Several things happened last week that got me thinking about the end of the world. First, I was trapped in Connecticut for four days as the local municipalities realized once again that they are not prepared to handle (increasingly frequent) weather crises. Actually, I felt that Connecticut did a pretty good job of clearing the snow, considering there was three fucking feet of it, and what should we really expect? But I did spend four days trapped with my sister, who is now too old for me to punch in the stomach and send crying to her room (and my mother chasing me with a broom) which is how we resolved all of our childhood disputes.
When I got home, I read about the four thousand passengers stranded on the Carnival Cruise ship Triumph, which lost power in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. It took five days to tow the disabled ship back to Louisiana, and the worst part of the ordeal seemed to be that there were no toilets. Monica Hesse of the Washington Post wrote an interesting piece in their style section, Passengers Ill Suited
for Loss of Cruise Control, which I can say, having taken one cruise in my life, is absolutely spot on. If you created a Venn diagram that included “People who choose to vacation by taking a cruise” and “People who can survive without a functioning toilet” your circles would never intersect.
And CBS’s 26th season of Survivor (Wednesdays, 8/7c) premiered, to (deservedly) dismal ratings.
While I am a fan of Survivor, as readers of Surviving Polyandry already know, the show really isn’t about survival at all, unless life depends on shooting a ball through a hoop while standing in knee-deep tropical water. Similar to parallel parking, one can get along quite well in life without being able to shoot a ball through a hoop, and while I have often wished to possess the mystical ability of parallel parking, I have never come across an instance in my life (yet) where it would have been advantageous to be able to shoot a ball through a hoop.
There’s another television show that really is about survival that I sometimes watch while my husband
pulls his hair out and grinds his teeth leaves the room (yes, being married to me is an ordeal similar to living without functioning toilets): National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers, a show about crazy people preparing for race wars the end of civilization. The show follows some loon, showing the stockpiled food (but mostly guns) at a “bug out” location and then scores the “prepper” on his/her (usually his) “preparedness.” There’s a quiz you can take on the show’s website to determine your own “prepper score” here. My husband is a physician, and that profession is apparently very desirable in the coming race war end of civilization, so he gets bonus points for that. I have a law degree, which I think puts me at the top of the list for being killed and eaten when food runs out.
It took my sister and I two days to dig out her driveway in the aftermath of the snowstorm, while her husband’s snow blower sat idle in the garage after our lone attempt to figure out how it worked almost ended up with me running it through the garage wall with her caught up underneath it. When we reached the street, which would take two more days to be cleared by the State of Connecticut, we saw her widowed neighbor bundled up and armed with a snow shovel, emerging from her garage, ready for action. We debated briefly what to do since the woman had not thanked my sister for a Christmas gift of a can of mixed nuts left on her doorstep, and my sister knows how to hold a grudge.
And then we trudged over and started digging again.
You can watch Doomsday Preppers on the National Geographic Channel every Tuesday at 9/8c and if you’re ever snowed in for four days, I suggest reading The Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse.
Royalty free stock photos including some of the images in this post can be found at Stock.XCHNG. The crappy photo of my sister’s deck was taken with my Samsung phone.