THE Mayan Long Count Calendar ends today after 5,125 years. Not a bad run, as calendars go.
So, what happens?
Probably nothing, although there is no shortage of suggestible folk prophesying that Dec. 21 will be the Mayan apocalypse.
Armageddon could come by way of a collision between Earth and the planet of Nibiru, although the fact that Nibiru is only a myth has cast some doubt on the theory.
Another piece of lore suggests that aliens, who have been "parked" in their ship somewhere on Earth, will escort a few humans off the planet just before annihilation.
Believers think of the chosen ones as the lucky few, but getting whisked away by aliens almost never ends well.
The ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Tikal in the rainforest jungles of northern Guatemala are a geographic focal point for the end of days. Tourists have flocked there, which is curious, since one might want to move away from ground zero.
Many years ago, before I was a straight-laced radio talk show host, I was a bit of a free- spirited traveler, and I visited Tikal. This was 1977, and just getting there was an event.
I started out alone in Belize City, where I made friends with a fellow traveler from Australia named Malcolm. We hitchhiked west to the Guatemalan border.
Belize is a former British colony and the military still had a small post there. Malcolm talked his way into a jeep ride for the both of us to the border checkpoint. From there, we took an old school bus on a dirt road to Flores.