May 192011

Itinerary for Douglas Glover:

Departure: Gansevoort, NY, Saturday, May 21, 6pm

Arrival: Heaven, Saturday, May 21, 6pm

Flight Time: Est. 0 hrs. 0 mins.


1. Eat a good breakfast.

2. Phone mother to say goodbye (listen to her talk about chem trails, organic food and cataract surgery for half an hour).

3. Eat a good lunch. (You never know.)

4. Pack small camera and extra batteries.

5. Charge toothbrush and pack.

6. Call close friends (2) and other relatives even though they are hard to reach and never call back. Leave heartfelt messages of condolence for missing the trip.

7. Clean underwear and socks (pack spares—you never know–I assume I’ll be supplied with clothing but my experience of large bureaucracies tells me to expect inefficiencies).

8. Pack favourite snacks: peanut butter, mayonnaise and banana sandwiches, Sun Chips, thermos of green tea, flask of Talisker, second flask of Talisker, spare flask of Talisker. Note to self: We’re out of sandwich bags. Buy some at Walmart before Saturday.

9. Bring copies of own books to pass around to influential people when I arrive. Bring a book to read and last week’s New Yorker which I haven’t finished yet. Note to self: Decide what book to bring. Bible or something light.

10. Pack mp3 player with Bible lectures in case there is a test.

11. Pack Ibuprophen and anti-anxiety medication. Note to self: Refill prescriptions before Saturday.

12. Let the dog out. Leave food. Say goodbye. Note to self: We’re almost out of Talisker.


  61 Responses to “Rapture Checklist”

  1. I hate to be a naysayer, especially this close to ‘blast-off,’ but a couple of things…

    1. I’m pretty sure that this version of heaven is located in a dry county. Please send Talisker to your contributing editors.

    2. You neglected to mention the Fiscal Year 2011, NC contributor’s bonus checks. I’m assuming they are already in the mail?

    3. There is some ambiguity about when the world will actually end. May 21st is only the rapture portion of the event (ascending souls and the like.) The period of trials for those of us ‘left behind’ might last as long as 6 months. Please purchase extra Talisker for the remaining NC contributors and the keys to your Gansevoort mansion. And if you could hook me up with Paris Hilton’s phone number…

  2. I remember an Onion headline from a few years ago: Heaven Less Opulent than Vatican, Reports Disappointed Pope. I’m packing a few DIY carpentry tools. I don’t mind pitching in. I’m assuming they’ll provide paint and materials. They’d better.

  3. Like Rich, I hate to pick at your list, certainly a fine list, but it’s missing a couple essential items.
    Like your iphone and laptop so we can contact you and send you articles and essays and packets. I assume you’re going to bring along these items? If not, at least pack an address book so you can send us postcards? Nothing fancy, we won’t expect fancy postcards featuring an autographed photo of YOU with YOU-KNOW-WHO. A pic of a cloud or two is fine, as long as on the back you drop us a line and let us know what to expect, what to say at the Pearly Gates, what to bring, how to get in during the Trial Period (see Rich’s #3 above) those of us not directly beamed up will be going through for the next six months? Will the secret NC handshake work toward helping us get past St. Peter?

    • The secret handshake was given to DG by an angel in a dream. Of course, it will work.

      • Had you been drinking Talisker when you received the handshake?

      • Whew. That’s a relief.
        Um, hate to bother you, I know you’re busy getting ready, but could you refresh my Talisker addled brain for a minute as to the secret handshake basics? Was it grab all five fingers, squeeze til the fingers turn blue, relinquish, twirl, shimmy, squeeze again and then do a back flip? Have I missed something?

  4. Ah, the voices of those who will be left behind are growing fainter and fainter. The cares of the world (editors, NC, crabby, demanding editors, misguided readers, utility bills) mean nothing to me now as I approach countdown.

    Funny, how none of you guys got the invitation. I always knew you were a piratical and criminal bunch.

  5. I’ll be there. I didn’t get the handshake – I received the secret passcord.

    First of all, why are you hoarding the Talisker? Don’t you think that some of the finest booze makers are going to be raptured with you? If the first miracle was turning water into wine, doesn’t it follow that after the rapture the rivers of heaven will be flowing with the finest of fair – taste we as humans could never imagine.

    As for me, I am studying up on my favorite musicians, hoping I land with the rockers, with Hendrix, Lennon, Cobain, Joplin, and those still living Clapton, Dylan, Browne, Petty, McCartney, and the list goes on. I want to rock out in heaven and watch Jimi touch golden strings. Hear Ronstadt hi that high C. No one will dare to say “Get off of my cloud” – not to me.

    Don’t bring the book – heavens about perfection – just think how much more perfect you’ll be once you get there. Is that possible dear obi wan?

  6. Note: Rapture time is reported in PACIFIC time. You won’t be leaving till nine p.m east coast time. (Assuming of course that self-delusion is not at work here and you are actually on the rapture list. Referencing today’s Style section in the NY Times, you might want to call ahead to check to see whether or not you are actually on the permanent, inviolable list. The doorman (aka the angel Gabriel) might also be working, like NYC club doormen, from a permanent list he stores on his iPad.) Time wise, you have, therefore, all day to buy Talisker, fill prescriptions, and to kiss Lucy good-bye, though I must say, quite heartless of you not to double check to see whether or not heaven is pet-friendly.

    • Heaven is pet friendly, Sister Teresa “the little flower” told me.

    • I like to be ready well ahead of time. And I’ll have my sandwich and my book if I have to wait. 🙂

      • Much like waiting at an airport for a delayed flight. Au revoir, monsieur. Though, maybe not. I personally am a bit worried about my chances. I must say, I do admire your optimism.

      • stop waiting and planning–the rapture will come like a thief in the night…while your dreaming in your Talisker haze, you’ll hear a knock, a squeek, a tap-tap-tap, and then…poof.

  7. The most remarkable thing about that list is mayo and banana sandwiches. Wow. Are you the literary Elvis?

    • Brad, It took me a while, I had to look it up. Amazing. Elvis and I share a taste for the same sandwiches. This is a clue to something or other…

  8. (this was written about 10 years ago, but I guess will work now)

    JULY 4TH
    (In the Year of the Terror)

    The news is bad, they say
    Charlie emails that he’s loading up the car
    “Head north,” he writes, “we’ll meet in Alberta.”

    I go to the bookshelf
    grab my copy of Blake in its stained plastic cover
    take my raincoat from the closet
    Olson, Whitman, Emily Dickinson
    look for my passport, warm shirts, jeans
    Barbara Holland, Kerouac, Bob Kaufman
    pack up all the spaghetti, rice, flour
    Han Shan, H.D., Audre Lorde
    my tool box, boots
    Eileen Myles, cummings, my own books
    what’s left of the bourbon; water jugs, coolers
    my current notebook — & the one just before

    Charlie is in Chicago, a head start to Canada
    I’m in a rush:
    toss all my pens in a box, blank notebooks
    some towels rolled up in my sleeping bag
    almost forgot:
    Paul Blackburn, Sappho, Cafavy
    a gas can & the tire pump
    Corso, yes, & Against Forgetting

    I’m ready to go!
    –if I need to

    but for now
    I sit back
    open a beer

    and wonder, who did I forgot?

  9. Don’t forget your contributors, too … I suspect I’ll wander through purgatory with at which point we’ll make pilgrimage to the Gansevoort mansion to seek your stock pile of Islay (assuming all Talisker is spoken for). I assume we can find it in the kitchen cabinets above the fridge, or is there a hidden bunker we need to know about?

  10. Dishwasher. Thanks for reminding me. I’m also bringing the dishwasher. To tell the truth, I’m not even sure golden plates are dishwasher safe, but I’m thinking it’s worth the risk. I mean I was doing the math on infinity times baked on bread crumbs? Even with soaking, I’m not sure I’m up for that. I’m bringing the dishwasher. Thanks.

  11. Does the thought of getting raptured makes anyone else nervous? Sounds painful. Is it a pneumatic tube? I think I’m going to go out and do something sinful. I can’t risk it.

  12. I’ll stick around and take care of the pets. Of course, I’ll expect indulgences in return.

    • We’ll have to buy indulgence from the already damned, Mary. Which raises the question: If the original indulgences were purchased to forgive sins, what would the post-rapture indulgences be used for? To condemn good? To purchase ceiling fans for the fires of hell? The mind dizzies at the possibilities…

      • Well good point, Rich. In that case, I am selling retroactive “pardoning” indulgences, so I think you should give me the sum of your small fortune to guarantee you a place in paradise after the rapture. (Don’t worry, I have credentials … I was raised Catholic). Of course, I also expect any royalties you accrue after you publish your memoir about your post-rapture ascension. This is all in your best interest, mind you.

  13. Appropriate listening for the occasion:

    • Hilarious.

      • On the other hand, it makes mock of an extremely serious topic close to my heart. We will be counting down tomorrow at casa dg, holding hands, day packs on our shoulders. Gary, you can carry on with NC in my place, a heavy responsibility, I know, and one you are not prepared for intellectually or morally. But when I look around at the rest of the contributors and contributing editors, you’re the best of a bad lot.

        • These comments about the “badness” of your compatriots is not very Christian of you. Judge not, lest ye be judged. I wouldn’t make that sandwich just yet.

          • I am an Antinomian. As I am saved already, I can do no wrong. Are you seriously defending my colleague who wants to start a literary blog with a plant? 🙂

          • I haven’t checked the blog since yesterday afternoon. I spent last night partying like it was 1999. (Oh, wait, wrong disaster.)

            I am now certain that the owner of this blog is using the rapture as an elaborate escape from his NC duties. You watch. No one is answering the phone at Douglas’s house after nine pm tonight. NC will go dark. But this has been in the works all along, much as the Family Radio offices went dark yesterday.

            I think the literary blog with a plant thing has been your intention all along.

            Well played, sir.

        • I’ve made close friends with some very prominent green algae. Them and me may be the only living things left.

          We plan to start a new literary blog, btw.

        • Morality? Have I been contributing to the wrong blog this entire time?

  14. Let’s see what your tune is tomorrow.

    • I will be whistling Dixie in Paradise and you will be discussing Derrida with microscopic green things.

      • I have a good feeling about tomorrow.

        • I think dg is deflagellating.

        • This is to notify LQ that the funding for the science portion (and research) of NC will be drastically cut after 6pm tomorrow. I feel that, true to form, the science faction at NC (in collusion the Silicon Valley art snobs) has not fully appreciated the spiritual and humanistic elements of the Rapture. As dg says, heads will roll after tomorrow.

  15. Part of his rapture preparations?

    • I’m intoxicated by the word ‘deflagellation’. Surely this is either some exotic fringe-religious practice or some fringe-religious deprogramming tool. Either way, I’m on board. I envy the deflagellated.

      • John, The word comes from Lynne’s post on gene biology. But definitely it has a fringe-religious armature.

      • “delfagellation” is like “not beating,” so does it mean “beating-off”?

        • That’s the idea. Deflagellation. It’s not just for little green things any more.

          • BTW, excellent job of textual decoding, Dan. I’m sure dg’s use of the term ‘arm’ature, pointing in the same direction, didn’t escape your notice. I wish we’d had you working on Revelations. Then, I’m sure, I’d be high up in heaven right now rather than strapped to my dishwasher in my darkening kitchen, contemplating an empty bag of sandwiches.

  16. From 11am to 4pm tomorrow, upstreet will be participating in the CLMP LitFest (a bookfair for litmags) in Hudson, NY.
    Someone has to do something constructive and uplifting.

  17. Cut science funding? Ha! We laugh. We thrive on funding cuts. We see you squirming in your uncertainty as the time draws nigh. You will be standing there munching your sandwich, waiting, wondering, glancing up every few minutes. Eventually, the Talisker will be gone, you’ll hear Lucy scratching at the door and your chin will drop to your chest. You realize that you’ve done a lot of damage with the Antinomian attitude. But cheer up. Over here in science we are a forgiving lot. Buy us that new microscope you’ve been promising and we’ll help you rebuild NC.

    • Oh, ye of little faith. I’m up, wonderful day. Had a g&t already to celebrate. I have a good feeling. I feel lighter, My flaggelae are flagellating (wait, that doesn’t sound so good).

  18. Not wanting to spend our last days in Saskatoon, we’re at our cottage in Ontario and so already in Paradise. Being raptured would spoil everything.

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