Will Friday really be the end of the world as we know it? From movies and music to documentaries and television series, the notion that the world may end on Dec. 21, 2012, has dominated popular culture in recent years.
But how are the people of Northwest Indiana and nearby Illinois reacting to the hype? With responses that ranged from comical to mundane, local residents shared their plans for Dec. 21 or the end of the world, whichever comes first.
Many chose a light-hearted response, like Deb Reeder, of Crown Point. “I'm going to stay up until 11:59 p.m. because if the world’s going to end, I don't want to be the one to sleep through it!” she said, laughing.
Just like many others are doing online and among friends, John Hart, of LaPorte, poked fun at the Mayan calendar. “I'm going to hide underwater. The Mayans didn't know about scuba tanks. I think I will be safe under there,” he said.
An impending apocalypse couldn’t scare Dan Gonya, of Calumet City, away from his Friday night plans. “I'm going to treat Dec. 21 like I would any other Friday night, with plenty of good drinks and good people ... in a nuclear fallout shelter,” he said.
Like Gonya, most questioned plan to go about their everyday lives, which means a regular workday for Donna Kepshire-Ricketts, of Crown Point.
“Unfortunately, I'll be working,” she said. “I don’t think I get an 'end of the world day,' so my plans will be quite boring.”
Pat Rocha, of Munster, is making final preparations for the holiday. “I will be out doing my last-minute Christmas shopping,” she said.
Michael Glorioso, of Valparaiso, hopes stores will honor his receipts for unused gifts after the apocalypse. “If the world ends, then I'd like to return my Christmas presents,” he said.
Perhaps the most poignant response came from Bonnie Girton, of Valparaiso, who suggested taking the day for contemplation. “We should have an annual global ‘end of the world day’ for everyone to contemplate making a better world starting the next day,” she said.