Receipts good until end of year for those embarrassed to find themselves left behind.
POCALYPSE Big Box retailer Raptures R Us received a flood of calls immediately after the May 21 deadline for the end of the world had come and gone.
"Customers wanted to know if they could get their money back, and we told them 'no problemo,'" recalled Raptures R Us cashier Josh Binker. "I think they thought maybe their receipts were no good after May 21, but we'll honor them until the end of the year, if you're still on earth and everything."
The popular Ascension Kits were "flying off the shelves," said Josh, especially as the original Rapture date of May 21 at 6:00 p.m. local time came closer.
"We had, like, none left by May 12, and also had a ton on back order," Josh explained.
A few panicked customers, who thought they might have somehow missed noticing the apocalyptic earthquake and been left behind, called into the store's customer service lines as early as 7:00 p.m. local time.
"We have excellent noise insulation with our new windows," explained Amy Jenkins of Lansing, Michigan, "and our house is the sturdiest one on the block, so my husband and I wondered if the Lord had forgotten us. So I called right in to the Raptures R Us help line and a nice lady said she hadn't seen anyone flying up in the air, but that we could still return our kits with the receipt. They are such a nice store."
Mrs. Jenkins, mother of two boys and a girl, described some of the contents of the Ascension Kit.
"Let's see, well, each kit comes with a hoodie sweatshirt, because it's pretty cold up there in the atmosphere until you reach Heaven. Then there's a NASA-tested thermos, which I fill with cherry Koolaid, a family favorite. Then a flash drive for up to ten photos so you can show the family members already in Heaven your kids' baby pictures or whatnot. Oh, and a nice iPod nano with the R.E.M. song "It's the End of the World As We Know It" already preloaded for the journey. That is so great for my kids, let me tell you. We can't drive them anywhere without their little earbuds in."
Josh Binker says the Ascension Kit retails for $59.95, "which I think's a pretty good bargain, considering what you get."
Josh added that Raptures R Us would do its best to keep the kits in stock for the next Apocalypse date of October 21.
"It's great to have more time, frankly," admitted Josh, "because this is like our best-selling item, even better than our Heaven diaries and eternal pens."
© 5.26.11 Kate Heidel