You see, experts now lay the odds of an imminent cataclysmic event at somewhere between 75 and 90%. By imminent, I mean possibly next month. And not just one “event” – a tidal wave of cataclysmic events. So you might want to get prepared for the Final Countdown. No hurry. If you’re in the middle of something important – like watching pro bowling or pruning your rose bushes– then by all means, finish that up. We can chat about this later.
But when you have a few minutes, you might want to consider making just a few minor preparations for when the end of civilization as we know it arrives. To be honest, I never gave much thought to the impending Apocalypse until lately. You see, I live near Seattle. Recently, the New Yorker Magazine posted an article that predicts a 9.1 or greater earthquake that is apparently long overdue, according to seismologists. “The Big One”, as they call it, will be so devastating that “It will leave Seattle and most of western Washington in ruins. Everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.” Hard to spin this story in a positive way – unless you happen to live in Boise, Idaho, in which case you may soon become the owner of oceanfront property.
Then CBS 60 Minutes reported that the odds are over 80% for a major terrorist strike in the next three years which would take down huge portions of our electrical grid, leaving vast regions of the country without power for months. No biggie – seeing as I installed solar panels last year.
Add to these worries rumors that North Korea’s Kim Jong-un threatens to launch a nuclear strike against the US, a probable terrorist suitcase nuclear bomb attack, and Fox News’ prediction of the looming Zombie Apocalypse, and well, the near future is not shaping up like an episode of Happy Days.
But, hey, my mom always taught me, “Look on the sunny side of life.” Your neighbor kids’ annoying heavy metal music blaring all night will soon be a thing of the past. Still, I’m thinking, you might want to hold off on prepaying for your summer 2016 Disney vacation. The Magic Kingdom might have magically vanished by then. The bad news: it appears the annihilation of western civilization may be just around the corner. The good news: that’s three months’ salary you just saved by cancelling your trip.
More good news: There is still time to get prepared for our inevitable return to the Stone Age. Here are just a few of the 857 items you’ll need in order to be prepared for Doomsday:
- a 7000-watt portable generator (a mere $2500.00)
- 250 gallons of gasoline to power the generator for four months (think positively – the price of gas is at a five-year low)
- a storage tank that can hold up to 250 gallons of gasoline that when empty can double as a panic room
- a portable compostable toilet and 100 rolls of toilet paper (go for the 2-ply)
- four months’ supply of potable water (buy American – that’s why I recommend Evian)
- twelve sturdy shelves to store your four-month supply of potable water (a great building project for your son’s scout merit badge)
- four months’ supply of soup and cereal (might I suggest Lucky Charms? They last forever.)
- plates, cups, bowls, knives, spoons, and forks – or if you’re cheap, sporks
- pet food and extra water for your three cats Bingo, Bopper and Bonkers (or just let them feed on the burgeoning population of rats)
- four tons of concrete and 200 rebar rods to reinforce your house’s foundation to withstand a devastating earthquake (another merit badge in this)
- an 8 cu. ft. gas-powered commercial strength concrete mixer to pour and lay the concrete foundation (the mixer can double as a washer-dryer)
- personalized sleeping bags so no one fights for warmth
- at least three weeks’ supply of shirts, pants, underwear, socks and outer wear – or save space by letting everyone simply swap clothes every two weeks – it will feel like you have a new wardrobe
- your teddy bear, Sparkles (you know you can’t get a good night’s sleep without your little buddy to spoon with)
- a chainsaw to clear away all the fallen trees (can also be used to tear down your neighbor’s abandoned house, which you can then use for kindling, after they flee just ahead of the 100-foot tall tsunami)
- a gas mask – because I’ve always wanted to try one of those things
- a can opener for the first two weeks, after which time you’ll boycott Campbell’s Hearty Vegetable soup and switch over to the Lucky Charms, which never get old… seriously, they never do.
- enough lumber to build a separate 30’ x 40’ storage shed to house all of this crap since you only have a single-car garage with barely enough room to store your Honda Fit and a couple boxes of Christmas ornaments
But please don’t stress out if you’re not able to get everything done in time for the impending devastation. If the end of the world happens, it’s not like everything in life would become bleak and unbearable. You’ve got to think of the glass as half full – shattered into a thousand pieces, but still half full. I read that pinecones are surprisingly high in fiber. And there’s always campfire songs. Do you know “And BINGO was his Name-O?” My girls loved that song when they were three.
Still, if all this preparedness feels like too much of a hassle, there’s always Plan B: sell your house and move to Belize. I hear that Central American country has lovely beaches, experiences no earthquakes, and is way down on the list of terrorists’ preferred targets.
Que sera, sera. Enjoy your remaining time before the Apocalypse. : )
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time
© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2015