The Haven
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The Haven


The Apocalypse Is Coming

Everybody go Commando

Photo by Roymundo VII/Flickr

The End Time is near, says a Christian group in Michigan, for behold, the Mark of the Beast has appeared. Granted, they admit, there have been false alarms in the past. But this time it’s for real, because the Mark is being rolled out by AT&T.

The group, Joshua’s Trumpets, lives in a compound on the Leelanau, a peninsula in Michigan’s Up North known for vast fruit orchards, miles of Lake Michigan beaches, and religious sects whose members are a pit shy of a whole cherry.

The Joshuas might be one of those. They’re Apocalyptic Millennials. That is, they believe the Antichrist will come forth some day to rule the world. That will trigger the Second Coming, when Jesus will return, assemble an army of the Righteous, and defeat the Antichrist and his minions at Armageddon.

Those minions are a secret transnational group called the New World Order. Its members include such obvious threats to people’s liberties as the Federal Reserve, World Health Organization, National Public Radio, and Wikimedia. It also includes clandestine promoters of authoritarianism like TikTok, Tinder, Spotify, Netflix, PayPal, Facebook, and Amazon.

Some people ridicule the Joshuas for believing there’s a New World Order. To the Joshuas, those people are clueless. The Joshuas know that the Son of God walked the earth 2,000 years ago; the evidence is the Bible. Likewise, they know the NWO exists; the evidence is the Mark of the Beast.

The Mark is the numerals “666.” Most people don’t notice them. But to the Joshuas, they’re right there in plain sight. For example, “666” is clearly visible in the logo of The Walt Disney Company.

Image from Clipart Library

The Mark appears is Heineken’s logo when it’s turned upside-down.

Photo by Daniel Lanza/Flickr

These are just examples of where the Antichrist applied his Satanic trademark to company names. The End Time, however, will be rolled out with a major marketing campaign.

The first time that happened, or so it seemed, was in 1860, when American Roulette tables debuted at a casino on the Leelanau.

Photo by Skye Roulette/Flickr

The Joshuas immediately discerned the Mark of the Beast.

  • The first “6” was revealed by adding the numbers in the section called “1st 12”: the sum is 78. Add that number’s two digits: 7 + 8 = 15. Add that number’s digits: 1 + 5 = 6.
  • The second “6” was derived by adding the numbers in section “2nd 12”: the result is 222. Add its three digits: 2 + 2 + 2 = 6.
  • The third “6” was found by adding the numbers in section “3rd 12”: that’s 366. Add its three digits: 3 + 6 + 6 = 15. Add that number’s digits: 1 + 5 = 6.

Concatenate the result of each step, and voilà, “666”, the Mark of the Beast.

Clearly, the End Time was at hand. The Joshuas stopped tending their orchards, cleaned their muzzleloaders, and prepared for a scrap with the Antichrist. But as the weeks wore on, nothing happened. No floods. No earthquakes. No civilizational collapse. No takeover by the Antichrist and NWO (which at the time consisted of the railroads, J. P. Morgan, and Jim Beam). The Joshuas chalked it up to a false alarm, and got on with their lives.

In 1926, the End Time seemed again in the offing. The Federal government assigned a new highway number to the road from Gallup, New Mexico to Monticello, Utah: Route Six-Sixty-Six.

Photo by Rob Lee/Flickr

Once again, the Joshuas prepared to join Jesus’ army and take down the Antichrist. Once again, the Antichrist was a no-show. The Joshuas were tempted to move on. And yet, there was the Mark, plastered on signs lining 195 miles of road. Out of an abundance of caution, they decided to keep their guard up for so long as the Mark was on that highway. As a result, they operated as if the End Time was near for seventy-seven years. That is, until 2003, when Federal highway authorities, tired of replacing U. S. 666 signs stolen by souvenir hunters, changed the route’s designation to 491.

Now, however, the End Time is definitely near. How can the Joshuas be so sure? Because the Mark of the Beast is being rolled out by AT&T. Specifically, AT&T has announced that the number of customers using the “231” area code, which covers the northwestern Lower Peninsula, is nearing capacity. As a result, part of the “231” service area will be assigned a new code. That area is the Leelanau peninsula, and that code is “666.”

AT&T is one of the nation’s largest telecommunications companies. Last year, it had 201 million subscribers and $168 billion in operating revenue. So it stands to reason, if AT&T embeds the Mark of the Beast in the phone numbers for twenty thousand customers, its time to top off the car’s gas tank, stock up on C-Rations, buy a few cases of ammo, and oil up the AR-15.

Under normal circumstances, that’s what the Joshuas would have done.

But this time, they said “F*ck it.”

For too many years, they’d stockpiled food, water, toilet paper and tampons. Stacked tons of cordwood. Hoarded gold. Amassed guns and ammo. Conducted day-long field maneuvers, where they often got lost, or yelled at by old ladies for tramping through their gardens. And regularly engaged in target practice (sometimes using garden gnomes “captured” during their maneuvers).

In short, the Joshuas had spent decades preparing to participate in Apocalypse. Now they just wanted to be spectators.

Indeed, seeing as how the world might go to Hell in a hand basket at any minute, the Joshuas decided to make some overdue changes in their lives.

First, they ceased doing things which are complete wastes of time. Balancing checkbooks. Laundering whites and colors separately. Checking Instagram. Trying to lower their cable bill while keeping the channels they like. Watching Hallmark movies — if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all. And trying to keep Wikipedia’s list of conspiracy theories up to date.

Second, they loosened up. The women, normally submissive, have taken to cussing, farting, gum-chewing, knuckle-cracking, and scratching their private parts in public. The men, typically rugged and remote, spend their mornings baking Kahlúa-bacon brownies, then serving them at afternoon men-only coffee klatches, where they share their feelings, and end up with a group cry.

Third, everyone’s gone “commando.” Its feels liberating and sexy. And camo looks best when there are no visible panty lines.

Finally, the moms decided their kids shouldn’t go to the Rapture still believing the lies they were told to keep them in line. So they’ve been setting their kids straight. No, a kitten doesn’t die every time the kid grabs something in a store mom told them not to touch. The Tooth Fairy won’t withhold money if their room is too messy. Their butt and belly button aren’t connected by a string, so their butt won’t fall off if they play with their navel. And snakes don’t live behind their eyes, and get angry and come out if they pick their noses.

Dads, too, have fessed up regarding the whoppers they told the kids when they were little. Such as, rumble strips aren’t grooved into roads to warn blind drivers when they start to drift over the centerline. Animals laying on the road aren’t just snoozing there because the pavement is cozy-warm. And that time there was blood on the seat of mommy’s pants wasn’t because she wiped her butt too hard after making boom-boom.



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Miss Catherine La Grange, spinster

Miss Catherine La Grange, spinster


Retired high school social studies teacher in Michigan’s Up North. I’m a Presbyterian spinster, but I’m no Angel.