So that didn’t happen.

The end of the world or the rapture or whatever the heck was supposed to happen on Saturday.

And what did we learn?

Well, we learned Harold Egbert Camping is not very good at predicting such things. He’s 0 for 2 now (his first strike-out was in 1994, I think).

Mr. Camping, sir, I like your middle name very much, but maybe it’s time for you to retire from theology. I’m sure you are aware people spent their life savings to promote your nutty little adventure. I think you should give each of these poor people one of your 66 family-friendly radio stations and apologize for abusing their trust in you.

If you do that, we can be friends. If you find yourself at loose ends, I suggest you get a hobby. Like gardening. Then you can predict whether or not the squash will come up, and no one will lose their life savings or make fun of you if you’re wrong.

I know a little something about gardening, Egbert. I live on a farm. Planting and maintaining a garden is hard work, but it’s good exercise and you’ll have homegrown vegetables all winter long!

Here’s what I suggest you plant (if I can grow this stuff, anyone can): Corn, butter beans, purple-hull peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, garlic, okra and, yep, squash.

If you have a bumper crop, why, you can set up a produce stand down by the road. You seem to be pretty good at marketing, so I don’t anticipate any problems in that area.

Selling tomatoes is honest work, Egbert. Give it a try.

Before I continue with some very important announcements, let us pause a moment to pay respect to the original Egbert.

I’m referring, of course, to Egbert Sousé, the protagonist of The Bank Dick (1940), which is a W.C. Fields movie and is, therefore, a hoot. If you haven’t seen it, do it, as Sophia would say.

You know the dinner-party question, right? If you could invite, say, any three people from history to join you for an evening of dining and conversation, who would you choose?

A lot of people say they’d invite Albert Einstein. I wouldn’t. No offense to Al, a great guy, I’m sure. But I know two scientific things. Chlorophyll makes grass green, and gravity keeps us all from flying off into outer space.

I would not have much to say to Albert Einstein. That is sad, but I’ll get over it.

Some people say they would like to hang out with Jesus of Nazareth. I understand the appeal, but, dang. That could be awkward, you know?

I mean, I’m a pretty good guy, but there are definitely certain aspects of my past I would not want to get into with Jesus. (Also: Do the 12 disciples go everywhere with him? Would I need to hire a caterer?)

No, my first choice would be William Claude Dukenfield, who once said, “Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake.”

The table is set for four. Me, W.C. Fields, and … Well, two ladies, for sure. I’d let W.C. Fields choose one. What if he chose Mae West! That would be awesome.

I’d probably have to go with Sigourney Weaver. I think she’s the bee’s knees, and we could talk about movies. (Or literature – she has a B.A. in English from Stanford.)

Or Flannery O’Connor (table topics: fiction and peacocks).

Or Patti Smith (table topics: poetry and rock and roll).

Imagine Flannery O’Connor and W.C. Fields at the same table! That’s party time, is what that is.

Speaking of party time, have you seen the new Bob Johnson video? It’s on YouTube. It’s safe for work and chock-full of fun!

Other important announcements:

There is nothing wrong with the weather. The climate is fine. I have some real estate in Florida in which you may be interested. Beachfront, baby.

After careful consideration, Bob Johnson has decided not to seek the Republican nomination for president. Instead, he will continue working on his latest tunnel in the front yard. Friends of Bob Johnson (FOBJ) will understand.

If you’re having a bad day, eat a cookie. If it’s a really bad day, go to Shoney’s and get the hot fudge cake.

You can be friends with John Hicks on Facebook! Do it.

About the Author

John Hicks

Havin' a wild weekend.

John Hicks lives outside the city limits, where eagles dare.

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