Today is the day the world will end. According to various misinterpretations of ancient calendars and prophecies, that is, promulgated to the point of farce via the musings of millions on the internet.
So I do hope you're enjoying your breakfast.
Of course, it might already have ended, in which case this column is redundant. But given we're at the "start" of the day here in New Zealand, chances are things might not stop, for us, until it's sometime tomorrow.
Thus I'll trust, dear reader, you have the opportunity to read this and see the scaremongers proved wrong.
However, let's imagine, for a moment, that the more profound New Age prophetic associations with today's date are literally true. I for one would rejoice.
Before you choke on your cornflakes, best we clarify that. Leaving aside the dubious scribblings of Nostradamus or even more opaque Book of Revelations hallucinations, I'm referring to the Mayan "end of the calendar" concept - and what scholars and indigenous peoples say it actually portends.
See, this solstice marks not just an ending but a new beginning. The end of one "long cycle" (of 5125 solar years, or 13 b'ak'tuns) and the start of another.
This is rather a different picture than that of apocalypse in Western (now quasi-global) thought. Indeed, there is no evidence the Maya associated any apocalyptic events with the end of a long cycle - other than a change of ruling gods.
So Mayans would not have been running to buy a Chinese-made "insulated doomsday pod" (at $48,000 a pop - seats 14) or heading for Mt Rtanj in Serbia or France's Pic de Bugarach, in expectation of some form of alien intervention; nor visiting the Turkish village of Sirince to take advantage of its "positive energy" to weather the catastrophe.
Yet tens of thousands are doing just that and millions more are worried enough to hunker down. Astonishingly, a recent survey of 16,000 adults in 21 countries found an average of 10 per cent agreed today's date marked the end of the world, with responses as high as 20 per cent in China, 13 per cent in Russia, Turkey, Japan and Korea, and 12 per cent in the United States (where sales of private underground blast shelters have increased noticeably since 2009).
In contrast, according to commonly held Mayanist belief as expressed by Lee Bettles to the United Nations, it marks the end of the Macha and beginning of the Pacha; the end of the "non-time" and the beginning of time.
"It is the end of selfishness and the beginning of brotherhood," Morales declared. "The end of an anthropocentric life and the beginning of a biocentric life." Frankly, that's a concept to which I could subscribe.
Let's face it, our current "management" of this planet is woefully inept and likely leading to the sort of apocalyptic ending the gullible believed would occur right now.
Newly collated evidence from global temperature and particle emissions readings suggests the environmental "tipping point" has already been passed - perhaps 30 years ago - and it's all irretrievably downhill from here.
Meaning while it won't be today, the end, for humankind at least, could be a within-our-lifetime tomorrow.
I'd prefer to believe in Senor Morales take on it: that in a reprise of the Age of Aquarius concept, as a race we're about to undergo an epiphany, a saving grace of attitudinal change that will pull us from the fire.
And just maybe, on the evidence of the mass apprehension and even downright panic concerning this date that has swept the globe, thanks in large part to the worldwide web, that same medium will be the mechanism to create and empower that change.
After all, if a few crazy rumours and half-truths can spook 10 per cent of humanity into a doomsday mindset, perhaps the truth and a vision for a way forward can spark ascension to a future beyond fear.
In short, while we have to face facts and act accordingly, let's be done with doom and get on with enabling new beginnings. As to how, it's remarkably simple. The best way to defeat death is to choose life.
That's the right of it.
Bruce Bisset is a freelance writer and poet.