10 Moments I Thought Signaled the End of the World

NOTE TO READER: An alternate version of this article appeared on "Pressure Points" in May 2011 in lieu of Family Radio Worldwide's failed end-of-the-world prediction.

The apocalypse is upon us (again)! Thanks to millions of conspiracy theorists and their excruciatingly uninformed understanding of the Mayan calendar, December 21, 2012 has become the latest in a long line of destined-to-be-wrong-end-of-the-world predictions. Of course, we're in fighting shape for this false alarm, as it was only last year that Family Radio Worldwide got the world's attention with their prediction that the world would end on May 21, 2011.

At the time, Family Radio Worldwide seemed to take pleasure in the fact that they'd beat the Mayan's (or at least their calendar) to the apocalyptic punch. But, like so many before them, they were sent away, disappointed that the world remained exactly as it was. When this latest apocalypse prophecy turns out to be wrong, the current crop of crazies will have plenty of company—including Haley’s Comet in 1910, Heaven’s Gate in 1997, Y2K in 2000, and any of the countless times Jehovah’s Witnesses have predicted the end of the world (1874, 1914, 1925, 1941, 1975…etc.).

Of course, there've been plenty of moments in my own life where I thought the world was coming to an end. So, in honor of the world still being here on December 21, 2012, here are the top 10 moments that previously led me to believe the world was coming to an end...

10. Buster Douglas (1990)

When James “Buster” Douglas knocked out the undefeated Mike Tyson in Tokyo, Japan, becoming the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion, I was convinced that the apocalypse was upon us.

However, eight months later, in his first and only title defense, Douglas lost the belt to Evander Holyfield. And the world kept on spinning.

9. Benedict Hogan (1994)

In 1993, Hulk Hogan effectively “retired” from the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), which was a day I had long dreaded. It wasn’t until 1994, not long after testifying against Vince McMahon, the WWF Chairman, in a federal steroid trial, that Hogan went all Benedict Arnold on me and signed with rival World Championship Wrestling (WCW). It was then that I knew, without question, that the end was nigh.

Because Hulk Hogan will make two appearances on this list, the world clearly did not end.

8. Chasing Amy (1997)

In 1997 I sat in a movie theater with a relatively packed audience watching Chasing Amy, the most recent example at the time of Kevin Smith’s inability to make a decent movie. When the credits rolled, the audience began to cheer and applaud, making it clear that I was the only person in the theater who hated this movie. I was convinced the world was coming to an end.

Of course, the world did not end and, to prove it, Kevin Smith would go on to make seven more films—of which, I have watched none.

7. Dawson’s Creek: Season 3 (1999)

Following the end of Dawson’s Creek’s second season, Kevin Williamson, the creator and head writer, left to work on his burgeoning screenwriting career, leaving the show in good shape with a tension-filled sort-of-cliffhanger. Then the third season began. From Jen becoming a cheerleader and the gay dude playing football to that terrible actor from Hediwg and the Angry Inch being featured in way too many episodes, I knew, without a shadow of doubt, that the apocalypse was upon us.

But, as it turned out, the world did not end and Dawson’s Creek went on to complete three more seasons—of which, I’ve seen every episode (at least twice).

6. Steve Nash MVP (2005)

In 2005, a small, white, Canadian dude named Steve Nash, in a league full of superior African America athletes, was named the MVP of the NBA. Clearly, the world was coming to an end.

But, the following NBA season went on without a hitch, putting an ease to my apocalyptic fears.

5. Steve Nash MVP (2006)

In 2006, just as I was getting comfortable with the thought that the world wasn't coming to an end, Steve Nash won his second consecutive MVP award.

Moments after it was announced, I stocked up on bottled water and duct tape.

4. No Inko’s (2007)

In 2007 I got my first Costco membership. It was a glorious day, made better when I discovered Inko’s White Tea in the beverage aisle.

But when, upon my second shopping trip to Costco, I found they had stopped carrying my drink of choice, I could think only of how unbearable the suffering would be when the fire fell from the sky, ending us all.

3. Hulk Hogan and Brooke (2008)

I had quietly reconciled with Hulk Hogan after he made a brief return to the WWE (formerly the WWF) and all seemed right with the world. Then, it turned out he had, what appeared to be, a creepy relationship with his daughter, Brooke.

After seeing my childhood hero rubbing lotion on his daughter, I took my temporary blindness as a sign that the world had reached its expiration date.

2. Mo’Nique Wins Oscar (2010)

As one-named comedians go, Mo’Nique is arguably the least talented. And after she starred in Phat Girlz and Soul Plane, I was certain the market would bear this out.

But, in 2010, when Mo’Nique won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in Precious, it was clear that, after years of false alarms, the apocalypse I had long feared had finally come.

1. Hulk Hogan and "Brooke" (2010)

I had only just barely recovered from the sight of Hulk Hogan lotioning his daughter, convincing myself that I was reading far too much into it, when news hit that the Hulkster™ had remarried.

This was good news, since, clearly, Hogan didn’t have inappropriate feelings for his little girl. When, however, I saw that Hogan’s new wife bore an uncomfortably close resemblance to Brooke Hogan, I knew that our days on this planet were numbered.

*          *          *

So, here we are on December 21, 2012, and the world is still here. If you're curious as to why, just ask NASA. Of course, if I'm wrong and the world did end, then there's going to be a lot of questions in need of answering; not the least of which, how in the world did you manage to read this retarded top 10 list?! Either way, this Mayan calendar nonsense wasn't the first doomed-to-fail-end-of-the-world-prediction and, as surely as Hulk Hogan is married to "Brooke," it won't be the last.