How can you tell when the world is ending on 21 Dec?
1. You’ll be reading this and suddenly– everything goes black.
Still here? Oh. Must have been an early red herring or a power cut.
2. There’s a knock on the door at an unexpected time and you hear whispering voices of doom and gloom outside. You’re scared but brave and you open it…
Still here? Yes, Father Christmas does like a joke when the reindeer are in the park for refuelling. Do you know he got an ASBO once?
3. You suddenly get the urge to have sex with anyone-to-hand over the course of the next ten minutes. The end of the world is very definitely nigh right now.
You’ve gone up and down the street only to find they were all at Tesco? Well what did you expect? You’re living in the world of crime fiction; nobody does sex here.
4. You feel a huge shudder under your feet.
Fear not, it’s just next door’s Christmas shopping order arriving in an Asda van. No, I can’t understand their fondness for all those baseball bats either.
5. It keeps getting darker and you feel the walls closing in.
Well it is nearly 5 pm and you haven’t put any lights on yet. ‘Dark’ is for ghost stories if we’re honest.
6. You hear a tsunami coming, all the way from Sark.
It’s the toilet flush again. I told you that plumber was an identity theft job, didn’t I?
7. The tsunami’s getting louder and closer and you can smell the water coming.
You didn’t let him loose on the central heating as well did you? He was a professional hitman in Odesa before he came to live in Little Stemlock. Here, take a bucket.
8. You feel the earth move.
Oh! So sorry for the disappointment after all you’ve been through. It’s next door on the other side, back from Tesco. He was listening to a Lee Child audio book in the car and she was reading Fifty Shades. Always gets them in the mood for their own version of #3 above, as soon as they walk in the door. Try not to think of them.
9. You smell burning.
Belinda Bauer’s Rubbernecker is so hot it self-destructs two days after reading’s completed. Let me douse it for you. Er, can you pass the bucket back?
10. You hear a loud crashing sound.
OK. That’s either your over-burdened bookshelves collapsing or the seagull is back nesting in the eaves again.
11. You feel pain across your chest.
Not to worry: that’s just you not everybody, so it’s not the end of the world. Here, I’ll call 999.
Hmm, you might be onto something this time. Let me check…
No, we’re ok. The idiot from next door’s just pinched your eglu from the garden. Look, shall I put you out of your misery and tell you what the first sign of the end of the world is?
When James Patterson books suddenly dry up I suggest you start counting down from 200.