Thursday, May 29, 2008

Surviving the survivalists

In a weekend with news about skyrocketing gas prices, food shortages and global catastrophe, the Associated Press decided to detail my worst nightmares by profiling doomsday prophets who believe the end is nigh.

“Convinced that the planet’s oil supply is dwindling and the world’s economies are heading for a crash,” writes Samantha Gross, “some people around the country are moving into homesteads, living off their land, conserving fuel and, in some cases, stocking up on guns they expect to use to defend themselves from desperate crowds of people who didn’t prepare.”

Uh, that would be me.

I’ve been unprepared and about 45 minutes late for everything my entire life. If chaos comes, I’ll be wandering the barren countryside with my family looking for friendlies that’ll be willing to let me into their compound so I can have a safe place to keep my iPod charged until order is restored.

Sure, the world’s going to hell, but at least I’ll be grooving when I get there.

Right now, I’m certain many of my rural neighbors are among the survivalists. They home school, grow their own foods and are dutiful in stocking up on bullets and beans.

I don’t know if any of them will consider letting me in or not. All I have to offer are some snazzy Tommy Bahama shirts, a sipping appreciation of fine bourbon and a knack for memorizing filthy limericks.

Guys like me, we’re good around a campfire.

But my fear is things will get so bad that the survivalists will look at us and think we’d be better over the campfire. I don’t want to live in a world where the strong and well-prepared have to eat indolent jokers like me.

Happily, the track record of doomsayers is pretty bad. Many of the same people who are now buying canned goods with no expiration dates were the same ones who missed a really great global party on December 31, 1999.

Sure, the world’s oil supply is likely to dry up, but romantics like me are convinced right now someone is working in his or her garage on an automobile that’ll dash on discarded soda bottles. And I’m optimistic that some innovative company is on the verge of announcing they’ve developed some cow chow that’ll turn bovine flatulence into ozone. That way every time a cow farts, an odorless bubble of ozone will float up into the atmosphere and -- voila! -- no more global warming!

At least, I hope that’s what’s going to happen.

Because I don’t want to live among the grim, well-prepared cannibals who’ll no doubt turn on me and each other once the last can of Dinty Moore beef stew’s been consumed. I don’t want to be eaten by my neighbors and I certainly don’t want to have dine on any of them.

I don’t even want to so much as nibble on any of their ears.

And, remember, that’s coming from a romantic.

No comments: