More and more, I’ve heard people suggest we’re entering “end times”—they may have a point, what with all the wild fires, super storms, pestilence and death.
Normally, I don’t buy in to crackpot doomsday predictions. For one, I prefer crackpot Kennedy Assassination theories (they’ve got a certain “Mad Men” aesthetic). But also, I’ve been let down so many times in the past… Y2K? Total bust. The Mayan apocalypse of Dec. 21, 2012? Epic fail. Blood Moon Prophecy of 2014-15? Fake news.
But what if the world really is ending this time? Just to be safe, I started watching “Doomsday Preppers” on Netflix. Only two seasons in, I can clearly see I’m not doomsday prepped at all. In fact, I’m doomsday screwed.
So are most of us. Instead of building bunkers, stockpiling munitions and converting all our money into bitcoin and non-hybrid crisis seeds, we’ve been power-streaming reality TV shows about building bunkers, stockpiling munitions and converting all our money into bitcoin and non-hybrid crisis seeds.
Fear not, ye unprepared! You may not have time to construct the panic room of your dreams. But it’s never too late to do a little last-minute doomsday prepping, aka “doomsday cramming.”
Contrary to popular belief, Twinkies do not have an infinite shelf life. So, if you’ve already stocked your doomsday larder, might as well eat them now (if you haven’t already—I demolished my entire stash the first month of covid). A much better bet: ramen. That stuff lasts forever. Also, it’ll make the post-apocalypse seem like you’re back in college, especially if you’re listening sitting under a black light and listening to “Dark Side of the Moon.”
Other foods with extended shelf lives: rice, jerkied meats, powdered milk, sugar, peanut butter, marshmallow fluff and vegetable oil (can you say deep-fried fluffer-nutter night in the bunker?)
Of course, living in Juneau allows abundant hunting, fishing and wild harvesting opportunities. But consider this: we import dry goods from outside. How can I be expected to enjoy my doomsday halibut without a Japanese panko crust?
Ideally, you’d be self-sufficient for the duration of societal collapse, which would entail water capturing, filtration and recovery. Even if society doesn’t collapse, think of the bragging rights with your greenie friends—sure, they compost, but you wash dishes with recycled pee!
While in other parts of the country, a doomsday crammer’s best option for securing a hydration source involves saving quarters for the vending machine, here in Juneau, fresh
water abounds and everyone owns multiple Nalgene bottles (just rattling around the floor of their cars, alone).
Experts recommend a thick-walled metallic structure reinforced with concrete, rebar and sheet metal. But a shelter need not be that complicated. For example, in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” Indie survives a nuclear blast holed up in an old refrigerator. But then again, later in the movie, he’s almost sucked into an inter-dimensional vortex by telekinetic aliens, so they weren’t exactly striving for scientific verisimilitude.
Ambitious doomsday crammers can place plastic sheeting and duct tape over their windows. Not to keep out poison gas, radiation or biological weapons or anything… just in case you want to slap on a fresh coat of paint. If you’re headed into oblivion, may as well head into oblivion with a Bordeaux accent wall.
And let’s not forget the easiest shelter for a doomsday crammer: in bed, with the covers pulled over your head. Especially if you sleep on a thick-walled metallic mattress with a concrete, rebar and sheet metal comforter.
Obviously, doomsday preppers stockpile firearms and ammunition, but you won’t find a more perfect opportunity to buy that mail-order tactical sword you’ve always wanted. And you may as well add the strap-on hand claws, too, while you’re at it. Oh, and spring for expedited shipping. The apocalypse could be coming any day now, and you’d hate to face it without your strap-on hand claws.
Some Doomsday scenarios include a sudden geomagnetic reversal of the earth’s poles. So, back up all your devices. After civilization falls, you’ll have even more time on your hands—perfect opportunity to organize all your photos.
The practical doomsday crammer also considers less-obvious supplies. Dental floss and mouthwash, for instance—nothing worse than morning-after-the-end-the-world breath. Also, apoca-lip balm. Have you ever been inside an underground bunker? So dry. Plus, you’d hate to have to kiss your butt good-bye with chapped lips.
Happy doomsday cramming, everyone. And remember: whether you’re living large inside a luxury converted ICBM silo with a hydroponic garden and a solar-powered entertainment center or eating L’il Smokies by headlamp in your crawlspace—either way, you’ll be pooping in a bucket.
• Geoff Kirsch is an award-winning Juneau-based writer and humorist. “Slack Tide” appears twice monthly in Neighbors.