It was an indefinable moment in a dimly remembered future that is neither near nor far away. A radio chattered to itself distantly, until a blast of fanfare erupted and sent the idle drifts of thought scurrying for cover. Carlton Feathers, working nearby, heard it and groaned. The fanfare was accompanied by the cheers of a stadium crowd that was seething with anticipation, just as if the North Carolina Tarheels were in the final of the National Basketball Championship, the leading scorer was at the free throw line, one point down, 1 second on the clock, with a chance to win the game. Then the announcement began:
“Ladies and gentlemen, can I have your attention please!” he scored the first free throw and the pitch of the excitement rose. It was as if the whole world was vibrating with the pulse of the crowd.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, the time of waiting is almost over!” he scored the second shot, won the game, the buzzer rang and the crowd exploded into noise.
It took several moments for the roar to die down enough for him to continue. “Yes, my friends, the door is about to open on the threshold of the next great step in our journey of human evolution,” the announcer paused to allow another wave of very loud crowd euphoria,
“That we, as the human species, have ever attempted.” The noise of the crowd was so great again that he was shouting at the top of his lungs.
“Yes, my friends, the time is at hand.” he paused, savouring the moment, building his crescendo,
“We stand,” there was a tremble in his voice now as he was giving it everything he had,
“On the threshold of World Monetary Union!” His voice carried above the crowd, and it brought the house down.
The insane applause was faded out, and a narrator came on to describe what would happen in the next few days, and to reassure everyone that they were in the best possible hands. There was nothing in the world to worry about. Everything was going to be all right. World Monetary Union was finally here, and there was still one week left for every man, woman and child to get their financial affairs in order, register, and receive their WMU bar code tattoo.
Carlton had groaned when he heard the announcement because it was another reminder that he had not registered yet. There were times when he was a terrible procrastinator, and this was one such situation. He had left it so late to make inquiries about registering that the only appointment he could get was at 8 PM the following Friday. The deadline was 9 PM, so calling it down to the wire was an understatement. Technically it was no more complicated than filing an income tax return, yet for some reason it had become a huge psychological hurdle that he had to jump. Carlton had a problem with filing taxes too.
There was something about the whole system that made him nervous. He didn’t know why but it felt somehow wrong. Carlton had no idea that World Monetary Union and the registration barcode tattoo was linked to the fulfilment of an ancient Biblical prophesy, and he wouldn’t have paid any attention if someone had tried to explain it. To him it was more about loosing control over his money and assets. If anyone had told him that registering and receiving the tattoo would ensure that his soul would burn in hell until judgement day, he would have dismissed them as quaint and offered them a $20 bill.