By Ray Routhier
If the world is really going to end on Friday -- as we're being told the ancient Mayan calendar predicts -- what are our options?
There's really no time for major Hollywood end-of-the-world adventures like traveling over the Himalayas in a hot air balloon, taking a submarine below the ocean to explore the wreckage of the Titanic or traveling into outer space.
And there certainly isn't time to travel "Around the World in 80 Days" like Phileas Fogg in the Jules Verne novel.
So what can you do in a day or so, if the world is truly ending?
Have a drink and relax.
And to help you do that, several local establishments are hosting "end of the world" parties on Friday. They're mostly dance parties, with drink specials, DJs and door prizes.
Not exactly the kind of thing you'd fantasize about doing on your last day on Earth. Then again, maybe the world isn't actually ending.
Consider this news flash from NASA, posted on a government website in early December, in response to "thousands" of letters from folks worried about the Dec. 21 doomsday prediction:
"The world will not end on Dec. 21, 2012, or any day in 2012," the post said.
Whew, that was a close one.
Now that we know the world will go on, we can go back to work, paying bills and dealing with the holidays.
In other words, we really do need those "end of the world" parties.
Here's a list of some of the area locales where people want to party like it's the end of the world. Or at least the end of a work week.
All parties are on Friday, unless otherwise noted. Because you never know ...
• The Fogcutters' End of the World/Ugly Sweater Party/ "Jingle These Bells" EP-Release Party, 8 p.m., The Big Easy, 55 Market St., Portland. $10. bigeasyportland.com
Here's a party for everyone. The Fogcutters, a 19-piece big band based in Portland, will be celebrating the end of the world, their new Christmas EP and the time-honored holiday tradition of wearing ugly holiday-themed sweaters -- all in one event.
The band will play the EP in its entirety, plus other holiday tunes, with local vocalists making surprise appearances.
"If the world does end, we might as well go out playing Christmas songs and wearing ugly sweaters," said Brian D. Graham, baritone sax player for the Fogcutters. "It will be a good story for the afterlife."
• End of All Costume Ball, 6 p.m. to midnight, Open Sky Farm, 292 Damon Road, Sumner. $5. cowpastureproductions.com
This party will take place in a heated barn with an attached cafe north of Lewiston, and is being organized by the arts organization Cow Pasture Productions. The barn will be decorated with "Mayan hieroglyphics" and "intergalactic murals" by artist and Mayan scholar Jason Berube. There will be live music with local bands and DJs, a presentation by Nevaeh Dance Company involving hula hoops, and a wood-fired hot tub. Yes, hot tub.
People are invited to "come as you wanna go" (whether that includes the same way you came in, we can't say), and there will be a prize for best costume.
• End of the World Party, 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Margaritas Mexican Restaurant, 11 Brown St. and 242 St. John St., Portland. Free admission. margs.com
The End of the World Party at Margaritas is taking the place of the restaurant's full-moon celebration that it usually hosts when the moon is full. But the world ending apparently takes precedent over the full moon. There will be drink specials, munchie specials, and various contests and giveaways. Plus it's a day before the world ends, for you early birds out there.
Of course, the food will be Mexican, and part of the Mayans' territory was in what is now Mexico. Besides, given the worldly theme, it's good to eat something from another part of the world.
• End of the World with Gothic Maine, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Asylum, 121 Center St., Portland. $5; $2 before 9:30 p.m. gothicmaine.com
Gothic Maine -- with its slogan "Keeping it Spooky in Vacationland" -- hosts a regular dance night at Asylum, so Friday's event will be, of course, the End of the World version. But Goths probably aren't as scared of the end of the world as the rest of us, so this might be the most festive party out there. There will be DJs spinning tunes and people in costume. As the group's website says, "Dress to impress! It's your last day on Earth!"
• Oasis Presents End of the World Party, 7 p.m., Oasis, 42 Wharf St., Portland. Free. oasisportland.com
This Portland night spot will have DJs and dancing on two floors, and will feature early drink specials. People are encouraged to dress up -- maybe even in suits and ties -- to look their best for their final exit from the world, says Cody Seguin, marketing manager for Oasis. Seguin added there will be some "surprises" during the night was well.
• Port Sports End of the World Dance Party, 9 p.m., Geno's Rock Club, 625 Congress St., Portland. $5. portsportsmaine.com
Port Sports, a business that runs sports leagues and events for adults, is putting on this dance party where people are encouraged to dress up in "pre-post-apocalyptic" garb, says Dave Surkin, Port Sports owner.
"I guess we expect people to dress like 'Mad Max' with a lot of leather and tattered clothes," said Surkin. "And for some reason, people often wear football shoulder pads to things like this."
Maybe they think the pads will protect them from falling debris when the world ends? If so, good luck with that.
Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at: