Sometimes, in the wake of an unthinkable tragedy, you have to do something fun to keep from crying.

So I’m encouraging everyone to celebrate the supposed Mayan “end of the world” on Friday. If you choose to party at a club, we’ve got you covered on Page 27. If you throw your own party, here are some suggestions to send the world off with a bang.

Just don’t do anything illegal. It would really stink if you had to spend your last day on Earth in the county jail.

HOW TO DECORATE: Buy Mayan symbols from a party store or print them out on your computer and hang them up around the house. Buy some jungle-print fabric and place over furniture. Place plastic palm trees in the corner. Dim the lights to create atmosphere. Put a clock to count down the time in a highly visible place. And here’s an oldie but a goodie: Create a volcano out of clay or dough and make it “erupt” using a mixture of warm water, vinegar, baking soda and red food coloring.

WHAT TO WEAR: This covers a wide spectrum, as anything from Mayan-inspired clothing and formal attire to gas masks and combat gear will suffice. Or, if you’re particularly daring, you could go out of this world like you came into it — that is, by wearing nothing. Just make sure your guests are up for the idea as well, or it could be a very short party.

WHAT TO PLAY: “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” by R.E.M.; “Eve of Destruction” by Barry McGuire; “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones; “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival; “After the Gold Rush” by Neil Young; “The End” by The Doors; “The Day the World Went Away” by Nine Inch Nails; “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who (to be played after midnight Friday).

WHAT TO EAT: Mexican food; pineapples and coconuts; Death by Chocolate. (Hey, it’s the end of the world, right? Might as well go out happy.)

WHAT TO DRINK: Kahlua Mayan Passion — combine 2 parts Kahlua, 1 1/2 parts tequila, 1/2 part triple sec and 2 parts passion fruit juice in a martini shaker with ice. Pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with an orange twist.

WHO TO INVITE: Only the people you like. Why spend the last day on Earth with a bunch of jerks? It’s not like you’re going to have to apologize the next day. IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD. Haven’t you been paying attention?

INDULGE YOUR FANTASIES: Key yourself up for your party by doing something you’ve always wanted to do. Maybe you’ve never worked up the nerve to ask that cute girl or guy out for a date. Maybe you’ve always wanted to rent a Corvette or a Harley-Davidson for the day. Or maybe you just want a day of sweet, blissful, chore-free silence. It’s the end of the world, so why not?

I’ll share one of my fantasies that came to mind while writing this: Chopping up my increasingly sluggish computer, putting the remains in a box, driving home, throwing the box in the fireplace and watching “The Charlie Brown Christmas Special” while the computer’s ashes heated my house. Ahhhh …

DRINKING GAME: Have someone read a list of past end-of-the world predictions that came and went with the Earth still intact, and take a drink after every one. I’ll get you started: The prophet hen of Leeds, England, 1806; Haley’s Comet hysteria, 1910; Pat Robertson’s “700 Club” prediction, 1982; George Orwell fanatics, 1984; the Heaven’s Gate cult and the Hale-Bopp Comet, 1997; Y2K, 2000; God’s Church Ministry, 2008.

IF YOU REALLY THINK THE WORLD IS ENDING: Slap yourself really hard across the face Saturday morning.

Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: RHarmonPPH