The End is Nigh: Getting the Most from your Apocalypse Experience (Part 4: Know Your Surroundings)

Look around you right now. What do you see? Take a quick mental inventory. Now close your eyes, count to ten and answer this question: How many flowers, pictured or real, are in your current environment?

Did you answer correctly? Probably not. Unless the answer was “zero” and you knew damn well there were no fucking flowers in your environment. If that is the case, then I am a little sad for you. What a gray and utilitarian environment yours must be. You should welcome this apocalypse. In that sense, good for you. You’re ready to cope with hell on earth.

For the rest of you, you should try some mental exercises to heighten your awareness. I don’t know any. I’m just sayin’.

During the coming apocalypse – and it is coming, you know – it is a good idea to be aware of your surroundings in as much detail as possible. The more aware you are, the more likely you will see what it is that actually kills you. That makes your story much more interesting. Which ending is better: “I don’t know what hit me” or “That’s when I saw him – the fanatical asshole on the roof of the 7-11 with a Bible and a sniper rifle.” A story is better when we can all share in the ending. Remember when everything just went black at the end of The Sopranos? Remember how pissed off everyone was? Don’t be that guy. Be aware. See the horrible death you will suffer before you suffer it. Chicks dig scars. And stories with a good ending. Ladies, men don’t really dig scars. If your guy does, get the hell away from him. If you have a scar, don’t worry about it. First of all, all a scar means is that you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you. I read that in an internet meme so it has to be true. And secondly, it’s the apocalypse and you’re gonna shuffle off that scarred mortal coil any second now. Your next form will be even more perfect! Unless you were a total bitch, then your next form will probably be a warthog or one of these fish:

blobfish

Pay close attention to the world around you, because during an apocalypse, it can change quickly. You may even see other dimensions crossing through your own, and who knows what kind of crazy shit might pop out of one of those? Ever seen one of those fish (above) wearing a cheap suit and smoking a cigar? You might. I have. We called him Uncle Jimmy.

Knowing your surroundings is all part of being prepared, which is really what this little book is all about. You will most likely find yourself in a group of people, as people tend to come together in a disaster. It is a beautiful thing as people put aside their differences and work together for the safety of the group as a whole… in a perfect world, like the ones they show us in movies. But this isn’t a movie. This is reality, Hondo, and you will do well to remember it. Granted, most people are good and altruistic and will do whatever they can to save your life – sometimes even at the risk of their own. But you must never forget that there are assholes in the world, and many of them may gravitate toward you. Always know who is in your group and where they are. If someone slips into your group unnoticed, YOU notice. That person may just be the asshole who’ll stick a fork in your head the second your back is turned. Why would he do that? Beats the hell out of me. People panic, and they do some crazy shit when they panic, especially the assholes. Know every member of your group, and know their priorities. Where do you come in on that list? Do they have kids? If they do, that’s a tough break for you, because their protective parental instincts will kick in, and mixed with the Panic of the Unprepared, this means they are a liability rather than an asset. But you can’t just kill them in front of their kids (because that sets up all kinds of revenge scenarios), so you have to just keep an eye on them. A very close eye. The kids can take care of themselves. They probably think this shit is exciting. Every kid wants to live in a movie these days, and now they get to. Wheee.

This is also a good time to bring up religion. Is there a religious nut in your group? Does someone try to get you all to stop moving and pray together? Liability. Explain to them that God is all-knowing and has seen this world come and go, backwards and forwards, before it was even created, so there will be no negotiating. God is not about to change eons of planning just because you all held hands and sang Shall We Gather at the River. Not to be a jerk, but at this point, go ahead and slap a bitch. And do not gather at the river. There is a good chance of flash flooding. Any idiot knows you should head to the high grounds.

The point is, know your group. Stay tight with the sensible, cool-headed people who realize they are doomed and accept it graciously. All they want to do is to go out with dignity, and to be a decent human being on the way. THEIRS is the Kingdom of Heaven. So see if you can get in on that.

PART 5

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