I have talked about my sort of paranoid tendencies before. To recap, I am terrified of things like rabies and killing myself while I sleep and, most of all, the hickey-giving propensity of Woody Allen’s wife. But despite my fears, I have never done anything to prevent any of these things from happening to me, and I have certainly never done anything to prepare for them should they ever occur. Mostly this is because I might not be able to prevent my paranoia from existing, but I can at least recognize its intrinsic irrationality. This is because I am sane. Other people, however, are not as mentally well-balanced as I am (which, really, is saying something) and spend much of their time preparing for the certain eventuality of Doomsday in New York. And, luckily for all of us who don’t spend sleepless nights wondering if we have enough semi-automatic weapons to shoot our way through the Lincoln Tunnel, we got a little peek this weekend into the minds of Doomsday preppers, thanks to the New York Times. That’s right, you guys. Don’t know how best to prepare for Doomsday? Have no fear, the New York Times is on it.
In “The Preppers Next Door”, Alan Feuer admits his own inclination toward stockpiling supplies in case of nuclear fallout or whatever and visits with the New York City Preppers Network to see how other people prepare for disasters. He finds “a breathtaking array of disaster swag: compasses and iodine pills, hand-cranked radios and solar-powered flashlights, magnesium fire-starters and a fully charged Kindle with digital road maps of the tristate region.” I mean, all that stuff is useful, I guess. But clearly the best prepared man at this preppers meet-up was the one who came with “a condom designed to serve as an emergency canteen; another had a rat trap — to catch and eat the rats.” Because, you know, fuck just packing an ordinary canteen. Really prepared people probably have condoms anyway for all that end-of-world disaster sex that seems like the only upside to, you know, the end of the world. But you still want to be safe, I guess. So, condoms! But, also, canteens.
Anyway, this article made me pretty depressed because there was also this twelve-year-old kid prepper who has a kit containing “a fishing line, a seat belt cutter, ready-start fuel cubes, several types of multi-tools and a smoke hood.” And, you know, kids that age should really not be having to think about what to do when the world ends. Because I’m still not clear after reading this article how the world even will end? And why exactly it will be helpful to abandon New York City and go upstate or to New Jersey, which is the plan for a lot of the preppers. Because, technically, New Jersey still is part of the same world as New York City. So, probably, we’d all be fucked. But depressed as I am by the fact that little kids are worrying about the apocalypse, I also feel like I should be prepared. And I feel like you all should be prepared. So here is a little field guide, based on what the Doomsday Preppers stockpile, that will maybe help you if Doomsday actually does come. I mean, maybe help you. I kind of doubt it. I believe that when you’re doomed, you’re doomed. But I guess we’ll see who’s eating who when that dark day descends!