Saturday, April 9, 2011
Are Four Cans of Tuna Enough When Packing for The End of Days
Yesterday, while in a meeting preparing for the possible shutdown of the government, I received a text message from my son wanting to know if I still had a job. I also received a message from my daughter telling me how cute her shoes were. It was followed with "Luv ya" and three emoticons, all too tiny to see. Both children should have been heavily involved in mathematics or history and were obviously secretly packing cell phones while in school. I assured my son that we would be fine. The thought did cross my mind, however, about what would happen if I suddenly found myself without a paycheck. The twelve pack of soda and assorted baby bottle pops in the back of my car wouldn't carry our family far. That night, while we were all gathered around the kitchen counter discussing the end of days as we knew them and life without Netflix or "Words with Friends", the power abruptly shut down without notice or advance flickering. We were thrown into a sudden blackness where you could not see your hand in front of your face. While I groped in the darkness for matches and candles, I discovered they had all been replaced with plug in "Scentsy" candle warmers. I was living in a wickless, flame free world. My cave people relatives from the beginning of time would be so ashamed. My son grabbed his cell phone for light and communication to the lighted world only to find that AT&T was off-line as well. The invisible cell phone signals and wifi networks that normally surrounded us with a pleasing false sense of security were gone. My daughter, very astutely announced in the darkness that the government must have shut down. Brilliant observation, I must say. As we sat there in the falsh wash of light we had mustered up from our cell phones, my son whispers to me, "Do you think we've been EMPed?" I only knew what this meant because of watching too many end of the world movies. It's an electromagnetic pulse that arrives just before the nuclear bomb, shutting down all things electrical and wonderful. I assured him that this was not the beginning of something horrible other than the fact that my burrito was now cold and I couldn't find the pica de gallo in the dark. Because we are curious creatures and it was so dark in the house, we decided to drive around the community in hopes that we wouldn't drive off into some giant chasm or be zapped by the alien space-ship possibly hovering over city hall. We discovered people everywhere, just standing outside in the dark, waiting for something... a sign, a spaceship, a giant plume. I'm not sure what they were all looking for other than just an answer. I wondered if we had not all been so sucked into this 2012 end of days prophecy and fear of sudden terrorist action that we did actually believe that it was the end of time as we know it. I found myself driving around in the dark thinking that I should really change my investments in my 401K plan to something less riskier now and that it might be good to have some kind of emergency plan. Today while at the grocery store, I picked up four cans of tuna and a really big bottle of water. And yet... somehow I think my emergency preparedness plan is lacking something. I toyed with the idea of actually taking those little bottles of shampoo and conditioner that they leave for you in hotel rooms. That could come in handy for bargaining or simply for hygienic practices in the end of days or if the government shuts down. My plan is obviously in the formative stage right now and I can see many things that might be helpful to have should we suddenly be thrown into the darkness with no communication or access to the deli-mart in Kroger. I realize that it depends on what level of isolation we find ourselves in. Would we need seeds to begin planting for subsistence living or would it be more of a need for weapons for protection of life and property? I do have a giant spatula that could be handy and I'm adding it to my toolbox of things I may need if the world comes crashing to a halt. I know that when this day should possibly come, my husband will be 200 miles away on a lake completely oblivious to any change in modern day living. While I'm at home fighting off Mayan warriors reincarnated or duct-taping the windows and doors, he will be gently rocking on the waters waiting for another big eyed Bass to tug on his line. I will be attempting to shape tuna into McDonald's chicken nugget shapes and praying that we have the things we need to survive. I'm certain I can grow things like kale and cabbage, but my children wouldn't know what to do with it. What I really need is emergency packs of P.F Chang's Honey Glazed Chicken or to be on the lake with my husband when the bottom falls out. Our family could live out of the boat and eat the fish of the waters until the skies open up and a hand reaches down and pulls us out of the darkness. That final act is the best part of my emergency preparedness plan and will take us much further than four cans of tuna or a giant spatula.