In response, the group American Atheists are planing Rapture day parties across the country (under the tagline, "The Rapture: You KNOW it's Nonsense. 2000 Years of 'Any Day Now'").
Regardless of what side of that argument you stand on, should you still be on terra firma come Saturday night, there are a number of places to celebrate (all events are on Saturday, May 21):
• "Jar-e and Mad Tea Party are holding a Rapture after-party show at MoDaddy’s", writes Ukulele Rockstar (a.k.a. Ami Wortham of indie rock duo Mad Tea Party). 9 p.m., $5.
• Sazarac confirmed by phone that it is, indeed, an "official Rapture after-party" locale. No word on what that will entail, but it can't hurt to find out, right?
• "High energy, booze-laden absurdest rock spanning many genres of music in chameleon-like fashion" is how local rockers Ivan the Terribles describe themselves. The band is also "musically prolific and mentally deficient with a raucous live show that often includes fancy dressing, heavy bouts of vodka chugging, guitar slamming, and animal-like howling. It's a fist pumping, mind-f**king romp-fest." So, pretty good bet they'll make their post-rapture show at The Lab. 10 p.m., $5.
• RITES: A public performance might not be about the Rapture, but its content may hold viewers rapt. Close enough, right? "Come out for this FREE public performance in the River Arts District, featuring a mural by Molly Rose Freeman, original choreography by Garth Grimball, and a score composed by Michael Libramento. RITES is a tribute to Springtime and a celebration of the vibrancy and freshness that come with the season. The performance is right on the French Broad River, in an outdoor space across from Cotton Mill Studios. We will open the gates an hour before showtime, so bring your chairs, your blankets, your friends and family, and join us for a real community arts event!" RiverLink Sculpture and Performance Plaza, 117 Riverside Drive. 7 p.m. More info here.
• Post-rapture looting is an actual Facebook event. "When everyone is gone and god's not looking, we need to pick up some sweet stereo equipment and maybe some new furniture for the mansion we're going to squat in," write the organizers. Yeah, good luck with that. More than 179,000 people have RSVPed.
And, to help you with your Saturday preparations, Rapture tips from Barbie Angell:
• rapture tip #1. Do not drink any Kool-Aid if you did not prepare it yourself.
• rapture tip #2. Disregard any "rapture" churches which ask you to agree to yearly contributions or have pamphlets detailing summer events.
• rapture tip #3. When spaceships begin to appear in the sky, do not flee to L.A. Tom Cruise and Will Smith are actors and cannot help you.
• rapture tip #4. If you feel inclined to give away your worldly possessions ... please contact me, I can definitely help you with that.
• rapture tip #5. Do not approach zombies even if you know them. That is not your Aunt Edna and she doesn't want a hug ... she wants your brains.
• rapture tip #6. Protocol is to run screaming into the streets and get hit by cars. This is post-rapture population control for the rest of us.
• rapture tip #7. Post-apocalyptic concert will be held at Sazerac in Asheville. Bouncers will be stopping zombies at the door. Please bring
• rapture tip #8. Concert is free, but you must know all lyrics to REM's "End of the World." Just shouting "Leonard Bernstein" is not acceptable.
• rapture tip #9 Rosanne Cash will be headlining our concert. : ) All reports that Elvis will be performing are false ... at this time.
• rapture tip #10. Mark Wahlberg may make an appearance with The Funky Bunch if we can ascertain that hell has indeed frozen by concert time.
• rapture tip #11. Once again ... DO NOT DRINK ANY KOOL-AID YOU HAVE NOT PREPARED YOURSELF. And also avoid the brown acid. Dude, seriously.
• rapture tip #12. Do not listen to any "preachers" who insist god is talking directly to them. God only talks to me ... and Steve Martin.
• rapture tip #13. To fully prepare yourself for life without power, gas or computers, please obtain a copy of The Amish Guide to Living.
• rapture tip #14. Please note The Amish Guide to Living is not available for the Kindle or Sony Reader. It is only compatible with the
• rapture tip #15. It is not acceptable to enslave an Amish person post-rapture, any more than it is acceptable to own a Canadian.
• rapture tip #16. U.S. currency and electronic devices will not be useful post-rapture. keep this in mind when writing out your "to-loot" list.
• rapture tip #17. Not everyone is aware U.S. currency will be worthless. Keep this in mind when directing others to the "best looting places."
• rapture tip #18. Please form orderly lines when setting riot bonfires. Matches will be a rarity in a few months. Let's try to conserve them.
• rapture tip #19. If you find yourself in a building during the Apocalypse, exits will be located ... pretty much everywhere.
• rapture tip #20. Now is the time to buy stock in Kool-Aid, just make sure you cash out and purchase livestock on May 20 or you're screwed.
• rapture tip 21. Bunkers should not be made of biodegradable materials. People, this is not the time to go green.
• rapture tip 22. Make sure to have marshmallows on hand. When the world explodes it’s going to be one hell of a fire.
• rapture tip 23. Repeat after me, “Screw you, Grandma, you’re not getting into my bunker without your own provisions.”
• rapture tip 24. Forget the golden rule. The rapture means never having to say you’re sorry.
• rapture tip 25. For heaven’s sake bring extra can openers into your bunker.
• rapture tip 26. Do not approach Paul McCartney or Elvis ... we have still not determined if either are alive or will be returning as zombies.
• rapture tip 27. When looting don’t forget Burgess Meredith in Twilight Zone ... steal extra pairs of glasses.
• rapture tip 28. Gather up as many pets as possible to keep in your bunker. 2 feet good, 4 feet bad.
• rapture tip 29. Remember, that which does not kill you must make you stronger than your neighbor, unless you have firearms.
• rapture tip 30. Essential bunker reference materials: The Lord of the Flies, Anarchist’s Cookbook and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
• rapture tip 31. If you forget everything else, remember ... soylent green is people.
• rapture tip 32. The old adage is true ... you don’t have to run fast, just faster than the guy who was ahead of you.
• rapture tip 33. It is perfectly acceptable to scream like a little girl when approached by a gang of zombies. It isn’t helpful, but it is acceptable.
• rapture tip 34. Sacrificing virgins is a pagan ritual, this particular god won’t be swayed by a screaming, bikini-clad co-ed.
• rapture tip 35. Watching the “Thriller” video is not zombie research just as watching “E.T.” will not prepare you for dealing with our alien overlords.
• rapture tip 36. Eternity is a hell of a long time ... bring playing cards and condoms.
• rapture tip 37. Do not kill other people when looting and rioting this will only increase the zombie population.
• rapture tip 38. People, please remember, DON’T DRINK THE KOOL-AID!
• rapture tip 39. Do not get into a handbasket unless you are confident you are ready to go to hell.
• rapture tip 40. If you are “taken” on Saturday, it is considered uncouth to shout “I told you so” to those left behind.
• rapture tip 41. The “left behind” movie series is not factually accurate. do not take orders from kirk cameron.
• rapture tip 42. If you find yourself face to face with a group of zombies, do not yell “eat me” ... they don’t understand sarcasm.
• rapture tip 43. All our handbaskets are eco-friendly and will explode at the shores of the River Styx. Please exit quickly.
• rapture tip 44. Truism: that which does not kill you won’t really matter after Saturday.
• rapture tip 45. Please keep hands and feet in the handbasket until we reach hell ... oh, never mind.
• rapture tip 46. Please refrain from smoking while in the handbasket ... unless you are on fire.
• rapture tip 47. There is no food allowed in the handbaskets, so please do not share your basket with a zombie.
• rapture tip 48. Raid will not kill the swarms of locusts, although recent testing indicates that Axe Body Spray will disintegrate them.
• rapture tip 49. Your best chance of survival is the buddy system. Please, if you become a zombie, do not eat your buddy.
• rapture tip 50. If you do not own firearms, make sure to locate a god-fearing neighbor who does.
• rapture tip 51. Do not feed the stallions which are carrying the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. You don’t want to piss off death.
• rapture tip 52. On Oct. 21 the world will explode. Do not bend over and kiss your ass good-bye ... it just looks stupid.
• rapture tip 53. Everybody, say it with me ... DO NOT DRINK THE KOOL-AID! : )