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Rapture Pastor Forgot To Carry The One
OAKLAND (CAP) - Shamed pastor Harold Camping, who fell to 0-for-2 in predicting the end of the world with his late May debacle, has stopped trying to justify how May 21 came and went without the Rapture and has finally admitted to making a mistake. During a recent Family Radio broadcast, Camping acknowledged that he forgot to carry the one when calculating the End Times.
"And it probably couldn't have hurt to multiply a couple of numbers, either, or take the square root of something," Camping said. "I mean, if square root doesn't say Apocalypse, then I don't know what does."
Religious pundits who were quick to criticize Camping when the world woke up as usual on May 22 have been equally as quick to throw their support behind Camping for admitting that he erred. Some have pointed out that his biggest mistake actually was not following the ages-old evangelistic axiom, Measure Twice, Rapture Once.
"I know there's no Commandment that says thou shalt not use calculators, but calculators are the anti-Christ," said Camping. "I mean, one of the buttons even says 'hex' right on it."
Public reaction to the acknowledgement has been less supportive as believers still feel let down at having had nothing planned for dinner on May 21 because they all thought they'd be gone by 6pm. Many bloggers are pointing to this situation as further proof of the decline in math skills coming out of America's education system.
"You know, getting gypped 20 cents at the store because you can't add is one thing, but missing out on ascending into Heaven because of a first grade math error is beyond the pale," said one poster to a religious message board. "And I already used up all my vacation, too. What the hell am I going to do this summer?"
Camping has confirmed that the true Rapture is set for October 21 with a rain date the next day, and many are imploring him not to use Lotus Notes Calendar to schedule it because chances are a lot of people won't get notified. The 89-year-old pastor has promised to send eVites this summer so anyone invited to participate can make their travel plans accordingly.
"We'll also be scheduling a practice run in late September so we can work out the kinks," Camping said. "You know, send a few people ahead to make sure everything's ready, the balloons are blown up, the deli platter has enough hot ham, that sort of thing."
Meanwhile, Ryan Seacrest and MTV have teamed up to throw a Rapture After-Party for everyone left behind, including live performances by Debbie Harry, Third Eye Blind and Tom Jones. The party is sponsored by the Verizon Wireless Family Rapture Plan on the first 4Horsemen network - Can you save me now?
Not to be outdone, AT&T and Redbox have announced plans to sponsor their own competing Rapture on October 21, telling subscribers they can either wait to be invited to Camping's Rapture and possibly miss out or buy tickets to their "Rapture For The Rest Of Us" and guarantee their ascension into Heaven.
Tickets for the AT&T-Redbox Rapture are available online through StubHub and at most Redbox outlets. Additionally, Redbox has begun installing Rapture lottery kiosks in many convenient stores in conjunction with existing Keno machines, complete with the bannered slogan, "Play your numbers and then see if your number is up!"
Winners will be notified by mail.
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