Have you forgotten the Mayan apocalypse already?

Hey! It's 2012 people. It's December of 2012 and you know what that means.

It's the end of the world, I tell ya. Mark your calendars; December 21 will either be the party day of the milenium or...the party day of all time. Whatever happens, there has rarely been a better excuse to break out your party hats and howl at the moon - at least until it disappears.

The always helpful (though not always accurate) Wikipedia has some background on the so-called "Mayan Apocalypse." Believe me, after that election debacle in November, we could use a little excitement in our lives. And what better way to forget about the election than to worry about the earth's magnetic polls flipping, or the earth passing close to a black hole, or our planet exploding?

Are you afraid? Don't be. Experts tell us there is one place on earth to be where you will probably survive:

Nestled in the rolling foothills of the French Pyrenees, market day in the tiny farming community of Bugarach has never been busier.

But shoppers aren't there to sample the fresh meat, wine and dairy for which the town is locally famed, they are there to pick up their own piece of end-of-the-world memorabilia.

It is because Bugarach - population 176 - has been earmarked by doomsday cults as the only place in the world which is going to survive Armageddon, scheduled for December 21 this year by an ancient Mayan prophecy.

Modern interpretations of the forecast, heavily stoked by internet rumour, predict that aliens will emerge from their 'spaceship garage' hidden deep within the town's imposing Pic de Bugarach mountain and pluck anyone in the vicinity to safety.

Now, Armageddon tourists and UFO spotters hoping for salvation are swarming to the two-street hamlet to collect a slice of Last Day history.

And it is an opportunity the village's shrewd inhabitants are eager not to pass up.

Souvenirs include 'authentic Bugarach stones' from Pic de Bugarach's rock-face itself, on sale for €1.50 (£1.20) a gram, and 'natural pyramids of pyrite iron' from underground.

Meanwhile, a bottle of water from the local spring, which can apparently cure a range of ailments, costs an eye-watering €15 (£12).

One landowner is even offering up his four-bedroom home with close up views of the mysterious peak for £1,200 a night.

If we're going to go, at least my faith in the ability of human beings to make a buck off of anything - including the end of the world - is confirmed.

Those aliens have no idea what they're in for.