Remember Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds? I believe I was about nine when I saw it. Afterwards I decided I could keep my siblings alive in our half-bathroom. There were no windows, I could stuff towels under the door, we’d have water to drink, and most important of all, a toilet. Of course the five of us would have had to stand in the cramped space the whole time. I believe I pictured myself, as the one who saved their lives, getting to sit on the throne.
Then there was the nuclear bomb. Or the atomic bomb. I don’t remember which. Either way, I was going to make the siblings crawl under the house because for some reason I thought we’d be safe there. An alternate plan was to get to my friend’s house. They had a real bomb shelter, stocked with canned goods. No can opener though, as they discovered years later when dismantling the shelter.
Next came volcanoes. Anyone remember being shown, in school, a film about a Mexican farmer who had a volcano appear in his back yard? I believe I was around twelve for that one. I don’t remember my plan to save the siblings from volcanoes other than an attempt to get my dad to teach me to drive.
Then came the Chernobyl disaster and I was right back to planning for radiation. But by then I was living off grid with my parents – generating our own power, in the woods (hunting possibilities), near a river (water supply) and with an outhouse (remember the importance of the toilet and the birds?). We were set.
Each generation has an apocalypse fear. I read a study that said the shape an apocalypse takes for each age is a reflection on the stresses and fears for that generation. Zombies? That we were becoming drones.
So what is it these days that I’m preparing for? Natural disasters. I just read a very sobering article on the upcoming big earthquake for the Pacific Northwest.
But hey, I have a plan. Bug-out bags, stocked pantry, kerosene lanterns and candles, water filters, hunting rifle, and lots of vodka.
I’m still slightly worried about that volcano though. And the giant mutant spider from a Midnight Theater episode. And tornadoes. Man, don’t get me started on tornadoes.
Are you prepared? There’s a fine line between paranoia and preparedness, between nightmares and reality. It never hurts to at least have a blanket, candles, and some water in your car though.
Oops. I took the candles out. They melted.
(Ha, looking at the tags for this post you’d think I was a bit paranoid…)
3 thoughts on “Birds and Other Apocalypse Tales”
LOL… interesting tags….
Funny, but until I moved to Canada I never even thought about anything like this at all. Growing up in Germany I never had to fear any of the disasters that happen so often in the US. I know we lived in the aftermath of Chernobyl by not playing in the sandbox anymore and my mom had to think about some kind of food to not serve anymore. I didnt live in a flooding area either and there are no predators in our forests at all. So I never thought of preparing until I got to the North West (or rather South West ;-)) and met you and Bob. Thats when I saw all the possibilities here and now on a daily basis I choose not go take the kids onto the forest trail thats behind our house because its a bear highway… So far I have been lucky to not meet any close up, but I know whats roaming around here and it freaks me out.
But then some movies must have left some underlying fears since I remember two of my childhood nightmares being similar to movie disasters. One was about 3 tornados and the other about a wave washing me away while I took out the trash. That never impacted me though like my real worst fear, which I know is nothing compared to a natural disaster but it impacts my daily life and I can not prepare for it like I do with an earthquake. 😉
And now you have a bug out bag in your car because you’re smart and prepared!
I think I read that piece too. Whew.