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Read: Global warming, nuclear terrorism, pestilence and asteroids--what will you do when the world ends?

Andrew Miller is worried, and bracing himself for The End Of The World As We Know It … From INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, Spring 2008

When I was at school, in the mid-1980s, my teenage friends and I would sometimes talk about what we’d do if the three-minute warning sounded. Most of us had detailed schemes for ultra-violence and revenge, often against the school librarian. But one boy, I remember, had alternative plans for the last moments before nuclear Armageddon.

“If the siren goes”, vowed Nigel one morning (I have changed names to protect the guilty), “I’d run to the staff room and find Mrs Partridge,” who was a curvy French teacher.

“Oh would you, Nigel?” said a voice behind us, which turned out to belong to Mr Partridge, her unimpressed teacher husband.

I’ve been thinking again about Nigel’s dilemma: not the question of how he could ever show his face in French class again, but the problem of what to do when history runs out, or after it runs out and you find you have outlived it. Perhaps it’s because I’m about to have a baby, our first, which in its way is a sort of private apocalypse, an end and a year-zero beginning. It’s a prospect that makes you think about dealing with daunting new demands, like nappy-changing and putting up stair guards. But it’s also made me wonder how I’d manage other once-unthinkable challenges and cataclysms. I don’t mean a sushi shortage or the end of the last series of “The Wire”. I mean bona fide, three-minute or no-warning havoc—an earthquake or anarchy or (since we’re speculating) an insurrection by mutant London rats. What if, one way or another, the balloon goes up?

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