Apocalypse Not 

I’m Not Ready For The Apocalypse

I always thought I was but, seriously, I’m not at all ready for the apocalypse.

The first end of the world novel I read was Stephen King’s The Stand.  I was 13 at the time and fell immediately in love with the concept. Since then it’s stayed a very popular trope. There have been thousands of terrible and maybe ten really good apocalypse books and shows.

Walking Dead Pet Zombie
The Walking Dead is everybody’s favorite for TV, but Jericho kicked all kinds of apocalyptic ass in its day. Books have an easier time world building, or in this case, world destroying, but there’s only a handful I love. After The Stand my next favorite is Zone One by Colston Whitehead, which is a literary zombie novel. I know that’s like saying “a healthy heroin” or “fat free bacon butter cheese” but it’s true. Zone One explores the mental and emotional impact of the extinction of the human race and not only does it well, but… zombies!

For some reason people like me who enjoy picturing an apocalypse, zombie or otherwise, see themselves as survivors. Odds say that’s not true; otherwise there would be no massive culling of humanity, hence, no apocalypse. It’s likely true for me though because of my athleticism and intelligence and humility and overall awesomeness.

I picture myself alone, roaming through an empty world filled with abandoned toys. I salivate at the idea that I might walk into empty mansions and claim everything I see as my own. Even at a young age I was euphoric at the idea of being able to go through the world’s medicine cabinets and have my fill of medicine bottles that have euphoria listed as a side-effect.

When I was seven or eight, my mother turned all born-again Christian and this grew my Armageddon imagination tremendously during my formative years. Even though I knew the rapture sounded crazy, I loved the idea. All of those people, gone! Just disappearing into this air without even getting to pack a bag. The beauty of that scenario is that there aren’t even any bodies to clean up. No muss, no fuss.

Picture Apocalypse Not - Unknown Source

“You’re free now birdies. Go, just go. Don’t look back, just go!”

I pictured myself riding blimps and sinking yachts for fun. I’d run through grocery stores and eat every candy bar I felt like. I could drop heavy things from tall buildings. I could ride through the school halls on my skateboard… that was pretty much the extent of my imagination at that age.

As I got older though, doubts crept in. No, not about scientific feasibility of animated corpses walking around with, like, zero red blood cell count or how God would give me such an amazing gift as taking all the hardcore Christians away, I had doubts about my ability to prosper in such scenarios.

The perfect timing for an apocalypse would have been during my twenties.

My thirties would work too, sure, but every year made me a little more reticent.

When I hit forty I knew I had to rethink things.

It’s not like I wouldn’t enjoy 9/10’s of the world’s population being wiped out.

It’s not like I’m not still in damn fine shape. I’m not fit for forty. I’m fit for any age. And I’m really good looking. And really smart. And more humble than anyone who has ever lived.

It’s that I’m just not cut out for apocalypse life anymore, maybe I never was.  I’ve always considered myself a survivor, but I meant it in more of a city-boy or prison yard kind of way. I can make friends fast and my morals are loose enough to do what I have to do to make sure I eat.

Not Ready For The Apocalypse Now Unknown Source

This is what my stomach would look like without Prilosec

To survive long-term post-apocalypse though, you need to be more of a “Country boy will survive” kind of survivor. A Daryl Dixon. You need to hunt and fish and farm and make fire and cook meth in a double wide trailer. I can’t do any of those things.

I’m also way too dependent on modern stuff. Once my contacts wore out I’d have glasses but what happened when they broke or I needed a new prescription?

I take Prilosec every day to prevent heartburn that would blow a hole through my solar plexus if left unchecked. How would I find medicine with CVS looted and burnt? Prilosec is my insulin.

I get pissy if I go three hours without eating.

I need the air conditioner to be at 72 to sleep well.

I have to wash my hair exactly every other day with Head and Shoulders or terrible things happen.

I have to brush my teeth right after I eat. I just have to.

That’s only scratching the surface! What would happen if I got bronchitis or a sinus infection or, god forbid, hemorrhoids? What happens when Karen really wants chocolate and I can’t find any because all the stores are zombie hangouts or antichrist organic grocer co-ops?

The older I get the more high maintenance I become. So if there is an apocalypse, I need it to be a very specific kind of apocalypse that still allows me to live exactly as I do now. I know it sounds crazy but I’m almost starting to think life would just be easier without human extinction.

  14 comments for “Apocalypse Not 

  1. The Dose of Reality
    May 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I can hardly breathe from laughing so hard. I’m totally with you. We are simpatico.
    While the thought of something wiping out 90% of the population is exhilarating (I hope I can pick a person or two on that list), who will make my favorite Weight Watchers 8 point taco salad at Moe’s? Will the Hershey’s chocolate factories still be functional? Will I still be able to get a $35 pedicure down the street or will I have to trek all the way across town to the fancy place that charges $60? That would be a bummer and also waste gas. Bah! –Lisa

    • May 21, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      That’s what I was thinking as well. How long before the world runs out of peanut butter? Out of ice-cream? Out of morphine drips and ass-less chaps?

      My guess is if you still had gas you could make people give you pedicures anytime you wanted one.

      Thanks Lisa!

  2. May 21, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    I remember an old Twilight Zone episode where a bank employee hid in the safe to read books, and while he was in there, the apocalypse happened. When he came out, he was thrilled to have all the time in the world to just read. Until his glasses fell off and he stepped on them and he couldn’t see a thing.

    That sounds like what your apocalypse awakening would be. Altho I’d wager that you’d get over the OCD really fast.

    We humans need human contact. Even if some of the other humans are sucky.

    • May 21, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      I loved the Twilight Zone. That and Ray Bradbury Presents kept me awake many late nights.

      You’re dead right. I’ve been in a few less than ideal situations and I was astonished at how adaptable I turned out to be. You’d see the end of all the alphabet diseases and first world problems within the month. Lactose and gluten intolerance would miraculously disappear the first time somebody got for real hungry.

      Thanks Diane!

  3. May 21, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    I’ve thought about this too. I told my daughter I didn’t want to live through any big awful mess and to be prepared — I’d be out of here as fast as I could. So, as the 26 yo zombie hunter she is, she assured me she’d be right over if anything bad happened. She’s got my back. Plus she occasionally tutors me on the best zombie killing tools and strike areas, in case that’s the way it goes down.

    • May 21, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      You have an amazing daughter. So she’s as ferocious (a zombie killer) as she is beautiful huh? You’re a lucky mother. The weapon that they came up with in World War Z would be the most efficient for zombie extermination. A “lobo” I think it was called.

      So if anything major happens, you know I’ll be coming over to your place.

      Thanks Pamela!

  4. May 21, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    You’d need the survival skills of a Kalahari bushman to survive an apocalypse, but maybe you’d thrive in a Blade Runner dystopia where being streetwise is the main thing. I think the replicant chicks would like you too.

    • May 21, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      That’s what I’m saying! I forgot all about Blade Runner. I’d be fine in that world. I can hustle and burn all day. But don’t make me have to do actual stuff.

      Thanks GB!

  5. May 21, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Once I got the laughing out of the way, I went back to the start and zoomed in on “a literary zombie novel”. Who would have thought? ‘Zone one’ is now on my TBR list. I’ll let you know what I think of it.

    • May 21, 2014 at 10:00 pm

      I really enjoyed it. Colston Whitehead is brilliantly talented and pulls it off in a way I never saw coming. It was one of my favorite books of last year. Though, I believe it’s been out longer. I think you’ll like it.

      Thanks Karen!

  6. May 25, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Like Diane I immediately thought of that Twilight Zone episode with the bank employee and the glasses! Every apocalypse film I’ve ever seen, I always end up wondering, what’s the point of surviving? It looks miserable and there is clearly no hope of things getting better! And I am always absolutely certain I would have been wiped out in the first round. Well maybe the second, I’m not a total loss.

    • May 26, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      I really have to find that episode. You don’t remember the name do you?

      I don’t know Jackie, you look like you’d not only survive, you look like you’d survive well… survive with panache!

      Thanks Jackie!

  7. June 5, 2014 at 9:26 am

    This was hilarious and your humility shines through. My parents became born-again Christians when I was 9, the thought of the rapture was frightening – I always assumed I’d be in a car and all around me the cars would be haphazard and crashed and I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere and I wouldn’t be near home so I’d spend my time moving the ones I could out of the way, slowly but surely clearing a path to get back home in my own car, which I would run back and get once I’d made some headway. I think its a recurring nightmare. Vivid and pretty f*ed up now that I’m writing it out.

    And also, that Twilight episode. I remember it. When he stepped on those glasses…you knew it was really over.

    • June 6, 2014 at 8:44 am

      I am very humble, everyone says so. My mom did the same thing. She did it because her new boyfriend was born-again and she often adopted the beliefs and lifestyles of her boyfriends. Luckily it was only a few but it was extremely frustrating just the same.

      Oh my Gawd, I remember that clear as day now!

      Thanks Stephanie!

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