A Reader Asks:
When Will the World End?

Gud Responds:

Ohio.

Now, I know what you're thinking, and don't argue with me on that point because I am all-knowing and therefore I do know what you're thinking. You're thinking that Ohio is an inappropriate answer to the question "When will the world end?" You're wrong. You're wrong, and you don't have the moral authority to decide whether Gud's answers are appropriate or inappropriate anyway. The answer is Ohio.

Although you may not know it, you're lucky. You're lucky because I'm in a good mood. If I was in a bad mood, I'd smite you down with a bolt of lightning for even questioning me, The Lord Thy Gud. Because I'm in a good mood, I'll explain my answer to you in terms that you can understand.

As many of your human physicists and screenwriters for Star Trek have explained, space and time are not the separate dimensions they appear to be in your limited sphere of conscious awareness. In fact, the space-time continuum begins in Las Vegas in 1982, takes a right bend through the Andromeda Galaxy twenty thousand years in the future, and ends in Ohio just four years from now during a Fourth of July fireworks celebration.

Ohio has always been central in my plans for the world. In fact, the Ohioans are my chosen people. Why, you ask, are the Ohioans the chosen people of Gud? Well, I almost chose the Vietnamese, but Ohio has milder summers than Vietnam. Other than that, there's no real reason. I chose the Ohioans and that's what makes them my chosen people. You got a problem with that?

Anyway, in 2005 on the Fourth of July, the New Cincinnati will descend from the heavens and smush everyone who lives in the Old Cincinnati. The New Cincinnati will have a vastly improved transit system, decent public housing, a new entertainment district on the riverfront, persimmon trees lining every street, and will come completely wired for the next generation of high-speed Internet access. At that point, I will separate the wheat from the chaff, the goats from the sheep, the nuts from the bolts, the nickels from the dimes, and the romance novels from the historical fiction.

That's when the world will end, but you probably won't notice. Although the world will be unavailable between 1:00 AM and 4:00 AM Eastern Standard Time the next morning while I perform some maintenance on my server, by the time you wake up the new system software, World 2.0, will be installed and operational. The upgraded version of the World software will have some features that I hope you'll like. For example, you'll be able to find your socks, car keys, and wallet more easily, thanks to a new, more user-friendly memory interface. Also, I've included a new natural look database that ought to dramatically reduce bad hair days. Unfortunately, in World 2.0 I've had to eliminate the personal prayer option. It seems that the prayer function was being abused, with frivolous prayers from football fans gumming up the system. The fact is that I stopped answering prayers ages ago. With the World software upgrade, you'll get an automatic email reply thanking you for your prayer along with an attached coupon for 25 percent off an order of small fries at your local McDonald's.


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