My Mayan grandmother

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Gary Tetz
Gary Tetz
So here we are, halfway through a brand new year — and what a topsy-turvy time it's already been. I just wish my Mayan grandmother could have lived to see it.

We were very close, she and I. “You're such a lovely boy,” I recall her saying, putting down her knitting needles and patting my knee. “It's a shame the world will end in late 2012 and your young life will be cut short in an unspecified global cataclysm.”

“I love you, too, Mayan Grandmother,” I responded. “But you're kind of freaking me out.”

Now curious researchers rampaging through the rain forests of Guatemala have apparently uncovered the earliest known Mayan calendar. And guess what — it turns out the world isn't going to end this Dec. 21 after all. According to an article in the journal Science, the whole thing was a cruel misunderstanding. So it looks like I can safely start buying green bananas, bathing and refinancing my home again. 

For all you results-oriented leaders out there, I realize this news could come as an inconvenient and unacceptable truth. When someone promises the apocalypse, you expect him or her to deliver, and when they don't, you insist on accountability. While our red-faced scientists attempt to reinterpret this new treasure-trove of artifacts, you have every right to demand that they dig a little deeper, and more carefully this time.

For instance, did those prescient Mayans happen to predict who our next president will be? If the Congress would be red, blue or bipartisan purple? Whether the Affordable Care Act will live or die? What tortuous new regulations or revenue-deficient reimbursement models will be devised? You deserve to know, and sadly, it seems the Mayans may be your last, best hope to accurately prepare for the future of long-term care.

Of course, there's one more possibility, one that's almost too frightening to consider. Maybe the experts were right about the Mayans all along, and the end of the world is still right on schedule. It's not a nuclear warhead, killer bees or an asteroid that's headed our way. It's just a swarm of aging and ravenous Boomers descending on a nation woefully unprepared to care for them.

What will happen when they arrive? Only my Mayan grandmother knows for sure, and she's not talking.