The World Ends Tomorrow

—– Original Message —–

From: “John Edmond”

To: “Bob Robertson”

Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 5:58:52 PM

Subject: Forwarding message from space

Hi Bob,

You may recall that we met when you did your reading in November ‘11 at Collected Works Bookstore in Ottawa (which, sadly, is closing Christmas Eve).

I got this message earlier today from my old friend Chris Hadfield, which he asked me pass on for your advice:


It’s 6:15 p.m. local time in Kazakhstan, and we just took off three minutes ago. I didn’t have time for this before blast-off, but it’s so important I’m sending this from the cramped capsule that Yuri used. I know you know Bob Robertson, the author of Mayan Horror. It was the last book I read before we left. Could you please forward this to him, as I desperately need his advice. None of Bob’s answers to Questions from Troubled Readers helps in our unique situation.

I’m terribly worried, John, about what will happen Friday, when we’re miles above the world. When the world ends, will we still be part of the world, so we’ll end too, or will the world simply disappear beneath, so to speak, our feet? If the world ends and we stay in orbit, how do we maintain orbit when there’s nothing left to orbit? And will we never have anywhere to land – I mean, 147 days with a Yank and a Ruski are one thing, but perpetual orbit – I’m sorry. Will we disappear or survive? – as Bill Clinton might have said, that depends on what “world” means. Religious folks talk about being in the world but not of it – well, I’d say we’re of the world but not in it. So please get Bob to explain where that leaves us. And don’t let him just say, up in the air. I want a solid answer, and I mean solid.

I should have paid more attention to our noble leader, Stephen. His church in Ottawa, the East Gate Alliance, is really plugged in. Their website says, “ The second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is imminent and will be personal and visible.” ( ) I bet that’s Friday. That explains, of course, why Steve doesn’t bother making puny human efforts to save the environment – why would he? Scientists are just missing the truth. But why did he let me go on this mission only to get hung out to dry? I just don’t know. I’m sure Bob will have all the answers.

Please pass this on to Bob as soon as possible.

Desperately yours (and Goodbye),


So, Bob, I know you’re the best qualified person in the world to advise on empty space. Can you say anything to help Chris in this existential crisis?

In case there’s a Mayan/East Gate error, and disaster is deferred, Merry Christmas to you and Linda.


John Edmond

Dear John,

I well remember my reading at Collected Works Bookstore last November. One of the most wonderful bookstores I’ve ever been in. Please tell me that when you say “..sadly, is closing Christmas Eve.” you simply mean closing until it opens a few days later. You were very kind to me and to repay that favour, I will be happy to add a final segment to my “Questions From Troubled Readers” to honour and help soothe the troubled mind of your friend and Canadian astronaut hero Chris Hadfield.

Dear Chris,

I hope this reaches you before 11:11UT on Friday when Mesoamerica’s most famous calendar (well, next to the “Nude Grannies of the Yucatan” calendar) comes to a screeching stop and our beautiful earth is pelted by rogue planets or rebel asteroids or even a storm of Tory Tweets (which has already caused considerable damage to much of Canada). Chris, what you will see as you sip your Tang (or perhaps astronauts have moved on to Red Bull these days, I don’t know) and gaze in awe out the window of the space station, will be something only the great Noah has been able to witness. Mind you, he had animals in the ark with him and I’m assuming you don’t, although it would be a really neat PR move if it turned out that the IKEA monkey is up there with you guys, and he actually knew how to assemble a Klobo loveseat. Anyway, your worry about going into perpetual orbit, as a result of Armageddon, is one you should put from your mind. You see, and look at me telling a scientist like yourself things like this, life always goes on. You will return to earth safe and sound after conducting your many experiments like the one where you see if earthworms can survive re-entry without wearing protective suits. You will spring forth from your capsule and look around picturesque Kazakhastan (I believe that’s their tourism slogan for 2013) and, perhaps be the only human left on earth, other than your American and Russian comrades. There’s even a joke that will appear in the distant future that goes…”A Canadian, an American and a Russian walk into a post-apocalyptic world. The Russian looks around the flat barren landscape and says, “Da, iss good place to start Mafia, control everything and people will fear us. The American squints out at the brown, flat, unending horizon and says, “This is a good place to open some fast food restaurants and serve giant-sized portions and people will love us.” The Canadian, who has been quietly listening, finally speaks. He says, “Are we in Saskatchewan?” So, you see, Chris, most, perhaps all of us will be gone to meet our Maker, or as a dyslexic friend of mine likes to say, “Some day, I’ll die and meet my baker”. Some of us will be off to be rescued from the clutches of Yamaraj by Yishnu and Siva and still others will descend into the flames of Hell and have to bunk in with Rush Limbaugh Karl Rove and John Baird, but, you, Chris, will have the opportunity to start life again and get it right this time (Here’s hoping either the Russian or the American astronaut will be female), which means no Harper Conservatives, no Republicans, and definitely no more episodes of Survivor. You will be, in the words of Leonardo DiCaprio, “King of the World”. Rather than worrying about disappearing into oblivion, Chris, you should revel in the fact that you will be the new Mad Max, and, I believe he is an actual future historical character. Be at peace my friend, wave farewell to us as you pass over Canada at 11:11UT (2:41 in Newfoundland) and wish us well. Mostly, remember that of the three people left in the world, one will be a Canadian and that means the world will be okay. Safe trip my friend. Thank you for reading my book. My life and my bank account are richer for it…well, certainly my life.

Bob Robertson

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