God Uses Eclipse To Kick Off Beginning Of The End

CORNWALL, England -- The entity known as God turned up unexpectedly this morning in Penzance to officially announce the End of the World. The announcement was made at 11:11 a.m. (GMT) today, but the End of the World is reportedly still scheduled for midnight on December 31, 1999 (GMT).

See also...
... by Patrick Di Justo
... in the Whoa! section
... from August 11, 1999

"The next 142 days will bring trials and tribulations such as the world has never seen," God told the less-than-enraptured audience, who had gathered in Cornwall simply to see the eclipse. Dockworker Eric Greaves blurted: "We only come 'ere for a pint of scrumpy and, when it got dark, some rumpy pumpy. End of the World? Oh my giddy aunt!"

The event was broadcast across the world, yet the reaction from religious leaders has been mixed. Pope John Paul II expressed dismay, saying that, "for the last 19 years, the Almighty has pretty much kept me up to date with his social plans." But Rabbi Shimuel Orbach, who was on the scene with a tourist party from Long Island, described himself as "quite upset," adding sadly:

"One hundred and forty-two days is nowhere near enough time for a Messiah to emerge from obscurity and deliver the Kingdom of God. Let's face it, we've wasted nearly 6,000 years waiting for someone who isn't going to come. We should have converted when we had the chance. Bugger."

Astronomers continue to claim that a solar eclipse is a completely natural phenomenon, caused when the moon gets between the Earth and the sun. At a quickly convened press reception, Royal Astronomer Eugene Perkins added testily:

"Yes, yes, yes, we get this every time there's a solar eclipse in Cornwall. It happened once in 1163, again in 1524 and -- within living memory? -- frankly, every bloody time the pubs stay open all night."

The artist formerly known as Prince could not be reached for comment.

Patrick Di Justo stays awake at nights dreaming of Nobel Prizes he'll never win.