The End is Nigh: Getting the Most from your Apocalypse Experience (Part 3: Things You Will Need)

Does the title of this section befuddle you? “Hey, you just told me to burn all my crap! Now you tell me I may have needed some of that shit?” No, silly! All you will need is certain human characteristics – the shit in your head. The shit you can’t burn. Haven’t we all tried? Did it work? No. We’re still fundamentally assholes, right?

I am talking about intangible, metaphysical things, like a sense of humor. A sense of humor is very important when facing the apocalypse. If you are still reading this stupid book, then you have a sense of humor. Huzzah for you. Remember that last line in Part 2 when I said we all know God’s a dude? I was joking! We don’t know that. It just made me chuckle to end that paragraph that way. I hope it made you chuckle, too. God – and again, by “God” I mean a greater, collective consciousness made up of all living things in this universe – probably has no specific gender. If he does, he is probably a woman. Women are more commonly associated with the creative muse. Men are more commonly associated with yelling at the TV and asking children to pull our fingers. Men don’t generally give a crap, and that’s why, traditionally, we are the ones the womenfolk come a-running to when the apocalypse is nigh. They come not so much for our protection as they come to blame us. “Look what you did! You eternal jackass!” And they are right… we probably were the ones that brought down the wrath of that God-mind. What do you want us to do about it now? I’ll tell you what they want us to do – they want us to be the bigger target. We are human shields. Ever see those movie posters of the big, muscular man standing up to the Wrath of God or some other bad-ass enemy as the women cower and clutch his leg, their bosoms heaving against the skimpy remnants of a cocktail dress? Why do you think they are down there? Because they lust after your manhood? No! They are there for protection! But not the kind of protection you think. They don’t want YOU… they want YOU to take the bullet or the lightning bolt or whatever. Their heads are down, they are hidden under your lumpy utilitarian bulk… and you are standing up there defiantly, thinking you’re going to get some lovin’ when all of this is over, but really, you’re just gonna get your head blown off and they will go hide under the next big, stupid thing they can find.

This is not to say women can’t take care of themselves. They can. And they can probably do a better job of it than most men. They are just not stupid and self-delusional like men tend to be. They know it’s the apocalypse, and they know someone’s gonna die. It’s better to be BEHIND that person. It’s simple survival skill, when all else has failed. Keep that in mind as it may come in handy. In the end, though, really, gender doesn’t matter at all. There is brilliant and stupid and everything in between in both categories.

What was I talking about? Oh yes: The things you will need. First, a sense of humor. Never forget that one.

Second, the freedom to not give a shit. When faced with the apocalypse, you cannot be fretting about your house blowing up or your car falling into a lava-filled crater. You have to stay focused on the important thing: Your own ass. Remember when you threw all your material possessions away? This is the reason. You can’t crumble at the first loss you experience, or any of the hundreds and hundreds of other losses that will follow. You have to keep moving, and you have to stay up-beat. Sense of humor. Use it. Practice your ad-libbing and bad puns and one-liners. You’ve seen action movies, when Schwarzenegger says something like “Can you get my friend a pillow? He is DEAD TIRED!” It relieves the tension of the fact that he just snapped another man’s neck. Someone has died, and here you are, able to make lemonade from the lemons of his corpse.

What else will you need? Patience and understanding. Not everyone else in the apocalypse will be as prepared as you are. Many will be running around in a mad panic, crying about their house or their family or whatever. Feel free to slap them to make them shut up and calm down. Tell them that not only are they a danger to sane people like yourself, but they are an embarrassment to themselves and every ancestor that bore them. At the same time, however, you have to be patient with the panicky and understand what all of this chaos is doing to their morale. If the asteroid or poisonous radiation cloud is moving swiftly towards your neighborhood and they ask you to help them find their cat… that is a tough situation. I had a cat and I loved him. I would hate to think that he would die horribly in a poisonous radiation cloud if I had to leave him behind as I ran off like a sensible creature trying to stay alive. What good am I to my cat if I am dead from radiation poisoning? He sure can’t count on me as a source of food as I will be radioactive, and even cats can’t eat radioactive corpses. Explain this to your cat-loving neighbor, and explain that the cat probably saw all of this coming long before any of you did, and the cat probably high-tailed it out of there long ago.

Other people will be a little too excited about The End of Days and will be zealoting around, a Bible in one hand and a shotgun in the other. These idiots think they are on God’s side and they are supposed to judge you. Stay away from these assholes. They were never fun to be around when they had to adhere to social rules, and they sure as shit won’t be any more fun now that they are unleashed in all of their fanatical glory. In this case, you will need common sense. And if you have it, then I don’t need to explain why.

So there you have it – the things you will need:

1. A sense of humor

2. Ability to not give a crap

3. Patience and understanding

4. Common sense

And let’s add a fifth item, just for clarity:

5. Compassion

No matter how busy dying you are, don’t forget to stop and help your fellow living beings. It doesn’t matter that they are doomed. You still get karma points. And you’re doomed, too. Consider which looks cooler: Dying as you run past a busload of children screaming for help, or dying as you try to rescue a busload of children. Do the right thing and die with some dignity.

PART 4

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