The world must end By Ose Oyamendan

Ose Oyamendan

 I’m in trouble. Turns out I’ve been banking on a myth.

I was in chilly Colorado last December when my son walked in.

“It’s too cold,” he declared.

I felt like slapping him because this trip was his and his mother’s idea. They couldn’t stop talking of snow, Colorado and ski slopes. All my attempts to convince them that no self-respecting Nigerian would be caught dead on a ski slope fell on deaf ears. 

But, if you slap a kid in America, you might be having dinner in jail. They call it child abuse. I wish they will take a trip to Nigeria and see what child abuse really is.

My son switched to that sweet voice kids use when they want to rob you blind. He told me his friend was in Disney Paris last summer and demanded we go next summer.

I tried to convince him that the Disneyland an hour down from our house in Los Angeles was the best Disneyland in the world. But, his mind was set on Paris.

“Tyler said the ride operators speak French,” he argued.

“Well, when we go to Disney in California, I’ll speak Ishan to you. It’s a foreign language too,” I replied.

“Is that like French?” he asked.

“It’s your mother tongue!” I snapped. 

“I don’t wanna speak like mommy. She’s a woman,” he smirked. 

“Mother tongue, not mother’s tongue. Your language,” I responded.

The kid looked at me like I was crazy. He probably thinks his language is either English or Spanish. “I want the real French. No eeshand,” he shot back, effectively murdering my mother tongue.

 I was in no mood to argue. So, I said yes. We can go for Christmas. The boy was so happy he did what most California kids do when they want to fake you into submission. He hugged me and crowed, “I love you Daddy!” Like I buy that.

On the flight back, his mother tried to cash in on my new giving disposition. She gave me a list of stuff we need. I looked at it, enjoyed a belly full of laughter and said okay. She’ll get everything by Christmas 2012 or early 2013. The woman was so shocked I said yes she made me initial her list. 

My managers called a week later asking about the laundry note of approved expenses. I replied by asking them if they also wanted something, like an increase in their commission, because if they do, we can start in January 2013. They felt something was fishy. So, they passed.

You see, I had a secret. I know the day the world will end. December 12, 2012. It’s on the Mayan Calendar. Once I found out about it a few years ago, I started living like there’s no 2013.  

A couple of weeks ago, I’m in Mexico battling the humongous flies that were trying to take a sip of my margarita and I got the feeling that this may be the last time I’m in the country where the Mayans got a Calendar that told the world of its demise.

I mentioned it to my half-drunk Interpreter who weirdly turned out to be a Mayan. Turns out I was only hours away from the center of Mayan civilization. I was tempted to go, maybe get a map of the route to heaven.

I bought my interpreter more drinks, hoping he would forget how awful I’d treated him in the previous few days. I figured if the Mayans got the calendar about the end of the world, then they must have a password to heaven. I know the judgment line to heaven will be long.  I hate standing in line. I intended to get my Mayan interpreter so drunk he gives me the password to jump the heavenly lines.

But, I must have been so drunk myself because what he told me made no sense. “I am Maya, not Mayan. December 12, 2012 is not the end of the world, just the last day of the 13th Bak’tun, the end of a 5,125-year cycle,” he slurred.

I wondered how good an interpreter he was if he’s misinterpreting his own culture. I cut off his drinks and stomped to bed. When I woke up the next day, my interpreter was waiting in the hotel lobby with a grizzly old man who surprisingly spoke good English. My interpreter said he was a professor versed in Maya culture.

The man didn’t make me happy. He told me most of the Maya didn’t know about the calendar until they started watching American films and TV shows a few years back. He confirmed that their calendar didn’t say anything about the world ending, only the end of a period. He told me I would see many more decades like that is going to lift my gloom.

I calculated my promissory bill. Six figures. In some cultures, that triggers an heart attack that will surely end one’s world. I think I’m going onan exile from my family. Damn, Mayan Calendar!


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