There was an article in yesterday's Guardian that I thought for a long time must have been a joke. But it wasn't April 1st, it wasn't in the science fiction book review column, and when I checked the website - youvebeenleftbehind.com - it seems geniune enough.
The premise of the website is that - for only $40 a year - when 'rapture takes place' on earth (ie the second coming of Jesus) it will fire off emails to friends and relatives of subscribers letting them know that they have been, ahem, 'left behind'.
Because, according to the website, if the second coming of Jesus happens 'there will be as small window of time where they (non-believers) might be reached for the kingdom of God.' Therefore the money will go towards allowing subscribers the chance to write personal messages useful to those who remain on earth and which might possible allow them to be 'raptured' also. (Now I never knew that was a verb. A bit like workshopped, I guess.)
But all well and good, it's up to everybody how they spend their money. What worries me is the website seems to be set on automatic pilot in how it sends out the emails - apparently the team of Christians who run it must log on every day to indicate that the rapture has not yet taken place. 'If enough of them fail to log in, however, the system assumes that the second coming is nigh and sends out messages from all its subscribers,' the Guardian report reads.
Feels like a potential recipe for a full-scale panic to me. And maybe a little ya-boo-sucks for those of us who don't pick up our emails until too late and are left behind, all lonely and unraptured.