We looked at several apocalypse tropes in my Creative Writing class last week -- an excerpt from Chuck Pahahniuk's Fight Club; the first pages of a fantastic book about the earth's orbit slowing (The Age of Miracles) and the David Bowie song "Five Years", which is a really long time to think about an impending apocalypse (what would you do? five minutes or five hours is easy, but five years?) and the morning after I did this lesson, I happened to listen to an episode of 99% Invisible called "Game Over" which got me all choked up -- and this was while I was walking the dog at 6:00 AM and shortly after my weeping in the dark, I ran into this big African American dude that I play basketball with (he's a garbageman and was reporting to the public works building, which is next to the dog park) and he'll always talk your ear off -- so I went from picking up dog poop to nearly bawling to removing my headphones and chatting in the dark about his back injury in the span of seven minutes, which is a lot of stimulus for me in the morning and my brain nearly suffered an apocalyptic apoplexy, but I recovered and then played the podcast for my students that day -- the show describes the end of a utopian digital world (The Sims Online) that had a cult following of very dedicated "players" that were really just hanging out and socializing, and there is a wonderful tape of the "DJ," a real human that spun music on a Sims radio station, in the final moments of the game, bidding his online buddies a tearful farewell as the Sim people freeze up, the houses and trees gradually blink out of existence, and finally, a server error message replaces the thriving little digital universe -- and this has made me have a rather selfish thought, that rather than die alone as most of us will, of a stroke or cancer or heart disease or falling down a well, instead I'd rather go out in a major cataclysm: an asteroid, a plague, man-eating ticks from space, whatever . . . because then at least everyone will be in it together (and I'd love to listen to the radio while it's all going down).