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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I recently started watching this show on the National Geographic Channel called Doomsday Preppers.   I started watching it for a couple of reasons: 1) I generally like to make fun of people like this and 2) I believe there has been an increase in "doomsday" and apocalyptic shows because of the whole Mayan Myth about 2012 being the end of the world so... again, I like to watch these shows in an effort to fuel my mockery fire. The problem with watching the Doomsday show is that, well, it has somehow woken a sense of paranoia in me that I never knew was even there.  Seriously... I sat and watched a number of episodes in a row until my daughter finally forbid me to watch anymore because she could  feel the paranoia coming off my furrowed forehead.

Being an obedient mother, I did change the channel and watch something more lighthearted.  We made a good joke about what that show was doing to my mind but, I kid you not, just a couple hours later we were both sitting in my study talking when suddenly the power went out -- complete blackout... so dark I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. There we were: myself, Hope, and Charity The Pup, stunned and in complete darkness in my office.  Hope finally said something like, "Well, this is a bit unnerving, isn't it."  I stood up and, with my hands outstretched to the walls, I worked my way down the hall telling her I was going to get the flashlight.  The problem was, I had no clue where I put that stupid thing and I had no way of even finding it in the dark.  I could hear Hope stumbling around in the dark behind me and I could hear The Pup behind her letting out some little growl here and there, and the three of us stumbled around in the dark as I blindly and somewhat frantically felt around in the dark for the flashlight.  I finally found it and I also lit the one candle I had.  We stepped outside to see all of the neighbors wandering about with their flashlights because the power was out everywhere, not just the complex so... I knew something happened.  I called the power company and learned that there was an outage that covered about a six mile radius and the projected time for the power to be restored was 2.5 hours.

We planted ourselves in the living room with our one candle and Hope said, "What's wrong with you?  One candle?  You usually have candles all around the place?  We only have one right now?"  I did chuckle at this a bit because I am the candle queen, but I apparently threw out all of the old candles when we moved and I hadn't bothered to replace them yet.  I responded with, "See!  You make fun of me, but if I were a Doomsday Prepper, I would've been way more prepared for a moment like this."  She rolled her eyes at me and I said, "I'm not kidding.  They do have a point!  This is just a simple power outage but holy cow!  I'm stumbling around in the dark blindly looking for my one flashlight!  If this were an attack on the country and the enemy had taken out our power source, we would be totally screwed!  I have one flashlight, one candle, and that's it!  I have no extra water around, I have no non-perishable food items, I have no weapons to protect ourselves if things were to go awry!  We are perfect targets for the crazies over here!  One woman and one 12 year old girl and one little ten pound doggy that thinks she can bark the enemy into submission!  We are so screwed.... This is a serious safety minute here and I think I need to reevaluate the way I'm doing things."

Hope, even though she was unnerved by the darkness, laughed at me.  She said something like, "Mom, you really need to stop watching that show.  You know that we're always going to be okay."  And I did sit there and think about it, and I did tell myself that yes... we're always going to be okay.  Unfortunately for Hope, days after I had started to relax, I sat down and watched a different show on the History Channel called After Armageddon.  This was a two hour special on what would go down after a global pandemic, that is if you were lucky enough to survive the virus outbreak.  The difference between this show and the Doomsdayers is that the breakdown was more like how you would get through if you hadn't prepped for it; it really was a moment of survival of the fittest, and the fittest being one's ability to think on their feet in a crisis.  And what is most troubling about this show and the thought process behind any doomsday prepper is the anticipation that the majority of human beings that survive something like this will resort to all kinds of violence in a further effort to stay alive -- there is a lack of human kindness theme running throughout all of these "doom" situations.   And in this show, to prove their point, they include footage of the riots and looting and violence taking place in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc.  (nothing like live footage of anarchy on a small scale to bring a point home regarding the potential large scale  ...disturbing)

So yes, once again Hope was looking at me saying something like, "Mom... please stop watching this stuff, it's just going to make you all paranoid and crazy and then I'm going to be the kid that has the crazy mom that's always preparing for the end of the world and Mom... I don't want to be that kid."  I did laugh when she said that, just like I laughed when she said, "And what?  Are we going to become Mormons now and start working on our year supply of food?  And where the heck are we going to put it all in this apartment??"    I did assure her that we weren't converting to Mormonism, and I did assure her that I wasn't losing my mind, but I did tell her that I think we may need to be a little more prepared for an emergency, doom or not.

I do think that I have probably had my fill on the DOOM shows for now.  As much as I want to make fun of the guy that regularly goes and picks up fresh road kill and cooks it up for dinner so he can "practice" his survival skills, I will say that if the kind of DOOM he thinks is coming hits, he'll probably survive much longer than the rest of us and... you don't want to run across him or one of his sons in the woods when they have tomahawks in their hands.

And... I think I may just go purchase a fire arm or two (maybe three), and then get a year supply of MREs (and not tell Hope that I did it so she doesn't think I'm crazy), and then stock up on some water, and eventually go get one of those "bug out" bags (you know... just in case), and... when DOOM rears its ugly head, I'll just go about my business until I finally turn to the darkside and dress up like Tina Turner and acquire a midget sidekick with an eye patch and run something like a Thunder Dome and call it good.  But... we'll just keep this between us... I wouldn't want to embarrass Hope.

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