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…)