A to-do list for the apocalypse
Maybe you’ve heard: the world is coming to an end. On 21 December, 2012, the show is over and it’s not ever coming back.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that you still have some time to prepare before the destruction of the planet and every single one of its inhabitants begins. But while the end of all life is still a ways off, there’s no reason not to seize the moment and prepare for your untimely death.
It’s go time.
To help you prepare, I’ve drawn up a little to-do list of tasks that need to be accomplished before the fire and brimstone and before you meet your maker. Think of them as the Seven Commandments (and toss out the others, because your god has forsaken you).
Pay attention now.
1. Stock up on stuff
Our collective and inevitable demise will approach gradually. According to the Internet and several dead Mayans, it will take several months for the apocalypse to fully finish its business. (Lazy-ass apocalypse.) So, while the shit takes its time to truly hit the fan, you should use that time to gather some supplies.
I recommend the classic survival items, but with a twist! First, you’ll need to eat. Instead of Twinkies and Kraft Dinner, try some organic canned kidney beans – they’re high in fiber and low in additives! Get it?! It’s funny because it doesn’t matter!
You’re also going to need some light, since it’s unlikely that the power grids will survive the initial onslaught of natural disaster. Generators are a non-starter, since they require gas and you’re not going to want to go out to roam the apocalyptic wasteland that was once your hometown while battling roving gangs of zombies and, let’s say, mole people. Yankee Candles come in a variety of scents, including clean cotton, lemon lavender, vanilla lime, and buttercream.
Finally, you’re going to need some entertainment. I recommend picking up all 37 seasons of Two and a Half Men on Blu-ray. Of course, you won’t be able to watch them, since there won’t be any power. But they are ideal fuel for campfires, and should be available for cheap.
2. Tell your friends and family how you truly feel about them
It’s time to tell everybody to kiss your ass.
For years, you’ve held your tongue while Uncle Rick told his hilarious Jew joke at family gatherings while slapping aunt Suzie’s ass and telling her to grab him a beer. You’ve politely responded to every single one of your ex’s 3 a.m. Facebook messages asking how you were doing and if you wanted to catch up sometime over coffee.
Well, before the credits start to roll on eternity, you’ll have a chance to let these people know just how much of a shocking and soul-sucking disappointment they’ve been. E-mail is fine for this.
3. Dismantle systems of class oppression
Remember Karl Marx? He was a nineteenth-century philosopher of unparalleled importance who wrote a number of thoughtful, precise, and dense works detailing the system of class oppression and its effects on the working class and on society at large. Then some guys decided it’d be cool to paraphrase him and shit got nasty. Then capitalism won, hands down, since, it turns out, we love shiny stuff and hate poor people. (Lazy-ass poor people.)
Marx wrote that workers have nothing to lose but their chains. Well, now they don’t even have those to lose! Capitalism only works when the state and the upper classes create and maintain elaborate mechanisms such as laws and social institutions to prop up a deeply-flawed, oppressive, and self-destructive system!
Once those laws and institutions break down, capitalists start flinging their poo at one another just like monkeys and the rest of us do. And once tidal waves start turning football stadiums into giant wave pools, you’d better believe that those laws and institutions are going to break down; as they do, they can be replaced by something more equal (flaming rutabagas for everyone!). Better late than never.
4. Join the God Squad
It’s time to get religious. Shop around for the faith that suits you best, or maybe choose a few to hedge your bets. Eighteenth-century French philosopher Blaise Pascal was on to this a long time ago. His idea was simple. He argued (and I’m obviously translating here): if I believe in God and it turns out there is no God, then it’s no big deal. It doesn’t cost me anything. If I’m right, and he does exist, well: ka-ching! But, if I don’t believe in God, and He does exist, well, then I’m fucked. But, of course, he wrote in French, so it read much more eloquently.
Besides, joining a religious tradition today is easy. Just look a few up on Wikipedia, toss some posts up in an online forum, and shoot off a quick prayer or two every day while you’re showering. You don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home, which, after the apocalypse begins, will be handy, since everything’s going to be on fire.
5. Have a drink and wait for your inevitable doom
Kick up those heels and relax, friend. Pour yourself a glass of scotch from the top shelf, sit back, and wait for the fireworks. Teetotaler? Recovering alcoholic? Cheapskate? All good reasons to avoid a tipple. But not this time; this time you have a good excuse. Everything is going to explode. So have yourself one last drink and enjoy the show – even Jesus did it, and everything worked out okay for him. Right?
6. Become an optimist
It’s never too late to look on the bright side. When your doctor says “stage four atypical teratoid tumour,” don’t think “Oh my god, why me?” Think “Ohmygod I’m going to look totally thin!”
Optimism is going to be super handy when massive chemical spills melt the planet, turn your pets into neon orange superbeasts, and cause the trees to start eating fire hydrants. Just turn that mutated-frown upside down, pal; your now-gargantuan budgie Gary isn’t a terrifying leviathan, dropping shits the size of Honda Civics on helpless passers-by, he’s the world’s greatest form of air transportation. Also, by then, probably the only form. And sure, it’s pretty terrifying to watch grizzly bears descend from the mountains to eat fire hydrants, but think about it: now you can park anywhere!
7. Prepare backup plan
I wouldn’t put too much thought into this, but in case the Mayans forgot to carry the one when doing their apocalypse math, or got sloppy with their predictions because they were distracted fighting chupacabras, you may want to have a backup plan for the year. Maybe pre-write some apology e-mails and take your ex up on that offer to catch up. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be well versed in these things anyway, so it shouldn’t take too long.