The day after the day after tomorrow

According to a bunch of long-dead midgets and some very odd contemporary Americans, 2012 is the year of the apocalypse, and we are all doomed to die as a result of some unlikely disaster or another. As some of you may know, I am quite intrigued by the end of the world, perhaps because, while accepting all of our differences in colour, creed and religion, we are all equal in death. Nah, the truth is far more prosaic than that - I'm just a morbid twat. Extinction fascinates me. In the past, there have been loads of so-called disasters that have threatened to kill everyone, but unfortunately have been a massive damp squib. Here are some of my most bitter disappointments, in roughly chronological order.

Mutually Assured Destruction

As a child of the 1980's, it was impossible to avoid the cold war. There were loads of films about it, and I remember being genuinely scared that Gorby was going to melt us all to bits. Perhaps I should have been more worried about the geriatric loony in charge of the USA at the time, but never mind. The spectre of nuclear war was everywhere. Raymond Briggs created a wonderful cartoon called 'The Snowman'; he followed up this poignant tale with 'When the Wind Blows', which is a lovely story about London being eradicated from the face of the earth, and one nice old couple's cheery descent into radiation sickness, and death. Lovely stuff. I like to think that the Soviet and US leaders all sat down together and watched 'War Games', and decided that, like Tic Tac Toe, there can be no winner. Disappointing.


Holding hands, playing games with girls, sitting on toilet seats, being sneezed on, hanging around with the poor kids. As a child, these were but a few of the ways in which it was possible to catch AIDS. Kids were terrified, genuinely running scared of each other in case they caught AIDS. AIDS firmly supplanted Skill - which had somehow mutated into an African bum disease - as the most scary virus to catch. Years later, rumours circulated that people were being stabbed with AIDS syringes in clubs. I'm not one to trivialise such a serious virus, but the adverts in the 1980's created a whole generation of paranoid, terrified children, and an epidemic which could only fail to live up to expectations.


Salmonella was everywhere, and had something to do with Eggs and Edwina Currie, or 'Eggwina Currie' as she was known for a while. All I know is that children suddenly started to regard eggs with suspicion. Chickens were also implicated, and all sorts of rumours circulated in the school playground that eating chicken would give you chicken pox, or the AIDS. Edwina Currie would later have sex with John Major, but she was never to quite reach the same level of fame again; deciding to steer away from hugely generalistic statements that terrified everyone.

Mad Cow Disease

In the mid 1990's everyone who had eaten beef within the last 10 years was told that they had a jolly good chance of being DEAD before the decade was out. Luckily, I had been eating and subsequently working at McDonald's during that period, so I hadn't gone near beef at all. I still remember the look of fear washing over vacant eyes as I told my customers that we had thrown away all of our burgers and could only serve chicken or fish. I remember the piles of cows being set on fire in farms across the land. The truth is, that only about 3 people died of mad cow's disease, and I'm convinced that the whole epidemic was made up by French people or fanatical Hindus.


I can't remember if these were the same things or not. All I know is that they came out of Africa and would disintegrate all of your flesh in a matter of minutes. They sounded really great but were unfortunately confined to sparsely populated areas, so not nearly enough of us died. Promising, but ultimately a letdown.

Foot and Mouth

Apparently the poor cows hadn't had enough first time around, so a bunch of farmers decided to set fire to all their bovine livestock again. Poor cows. Cue lots of Labour MPs running around in the Cotswolds, trying to placate upset yokels.

Swine Flu

This is another joke disease which was made up by lazy Mexicans who couldn't be bothered with all the tourists one summer, so they shut up shop. Much like chickens, eggs and cows before them, pigs were suddenly public enemy number one and were lynched or shouted at wherever they were seen. People were terrified - hundreds of thousands of deaths were expected, but it actually turned out that Swine Flu was only slightly less gay than normal flu. What had so much promise rapidly degenerated into another crushing disappointment. Such is life.

1 comment:

  1. Hey there Stranger!!! ( boom boom )

    tell you what, i am heading to Africa this June - lets say we set up a hunting trip and hunt down the son of a b1tch who was so horny he shagged an Ape and "GET HIM"?

    although, apparently, i heard recently - that in some areas of the world, you dont even need to be a CARRIER of AIDS to concieve it... all you need is for two open wounds from two people to touch- and then - BANG, like magic! they BOTH have aids...

    lesson here - Carry a plaster with you at all times!!!
    See you in Africa soon - will send you flight details... Ciao!