The Seven Signs of the Apocalypse
Predictions of forthcoming cataclysm are familiar in numerous cultures and countless societies have traditions that foretell the events that will presage the end-times. Sometimes these can be unusually specific, as is the case with the Lower Bassett Parish Woollen Craft Society, which, in its latest newsletter, published its own list of the seven signs that will herald the impending Armageddon. A somewhat unusual subject to occupy the thoughts of what is essentially a small village knitting circle, you might think, but we thought we'd print an extract so that you can judge the verisimilitude of their claims for yourself.
The Lower Bassett Parish
Woollen Craft Society
Are the end-times upon us? Is the human race poised on the edge of extinction, eagerly anticipating its cosmic fate? Will this mean that next month's talk on the use of non-standard knitting needles will be cancelled?
Take a look at our officially-sanctioned guide to the Seven Signs of the Apocalypse and judge for yourself. You might decide that it's not worth investing in a new pack of wool for next week after all.
1. There shall be a great plague in the east as a weeping and suppurating pestilence is visited upon the heads of the innocent.
Status: Confirmed. Mrs Squires has just come from a weekend in Lowestoft where she witnessed a nasty outbreak of shingles.
2. Earthquakes and Hurricanes shall unleash their fury upon the land, the oceans shall boil and mountains will crumble and be as dust cast to the wind.
Status: Confirmed. The weather last Thursday was simply atrocious.
3. The Rivers shall run with blood and all manner of vile and loathsome slimy beasties shall issue from the fetid earth to wreak havoc across the land.
Status: Tenuous. We've all heard Mrs Carpenter's rather fanciful account of her week in a French caravan site last year, but we know what she's like when she's on the sauce so it might be best to take it with a pinch of salt.
4. A time of great abundance shall be followed by a season of hardship and famine and want.
Status: Imminent. Obviously Sainsbury's two-for-one offer on chocolate digestives can't last forever.
5. That damn cat will start crapping in my front garden again.
Status: Confirmed but probably irrelevant. This one probably needs some context. Mrs Warmsley insisted that we put this one in at the last AGM. No one doubts that she really does have a problem with a cat messing on her front lawn, and certainly no one would question how strongly she feels about it. Whether it signifies the destruction of all life on the planet and a new epoch of suffering for the infinite tortured souls cast into the fiery pits of hell is another matter entirely.
6. There shall be a great wailing and gnashing of teeth and the sky shall be rent asunder with the tortured cries of the anguished and the suffering.
Status: Confirmed. Have you seen Britain's Got Talent?
7. The man with two heads will look to the south and issue profanities, while the beating of the Cockerill's wings shall herald the new riders of the distant swamps who will bring with them the four keys of Babel and make a gift of them to the emperor of the purple coat.
Status: ...Not sure. To be honest, this one has been the subject of some debate and nobody can really agree on what it means. That said, there seem to be a strong feeling that it's got something to do with Russell Brand.