(Originally written Monday, April 24, 2006)
Let us imagine a hypothetical situation. Imagine, if you will, the end of civilization. Popular culture has taught us that the end of our known, civilized world can happen in a variety of ways. After all, humans are nothing if not welcoming of choices.
Our deaths could come from the environment and the natural world, in the form of global warming, volcanoes, (true, it'd have to be a whole mess of volcanoes but L. Ron Hubbard seems to think its possible) floods, tornadoes, suspect ice ages that appear suddenly, locusts, sociologists, etc.
Another option is a deadly virus or virulent organism. This virus would tear through the population killing almost everybody and leaving only those with a natural immunity or who are safely removed from the bacteria. Not a pleasant way to go, There'd be dead bodies everywhere, and I know I ain't cleaning them all up.
The favorite and classic way is through nuclear holocaust. It's a great old standby. The best part of the nuclear explosions concept is that it leaves space for the rise of nuclear zombies, outrageous mutants and other weird things.
Any way you look at it, society is fascinated with the idea of its own destruction. And for good reason. Humans are crazy! I mean, have any of you been paying attention to what's going on in the world? Its the End of Days people; were only minutes away from oblivion! Repent! Repent before all is lost!!!!!
Alright, I'm glad I got that out of my system. Anyway, all I'm saying is that society could go at any time, were just stupid and crazy enough to do it. So the question is: How ready are you for after the Apocalypse?
I gotta tell you, other than a basic knowledge of how to tie different knots, how to start a fire and how to build a truly crappy pine wood derby racer, boy scouts didn't really help me out. Although, should the apocalypse blot out the sun and all light, I would still be able to put up a tent. So I've got that going for me.
All the army taught me is how to cover my own ass in situations so I don't get in trouble and how to drink excessively. Two areas that won't be very helpful when my family and friends are dropping like flies around me.
The only thing that helps me sleep at night is knowing that not bothering to learn any useless math in school has probably freed up plenty of brain cells for the use in learning which bugs are the most edible and perhaps how to build a rudimentary lathe, using materials on hand, (you know what I'm talking about Nerg!)
We can't all be some mountain men/MacGyver types. Sure knowing how to hunt and skin animals would be useful knowledge. Sure I'd be happy if I knew how to build a windmill or water wheel to generate power for my home. But I doubt I'm going to be able to google any of that information after the fall of civilization. So I'll have to settle for other means of self-preservation.
Generators, iodine pills to purify water, propane, solar and battery powered junx. These are all well and good. Maybe starting my own little garden would be good too. I certainly can't forget plenty of canned foodstuffs, (I'm talking about vegetable, meats and soups, not useless crap like water chestnuts. I've got a can of those right now. Tell me, what can I do with water chestnuts out in the desert?!)
The key, in this situation, is to never go overboard with preparations. Gathering canned foods and a few cases of M.R.E.s, (Meals, Ready to Eat. Standard military food. If you're down for food that tastes like year-old dog food and enjoy one bowel movement a week, then this will be right up your alley. I just don't understand why theyre not called R.E.M. Ready to Eat Meals. Or better yet, A.I.R.S.E.T. Am I Really Supposed to Eat This?) is a sign of preparedness. Building a concrete bunker in your backyard and surrounding it with barbed wire might be considered a little much.
Having plenty of bottled water on hand is smart. Perfecting a technique that allows you to drink your own urine is a little weird.
A few gas masks in your possession is sensible, complete HAZMAT suits with decontamination chambers is not.
If you're rich enough you can just buy your own island. Then you don't have to worry about anything previously mentioned. Viruses wont make it there, zombies and post-apocalyptic biker gangs can't swim there and as long as you're not living in a trailer, the tornadoes will leave you alone.
See? Its not hard to prepare for the future.
I considered doing all of the stuff I mentioned, and more, when I get back to America and I go build my own log cabin out in the backwoods of Michigan somewhere. But I decided thats entirely too much work. Instead, I'll just go move next to somebody whos made all these preparations. Then, the only thing I'll have to buy is a gun. Because I don't know just how neighborly that person will be when the time comes to share his fallout bunker.
I'll need lots of ammo too. After all youve got to be prepared.