I am anxiously awaiting next weeks release of The Road , not because I enjoy watching Hollywood massacre yet another well written book but because I am genuinely curious how something like that would translate on film. I read Cormac McCarthy’s bleak survival novel several years ago and kept having to put it down due to how profoundly disturbing I found it. I also made a mental note that if a disaster of these proportions were to befall civilization, that I would be sure to put myself at ground zero so as not to suffer the bleak hopeless after effects of dying slowly while using ever fiber of my being just to take my next step. Add to the mix that the man is traveling with a child who he has to protect at every turn and I’m over the edge. The thought of dodging roving gangs of flesh-eating post apocalypse cannibals with questionable morals and hygiene paired with the grey lifeless existence that these two are doomed to left me depressed and tense. I was genuinely worried about the boy and the man for the duration of the book and didn’t feel the uneasy cloud lift until after the last page. Making me even more uneasy is the vague description of the cataclysmic event that leads to all this suffering. Was it a war? Natural disaster? The lack of information worries me and leaves me feeling helpless about what I would do to prevent such an event. Knowledge is power people, if I know what is coming, I may be able to prevent it or at least have enough time to build that luxury underground bunker that I’ve considered of late. There is also the matter of that loaded gun he carries around with the knowledge that he will have to snuff out his son and himself if they are ever captured. Really uplifting stuff .
It was with end of the world/end of days type scenarios weighing heavy on my mind that I wondered how my family and I would really do in a survival situation. When the power goes out in an electrical storm, I notice that my husband is right on it with a purring generator hundreds of feet of cable and back up batteries for all the computers. He and I grew up in equally uncomfortable old homes lacking in heat and basic comforts (our kitchen was a separate building that required wearing full coats, hats, mittens and boots to enter). Neither had more than one working TV in the house and we required only eight channels (nine if you worked the rabbit ears a little). We spent a majority of our days outdoors exposed to the elements without the proper gear and engaged in hilarious hijinks that were against all rules of safety. Our kids however, are a different story. I had a child rear back in horror once while stepping in a lawn full of green soft grass yelling “what is this, it feels weird!” Perhaps this is my fault for always taking him to the woodchip playground but concrete surfaces always seemed more his thing. Not that it will matter when all plant life is scorched off the earth by some unforseen fiery doomsday.
Naturally, we would take up hunting, sewing our own clothes and gardening (hey, I’ve been meaning to do that anyway!). I’ll have to decide if we should become part of some sort of community or go it alone. That particular quandary is riddled with issues like infighting, stealing, and eating someone elses ration of Ding Dong’s ( you know they survive the end days!). Who needs that kind of bullshit when we are all cranky, dying and uncomfortable? I just had a vision of myself as a husky mountain woman holding a musket surrounded by tough, 1930’s dust bowl looking offspring so somewhere deep inside I am embracing my inner survivalist.
All I know is that if we have electricity, cable, heat and food don’t bother to come over because I’ll have to ask you to turn back and head toward your community hovel. It’s survival of the fittest and anyone moving in on my processed dessert cakes will be looking at the business end of my high-capacity fire arm.
I hope it never comes to that, and that we will be flying super powered hover jets to our virtual reality jobs while using telepathy to order from Amazon and J. Crew. BUT , like my Girl Scouts always say-be prepared.