Humor by Greg Schwem
"Let's have a family meeting!" I yelled, repeating verbatim what the Salt Lake City father of six bellowed on the television.
"I'm doing homework, Dad," came the reply from my two daughters.
"NOW!" I said, struggling to keep panic out of my voice. "A biological terror attack is imminent! Forget homework."
It was the last line that got them downstairs. "What are we doing?" my youngest asked.
"Yeah, what?" my wife said.
"We are prepping for Doomsday," I said. "I just saw a family on 'The Today Show' doing it. I want to drill just like they did. Kids, grab your guns."
"We don't have guns," my wife reminded me. "We have candles."
"We don't need candles," I said. "We need hazmat suits, night-vision goggles, body armor. WE NEED AN UNDERGROUND SHELTER!"
"Sounds cool," my youngest replied. "Can I watch The Disney Channel down there?"
"I don't think so."
"I'd rather die."
"Why the sudden interest in practicing these end-of-the-world scenarios?" my wife asked.
"Haven't you seen 'Doomsday Preppers?'" I replied, referring to the National Geographic Channel show now in its second season and featuring normal everyday individuals (by their standards) who routinely train for natural or manmade disasters. After seeing one episode, I realized the heavy-duty flashlight I keep by the bed would not be enough to thwart an avian flu pandemic or ash from an impending volcanic eruption. Preppers are ready for these occurrences and more.
Incidentally, if you ever see an adult holding a Super Soaker squirt gun, stay away. It may be filled with homemade pepper spray. One prepper, drilling for the breakdown of social order following an economic collapse, filled the toy with his own recipe and then demonstrated his ability to unload a few rounds directly into the eyeballs of any neighbors who decide to help themselves to his cache of supplies.
"The Griffiths would never do that," said my wife, referring to our next-door neighbors. "Then again, Bill might come over for a Doomsday beverage. Better keep a corkscrew tied to your belt."
"This isn't funny," I said. "I just took the Doomsday Prepper survey on the
"I don't know. What?"
"We wouldn't last a week. Not without some fortification, surveillance equipment and at least 1,000 rounds of ammo per family member."
"Christmas is coming," my wife replied.
"And don't even get me started about bartering. The survey says we should have extra alcohol, tobacco and silver on hand so we can trade it with our fellow survivors."
"That's great, providing everybody who survives a disaster is a drunk with a hacking cough and a penchant for jewelry."
"I don't think you're taking this seriously."
"Look, honey, I appreciate your intentions. And I agree, we probably aren't as prepared as we should be. But some of this stuff seems a bit, uh, extreme."
"Besides, Dad, do you really want to live in a world where everybody goes around assaulting each other with hot sauce?" my daughter asked.
"That sounds yucky," her sister added.
"So what do YOU think we should do?" I asked my wife, a question I inevitably pose whether we're choosing wallpaper, disciplining the dog and, now, preparing for the end of civilization.
"I think Hurricane Sandy taught us that, even though we live in the Midwest, it wouldn't hurt to have a case of bottled water, a full gas can, some nonperishable food items and an envelope full of cash nearby. That ought to be enough to keep this family together."
"What about an underground, battery-powered bunker?"
"We're not buying a man cave."
"OK, but if terrorists ever infiltrate our house, remember, I warned you."
"Don't worry. I'll crack their skulls with a candle."
Humorist Greg Schwem is a stand-up comedian and author of Text Me If You're Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad
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Humor & Funny Stories - Preparing for Doomsday One Candle at a Time - Greg Schwem Humor
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