It's 12/21/12, what are your end-of-the-world plans?

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Cindy Nevitt / Doug Wing, owner of Ready’s Coffee Shop on Eighth Street, waves goodbye to the end of the world, which he will mark with one of his favorite meals, a hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberries. Cindy Nevitt / Doug Wing, owner of Ready’s Coffee Shop on Eighth Street, waves goodbye to the end of the world, which he will mark with one of his favorite meals, a hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberries.

It’s the end of the world. Now go to work.

That’s pretty much the way most Ocean City residents and business owners are reacting to the arrival of Dec. 21 (12/21/12), long thought by some to be the last day on earth as the Mayan calendar ends on this date.

“Just because the Mayans got tired of counting should not affect people’s lives,” said Ed Price, the owner of a computer service firm, adding he’ll spend today the same way he spent yesterday and the same way he’ll spend tomorrow.

Bill Hollingsworth, executive director of the Humane Society of Ocean City; Eric Sauder, who works at a gas station; and Bill McGinnity, a chef and restaurant owner, are among those who will punch the clock today just as they do every workday. Sauder said he toyed with the idea of waiting to do his Christmas shopping on the 22nd, but felt optimistic he’d be giving out gifts on the 25th.

“I spent a lot of time in Mayan Mexico, out in the country, and I will do what most of those folks are going to do. I will get up and go to work,” said Joan Farrell, who added she is more interested in celebrating a gradual return to longer days as the end of the world falls on the winter solstice.

Sally-Jo DeLussa will mark the end of the world by wrapping Christmas presents and ordering her usual Friday night pizza. Marty Mozzo, a Merion Park resident whose property suffered damage from Sandy, plans to work on putting his recently renovated garage back together.

Looking forward to 12/21/12

For Julie Baumgardner and Joanne Bernardini, the end of the world, at the very least, deserves a toast.

“Mom and I will be at the bar at the Crab Trap in the evening,” Baumgardner said. “I hope it ends after that!”

“As far as the end of the world, if it happens, I’m going out with a bottle of champagne and a smile on my face,” said Bernardini, who was one of the organizers of this year’s BYOB campaign.

Doug Wing, owner of Ready’s Coffee Shop on Eighth Street, will be enjoying one of his favorite meals, a hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberries.

“If it’s going to be the end of the world, that means I’m not going to have it for Christmas,” Wing said. “I’m going to treat it as if I’m on death row and this is my last supper.”

Wing will have company at lunch: Councilman Keith Hartzell said his end-of-the-world plans include having “some kind of party” with the 3 O’Clock Club, so named for the penchant of its members to arrive at closing time at Ready’s.

Ralph Werner and Sam Samstie are making more fatalistic plans for the day.

“I’m looking for a used, but still functional 1950s bomb shelter,” said Werner, an associate professor of biology at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. “On the 22nd, my wife, our pets and I will emerge as the Supreme World Leaders … of nothing.”

Samstie, who came to fame while parodying the anti-BYOB faction in this year’s referendum issue, said, “I am evacuating my wife and animal companions to the Sam Samstie barmageddon bunker, if I can locate it,” although he added he feared his shelter may have been swept away along with the dunes in the north end of town.

The end of the world has few fans as enthusiastic as Bill Quain, a professor of hotel and restaurant management at Stockton.

“We live on Fifth Street, and we do not have many Mayans in our neighborhood,” said Quain, whose home suffered both flood and rain damage from Sandy. “Anyway, despite the fact that we are not Mayan, we are going to have one serious party on the last night of the world. I mean, why not?”

Tongue firmly in cheek, Quain said he located “end-of-the-world-according-to-the-Mayans decorations” at a Mayan party store in Camden, and initially balked at purchasing a centerpiece for $4,000. “But then I figured, it doesn’t matter!” he said. “It’s the end of the world, what am I saving it for?”

The fact that the end of the world falls on a Friday could be problematic, Quain pointed out.

“That’s a tough time for a shore town,” he said. “A lot of the shoobies are not down yet. I can hear them now, ‘I am running late for the end-of-the-world party. I am stuck in traffic on the expressway. Do you know if the Garden State is still charging tolls?’ ”

The advantages of the world ending outweigh the disadvantages, Quain said. He doesn’t have to worry if he forgets to invite someone to his end-of-the-world party, or if he drinks too much and says the wrong thing, or have to suffer through a hangover that won’t come on a morning that doesn’t dawn.

But mostly, Quain suspects the Maya might be pranking us with their abbreviated calendar.

“We just got tired of making calendars for everyone,” he imagines them saying. “It was no fun being superior mathematicians when all of your ancestors were trying to count to six on one hand.”

Happy End of the World, everyone! Now get back to work.


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