This is the first of a series of posts on Monday about survival.
Task One: Mild: Get two cases of bottled water for each person in your household.
If you’re like me, you don’t buy books about surviving things. Why? Probably because you think that you won’t survive them anyway, so why bother? We can call it procrastination but sometimes it’s easier to think of it as something which we’d rather not think about at all.
My husband, Bob, is a person who does think about ‘what’s the worst that could happen’ and thus frees me up to forget about that. I’ve always seen it as another quirky part of the man whom I’ve loved since I first saw his bookshelf because we had almost all of the same books.
He had the same tattered paperbacks of Asimov, Bradbury and Heinlein and on and on telling me that he, too, had spent his teenage years in worlds not this one but maybe a future this one.
He had more fantasy than I, and I had more true crime than he, but otherwise we had a matching set of bookshelves. He had a lovely special edition of Watership Down and I had a complete set of the Encyclopedia of Crime which I still consider my best buy from a library sale.
I did have an interest in ‘what’s the worst thing that could happen’ but mine focused on the past and his is directed toward a future which oddly enough only a survivalist is optimistic enough to imagine. If you worry about how to snare a rabbit after the zombie apocalypse–you are a glass half full person. And that means you don’t need this book because you’ve already got a few.
But, if you’re like me and rather convinced that the first person infected with zombiasm will be your orthopedic surgeon during your rotator cuff surgery and they’ll just lean over and take a real chunk of you in lieu of payment, and thus end future travails, you’re the odd combination of glass half empty, yet believe you’ll be lucky.
The problem is that I’m not lucky and I write this because we procrastinators tend to put things off not because we’re lazy or inept: rather our need for perfection prefers to wait for the proper mood. If you’re still reading this then you know what I mean. There does come the perfect mood to write the paper in one sitting, to rearrange the closet, to make the photo albums and brush the dogs. People like Bob don’t wait for that mood and do a bit everyday so he’s always caught up on the minutiae of life. I find it unbearably unfair that he and all the people like him think this is normal because it is. It’s such a common sense approach to living that my procrastination must reject it because my uncommon sense works for me. If it didn’t then I wouldn’t put off that which can be done today for no reason other than it makes common sense in favor of doing it when it makes uncommon sense to me.
But, there is an issue with uncommon sense in that it’s a bit of magical thinking and sees luck as a real thing. Or as I sometimes call it, the magical power of negative thinking.
My meandering point here is that I didn’t worry about the zombie apocalypse because I wouldn’t survive the first day of it and that gave me peace for a long time. Another way of thinking of that is that I never had to be in the mood to think of survival, so I could procrastinate to my heart’s content until the day that Bob burst my magical thinking by mentioning that the lucky people won’t survive the first day of whatever ‘worst he could imagine’.
Well, that’s not good at all because he’s lucky and I’m not. We procrastinators aren’t stupid or lazy: we just need the mood for perfection and that day I was in the mood to hear that if I applied his theory to my magical thinking about luck and survival then the zombie eats Bob on the first day. I’ll be in the bathroom and survive and crawl out the window and for the first time my mood will perfectly match the reality of the situation at hand: I will want to survive and have no clue how. Because as my walking encyclopedia of survival husband mentions from time to time, nothing makes you want to survive as much as the moment you’re trapped in that bathroom and survival becomes an option.
Because that is the procrastinator’s dilemma in that we’ll never prepare till the mood strikes us to prepare perfectly. And that mood will, of course, never strike us till the zombies are clawing at the bathroom door. So, for everyone who ignores the improbable while also occasionally falling into the perfect mood to clean out every closet and the basement and attic all in one day because it’s so easy and fun to do it now? I offer you this book and remind you that by reading it we can be assured that we’ll never need it. Because that would be lucky. You know, to buy it and read it and be prepared and actually need it, too? Yeah, we’re not that lucky.
In other words, we who care the least can save the world from zombies by preparing for the ‘worst that we can imagine’. We who can move mountains when the mood strikes us can stop the mountains from moving by forcing ourselves to imagine that they will and prepare how to deal. Because what terrible thing will ever happen once all of us who put things off till the perfect time all know how to catch a rabbit in a snare?
Read this book and save the planet. We owe it to all the people who make lists and clean out their fridges cause it’s clean-out-the-fridge day. We have the power to save them by reading this book because there will never be a day where we’re in the mood to read it.
Procrastinators Unite. PU, a rather perfect term for us!
The lack of luck survey:
If you check more than three of the following items you lack luck but control that by controlling bad luck.
1. A tornado destroyed your wedding venue the day before the ceremony. (yeah, that’s happened)
2. You’ve never experienced a toothache, fever, heart palpations or a limping dog except on Friday after five pm. (always)
3. You keep a nice tote umbrella in the car which is removed by the serviceman working on your car seat and you don’t discover that until the day you get your first spray tan. (check)
4. You’ve never called a plumber except on a weekend when you have houseguests.
5. When you do call a plumber or any type of service person they say—”I’ve never seen this before.”
6. You buy a new car and don’t buy the wheel and tire insurance but do buy the protective coating and drive it home and have a wreck which explodes the tire and shreds the rim but there isn’t a scratch on the car. (totally happened)
7. You’ve never once had a Kleenex when you needed one but always dig through a ton of nice Kleenex when you can’t find your car keys.
8. If there is an ice storm in your area, it will be on the morning after the day you did the prep for a colonoscopy.