Robert Hitt Neill column

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 13, 2012

If world ends 12/22/12,  it’s due to Uncle Bob’s calamities

The kids and grandboys were at Brownspur to celebrate New Year 2012, and son-in-law John brought up the subject of 2012 being the end of the world because the Mayan calendar supposedly ends in 2012.

Since the Mayans themselves apparently ended centuries ago, I fail to see how anyone could subscribe to this theory with any hope of accuracy, but it does provide a topic of conversation.  

Our homegrown expert, who was demonstrating his mainmost expertise by putting together our new flat-screen TV, a Christmas gift, even pinpointed the supposed date for the Final Day: December 12th, or 12/12/12.

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Daughter B.C. promptly blew that theory: “No way! If the world is gonna end next December, it’ll be on Dad’s birthday, the 22nd. Calamities are always happening to him, so I can guarantee that if the Final Day comes next December it will be 12/22/12.”  

Consider that at the time I was sitting with my feet in a tub of vibrating hot water because, on my birthday of course, I had ventured upon the roof to try to find the source of a leak I’d discovered during a six-inch rain the night before. Once the rain ceased, I had gotten my trusty bucket of tar and a stick, then attempted to clamber up the valley over the kitchen to a small flat part of the roof which I suspected might be leaky.  
As an aside, there should be something in the Bible to the effect that if a roof leaks on the inside, there should be a hole on the outside that one can see and fix. Don’t bother grabbing your own Bible to look; it ain’t there. I’ve been all though the Good Book looking for that reference, in vain.

Anyhoo, the rain had stopped, but the roof was still wet since it was cloudy, therefore somewhat slippery, I discovered. I tried two different pairs of shoes, but could only get halfway up the valley, even with a running start. Bear in mind that at my age and the current state of my knees, a running start ain’t near ’bout what it used to be for Rebel football.

After several frustrating tries, and with a forecast of more rain that night, I considered that the roof was not hot, so why not try it barefooted, so as to use my toes to grip with, like a monkey?

Not a good idea, if you were thinking of trying the same thing, at least on a shingled roof! I have worked on tin roofs early in the day barefooted, but take my word for it, it ain’t the same. I did indeed make it up the valley to the flat roof, tarred liberally (see Bible reference above), then calmly slid back down the valley on my tee-heinie, put my socks back on, and reached for my shoes.

When I started to put my left one on was when I saw the bloody sock.

We’ve already touched on the fact that my knees don’t work as advertised (it IS in the Bible that all old college football players have bad knees!), so I was unable to see the bottoms of my footsies to tell what was bleeding, but there was a gracious plenty of blood on both socks.

I knew instinctively that if I was to go down and track bloody footprints on Betsy’s newly-refinished hardwood floors that she would make me bloody from head to toe, as the saying goes, so I forced my shoes on and headed for the shower, where I stripped and stopped up the drain a little to form a pool to stand in and cleanse my feet. After drying off tenderly I shuffled to the bedroom on the towel, laid down nekkid on the floor, and held my feet up to the mirror on the closet door.

Indeed, my feet deserved to be bloody: I had gouged out four or five chunks of skin as big as my thumbnails! I had to get Betsy to come apply medication and bandages, then say good-bye to the next couple of weeks of deer season whilst I healed, something I’ve had a lot of practice doing because of my many calamities.

Okay, Believers: the world indeed will end someday.  Just mark 12/22 for that date on your calendars as a possible Final Day, and if you survive it, send me a birthday present each December, and mark next year’s calendar.

My own mother used to say “Bob can just walk through a room, and pictures will fall off the walls!” Calamities can be accurately predicted. Bet on 12/22/12.