But I suppose I should quit grumbling and get on with it.
First, it became obvious to me that no one could agree on exactly how the world is going to end, so I had to do a great deal of background research reading old Nostradamus texts, deciphering Mayan calendars and poring over years of Joyce Jillson's old daily newspaper horoscopes. Eventually I came to the conclusion that, while the details differed somewhat, all available sources predict Death From The Skies, specifically from the area of the Solar System near Saturn. Fine.
I called up NASA and they agreed to task the Cassini spacecraft to support my mission. NASA even seemed quite grateful that I was looking into this, because of course they don't have enough funding to prevent the end of the world themselves. As a result of this cooperation, however, I receive Cassini photographs as they are transmitted from the spacecraft on my own special web site. Now, my job consists of carefully poring over each photograph as it comes in and looking for anomalies like alien mother ships and Britney Spears sunbathing nude on one of the moons of Saturn. It's a thankless job, but NASA and I agreed we'd split the proceeds from the sale of any Britney Spears photographs to the Enquirer, so I might actually make some money out of this at some point.
On Valentine's Day, after meeting with my hand-picked analysis team at a local bar, I went back to the grind of reviewing that day's Cassini photographs. Imagine my shock when I noticed that Mimas, one of the inner moons of Saturn, had acquired a concave depression in it since the last fly-by! Of course, I immediately realized that the Mimanteans had constructed a fully armed and operational Death Star!
"Holy crap!" I muttered to myself. "This calls for immediate action!" I called up US President Barack Obama, but an aide patiently explained to me that the United States does not now possess nor has it ever possessed X-Wing Fighters. He did, however, suggest that I try calling up the Israeli Defense Ministry as he had heard rumors that they might have some mothballed in the Negev somewhere. The Israelis have yet to get back to me on this, the short-sighted fools, but you will be gratified to hear that I am going ahead with my own preparations to save the world without them.
The first thing I decided to do was to more closely review the Cassini Mimas images for clues concerning the level of Mimantean technology. I finally came across this photograph:
The original image was labelled by my NASA compatriots as follows:
N00151630.jpg was taken on February 13, 2010 and received on Earth February 14, 2010. The camera was pointing toward MIMAS at approximately 20,630 kilometers away, and the image was taken using the RED and CL2 filters. This image has not been validated or calibrated.I had to alter the original image to validate it and calibrate it and compensate for the RED and CL2 filters in my special GIMP imaging software, but once I did that, something interesting emerged. If you look very carefully at my compensated N00151630 image above, you can see a rogue Mimantean Storm Trooper who apparently didn't get the memo about avoiding the surface during the Cassini fly-by. It is reassuring to note that the Storm Trooper is apparently a standard Imperial clone, and we know enough about Imperial technology to deal with it effectively. So we have that going for us.
The next step I am taking is that I am resuming my study of the Force, in case I have to go to Mimas and Take Care Of This Personally. I consider this a last resort, since I am a busy blogger, but if it comes to that I'll do it for the sake of my you, my readers, of whom Google Analytics reports that 73.2% are actually Earthlings. I left most of my nifty Jedi gear over at some chick's house one night whose name I can't remember, so to practice up I've been running around my house with a bucket over my head brandishing a cane and chasing the cat. I can almost hear the voice of my Jedi mentor in my ear, who sounds strangely like Alec Guinness: "Use the Force, Hulles! Feel the cane smacking the cat's ass!" A side benefit of this newly-resumed training is that my big-boned cat Mimi has lost 3 pounds in the last week, which won't hurt her a bit, unlike the cane. Another side effect of this training is that I need two new lamps in my living room.
My final step in preventing the end of the world when they fire up the powerful Mimantean lasers in December of 2012 is to write this blog entry. I want to share the results of my research and preparations so that if some punk-ass bounty hunter lasers my head off as I'm walking into the redundantly-named Nina's Coffee Café, you, my readers, can step up to the plate and go kick some Imperial ass on Mimas in my stead. "Win one for the Nipper," will be my silent wish to you as you vector in on the Death Star power plant. Hell, if I can figure out how those other guys did it, I'll even put in a ghostly translucent appearance at the award ceremony and smile benignly as some hot bra-less chick with funky hair puts a medal around your neck. So think about going out to Menard's today just in case; they have 5-gallon buckets on sale through the weekend.
In closing, I should apologize to you Spanish speakers out there: you probably thought from the title of this entry that the end of the world was going to result from a plague of zombie female mimes from Puerto Rico. Rest assured that, however unlikely this outcome seems, I have put my crack analysis team to work on the remote possibility that my initial research was flawed. Thus, if the zombie mime chick thing really does come to pass, in 2012 the US populace will be issued noise-suppressed M16 rifles, one per household. Because if Steven Wright has taught us anything -- and he has taught us plenty -- it's that when you shoot a mime, you should use a silencer.
May the Force be with you all.