Businesses prepare for end of the world

Finish Line Cafe owner Mark Hanson holds up the banner at Finish Line announcing the Dec. 21 End of the World Party there. Elsewhere at Finish Line could be seen a sign announcing Finish Line’s planned New Year’s Eve party.

Finish Line Cafe owner Mark Hanson holds up the banner at Finish Line announcing the Dec. 21 End of the World Party there. Elsewhere at Finish Line could be seen a sign announcing Finish Line’s planned New Year’s Eve party.

Go on the Internet and you will soon realize that more than a few businesses are capitalizing on the talk flying around of late about some predicting the end of the world will arrive this Dec. 21.

The “fad” about that, as Trading Post business owner Dave Zeimke calls it, is people thinking the end is coming that day because that is the end of the Mayan calendar. A new Mayan calendar of 394 years is supposed to begin after that, according to a story on the enstarz.com website.

Zeimke, who owns the Trading Post used goods/pawn shop businesses at Princeton and Zimmerman, says he doesn’t believe this Dec. 21 will be the end of the world. Zeimke shares the skepticism with Mark Hanson, owner of the Finish Line Cafe, located just south of Princeton city limits.

Zeimke and Hanson also have in common the fact that they are running specials under the end-of-the-world theme.

Zeimke is starting his specials on Dec. 17 and running them through the 20th, while Hanson is having his specials in the latter part of Dec. 21 and up to 2 a.m. of Dec. 22. The Finish Line, is a bar as well as a restaurant and in its location, bars can stay open until 2 a.m.

Hanson had a banner made about six feet long that has the end-of-world title and a listing of various drink specials during the Finish Line Cafe’s end-of-the-world event. It also advertises that a DJ will be playing music from 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 21 to 2 a.m. the next day. Perhaps one appropriate selection would be The Doors 1967-released song, “The End,” written and sung by The Doors’ front man, the late Jim Morrison. The DJ would have to begin playing the full version of “The End” 12 minutes before the world would end because that is how long that version goes.

“I don’t think the world’s going to end,” said Hanson at the Finish Line Cafe last Friday. “It’s the end of the Mayan calendar so a lot of people are predicting the world is going to end sometime that day.”

After thinking more about that, Hanson added, “I think the Mayans just got bored and gave up (on continuing the calendar).”

Frank Kosloski, a customer at Finish Line Cafe that day, was asked for his thoughts on the subject and he gave a practical answer. Kosloski, retired since 2002, said, “I’m counting on being around. Who else would shovel the deck or steps at home?”

Bill Sens, who manages the Princeton Trading Post store, suggested people should come to the Trading Post to buy “everything you don’t need before the end of the world.” Sens says he has heard some customers comment about “buying something you can’t live without before the end of the world.”

Zeimke, who said he is running his end-of-the-world sale because that subject is “what everybody’s talking about,” noted that some people are taking the whole thing seriously.

Zeimke says he knows of several who have been stashing bottled water and canned food in their basement as a precaution. He also said that gun sales have gone up at his Trading Posts in the last several months and said he sees some link between those sales and the end-of-the-world talk.

The main reason customers had been giving for buying guns prior to recent months, was to use for hunting, but the main reason of late has been self-defense, Zeimke said.

Some of the reactions to the end-of-the-world talk have a familiar ring when thinking back to the so-called Y2K scare when the calendar was about to turn to year 2000. Many worried about electronic systems all crashing on Dec. 31, 1999, and fretted that as a result, problems would develop in the water and food supply. Therefore, many stocked up on both canned food and bottled water in the months prior to January 2000.

There was no catastrophe when 2000 arrived and many are skeptical that there will be any this Dec. 21.

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