Tag Archives: Be Prepared

Don’t Come With Me if You Want to Live

Like this. Only totally opposite.

Like this. Only totally opposite.

I threw in my lot with most of you a long time ago.

And by “most of you,” I mean all the people who are going to die quickly in a post-apocalyptic scenario.

I think about this A LOT for a guy with only a week’s supply of canned goods in the pantry.

While most “preppers” are stocking up on generators, water filters, lamp oil, weapons, can openers and grains, I’m mostly drinking beer, confident that my French-style green beans and condensed cream of mushroom soup (just add milk!) will carry me properly nourished into tomorrow.

After all, I never know what I’m going to be hungry for from one day to the next. I figure: Why tie myself down to such a strict meal plan?

Need protection?

I’ve got one shotgun in the house—which I’ve never fired.

They say in a post-apocalyptic world, ammo will be the new currency. That means my financial status after the societal breakdown will be about as awesome as it is now.

I literally own zero shotgun shells.

The current plan is to point it at bad guys while running away and bludgeoning people who try to steal my French-style green beans.

It’s not laziness or apathy. I do think there’s value in preparing for a situation in which the power shuts off indefinitely, and the grocery stores are no longer open for business, and the police stop coming but it doesn’t matter because there are no functioning phone lines anyway.

My problem isn’t a lack of prudency. It’s a lack of resources. I’m glad people have made better choices than me and can afford to stock up on expensive firearms and months’ worth of food and fuel.

But I have iPhone data plans and cable television to pay for.

My fate was sealed the day Steve Jobs gave me mobile internet in a shiny, user-friendly package.

I Probably Need to Drink More Dr Pepper TEN

I totally have a manliness complex.

I cried a lot after my wife left last year.

But I also spit sometimes and watch football.

I occasionally listen to soft musical artists like Josh Groban, Bon Iver and Florence and the Machine.

But I also really like ZZ Top, Disturbed and Volbeat.

I’m infinitely better at constructing a four-course meal than I am, well, anything with a wrench or hammer and nail.

But I also do boy stuff like install major appliances and have sex with girls. (I mean that more in a theoretical sense because I’ve been celibate longer than most monks.)

I got to thinking about this a bunch this morning after one of my friends introduced me to some killer and hilarious writing at The Nicki Daniels Interview.

She published a post Monday ripping on girly bearded hipsters that went absolutely ape shit on Facebook because it offended a bunch of people—namely the hipster Nancy-boy beard-oil users, and the girls who love them.

We interrupt this blog post to bring you a very important vocabulary word and definition.

Satire – noun: a way of using humor to show that someone or something is foolish, weak, bad, etc.; a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn; trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly.

While, theoretically, I would want Nicki to not group me in with the grande chai tea double mocha latte drinkers on vegan diets, and to find me sexually appealing, I’m self-aware enough to know pretty much who and what I am.

I’m not a mechanic, a lumberjack or a cage fighter.

And I’m never going to be.

I’m a writer. A cook. A feeler.

But I’m still prone to privately judge others’ unmanly behavior when my hypocritical brain stumbles upon it.

Things like really efficient compact cars. Skinny jeans. And home brewers intent on recreating Zima.

I think what I’m trying to say is that I have enough manly redeeming qualities to pass most Y-chromosome and testosterone thresholds of dudeness.

But that doesn’t mean you want to count on me after a full-fledged societal breakdown.

“Hey Matt! Why don’t you do something useful like build something or grow food?”

“Maybe later! I’m a little busy right now reading this five-year-old issue of Esquire while experimenting with condensed soup and French-style green beans.”

Day 2: No Water

The toilet in my upstairs bathroom now has two unflushed pees in it.

My water still isn’t running.

I’m pretty sure I have a frozen pipe somewhere, since it was literally 20 degrees below zero yesterday.

The water main breaks in my town can’t be affecting me as all of my neighbors have running water.

Turns out, when you have frozen pipes, you’re supposed to take quick and decisive action, not casually do nothing for two straight days. *shrug*

For the second morning in a row, I used bottled water to clean myself.

I think if I were to do this a few more times, I’d be an expert.

I got really smart last night and made a pit stop at the grocery store for another case of bottled water.

Yesterday, I microwaved refrigerated water to make it warm in an effort to avoid doing things that make my penis look smaller.

Last night, I took three bottles of room-temperature water up to my bathroom and set them by my heat vent. (I’m a thinker!)

Three bottles—if you’re willing to not rinse your hair thoroughly and get shaving cream all over your washcloths and towels—is the perfect amount.

Two bottles for scrubbing and hair washing. One bottle for shaving and teeth brushing.

Hey Matt! What the hell are you doing with our drinking-water supply over there?”

“What does it look like!?!? I’m washing my hair! Two questions: 1. Do you have any pomade laying around so I can spike my hair? And 2. Can I use the generator to power the microwave? This cold water is making my penis look smaller.”

Surviving the Apocalypse

Do you have a plan? Or at least a general idea of what you would do if society totally broke down and we lost basic goods and services?

Most smart people will grab everything they can, band together with their neighbors, and make their way to some great place in which they can grow food and fortify. Survivalists pimp Utah and Idaho as ideal locations for this very thing.

I take a pill every day for acid reflux. I have for nearly 10 years.

When I think about the end of things like functioning grocery stores and pharmacies, the first thing I think of is how worthless I’m going to be to my survival group if my esophagus is on fire every day for the two or three months I stay alive after the shit hits the fan.

So, I’m always imagining scenarios in which I’m looting abandoned pharmacies and collecting antacid medicines that haven’t already been pilfered by the methamphetamine cooks.

I need water first, then this, then shotgun shells, then 80's rock cassettes.

I need water first, then this, then shotgun shells, then 80’s rock cassettes.

My Survival Strategy

1. Pack L.L. Bean backpack with critical supplies: toothbrush, iPhone with 42% charge, iPad with 81% charge, my buck knife, a few liquor bottles, American Crew pomade, French-style green beans.

2. Siphon gas from my snow blower that won’t start.

3. Load up Jeep with things people might be willing to trade for: Autographed football cards, an REO Speedwagon cassette from 1985 (I seriously have the Wheels are Turnin’ cassette in my sock drawer for reasons I can’t explain), more beer and liquor, a change of clothes and some freshly washed linens.

4. Find ex-wife and son. Organize post-apocalyptic shared-parenting agreement. “Have you considered Idaho? I hear it’s nice this time of year.”

5. Carry unloaded shotgun across back like a cowboy to look tough even though my hair is spiked and I’m wearing a button-up.

6. Loot every pharmacy for stomach medicine and Toblerone chocolates.

7. Trade liquor and French-style green beans for admittance into heavily armed survival group that lives near survival group of which my ex-wife belongs.

I feel good about this plan.

I’ll have clean teeth. My hair will look rad. And I’ll be able to drink myself silly every night for the rest of my life. (Life expectancy: Three-ish months.)

But I do genuinely care about you and want you to survive, too.

Which means you absolutely, under no circumstances, should come with me if you want to live.

Well, unless you really like drinking. And REO Speedwagon.

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Adopt the Rhythm of Change

change ahead

Don’t get too comfortable.

I don’t mean that in an inner-peace kind of way. It’s hard to even get out of bed in the morning without that.

Just don’t get too comfortable with the status quo in your personal life—even if you like it.

This is particularly hard for men. We crave routine and stability. And our bodies don’t respond well to harsh or drastic change.

But our entire lives involve change. Hell, it might be the only real earthly constant we have.

Like it or not, change is coming.

This manifests itself in the form of social, political, economic and seasonal weather changes.

But even more importantly, it happens in our personal lives.

I have to believe all of you—while experiencing very different realities than me—must have felt the weight of all the changes in your life as we’ve collectively flipped the pages on our calendars.

Everyone’s life stages are going to look and feel different depending on our individual set of circumstances.

But for many of us, it starts with being a very young child at home. We go to elementary school. Then eventually high school. Some of us head off to college, or the workforce, or join the military.

We experience life on our own for the first time. Some of us get married. Some of us have children.

We change jobs. We gain friends. We lose others. People you know get divorced. People you know start to die.

The only constant is change. Sometimes radical change.

And it’s hard. Even when it’s good—like getting your first job out of college in a gorgeous beach community 1,000 miles from everyone you know and love—it’s hard.

One of the world’s best modern thinkers is a man named Seth Godin. Anyone working in sales and marketing has almost certainly heard of him. The great thing about Godin’s work is that many of his lessons aren’t just about maximizing profits. They’re about maximizing the human experience.

Godin is a great marketer because he understands people. I sometimes think he knows us better than we do.

He’s a magnificent thinker and writer. Please read him.

He wrote recently about professional change. About staying flexible and nimble. About staying ahead professionally by adapting to the new culture of change.

And it got me thinking: Can we adopt the rhythm of change in our personal lives? And could doing so somehow save us from some of the stress and heartache we feel?

I’m not sure. But it feels worth exploring.

Maybe you’ve heard this before: Chance favors the prepared mind. Louis Pasteur, a French scientist, said that in 1854.

We don’t get lucky. We don’t find luck. Luck finds us.

Because we make good choices that put us in a position to capitalize on the opportunities life grants us.

So, let’s be mindful of this.

Mentally. Physically. Spiritually.

To be strong and courageous in the face of hardships.

And perhaps more importantly, so we’re in a position to seize good fortune when it finds us.

Because you and me? We’re on a collision course with something life-changing and beautiful.

Let’s be prepared for it.

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