Weather Updates

Mayan doomsday offers no tax break

Updated: February 6, 2012 9:26AM

The end is not near.

Rather than heed the warnings of those predicting the apocalypse in 2012, prepare to pay more in city, state and county taxes and fees. And don’t blame the Mayas when you pay more for parking, tolls, vehicle stickers, Metra tickets, a six-pack of beer and even water.

We’ll all need a shot of tequila eventually if we keep listening to the growing chorus of survivalists, pseudo scientists and knuckleheads who insist that, according to the Mayan calendar, civilization will change forever or end on 12.21.2012. The Internet is beaming with world-changing scenarios, ranging from an era of renewal to the cataclysmic destruction seen in the movie “2012.”

The predictions have grown so loud that NASA felt the need to put out a statement last week saying that we’ll all be just fine — just as we were after the Y2K scare.

“Nothing bad will happen to the Earth in 2012,” NASA assured us on its website. “Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.”

According to the ancient Mayan calendar, the 2012 winter solstice (November 21) marks the end of a 144,000-day cycle. This cycle has been repeated 12 times. The 13th time will end in 2012, completing a 5,200-year Mayan cycle of creation.

But that doesn’t mean the Bears will be blown out again next season, this time for reasons beyond their control. The antidote to all this doomsday speculation is as close as your kitchen.

“Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31,” says NASA, “the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012.”

That puts an end to the 2012 end-of-the-world myth in plain English. But just in case, I called former NASA astronaut and engineer Jose Hernandez, who confirmed categorically that the Earth will still orbit the sun at the end of the year.

“There is no scientific basis to believe otherwise,” said Hernandez, who is now running for U.S. Representative in California as a Democrat. “If people want to get rid of their money before the cataclysm, well, they could always send it to me. I can put it to good use in my campaign.”

Joking aside, how about that mysterious planet called Nibiru that supposedly is headed toward Earth, probably aiming for the Willis Tower?

NASA scientists remind us that this catastrophe was first predicted for May 2003. But, as is always the case when these horrible things don’t pan out, the date was simply moved to the end of the 2012 to coincide (voila!) with the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012.

All of this means that we will most likely have another cycle next year to pay taxes, try to lose weight, be a better person, stop procrastinating, spend more time with the family . . . and hope for the Cubs to finally win the World Series.

Not even the Mayas could’ve predicted that drought.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.