’thebiest’s resignation, the most prominent was the lead-to the year 2000, in which the dreaded “Y2K” – shorthand for “Year 2000” – phenomenon would wreak havoc with computer systems built on a two-digit year template. Anticipating a complete breakdown of basic services and critical systems for maintaining a functioning society, individuals and communities the world over began to hoard canned goods, precious metals and other basic supplies. When midnight, January 1, 2000, arrived, not a single major system failure was reported as a result of the change.

Not every non-fulfillment of apocalyptic hype should be considered a failure, noted Joseph Ratzinger, a Rome-based scholar of apocalyptic literature. “The danger of a nuclear holocaust was and remains real,” he noted in an interview, “but has never really been all that likely.”

“You have to keep in mind that a key element of the Ministry of Apocalypses responsibility is fomenting the fear of catastrophe as much as engineering the catastrophe itself,” he explained. “It remains to be seen what happens with Iran, North Korea and a number of other states whose nuclear arsenals are potent threats to stability and peace,” he continued, and pointed out that even if the talked-up nuclear winter does not occur, major developments in world history have nevertheless resulted from the fear of that disaster. Therefore, he noted, the development and proliferation of nuclear weapons technology can be judged an unqualified success even if it never actually results in the annihilation of civilization.

However, the success of the nuclear arms race initiative stands out precisely because myriad other attempts to spark global panic ended up as little more than a flash in the pan: small cults that would commit mass suicide, but nothing large-scale; wars that took hundreds of millions of lives altogether, but resulting eventually in societies that were actually stronger and more morally developed than could be associated with any apocalypse worthy of the term.

The minister also never received executive approval for meteors or asteroids of any significant size, a sharp contrast to several prehistoric predecessors, who did manage to lobby convincingly for massive chunks of interplanetary rock large and fast enough to wipe out most life on Earth.

B. L. Zebub.

B. L. Zebub.

Ministry spokesman B. L. Zebub insisted the office would persist in its efforts to generate anticipation of worldwide cataclysm, but conceded that the staff often miscalculated the fluctuating ability of humans to discern plausible scenarios from laughably unreasonable ones. He said the Ministry was examining several proposals to restrict apocalyptic rumor-mongering to small-scale disasters in order to study the phenomenon more closely and arrive at a more workable model of human gullibility.

When asked how long the study would take, Zebub answered, “About three centuries, give or take, but maybe less. In any case, we can’t really get started until after next week’s complete fragmentation of the Antarctic ice cap.”

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Written by Thag

December 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm

One Response

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  1. This is a pure, flawless gem. Thank you for the much needed laugh today 🙂

    Katie Renee

    December 21, 2012 at 11:37 pm


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