As the Large Hadron Collider fired up yesterday somewhere under Lake Geneva, we asked Crikey readers how they would spend their last moments on Earth. Here’s what you came up with…
Phillip Adams writes: No thoughts as death approaches … better that than President Palin (Palin versus Putin — there’s a nice idea) but wanted to say yesterday’s prologue is a partic. A fine piece of prose … my compliments to the chef…
Dallas Aldridge writes: I’d get really p-ssed…
John Allison writes: First things first: check the wine cellar and see if there’s anything worth quaffing. Then ring up a few lady friends and if they weren’t available, watch the last few taped episodes on the VCR of Dexter.
Venise Alstergren writes: I would leave a message for a future humanoid from Saturn, or beyond. “God is an anachronism. But Queensland is worse!”
Jude Anderson writes: Sit in wonderment …
Greg Angelo writes: I would go into the cellar find the best bottle of red, and then find the best cheese in the fridge. I would hug the wife, phone the children, pat the dog, put on Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor (BWV1043), sit down and contemplate the end of the world with a smile.
Alison Aprhys writes: Surf Bells, eat oysters, surf Wattegos, kiss husband, surf Bells with husband. Hang ten.
Russell Bancroft writes: When they ask me if I remember what I was doing when the universe ended, I will say “reading Crikey”.
Cathy Bannister writes: If these are the last few hours of existence, I’ll be picking up the kids from school, spending a few pleasant moments in the sun sitting on a splintery bench under some gums talking to an old friend, reading emails, preparing the kids’ dinner. That is, carrying on as usual and hoping it was all a bad dream. Funnily enough, it’s exactly the same approach people are taking to climate change, despite us having known about it from the late 1980s. We’re not real fond of the precautionary principal, are we?
Carleen Barron writes: Damn! It is now after 6pm and I am still here. Thought that all my problems with keeping roof over head and food in mouth would be solved in one fell swoop. The roof didn’t even shudder so I guess I had best work out what to eat.
Sandra Bekin writes: Pat my dogs; the more politicians I see, the more I admire my dogs.
Pat Berzin writes: I think I’ll spend the next hour totally teed off that over 16 billion was spent merely to satisfy the curiosity of scientists. Who else cares about the Higgs boson? The other possibility is that is being done to ensure no woman gets into the White House although in Martha Rambo’s case that is not necessarily a bad thing. I’m wasting time here. There’s still half a bottle of Irish whiskey left and only an hour to finish it.
Blinky writes: Unfortunately I spent so much time on the net trying to find out exactly what the “Hadron planner” was that I did not leave enough time to contemplate what my last actions would be which resulted in me becoming severely transmogrified, discombobulated and generally hornswaggled. So I stopped off at the local on the way home from work and sank 10 stubbies of Cascade Stout and well that was about when oblivion set in (I think).
David Bonamy writes: Kevin Rudd will race home at 4:59pm to kick the cat.
John Carusi writes: Watch The Goodies rather black-humoured 1977 classic episode “Earthanasia”, set my clock 30 seconds forward and celebrate Christmases ’08, ’09, ’10 and ’11.
Tim Cecil writes: I would reserve a table for at least 20 of my family and friends at Vue du Monde, order the ultimate gourmet banquet, drink as much of their very best wines all in the safe knowledge that I would never have to pay the bill OR do the washing up. I’d also light up a very fine cigar and to hell with the consequences.
Pat Clive writes: I’ll be cataloguing my First Dog on the Moon collection. If the black hole hasn’t sucked Australia in by the time I’ve finished I’ll reread the Lowbottom High Diaries.
Rob Ciolli writes: I’m sure you realise that they are only turning the thing on today and sending particles around in one direction. If that works they will try the other direction. No actual collisions are planned for about a month. So I still have enough time to procure a case of rare single malt.
Sandy Clarkson writes: I would be mortified at the prospect of not finishing all of my red wine. If I was home I could probably not do much in the next 1.5 hours.
Michael Cowan writes: My last few hours on this earth will be spent: 1) Stealing the Lamborghini Gallardo down the road in Fortitude Valley and taking it for a wild ride then returning it minus the wheels replaced with bricks. 2) Doing a runner through the Queensland Rail ticket gates and hopefully being chased by the ticket guys while quickly reading the VENT YOUR SPLEIN in the MX Newspaper. 3) Go to Fitness First as per usual only to smack every hot girl’s bum that is running there tight legs away on a treadmill. 4) Visit my mate, give him the BRO HUG and have a beer and reflect on some good times. 5) Smash a couple of windows, blow something up, shoot a gun, and wrestle a bear. 6) Finally jump in the hammock and look up towards the sky suck in the fresh air and then wish I still had that gun to shoot that blardy noisy crow.
David Curtin writes: In a bar … somewhere in Bum-f-ck Nowhere, USA … with Guy Rundle. I mean, being accompanied to the singularity by someone who knows what it’s like being sucked into a black hole and spat into a parallel multiverse wherein the standard model, and its population of strangelets, has already been disproven, would have to be a hoot, wouldn’t it?
John Donovan writes: So when the accelerator gets switched on this afternoon at 4pm Tokyo time, I am planning on being in the Roppongi district of Tokyo, with a jug of Sapporo in one hand, and a sake shot in the other. If there was ever a great place to witness the rapid disintegration of civilization, it must be here. I’ll try and organise a countdown to zero in the bar …
Gail Eastaway writes: What I’d like to do is have the day off to smell the flowers — in actuality, I would be at work in my newsroom, just in case it was a bit like the Millennium Bug beat-up and taking a day off would just put me a day behind deadline …
Potentially Dead Dean Friske writes: I won’t be wasting time agonising over what witticisms I should write in the potential last hour of my life.
Phil Garratt writes: If it was absolute certain end to Everything the only sensible thing to do would be to find a comfortable spot and watch it happen for as long as it took. Whether one chose to enjoy it with friends and family would be up to the individual but for myself I would want as little as possible to distract me from the event.
Denis Goodwin writes: A few hours to live. Ignore the whole thing and hope they are wrong. Shag myself silly. Go to the pub and get drunk. Have a pint and hitch a ride on the nearest intergalactic cruiser. Maybe go to the top of Centrepoint Tower and watch the whole show end. It may take most of the few hours to decide.
Alastair Harris writes: I’d kill Peter Costello and at least give us all a rest from his inflated self opinion for the last few minutes of our existence. Hang on; if the world ended this arvo we wouldn’t have to sit through the media coverage of his book launch … mightn’t be such a bad thing after all. This is not a serious threat so please don’t report me to the AFP … I’d hate to spend my last hours doing a Mohamed Haneef.
Mike Holland writes: Simply do what you enjoy most. Booze, sex, drugs, speed (air, land, sea — whatever), make speeches, deep breathing … etc … go for it!
Holly writes: It’s obvious isn’t it? At least to anyone with a brain. I would spend my last few moments re reading Crikey’s website.
James Howard writes: I’d be inclined to spend my last hours on Earth at least entertained. I’d gather up all my tabloid photographer mates, drive up to Mark Latham’s place, camp on the lawn and read aloud excerpts form Costello’s forthcoming memoirs. Entertainment? You bet your broken right arm!
Cheryl Jones writes: Id smoke a cigarette, have a triple decker whopper from Hungry Jacks — with cheese, and swig from the finest wine in my collection (which happens to be a $3 cleanskin). Then I’d be grateful that I didn’t invest in a home or a car, or my time in jobs that I hated. I’d reflect on the great moments of my life to date, like not dying in the Big Day Out infamous D Barrier, ever! Or getting my degree even though I was technically a unit short, or watching the Godfather trilogy in one go, without drugs!
Phil Kyson writes: Joyfully smile at the fearful fundamentalist right-wingers as they slowly disappear up their own collective hypocritical arseholes.
Michael Latz writes: I’d spend a little of what’s left of my time suggesting that the actual particle-smashing experiments aren’t scheduled until October 21. Aside from that, I’m not too worried about the possibility of the (painless) cessation of the human race — always been kind of a love-hate relationship. As for the rest of the universe … what’s it done for me lately?
Lucky sea change breakfast radio announcer writes: What to do for the last hour or so of existence? With a 1m sea/3.5m swell 50 metres from my front door (perhaps a little uncomfortably closer in the future) (but that’s if we get through today — and if we don’t then global warming can wait a while … say, for eternity) … err, where was I — oh yes, heading out the door. Bye.
James Luxton writes: My partner Janet and I would spend the time remaining sitting in our courtyard next to our rammed earth winery drinking our new Riesling and Shiraz, alternating bottle for bottle with Verve Cliquot, working our way through any interesting items like truffles and other items not recommended by the Heart Foundation. We would also look back on a terrific life together and die very smug knowing that somehow we had got away with it. And we would apologise to the goldfish in the lily pond for the stupidity of mankind.
Helen Lyons-Riley writes: Having worked alongside Len Evans at an early age I know the only sensible thing to do when the end is nigh is get into the cellar with a corkscrew. The only other tip Len gave me was “always eat well” … so just before I enter I intend to raid my daughter’s cafe for cheese, pancetta, house-smoked trout and cakes. See you on the dark side of the moon unless all goes well, in which case I’ll see you on the fat side of the moon.
Chris Malseed writes: Doing a frantic Google of the religions to find out which one promises the best afterlife …
Angela Marshall writes: As we are now safely on the other side of the colliding protons I can reveal how I spent the three hours between 2pm and 5pm Wednesday afternoon … Harvested the last of the broccoli, dug the bed and planted nine capsicum seedlings and three zucchinis, mulched well and watered; cleaned the oven (and cursed myself for not doing it more regularly); did the final copy-edit on a proposal to upgrade a Masters thesis to a PhD; and argued in a dispirited fashion with a bank about the difference between what they promised in their ads and what they actually deliver. Hardly inspiring or (dare I say) earth shattering stuff but there is a quiet satisfaction in realising that I didn’t choose to change what I was doing just because some were predicting imminent black hole annihilation.
Lisa Martin writes: I’m going to eat all the chocolate in my supermarket before 5pm. Don’t want it to go to waste.
John McIlwham writes: Party harder with my family and friends in real life, not the internet.
Thomas Millett writes: I want to see the last news bulletin to see if the Federal Government blames the Howard Government for the end of the world or if the “undertaker” blames it all on the current “new” leader of the NSW Government. But before that I am going to have a beer and a great Indian meal at the local Indian restaurant and celebrate my birthday — not leaving the old mud ball on an empty stomach!
Keith Mundy writes: I would spend the remaining time with my wife, a bottle of red and a block of chocolate. Watching the last few episodes of The Royals that I got for my birthday and have not yet watched.
Jamie Murdoch writes: I’d open a bottle of Grange and drink the whole thing. Naked.
Viggo Pedersen writes: Tonight, as the world is slowly being eaten up by a black hole, I shall fill up on beer and salted peanuts. Tomorrow morning I shall go out on the front lawn and wave a towel. My only fear is that I’ll be rescued by a Liberal Party destructor fleet and be forced to listen to extended readings of Peter Costello’s magnum opus.
Valerie Pitty writes: I plan to be reading today’s issue of Crikey then listening to Philip Adams to see how he is dealing with it.
Mary Potterie writes: Well as this afternoon’s Pitjantjatjara language class is cancelled, and I’m not going to a Buddhist Guru Puja … I think it will be playing with my grandchild while gardening.
John Richardson writes: Take a sickie.
Wayne Robinson writes: I can’t decide. If the world is going to come to an end at 3pm WST, should I get off the internet and go to the gym now, or wait until after then, just in case it doesn’t? What would be the least waste of time? On second thoughts, I think I will go and find where the robot vacuum cleaner has run out of power and put it back on the recharger.
Ken Seery writes: Drink my bottle of ’71 Grange — with as many friends as I could get together at short notice … Then work our way down through any other decent bottles. Plus pizza. Hell, even call in at the local bottle shop and max out whatever credit card we’ve still got limit on and buy the best they’ve got … (They reckon Andre Simon died with one bottle left in his cellar — if it’s good enough for him …) But it’ll all be OK — I have faith in Stephen Hawking … sorta/kinda …
Fredericka Smith writes: I would spend those last hours, with my husband, drinking Dom Perignon, listening to all that glorious Anglican liturgical music regarded as “forbidden” at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney.
Pattie Tancred writes: I would, if I were in his vicinity and could summon the energy, seek out J Winston Howard and point out to him that he is about to be consigned even further to an even greater oblivion than that to which he was condemned by his very entertaining electoral defeat in November. While I will go into that great goodnight still laughing.
Harvey Tarvydas writes: My end play is too sad … Reading Crikey and feverishly commenting on every article to calm my addiction.
Michael Taylor writes: I am too busy building my very own “Hadron’s Wall” to be distracted.
Tim of Adelaide writes: I would squander my last hours in a reckless frenzy of foolish proportions: smoking cigarettes, eating a Quad Stack burger and reading Costello’s political memoir.
Ili Tulloch writes: In the last few hours on Earth I would wax my legs, tend to my worm farm, and drink a cold beer or four. All while talking on the phone to doomed family and friends, and listening to loud hardcore punk rock.
Yantra de Vilder writes: Such reflection comes too rarely … and now that it is here with me I am wanting to spend my last hours at peace with myself and my maker … and all who comes in my orbit. As I am not quite sure who my maker is and I am still discovering who I am at the ripe old age of 50 … it feels like I am spending time with a new and yet very familiar friend. This “calm abiding” fills me with a new sense of what is … what is beyond the mask of myself and my human endeavours. Suddenly all that is important now is to send everyone that is in my heart all the love that I have for them … this includes big forgiveness as well for those shadowy entities that lurk in the closet of my soul. Signing off to another world…
Robin Wingrove writes: Don’t worry. Today they are just trying to send light around it to test the bugger. It’s next Wednesday that the real experimentation begins. So let’s party for a week anyway.