The End is Nigh: Getting the Most from your Apocalypse Experience (Part 1: Saying Goodbye)

Saying goodbye is never easy, so you want to get it over with as quickly as possible. I recommend something like this:

Goodbye!

There. Now that that’s over with, you can get on with your spectacular demise.

I’m sorry, am I over-simplifying again? I only do so because I know, as you do, that your time is short, and my time is valuable. However, I do want you to get the most that you can out of your apocalypse (whether real or imagined) so I will try to be a bit more verbose.

Saying goodbye to friends, family, pets, and loved ones is probably – should probably be – a little more complicated than the method demonstrated above. These are the people, the beings, you have shared your mortal experience with, and that’s probably a pretty big deal to some of you. Yet I must caution you against rushing head-first into the big meaningful, emotional goodbyes. You should practice first. And you should practice by saying goodbye to your material possessions. Yes, you’re going to begin your apocalypse prep by throwing out all of your stuff. Well, you can’t take it with you, you idiot! Were you really thinking you could? Haven’t you heard people say “You can’t take it with you” your whole miserable life? Well, they were right. You can’t. Why would you want to? Do you really think the next phase of your existence is going to be similar to this one? Because it isn’t. It’s going to be very, very different. It will be so different, in fact, that when you look back on this method of existence, you are going to be shocked at how moronic and imbecilic and ridiculous this method actually is. What the hell would you do with all of your corporeal crap on the next plane? Do you really think you’re going to want your TV? Fine. Be the only jackass lugging around a high-definition flat screen while the rest of us are basking in the glow and being all ethereal. See what that gets you. You’ll be shunned, mocked… laughed at and not with. And there’s no satellite service or cable, so, yeah, you’re gonna be the biggest jackass in Heaven or Valhalla or the Big Rock Candy Mountain or wherever the hell it is you’re planning to go.

You’re better off just saying goodbye to all of your stuff. And not just the cheap crap you can’t be bothered to throw away, but all the cool stuff it would never occur to you to throw away. I know it sounds simple now, but when you actually get to the point of departure, when it is the moment to let go, you are going to find yourself struggling. This is the pull of a lifetime of programming and brainwashing at the hands of the advertisers and social mores that told you throughout your whole life that you needed all that shit. And no matter how much you have consciously denied this programming in your adult life, you still adhere to it on a very basic psychological level buried deep in the reptilian portion of your brain where the words ME WANT are carved deep into your brain stem. You can’t just rub that off in an afternoon.

But goddammit, you’re gonna try. It’s the apocalypse, after all, and time is of the essence.

Here is what you should do: Unplug everything and move all of your worldly possessions into the middle of your dwelling. Address each item from the most important on down. Most apocalypse coaches will tell you to start small and build to the big stuff, but this is a load of crap. All that will do is reinforce the importance of the big stuff as you realize it is all you have left. You’ve tossed out the throw pillows, the lava lamps, the Darth Vader cookie jar that says “I find your lack of self-control disturbing” whenever you lift the lid (do they really make those? That would be so cool!) and now all you have left is your 48-inch high definition flat screen and your Wii console. How can you live without them now that you have thrown out everything else? The pressure becomes too much as your insecurities only grow with each lesser item you toss aside, and the next thing you know, you’re spending eternity carting around a useless home entertainment center that you can’t even plug in.

So start with the big stuff and watch it get easier as you work your way down the appliance food chain. You’ve already thrown out your 48-inch high-definition flat screen TV and Wii console… what the hell do you care about your mother’s urn? Without the TV and the Wii, you didn’t need the entertainment center, so now where the hell would you put the urn anyway? Toss it onto the pile, along with the blender, the unread books and the stack of multicolored, unmatched clothing hangers. Before you know it, you are possession-free! It’s liberating. You actually feel lighter, unburdened. You can easily see yourself floating among the cherubim now, untethered, free!

So you have broken your junkie-like connection to the material things, now what do you do with them? Goodwill! You know those people, right? You have one near you, probably, somewhere in your doomed little community. It’s charity! Let the poor, unwashed masses – the ones who are not as in-the-know as you are about the impending apocalypse – have your stuff so that they may enjoy the feeling of possession before their little lights are snubbed out forever. So yes, there are charities where you can unload your crap.

Or, if you are the dramatic type (and I know many of you are), you can just put it all in one big pile in your yard, douse it with gasoline and torch it in one big, liberating bon fire. Your neighbors will be impressed, and isn’t that what those possessions were all about in the first place? You will almost certainly get a citation from your local municipal authorities, but who cares? It’s the apocalypse. There’s supposed to be piles of burning crap everywhere. And it’s not like you’ll actually have to pay the fine or appear in court. It’s the end of the fucking world! They’re just too square to know that. But you – you have seen the signs, and, as always, interpreted them correctly.

Here are some things to keep in mind should you go the bon fire route:

1. Clothes are material possessions. Consider burning them, too. Imagine how much more dramatic the image of your bon fire will be if you are dancing around it au natural.

2. The citation the police will give you is another material possession. Burn it, too, as the police watch. Then you’ll get the help you need.

What else is a material possession? Why, money, of course! And I am sure those of you who have some are concerned with what will become of it in your apocalypse. If you guessed that it will become worthless, you are right. It is still a very fine paper product and can be burned for fuel, but it is still a material possession, as is gold, silver… anything considered “precious” in these, the Before Days. Let’s not bicker about petty finances. Focus on the big picture: It is The Apocalypse, and your lust for this so-called “precious” will only bring about your downfall. This is what the whole Lord of the Rings Trilogy was all about. So lest you lose all your hair and end up living under a mountain, wearing a loin cloth and eating raw fish you pull out of some polluted lake, let’s just avoid that whole mess. You have enough to worry about, what with the world ending and all, so I will help you out here. Send all of your money to me at the address at the back of this book and I will dispose of it for you. Don’t worry about me, you just get ready to face your final moments in a spectacular fashion. What can I say? I’m a hell of a guy.

Now that you have no material possessions, it will be easier to say goodbye to the things that really matter: Your loved ones. And they will find it easier to say goodbye to you, as you no longer have anything they want.

PART 2

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