Cantabs take doomsday prediction with pinch of salt

19:44, Dec 20 2012
Mike Dunlay
LAST PARTY: Mike Dunlay, the owner of the Porthole Cafe in Lyttelton is celebrating the ‘‘end of the world’’ with an ale.

From doomsday raves to end of the world set menus, it seems Cantabrians are taking a Mayan prophecy that says today is our last day on earth with a pinch of salt.

Numerous 2012 theories have been circulating on the internet and in popular culture for years, but the catchiest one is the interpretation of the ancient Mayan calendar. The calendar ends on December 21, 2012.

The owner of Porthole Bar & Restaurant in Lyttelton, Mike Dunlay, said the venue would be "throwing caution to the wind" today.

When asked if he believed the end of the world was nigh, he said he had "a dollar each way".

"It's time to eat, drink and be merry because today we die . . . it's light-hearted fun and if the world was to end then owning your own bar is the ideal business to have, I think."

Dunlay said for those people who "seriously thought we were gone" he would "happily take their credit cards off them".


University of Canterbury economist Eric Crampton said the end of the world was a "nonsense prediction" and people were not taking it too seriously.

"If people actually believed in the end times, and economists have done work on this, then people would have pulled all the money out of their banks, they would have stopped saving and wouldn't be investing."

Crampton said it would be "pretty nasty" if that was happening.

"But looking out of my window I can see that civilisation isn't collapsing and I'm not seeing nutters with pitchforks everywhere, which is good."

Madras St cafe Black Betty is making the most of today with an "end of the world" set menu. On their website it says people should say "cheerio in style with someone you love" over a "gluttonous three-course meal".

Tomorrow, the cafe is having a "fail party".

"Celebrate the epic Mayan fail with someone you love/tolerate," the website reads.

A "doomsday party" will be held at Pierside Cafe and Bar in New Brighton from 9pm till 1am. The blurb about the event reads: "The end of the world as we know it. The planets will line up and we're out of here. I can't think of a better way to go than partying with two of New Zealand's finest [DJs]."

Pulzar FM host Snap Campbell will host an "end of the world special edition" on his drive time show today. "I'm going to find a religious person who will happily listen to me list off my sins. It might be the end of the world, so I might as well repent."

The Press