Quirk and Circumstances...

Emily Post on Armageddon

Life & Death | October 12, 2011

It has come to my attention that the publishing world has neglected a growing niche market. It seems Armageddon is at our door on a monthly if not weekly basis according to Inside Edition, ABC, NBC, CBS, Astrology Chronicle, The Kardashians, CNN, and Fox News among a few. It seems that comets are sideswiping us; there are ever-present nuclear threats from unstable nations, record earthquakes, tsunami’s, locust and flatulence that can blow our houses down. The collapse of financial markets around the world, Oprah off the air, famine, pestilence, ignorance and Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul back on the air. My MSN homepage portends something catastrophic more often than I change hair color.

Now we all know the drill if there is a zombie apocalypse, old news. There are many books, movies and iPhone aps to deal with that inevitability. Basically short story there is: hole-up at Wal Mart and dig in. But what exactly do we do in the everyday mêlée of total world collapse and destruction? What are our PC lawless rules of etiquette?

I have a close friend, let’s call her Ms. M for “mayhem”, who keeps me in the know when I am out of the chicken-little stream of consciousness. She brought a laundry list of “what is the right answer” to common world collapse conundrums that Emily Post seemed to gloss over. Just because there is death and destruction is no reason to do it all without an air of distinction. Case in point: if Ms. M and her cat have secured enough food for them to survive—Lets not guess at this junction, only it’s the making of a Steven Speilberg classic if they do survive—would she be obligated to invite in a lone relative who comes to her door? What about if said relative had two dogs? Would she be obliged to share everything with family and her family’s critters?

What if that lone relative had a roommate? What if they had a bird, or a fish? What if that roommate had a beau? You can see this is much much tougher than who to invite to your wedding, bar mitzvah or Super Bowl shindig. Emily had most or all of those events covered. Here we are in the weeds without a whacker. If someone doesn’t get invited to the wedding you can send a nice note, a few pictures or a video after the fact. If someone doesn’t get invited in for Armageddon well I am thinking the documentation of eating, drinking and general ok living condition would be pretty rude to forward to those less fortunate. Besides I am thinking at that point they are working with less than dial-up.

This begs the question, “How much is enough to store for survival?” We have a reliable time-line or grocery list here. I mean we are talking, food, water, booze, chocolate/twizzelers, beer, tampons, critter food, litter, wine, TP, art supplies, tequila, tea, jerky, books, scotch, etc… one would need the essentials but for how many and for how long? I don’t think actuaries cover this set of circumstances. How long can you survive with X living with you. I don’t think there are variables depending on if you are holed up with your spouse, mother-in-law, children, mute girlfriend or strangers without their meds. Really there are gaping holes of knowledge around this phenomenon.

If things went further south for those in the bunker with dwindling supplies, whose pets get eaten first? How does one broach the subject of eating someone’s Fluffy, Fido or Bigo? Is there a meat, fat, muscle ratio per pet per meal? Or a fang, feather, claw deterrent? How about the hard to catch, kill or she has soulful eyes quotient? You can see we have to contend with anthropomorphizing, fur-balls and family of origin dysfunction dynamics to just name a few. We are only talking pets, this dynamic grows more complex and pointed when we apply the Donner principal. Enough said. On a side note here the spell check wants to change Donner to “dinner”.

I am not the girl to solve these prickly social grace issues and create a throw-down etiquette. I am awkward at best in situations where grace, poise, and tact prevail. I became a member of the “I don’t give a rat’s ass” fan club some years ago. It is a distant mutant half cousin to Mickey with all the ideology, rigorous training and casual wear being polar opposites. My plan for Armageddon involves cases of champagne maybe the beach, maybe something more intimate depends on who is around and handy. Generally it involves make hay while the day lasts and then say goodnight moon.

Any Comments?

About Kyra Freeburg

I am a former Readiness Engineer, Project/Program Manager, Sign Master, Special Investigator and current School Counselor and Life Coach.
Read more »

Categories of Published Work

The Cover of the NY Times

Published: February 20, 2011

A little look at shame, blame and what we choose to change.

I Would Give Up a Lung

Published: February 25, 2011

Fear of writing is only the start, then you have to read it to an audience. Yikes!