I thought 'Rapture' was just one of Blondie's weaker songs until quite recently. But it turns out that it's a little more serious than that. According to American preacher Harold Camping, the Rapture happens tomorrow from 6pm, when all the righteous will be swept up to heaven while the remaining 95% of us are left behind to wait for Armageddon.
Well. That puts my plans for the weekend in jeopardy. Mind you, at least it means I don't have to watch Birmingham City getting relegated from the Premiership on Sunday. Silver linings and all that.
By all accounts, according to Camping, this all starts happening at 6pm local time wherever you are, too, so it'll start in New Zealand, moving westwards as the earth spins. I reckon those of us in England will get a few hour's notice. However, as normal, the Germans will have got there first and no doubt their righteous ones will reserve the best places in heaven with a massive beach towel.
It has made me wonder: "What if this was the beginning of the end? What would I do if the world was ending tomorrow?" They say you should try everything at least once before you die. But I still can't get too enthusiastic about Morris Dancing, though.
Mind you, if you were a Christian with a sense of humour, you could play a great trick on your friends and neighbours. Simply wait until 6.00pm tomorrow, then go and hide. Bound to cause some consternation, I'd have thought.
It seems, however, that Camping isn't the first preacher to tell us the end is nigh. It happened before, notably in the 18th century - a Baptist minister in New York confidently predicted the end of the world would happen in 1843. It didn't happen. (It occurs to me - that last sentence is the most redundant sentence in history). Then he predicted it would take place in 1844, when, once again, it failed to happen. His followers referred to the world's stubborn refusal to end as 'The Great Disappointment', which tells you all you need to know about fundamentalists, I suppose.
For once, I wish that the people coming up with forecasts like this were a little more circumspect. On Sunday, Camping's followers will more than likely wake up and find themselves still here. (Carry on Camping, anyone?) Perhaps they need to be a little less shouty, a little more meek. After all, if they have to stay on earth, they might as well try inheriting it.
But in the meantime: