Preparing For The End Of The World


I’m a catastrophe-thinker. And a control freak. That perfect combination means I can imagine the worse-case scenario for any and every situation I’m in – and I have a plan for surviving it. Here is a look into my plans:

Tornado – (A) Hide in an inner room, preferably without windows and with a lockable door. (B) If a room is not available, seek low ground, preferably in a ditch with some sort of overhead covering. (C) Drive away from tornado. This is my favorite option. It makes me a tornado run-awayer rather than a tornado chaser.

Hurricane – I currently have a slot in my friends’ evacuation car provided that I let their dog, Velcro, sit in my lap. Velcro is a vizsla, so he’s almost my size. But a sore lap is a small price to pay for being whisked away from a Houston disaster zone.

Home Break-in – If I’m in my room when the burglar arrives, there is a can of pepper spray on my nightstand. I’ll grab it, then call 911 while I hide in the closet behind my bedroom door. If I’m in the living area, I will grab a butcher knife from the kitchen, run screaming at the front door and hopefully catch the burglar off guard enough to slip outside (my apartment is very small and I can be very intimidating).

Gasoline Shortage – I have the bus route to my office mapped out. But ideally I’d like to have an extra can of gasoline on hand. I haven’t really thought this one out too much, but I do have a list of people I can carpool with.

Alien Invasion – Drive to local grocery store. Stock up on tents, backpacks, duffel bags, portable food items, fuel, and any sharp/blunt objects that could be used as weapons. Drive to friend’s house where a television is available. Watch TV for coverage of alien invasion. Determine alien weakness. Grab some friends and head for the hills where we will set up camp until I figure out a way to defeat the aliens. Then, defeat the aliens.

Zombie Apocalypse – Drive to local grocery store. Stock up on tents, backpacks, duffel bags, portable food items, fuel, and any sharp/blunt objects that could be used as weapons. Find at least two people I can trust who are not already zombies. Form a kick-ass band of zombie-killers. Live out our days scavenging and killing until the Center for Disease Control figures out what to do.

World War III – Cry. Freak out. Then, gather my wits and head to the grocery store, gather whatever survival gear I can find there, then make my way to the local Department of National Defense located in my office building where I offer my services as a spy in exchange for food, shelter, and protection.

Instant Eradication of Electricity – Run straight to the grocery store and gather all the canned food and fruit and vegetable seeds I can possibly find. Then, eat all the ice cream I can – who knows when I’ll have it again? If I have enough gas in my car, drive to Dallas to find my family. If I don’t, find friends in my neighborhood and create a commune capable of producing its own food. This is my favorite scenario, because communes sound fun.

Atomic Bomb – Duck and cover. Then die, because what else can you do? If I managed to survive, I guess I’d go find my family and live out the rest of my radiation-shortened life playing games, sharing memories, and throwing up a lot of radiation puke.

I found a receipt.


I found a receipt in the middle of the hallway of my residence hall today. Normally, I would immediately throw it away, but today I was curious and bored, and so I have decided to try and decipher what the purchases were for and what kind of person they now belong to. You’d think that in the midst of Finals Week I would have something better to do. Think again.

The receipt is for Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Firstly, I immediately think the person who made this purchase is a female because I very rarely see men inside the store. One might assume that the store name would be especially alluring to certain males who find the idea of exploring the beyond excitingly scientific; however, the guys I do see shuffling around the store look like they have had their manhood stripped from them and turned into a trendy lampshade. Secondly, it tells me that this female is probably on the girly side and is highly organized. This girl, let’s call her Heidi, likes fluffy pillows, floral prints, and overpriced window hangings. Heidi is also highly illogical since she lives in a freshman dorm with community bathrooms and clearly does not need the “Bath” or “Beyond” part of the store. Thirdly, firstly is technically not grammatically correct, but I like the way it sounds. Moving on.

Scanning down the rest of the receipt I get a feel for the items purchased. They are listed in barely indistinguishable mumbo jumbo that I can only assume to be parts of a secret code. My assumptions up to this point have been wrong. Heidi is not a trendy and organized college freshman; Heidi is a spy pretending to be a college freshman. This must be part of a top secret communique with her commanding officer, Mr. Cof (Heidi’s codename is Caffe Latte). She must be using the receipt to report the status of her mission which involves catching the smugglers of fine Ecuadorian coffee beans into the United States. She’s located their secret lair hidden deep within the Ecuadorian mountains and the coast is clear to begin the raid to retrieve the goods. The smugglers have been selling their coffee beans (worth $16.99) on the U.S. black market for $99.99 each and it’s got to stop–but thankfully, they’ve been paying their sales taxes so they’re okay there. But, Heidi makes it clear that Special Forces Unit Iron Bird needs to be ready at any moment to pull an Easy Blue: invade the lair, capture the goods, and take no prisoners.

Unfortunately, this message will never reach Mr. Cof and Iron Bird may never fly. Cafe Latte will be stripped of her status and forced to work a desk job back at headquarters. Most importantly, Heidi won’t be able to write off the purchases she made at Bed, Bath, and Beyond when she files her taxes this year because she lost the receipt. Why so careless, Heidi?

I’ll be on the look out for more secret messages so I can determine which of my neighbors is really an undercover agent. It’s only a matter of time…