x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Apocalypse delayed

May 21 came and went, and the end of the world did not materialise. But don't expect that to put the doom merchants off revising the date.

Some quit their jobs. Others gave away their money. Many said goodbye to family and friends in anticipation of the end of the world. From the deluded to the comic, message boards and social media sites across the internet were awash with comments about the coming of the Rapture. If you're reading this, we're confident that it didn't happen.

It seems that 89-year-old doomsday forecaster Harold Camping succeeded in grabbing the attention of the world with his prediction, if not in getting his calculations right. Through his Family Radio Worldwide, Mr Camping persuaded many souls across the globe that earthquakes and floods would strike the planet at 6pm yesterday, with disasters rolling towards the West as the day progressed.

This left many questioning how to spend their time as the end of days approached. Students debated whether to bother with their homework. Was Saturday a good day to finally cash in on that sickie day? And was there really any need to do the dishes or the laundry?

That the end of the world has been predicted time and time again doesn't seem to dampen the spirits of the doom merchants. They simply revise the date and get on with the business of scaremongering. The year 2012 should bring a slew of new predictions. But maybe you shouldn't tell your boss to stick your job just yet.