Prepared For The Apocalypse
The threat of nuclear war, plagues and pandemics, famines, droughts and floods, earthquakes and volcano eruptions, terrorism, cyber attacks that destroys our infrastructure, a meteor crashing down on our planet, maybe carrying some alien parasite… It seems we are surrounded by possibilities of our doom, and for the survivors, this would become a test of our humanity, or a lesson into how little we actually know about what it is to be human.
As Lenin once said, “every society is three meals away from chaos”.
I’ve had many conversation with friends about what we would do in the outbreak of a zombie infestation, with all conversation, even if taken seriously, verging on the comedic aspects, because after all, the living dead walking or running among us is an absurdity, isn’t it?
In either case, this hasn’t stopped me from enjoying the many movies exploring the subject, imagining what I would do, and what kind of person I would become. A world, suddenly devoid of bureaucracy, mindless administrative tasks, paying bills on time, and credit card fees, and the other mind-numbing tasks that has me feeling somnambulated like the zombie.
None of the upkeep of modern day life would matter, because we’d all be too busy surviving the bottom of a supernatural version of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
I just want to know how well I would do, and then at the end, reality presses a reset button, and we go back to a checkpoint as if the experience were a dream, a video game, possibly recorded and edited to make another blockbuster movie.
I have a destructive desire in me, barely dormant, longing for something primal, just waiting for the opportunity to let the hungry animal out.
That’s why I go boxing. I can punch the Hell out of a bag, eventually, spar with someone, and hopefully get in the ring one day for a proper fight, even if it’s to get my ass beat. It wouldn’t be about winning; it would just be for the fun of battle. Of blood.
If I just go on a random rampage now, when it doesn’t call for it, I’m a monster. But if all Hell breaks loose, and I do what I have to do to survive, I’m a champion.
The line between hero and villain can be very thin.
The zone I’m most interested in the need for monsters to protect the good humans from bigger inhuman monsters. But that’s a journal entry for another day.
For now, I continue my stroll down my Memory Lane.
Early on in my career, I filmed a TV show called How To Survive A Disaster Movie, to fact check whether the films exploring these various apocalyptic scenarios had their protagonists follow protocol for survival.
Unfortunately, the show barely scratched the surface of viewership. My presenting skills weren’t up to par for success anyway, so perhaps it’s a good thing it quietly fizzled in white noise, but it was still one of the highlights of my career.
I had the opportunity to experience a variety of scenes straight out of action films; holding onto a railing while being blasted by neck-breaking wind speeds to test tornado velocity, becoming certified for underwater helicopter escape training and having this truly be tested as my seatbelt became stuck while submerged, constructing my own fortified vehicle to plough through hordes of the undead, Turing test with potential artificial intelligent overlords, and so much more.
While my co-host was being buried in an avalanche in the cold mountains of Northern Europe, I was sent to Florida to gather a few exotic episodes. I may have drawn the long straw.
After wearing hazmat suits to learn about plague-worthy viruses at the University of Miami, I went into the swamps to fight alligators.
Nothing like visiting a real life Jurassic Park to make you feel like a kid. But unlike the visitors who had to remain behind the safety barriers, I was asked to get ankle-deep in the waters surrounded by floating dinosaurs and given a large stick to hit them with in case they got too close. A clown with a stick versus millions of years of predator adaptation. The only comfort was my death would make for great, Darwin Award worthy, television.
What a way to go!
“How did Eric die?”
“It’s airing tonight, after Herzog’s Grizzly Man.”
People have often asked me why I wasn’t nervous to act alongside Bruce Willis or Margot Robbie or other actors of their magnitude, and I suppose once you’ve experienced reading from a script while a ferocious 20 ft albino alligator hisses at you, only a stick length away from your meaty limbs, you don’t get scared to read lines with another human.
While banging on about chaos theory like some lanky Jeff Goldblum, the ranger taught me how to catch an alligator, which is a very niche skill I can put on my resumé. I grabbed its tail and eventually pulled it out of the water with difficulty. The rangers were chuckling at my inability to heave back the beast onto dry land, with its sharp scales on its tail cutting into my soft writer’s hands.
Laugh all you want man, my strength lies in poetry, this is a haiku.
It didn’t give me much of a fight. It’s possible they put me face to face with a well-fed reptile, but even against the most docile of its species, I was well aware of its death roll attacks. I was naturally terrified, and a little horny.
Next step on our journey was investigating the venomous varieties of snakes, and learning which characteristics to look out for to avoid the dangerous ones, such as bright colours and triangular heads, which are traits that are also found in some non-venomous species, and not all venomous ones actually show these traits, and… my point is those lanky fucks are scary, and alluring, and beautiful.
Being in the same room as an angry rattlesnake, with its sound perfectly designed to strike fear into anyone approaching, was an unforgettable experience, as if I could feel the ancestors I evolved from trembling in my DNA.
After experiencing being prey for other creatures, it was time for me to learn what food I could possibly be eating during the apocalypse.
After the supermarkets are cleared, the farms scoured, the zoos emptied, the hunt is your only course of action.
Finding deer every few days and dying it for tasty jerky would be ideal, but I doubt you get much choice in the end of days, so it’s likely we’ll all eventually succumb to rat cuisine. Their ability to survive rough terrains would have them multiply and spread across the land in abundance.
We continue deep in the murky swamps of the sunshine state to meet a war veteran asked to teach a dandy European how to catch and cook a rat. You could tell he had survived through some rough events. Meanwhile, I’m applying lotion and unsuccessfully swatting flies away.
These journal entires are primarily designed for me to record my memories, so I hope you forgive me for glossing over the details of how to survive the aforementioned scenarios. But I promise if we’re together doing our Armageddon, I won’t push you towards danger to survive…
Anyway, we make a deep hole in the ground, place a fractured stick across the hole with some bait on the break, so when the rodent sniffs the food out and clambers towards it, the bridge would collapse and the animal becomes trapped.
The expert teaches me to make a fire using wood, as if these branches were masochistic and couldn’t wait to burn.
We pull the animal out, and he directs me to cut its head off, its tail, hands and feet, and rip its skin off, which I found surprisingly fluid, like removing a lady’s coat at a bougie soirée. It was interesting to see the external layer of an animal barely gripping onto the rest of the body.
I slice its abdomen, removing its organs and checking them for abnormalities, to make sure it wasn’t diseased.
Once approved, the meat hovers over the roaring fire.
I was a real wild man.
The meat had to be close to charred to burn away any diseases or whatever, I can’t remember the details.
And just as I am about to bite into the carcass.
“Cut! OK, that was good, we’ll cheat the next scene and have you eat this chicken.”
Production bring out some pre-prepared bird for me to eat instead of the animal I beheaded.
I was surprised and grateful for my reaction.
“No. I’m eating the rat.”
“You can’t because of health and safety.”
“I won’t guillotine some little creature for nothing. Out of respect for the animal, I gotta eat it. And anyway, in the apocalypse, I wouldn’t have a choice. Let’s be authentic.”
The production seemed irked by my diva stance. Oh yeah, I’m a real drama queen when it comes to murdering my food.
“If you want a shot of me eating meat, it’s got to be the rat, or nothing.”
After a few phone calls, they return to me with a positive response from the producers back at UK headquarters.
I bite into the grilled Duncan, I named him Duncan, probably don’t name an animal you’re gonna eat, but I did, his name was Duncan.
His name was Duncan.
And he tasted like chicken.
There’s a reason health and safety exists.
A few days later, I had worms.
It took me a while to figure that out. My girlfriend at the time suggested it could be worms, but I told her the incessant itching of my anus was probably because I was tired.
“That doesn’t make any sense,” she replied.
“You know when your eye twitches because you’re overworked and tired, well my butthole is twitching. They’re both sphincters, sort of, a ring that opens and closes, eyes and buttholes are the same. I’m tired.”
The next day, the itching was gone.
Nothing like a good night’s sleep.
Little did I know, worms are nocturnal, which is impressive considering they live in a place where the sun famously doesn’t shine.
That evening, it started twitching again, and it makes sense, it takes a few days to recover from jet lag.
“It’s worms Eric, you have worms.”
And maybe she was onto something…
A visit to the doctor, a couple of pills later, and I had murdered the creatures, although this time, I decided against eating my kill.
Needless to say, it doesn’t matter how well you prepare for the apocalypse, you could very well be taken down by a parasite up your bum controlling your movements.
Thanks for reading this week’s entry. Good luck. It’s almost ten to midnight.