Saturday, July 4, 2015

malthusian melody half completed novel



Let’s Prep


Let me share something real helpful right off the bat.  If you want to be able to kill your enemies, start off practicing with a real dumbass that doesn’t see it coming.  That’s what I did with my brother in law.  Shot the fucker right in that disgusting little Santa Claus belly of his, right in front of my sister and her kids.  I didn’t even feel bad about it, either.  That’s a long story, and of course I’ll get to it.  The point is, you need to get over the fright of the first time, and that ain’t going to happen in a more dangerous life and death situation where you are evenly matched.  You go for the easy kill first, the assassination rather than the duel, so to speak, and your mind now has a frame of reference that cuts down on the stress and jitters that can kill you normally.  Almost no situation is ever as bad as the anticipation of it, as we all know.  So do yourself a favor and ease into something as difficult as killing a fellow human being.  After that, it is easy and perhaps even fun.


   I’m Matt Smith.  Matt, as in “what do you call a paraplegic in front of the door”.  Yep, I heard that one a bunch of times.  Smith, well, we all can’t have cool last names.  This is my story, which I’m writing down the first winter after the collapse of civilization.  I’ve got a battery good for years yet, so the computer is one thing I’m keeping going.  And lots of printing paper and ink cartridges.  After the word processor is toast, that will pretty much be it for my writing.  Fuck all of you if you think I’m doing this by longhand and ball point pen.  I’m doing future generations a favor by chronicling the blow by blow of The End, as that seems to be one thing that always seems to be missing after a crash.  Then, eight hundred years later, a bunch of fuckwit dumbass douche bags are just bumping around in the dark, holding their scrote sacks  guessing about everything.  So, I’m trying to record for posterity, here.  Let everyone know the why of it all.  Not that all the same mistakes won’t be made again.  They will.  But nobody can say someone didn’t try to issue a warning about repeating mistakes.  99% of the population will blindly be willingly lead into the crapstorm, so I’m writing for the 1% that will heed and prepare and strengthen the gene pool.  But that doesn’t mean I’m ruining my eyes writing by candlelight ( I know, an old wives tale, but it sure feels like you are screwing up your vision doing it ) and a feather and inkwell.  Once the modern implements wear out, my tale is done.  I’m doing this as a hobby, not a profession.  No reason to kill myself.


   The modern conveniences are also what allows almost everyone to be literate ( although, reading James Patterson, that monkey molesting twat of a hack, does not count ), so I’m sure I won’t be the only one writing for the ages.  So, to be different, and hope my heirs ( hopefully, the prodigy of my union with wives drug by their hair unwillingly from raided villages ) will perhaps see some publishing royalties if civilization is partially restored ( yea, RIGHT! ), I’m making this both about civilization taking a big flush, and all about me, my personal life and experiences, and a history leading up to both.  Hey, fuck you.  Read it or not.  Chances are good this manuscript will go up in flames after my domicile is attacked and burned.  So I’m writing for me.  You can enjoy it if you wish.


   If not, again, piss off.  I could pretend to be high class and high faluten and be a big cheese and talk in two bit words, but as you will soon see, I’m an uncouth foul mouthed cretin with beer budget tastes and under no illusions my writing will ever be more than the mutterings of a savage.  I did mention I killed my first helpless victim just for practice, right?  Don’t worry, I’ll get to it.  I got a LOT of ink and paper, and a lot of time.  I could go out in the snow and try to fuck with someone, but now is the time to lay low and let the big Die Off happen.  Oh, yeah, I say “fuck” a lot.  I can’t imagine there will be any Politically Correct fucktards left to read this, so I can’t see it matters much.  Fuck those PC pukes.  Fecal smeared cheese dingus motherfuckers, trying to sell the Fudge Packing Lifestyle like it was desirable.  Sorry, I like gals, and the Entry Portal is in the front.  Sick whores. 


   Now, before you get all pissed, storming off to pray to whatever God you kneel to, there won’t be any graphic sex scenes in here.  I have my standards.  That stuff is fun, but it should be private.  So, if your kids already swear like gimp sailors with a half eaten away genital region from some exotic Asiatic skin disease, no worry about them being offended here.  Just uncouth, not obscene.  And I think uncouth serves a purpose right about now.  Every civilization in decline exhibit’s the same degeneracy and moral limpness.  Women’s Lib, gay rights, that sort of thing ( some even claim every one has their version of Hippies, but I wonder if that wasn’t the writers prejudice, his square ass crew cut self unable to get some free love ).  I’m just trying to right that imbalance by going out of my way to one eighty degree the old “modern progressive” lifestyles.  So I’ll be making fun of old people, women, minorities and the like.  But I’ll tell you my reasoning, too.  A teachable moment, you are welcome very much.


   Oh, and there will be all kinds of twisting and turning and back and forth.  Not a linear tale, but jumping all around.  Like the movie “Pulp Fiction”.  Stupid jagbags got all confused when the story mixed past and present and one character with another.  You know, like they write books.  This was considered avant-garde in Holly Weird.  Talk about lowest common denominator in entertainment.  And don’t think I don’t know what you are all going to do, either.  You read the cool parts, the explosions and gun battles with clouds of lead spraying about, then get bored with all the rebuilding and restructuring of society, because, hey, let’s face it, the origins of the mating rituals of a foreign tribe is pretty much boring to most people compared to a war, so if this was a linear progression you would only follow the beginning and never get into the meat of the story.  Hence, a non-linear story line to keep the rubes studying.  Suckers.


   Now, just so you don’t think I’m some kind of evil twisted bastard, getting my jollies setting kittens on fire ( I love cats, and should I ever attain the level of warlord who inhabits an evil lair, I shall have lap cats I can pet as I plan diabolical world domination schemes.  I would never harm one of the beasts ) or scorching ants with a magnifying glass-notice the underlying theme of destruction by fire, I want to make it clear that my brother in law is a pretty noticeable waste of sperm.  As in, the best part of that sumbitch ran down his mama’s leg.  Sharing our planets oxygen with this douche is an affront to Mother Nature.  It wasn’t like he beat on my sister.  Not that she didn’t deserve it, five kids and each one from a different father and please don’t take this wrong because I’m not a hater about skin color ( I have friends of all different color schemes.  It is the persons tribe, not his skin, that I like or dislike ), but two were from Blacks of the worthless ghetto variety.  I think she just did that to piss off mom and dad, but the joke was on her because they both died in a car wreck before the little half breeds were spawned so now she drags along a couple of kids that are like a neon sign on her forehead screaming “I fuck Negros”.  Pardon my French.


   A few notes for any future historian.  If you read anything from the 19th century, all you come across are justifications as to why Blacks are worthless and deserve persecution.  If you read anything from the late 20th or early 21st century, you only read about how special and deserving but persecuted Blacks are.  If you get a Black from Jamaica or Brazil, they are just like Whites from the same culture.  One burns in the sun worse, being the only difference.  But if you take an American Black, who was raised in the ghetto ( slums ) culture, you get a person at the end of a long line of people who refused to assimilate into White culture.  Not that you could blame them.  But the point is, being two different tribes, both alien to each other, both hate each other.  Whites don’t hate Blacks because of skin color, and Blacks don’t hate Whites because of a history of oppression.  They just each hate tribes different than theirs.  Most just don’t realize that is the reason.  So, please excuse any future references here disparaging Blacks, either by me or others.  It isn’t racism, it is xenophobia.  Which is a perfectly valid survival mechanism.


   So, hating a skank bitch because she breed outside her tribe is a valid avoidance mechanism.  You start absolving that kind of behavior-mixing the blood between tribes, which can of course sometimes be based on race, although not always- and soon you are asking for a genocide to right the problem come a collapse.  Hence, you can kind of guess the worthless mouth breather my sister would tend to attract.  One who is a lazy bastard.  A lying bastard.  A shifty, drop-a-dime type.  Kind of like those little fuckers who want to grow up to be cops, join the Explorer Program ( junior pigs ).  They go into a retail business, the guys who look like they have no hair on their dicks and faces full of pimples from eating deep fried Twinkies, and try to buy a pack of cigarettes.  Someone’s grandma, not making it on Social Security because she has had her rectum yanked out or something and has huge medical bills, has to work to make ends meet, like paying rent and buying colonoscopy bags.  So Junior Cocksucker does his sting operation, busts her if she doesn’t ask for identification ( well, slinks outside to narc her out to real cops ), she ends up with a five hundred dollar fine, but making minimum wage.  They won’t fire her, because they don’t care how many times she gets busted-she pays the fine.  If she holds up the line, goes too slow, asking everyone for ID, they find another reason to fire her ( which, let‘s face it, they decided to do after the first accidental whiff of that bag ).  All so some little cunt who wants to make his chops with the kings sheriff brown shirts gets his “in” to the organization later after getting some college and going to the Police Academy.  He probably later works for Vice in a big city department so he can fuck people over, lord over them, get free drugs and screw prostitutes for free.  That is the kind of little scumbag I’m talking about.


   Actually, I’d rather deal with a cop like that, than my brother in law.  Doug, that’s the creepy little shit, he is crack smoking skinny, looking as pasty as a Nordic Negro ( White boys who dress and talk ghetto ), plays video games all day and when it is his turn to talk, you can literally smell the wheels grind as he struggles to comprehend and respond.  Which, of course, means he graduated from High School.  Doug is one stupid fucktard.  What does my sister see in him?  Well, there is the size thirteen shoes.  I mean, you know she is one of those gals that puts out on a whim, desperately casting about for a sugar daddy.  Her cooch is probably so stretched out from use, that plus four kids being popped out ( Doug produced the fifth one ), shit be flopping around in the wind, whistling, any poor bastard who wants to chance his junk exploding upon entry from a venereal disease has to strap a two by four on his ass to keep from falling in.  She wants to feel anything during sex, she needs a guy who is unnaturally hung.  Plus, she wants to keep spawning more kids, the cash machine bringing in more Food Stamps and Section Eight free housing and other federal goodies, she needs a guy to plant his seed in her.  You can’t match up a small weenkie and a giant twat and expect too much, procreation wise.  You ever try slopping around in an extra large wet hole?  No friction.  And, even if all that is not a reason, Doug the hung stallion, he does bring in Food Stamps on his own.  You know how easy it is to sell those bastards?  Even with the new electronic debit cards ( which were pushed instead of the paper currency, incidentally, by the banks wanting a transaction fee every time it was used ), you buy cases of soda, sell at a discount to a guy who sells at a discount to a Habeeb store.


   See, I just used the negative term for middle easterners, Habeeb.  Which can be anyone not White, Oriental of Black.  Hindu’s, Paki’s, Persians, whatever.  You know who I’m talking about.  It is almost like to get into this country from that region you have to contractually obligate to open a convenience store and run it twenty four hours a day, with all ages and genders of family members working their shifts.  Which, come to think of it, is actually probably a pretty smart way to make making kids a paying proposition nowadays.  Think about it, no matter where they came from, they can’t afford farmland, not with today’s population densities.  They come here, they still can’t farm because we are so busy turning farms into suburbs ( because of our own over-population ) that land might be affordable, but usual not, and if it is only through being in debt for a lifetime.  So, your culture which supports lots of kids has met up with post World War Two American colonialism which displaces most peasants to the city as the countryside is turned into dirt cheap commodity farming run with machines by big corporations ( both in this country and most everywhere else ).  You figure out one of the few scams that works.  US law allows unpaid workers if they are your offspring.  You come to the US, and pop out kids to work behind the registers of your retail store.  Boom!  Competitive advantage out of the wazoo.  See?  I’m actually envious of their success and business acumen.  Sure, I call them disparaging names, make fun of their accents.  But you think I want to work in a convenience store?  The new Ghetto Supermarket?  Hell to the no. 


   So Doug, he might or might not be hung like a horse, and I assure you I only think about this occasionally and when I do I usually find myself in need of a stiff drink afterwards because thinking of that skinny crackfuck banging uglies with my stupid ass sister is disturbing to say the least, but for whatever reason he is allowed to stay in her apartment all day in front of the TV.  And in this case, I don’t care what all those righteous bitches say about the negative effects of television on peoples brains, the kids are probably still actually reared by the boob tube and are better off for it even if Doug is physically present.  Hell, my sister at least works part time.  Doing hair or some such crap, paid under the table.  Can Doug even get off his narrow ass and go sell dope or something?  Nope.  Nope on the dope.  And do you know why she went to work?  A lot of diapers needed to be bought, the dumb ass refusing to listen to my pleas to switch over to cloth diapers ( we were fifteen years apart, she being a really late accident, and while my diapers were cloth, hers were not.  Nor does her generation probably even know about them as actual real alternatives ), and for a time I played along as her financial crutch.  I’ll have to tell you a story or two on that in time.  Once I got to the point I got tired of it, their two tiny pea brains combined unable to grasp the concept of a budget, she went cold turkey.  At least she is smart enough to not go selling her ass for daily cash, a job I’m sure Doug wouldn’t mind her doing as long as the cable bill got paid.  She actually networked and found a job she could handle.  But Doug, he just sits around, chain smokes and talks like he is the world’s biggest bad ass.  If only his back didn’t hurt.  I wouldn’t have thought he could read well enough to steal that idea for an excuse.  Or maybe be heard that from a cellmate in some country jail somewhere.  Whatever.  If Sis wants that kind of babysitter, who am I, right?  Except Doug for some reason thinks we are buddies.  Or something.  I actually fantasized about killing the fuck slow, plenty of times I’m stuck at Thanksgiving or Christmas over at their place ( I don’t invite them over anymore, seeing as how too much stuff disappears every time ).


   The kids I can barely stand.  I know none of this is their  fault, but there is some half breed with snot running down his nose like a water cannon in a Watts riot, a complete blank look on his face like Tammy ( that’s my sister ) was totally mainlining heroin during pregnancy and killed all his higher brain functions or some damn thing, tugging at my shirt which is untucked due to eating three helpings of mashed potatoes and gravy, mumbling some fucking thing I can’t comprehend like the little shit has marbles in his mouth, and I just want to backhand the bastard.  I know that is wrong.  I do.  But sometimes I fantasize about picking up one of the little nigglets, swinging him over my head a few times, connecting up aside Doug’s head to knock him out, then kick his balls enough times until I see blood staining his crotch, all the time screaming about wiping the kids nose and opening a book for the stupid fuck.  My God, Dr. Seuss would do wonders for the retard.  He starts thinking about green eggs and ham, that stuff sticks in your head.  Wants more of the Seuss, right?  Those pictures are cool as hell.  That escalates.  I bought them a few, and of course Doug goes to sell them to someone for some pocket change.  He says for diapers.  Right.  I did push him around a few times on that one, banged him up a bit.  He tried to get all Angry Whigger on me but he whipped around like a candy wrapper in a windstorm.  And I wasn’t picking on the bitch.  He has a good six inches on me and should have been able to kick my ass.  But he is so much a pussy from sitting and smoking, he has zero stamina.  I think Sis must have to get on top during sex ( okay, I‘m sorry.  I don‘t like the image any more than you do ).  So, yes, I already knew he was an easy target.  I could have just beaten him down instead of shooting him.  But we already talked about why I did.  You can’t exactly just shoot a tied up prisoner, you know?  He should have been capable of fighting back.  But, no, frozen like a deer in the headlights.  Part of it was his whole life, he got away with acting tough because of his height.  Part was, he thought I was family.  I never encouraged that crap, but there you go.  The stupid shit thought I would bale them out, not turn on them.  Right.  I had one years supply of food, for me and my shack-up.  That was it. 


   Mindy.  That’s my significant other.  Matt And Mindy.  The first time I heard that ( you know, because of the old TV show Mork And Mindy ) I should have found another girlfriend with a different name.  But she’s got a nice rack and can cook, so I put up with that shit.  Plus, while she doesn’t believe in the Apocalypse, the stupid fuck, at least it isn’t like she is pushing for marriage or anything, so I’m free to spend some of my own money on preparing for The End Of The World.  Not that you need all that much, despite what all the idiots on the InterWeb tell you.  I was never a Special Forces Super Ninja Warrior, nor was I ever independently wealthy enough to move to north Idaho and live in a concrete bunker atop a mountain.  I’m in Elko Nevada, a rustic small burg in the middle of nowhere.  A big enough place to offer job opportunities, but small enough to be less of a problem come the collapse.  Not perfect of course.  According to all the experts I need twenty acres of pasture and woods and a bubbling brook.  Fuck the experts.  I’ve got my one acre of high desert ( more cold than hot, unlike the southern part of the state which I wish wasn’t part of this once wonderful state.  Hey, any place that allows Open Carry, 24 hour drinking and legal prostitution, and yet still attracts extra Mormons-go figure that one- can’t be all that bad ), far enough off the beaten path no body is going to screw with me.  My place is away from the highway, away from the power lines and away from water.  You have to be lost to get here.  I have my travel trailer buried underground, both ballistic protection and camouflage,  naturally warm in the winter-even at twenty below outside-and  cool in the summer without electricity.  Not that I have anything other than a solar panel for juice.  And I have a nice pantry.


   Yes, it’s only a years worth for two people.  I should have gotten a lot more.  Please pardon the crap out of me if I didn’t find out about the Apocalypse until late in the game.  Most people, which used to include me, aren’t stupid about things but merely innocent in the ways of reality.  We believe the government and its economists and scientists.  We are busy earning a living and staying sane in a crappy job, so we take what little news we bother to listen to and take it at face value.  Jesus, you should take a gander at my job.  It would drive you to drink, with no brain cells left to decipher the news.  And I’m not talking Budweiser The Belgium Brew ( we sell our own grandmothers into white slavery in this country, as long as the profit is handsome enough.  Now fuzzy foreigners brew our All American Beer.  Well, did.  Sorry, I might revert to present tense most of the time.  Habit.  Still coming to terms with it all going or gone ) but the hard liquor crap that is maxed out in proof, strong enough to burn a hole through your esophagus.   I started out in security ( after the military-which I’ll cover later ) but then they had an opening in the slot department in the casino.  The tips were wonderful, pre-2008 economic meltdown.  So I went over and soon enough made department manager.  Small casino, not one of the majors.  So, before you know it, I’m living at my present salary.  Which ain’t hard to do here.  This was one damn expensive place to live.  The rents are high due to the bubble inflating in the gold mines ( greedy fucks move here in hopes of high wages ), then still high in down times due to the constant shortages of houses ( the town is old, for Nevada, and the city limits were meant for a railroad/ranching population long ago ).  Gas and groceries are a bit high, also.  Not Alaska or Hawaii high, but close.  A lot of empty highway to haul stuff here.


  Well, I’m not a complete idiot.  After I woke up to our economic trajectory, courtesy of a work mate mixing doom and gloom with after work refreshing adult beverages, I cut back on expenses and started prepping-buying the land and trailer and stocking it, arming myself, etc.  So I had to keep my job for that expense.  And I’ll admit, I was drinking heavy for the stress.  So I was slow off the gate due to the dumbing down there.  I was prepping slow, thinking of it as a Just In Case insurance rather than the Panic Immediately Life Boat it turned out to be.  Hey, don’t think survivalists are any more immune to surprise when the end actually happens than unaware civilians are.  We might talk tough, tote out our arsenal and proclaim in macho mutterings about how we shall smite the starving hordes, but we are also busy living life like the electricity will never actually go out.  We are more afraid of the End than the general population, hence the preparing, and so when it happens we go into just as high of an anxiety level.  Them, because they have no food or heat or protection.  Us, because we have studied just how bad things are really still going to get, the grid down just a warm up.  So, we also secretly deep down also deny it will ever really truly happen.  Most “preppers”, a term I despise because the mush heads are really just “survivalists light/faggot survivalists”, never prep past the Three Week Electricity Outage From A Hurricane.  They can’t think of a scenario which would take away the middle class lifestyle they want to attain ( not that they ever will, that dream died decades ago, but they spend themselves into debt like the dream is alive and not a nightmare.  I realize most guys go along with the dream because the wife, seeking status amongst the herd of hens she socializes with, want it and guys just want to bust a nut, so what the wife wants, guys want.  But to be so blind to economic/geological/political  reality that you devote your life to chasing a whisper of smoke, I don’t see how you can then call yourself an educated prepper ).  And most survivalists are so scared they eventually become total recluses or go alcoholic or put some other form of coping between themselves and reality.  Luckily, I hadn’t got that paranoid.  If I had, I might have been better prepared, but also a lot more dysfunctional.  But I’m here to tell you, reality during a collapse is nothing like fiction accounts imagined.  Well, someone might have written about it realistically, but it never got published.  That shit is simply too stark raving mad to earn its keep.  At least, outside of Death Row in a prison. 


   Another prepper coping mechanism is to downplay a total collapse.  They know the whole system will crash, yet claim “overnight” collapses are impossible.  History shows three hundred year collapses.  Overnight collapses are Hollywood fantasy.  I suppose their proof is that global thermonuclear war never happened.  It almost did, many times.  You never hear the details because the C Systems ( capitalism and communism ), while needing to scare the shit out of the populace for total control, don’t need people dropping out of the system totally.  Which is what they would do, at least enough of them, if they knew we kept getting closer to global decade nuclear winter every incidence.  But even putting that aside, that historical study can be a bit selective.  There have already been incidences of human population bottlenecks due to drastic abrupt climate change- those being such a high rate of die-off that human beings as a species almost went extinct due to too limited a number of breeding pairs.  Just studying the Roman and Mayan collapse, a systematic collapse that lasted centuries, and ignoring other events to support your paradigm of long slow collapse ( which, just coincidentally, is a viewpoint rewarded handsomely in book royalties since it places a band-aid on worriers fears ), is intellectually dishonest and really, getting down to brass tacks, retarded.


   But then, the bald faced truth never wins you any friends, either.  Without sugar coating, no one will take their medicine.  So, yes, even dedicated survivalists don’t always do the right thing in getting ready.  Here I was, hundreds of miles from naturally watered farmland, one barely fed stream from a diminishing snow pack mislabeled a “river” for water, with a mere years worth of food.  I’m no fan of long pork, either.  Human meat is the worst way to consume protein.  I still laugh uproariously thinking back to a doomer novel I once saw, where humans were raised on gruel, in cages, for meat.  That grain would feed a lot more chickens or pigs, and return a LOT more calories.  And some moron in New York killed trees publishing that one.  For every bottle of whiskey I drank, I could have had another hundred pounds of wheat, good for another three months of starvation diet.  For every month I paid the cable bill, almost another year of food.  That bottle was my reality distortion lens.  But, no use crying over spilt milk.  Here I am still, as the others are getting killed off.  That counts for something.  I guess the least stupid win the survival lottery.




Lights Out


   I was working the night shift at the casino when the lights went out.  For a brief moment I thought it was going to be an EMP attack or solar flare, these thoughts coming to me more and more the further down the rabbit hole of systematic collapse study I fall.  I mean, once you peel away the onion layers of deception and distortion, you can’t help but be amazed the whole rotten piece of crap works at all.  There is about zero redundancy built into anything- even the military phasing out wire battlefield lines to go to satellite uplink which is super wonderful until something takes out your bird.  They might be hardened and encrypted but they can be easily destroyed if desired by man or Mother Nature.  You see, redundancy costs money.  Back stock in the grocery store in case a semi doesn’t arrive?  That cost real estate, building materials, gas and electric and money.  Better just to assume the semi’s will never be late.  And it wasn’t just greed or stupidity.  It was symbolic of a world where too many people wanted too much at a time less was available.  No one wanted to admit that, so the greedy corporate CEO’s or central bankers desperate for liquidity or politicians taking kickbacks get thrown under the bus.  Yes, sure, of course they were actually all of those terrible things, more people squabbling over a shrinking pie of wealth.  But to go on and on about how everything would be all better if we just changed something, like throwing the rascals out or passing a law, that is just denying reality.


   Well, of course a casino has some power redundancy, just enough so the bean counters can be happy all the profits are safe.  You can’t just leave piles of cash around and not have a back-up plan for when the electricity goes out.  One joker taking out your transformer can then rob you blind.  So, the power flickers and then continues as the generator comes on.  Everyone goes about their business of servicing the customers, the customers going about their frantic business of losing their money as quickly as possible while drinking more and more alcohol to hide their own dumb-assness from themselves and give themselves enough liquid courage to try one more bet to win it all back ( the house always wins, even in the short term.  Anyone with two working brain cells to rub together knows this.  Yet everyone tells themselves they can be the only one to beat the probabilities.  Hope springing eternal, dumber than a box of dried horse shit optimists provide my job security and keep taxes low for state residents- although, anymore, residents are key customers, so a lot of out-of-staters who have no business living here for their gaming addiction keep everyone’s taxes low ).  But after an hour, about the time I’m yawning and spitting mad about working this crap shift ( a no-notice self-termination and I’m covering the shift ), the generator starts to gurgle with water, choke on diesel bacteria or whatever crap grows in that fuel, or just starts to try to shit out a nonperforming made in China part, and is causing lights to flicker and the slot machines to reboot.  The wonderful thing about computer slots, non-mechanical unlike the old coin machines, is that they contain no money.  Just a printable slip for a redeemable coupon.  But when the lights go out, you can’t tell who won and must be paid.  All the early pre-dawn customers are mostly crack heads staying out of the cold, so I have no worries telling them to hold their water until we can get the system up and running.  The machines aren’t supposed to crash, even with electric pauses.  They are like your home computer with a battery back-up to keep data from being lost.  But it seemed the generator was putting out surges or something and while some machines are rebooting, others are just freezing up and refusing to work.  We don’t have a software guy on duty- that redundant system is not deemed crucial.  We got one guy doing all the software twenty eight hours a week ( or whatever the max numbers are you can work before the corporation needs to provide health insurance- I‘m the same way, another reason my money didn‘t stretch as much as it used to, being at an even twenty hours a week salary.  I worked more, but my pay was frozen at those hours.  Hey, as soon as they tweaked those salary and overtime rules, nobody goes unscrewed.  Made the unemployment statistics look better, however ).  A machine goes down, it stays that way until he shows up.  I’m still not panicking, as anymore that is way above my pay grade.  I’m making drinks for customers ( no bartender at this hour ), babysitting the slot players and backing up security taking money from the blackjack table to the cage.  Not physically backing up the protection of the money, but just being the number three as required by law to verify transfer.  I’m busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest.


   Screw the players all claiming to have $20 in the machine.  These pissants have a buck to their names, max, and they got that from begging at the highway off-ramp.  Some of these bastards get Section 8 housing and go holding up signs claiming to be homeless or stranded to get beer and crack money.  I throw the paperwork at them, fill in the machine numbers and my name and ignore them while I confer with Chuck in security.  Chuck 2, the maintenance guy, has already got here from our sister casino, and has already diagnosed, kicked, swore at and hit the genset with a wrench several times and the pig fucker ain’t working right.  We know from looking outside that the lights are out everywhere.  Chuck already called his son and so we have a guy with an actual gun and authority on scene, one of our boys in blue.  The city hasn’t had as many budget cuts as we have, and the casinos rate highly in their revenue enhancement plans, so we get real security.  Not that one cop can stop a determined raid, but he can taze any run of the mill idiot screwing with the table chits.  We get busy moving everything legal tender wise into the vault, there not being much at this hour ( and with this low of a real customer base, the economy finally going into the toilet when the bankers kept forcing the gold futures markets down ).  And then while Chuck stayed, we all got sent home.  I was pleased as punch at first, as an honest twelve hours of sleep following a twelve pack sounded marvelous.


   As I fired up my Pimpin’ Ride, a rad single speed bicycle with Pee-Wee Herman fore and aft baskets ( when a gallon of gasoline got more expensive than an hour of wages, I got rid of my Rice Burning rusted to shit box and got the bike.  It is a small town, if you plan around it you haul almost everything but furniture or lumber on a bike, and I had about zero desire to end up like Doug the wheezing whore, old before my time, so exercise was not a bad idea ), by turning on all my flashing LED lights, I actually had a moment of clarity.  Perhaps it was wiser to forego the alcohol and just go home and watch a little news.  I had a little 12volt truckers TV that I had bought for the retreat which I had charged up ( when Mindy simply had to watch her reality mating shows I managed to slip away “for a snack” and watch that TV in the kitchen.  I could go for two or three commercial breaks before she noticed ) from the solar panels I had recently slapped up.  With electricity at outrageous rates, a lot of stuff like our laptops and cell phones were easily charged from the sun, far cheaper than using a 110 inverter.  I had wanted to get a RV battery and run a few 12v white LED’s at night to keep the electric use down further, but the budget was tight with town living, country retreat stocking and falling wage purchasing power and food and fuel inflation.  I hadn’t even got around to changing out most of the crap compact fluorescents to the AC power LED bulbs.  Sure, they used one tenth the energy or whatever, but also cost $10 a bulb.  You have any idea how many bulbs are in your home?


   Not that I would have to worry about no lights at home, either.  While the dollar store had still been in town I had kept buying them out every time they stocked the red flashing bike LED’s ( with a mode for a steady light, should you be wondering why I would want to light a residence with a red strobe ).  Come on-a dollar each!  I bought them like there would never be another bicycle flasher made, or another dollar store opening its doors.  And of course I had a metric butt ton of disposable AA batteries.  Prepper 101, the power will go out, so have lights.  I think that is a pretty easy sell to everyone, what with the primal fear of what lurks out there at night, ready and able to eat you ( the clamoring idiots out there wanting to reintroduce wolves to the wild in National Parks might be well meaning eco-ites, hugging trees and trying to get nature rebalanced, but the stupid fucks should realize mankind throughout its history prefers those canine cocksuckers to be no where near their small children or unarmed women in remote villages.  Same with killing off lions and whatnot.  I think any stupid shit wanting to keep man-eaters alive should go vacation out in the wild with their children wearing T-Bone necklaces ).  Same with all the nonsense about semi-auto’s-legions of clueless idiots still living in large urban areas stocking up to fight the starving masses.  Move out of the city, dumbass!  Primal fears of enemy tribes are recognized and preyed on, but never vocalized.  Oh, evil Darkies massing to defile your White wife!  Buy lots of carbines and mags now!


   Now, I knew this wasn’t a flare or EMP.  The generator had started and cell phones were good.  The landline phones got a tone ( we had called Chuck 2 over ).  It was simply just a power outage.  And I knew I was being paranoid.  But sometimes it is just easier to heed the screaming terror filled voice emanating from the ancient lizard brain that was what kept us alive as a species for hundreds of thousands of years ( if you believe in evolution-which isn’t that hard for a somewhat rational Christian to do.  Darwin was a very devote individual.  The idiot that came up with the “God created the Earth six thousand years ago” or whatever the number was, was just an uneducated lower denomination clergy who probably molested small boys ).  I mean, we’ve been farmers for only about 7500 years, clerks and mechanics less than a few centuries.  But hunter gatherers for hundreds of thousands of years- and that is where we evolved all of our hardwired behavior.  You want to study what makes humans tick?  Study small tribe hunter-gatherers.  Not farmers or shepherds ( those that wish to refute this cite the fact that lactose tolerance is relatively recent.  Even if this is the case, a single environmental factor changed.  All well and good.  But that is a physical change, not a hard-wired brain program change.  That is like saying that a wolf hunting in a pack is the same kind of behavior as a wolf descendent dog being turned from a German Shepard or Husky shape into a Terrier to singularly hunt rats.  Yes, changing physical characteristics can change instinct.  But other changes have no effect at all.  Outside the hunt, the dog still retains primeval wolf behavior.  Not all outward appearance changes necessarily change ingrained behavior.  We can debate whether farming will change our innate behaviors formed in non-hierarchal societies, but it hasn’t so far ).  We artificially covered natural awareness to force ourselves into larger tribes, forced to think like city dwellers that had its protection tasked out from the individual.  Its food gathering done by others.  The Lizard Brain had a large head start and a lot of practice reinforced by natural selection.  You had to force yourself to listen, and suppress reason and rational thought that tried to bury the hind brain.


   So I hunted around behind old and stale bran flake cereal boxes ( a crash and burn attempt at increasing my fiber supply.  There is no way on God’s green earth I’m ever going to allow a doctor to shove a hose up my ass, so I want a lot of fiber and water intake to keep the plumbing clear.  Bran tastes like wet cardboard.  On a good day.  I went to whole grain wheat ) on the top cupboard shelves until I found a small bottle of schnapps, made a cup of instant decaf ( retched stuff, and I switch to full strength perked Elixir Of The Gods after waking up- but now I needed to be ready for sleep sometime soon ) with lukewarm tap water to mix it into and found the battery powered TV to try to get some news.  This time of the morning, with just broadcast channels, I wasn’t expecting much.  Which is about what I got.  Two grinning morons from Reno, talking about some local idiot wanting to raise taxes or get a donation or something, since It Was For The Children and It Took A Village.  Gibberish, meaning all was normal with the world.  Just a localized blackout.  Now I kind of wanted my beer, but I sure didn’t want to go back out.  Was the store even open?  Was the beer even cold?  How utterly barbaric this was, no power.  And I had this to look forward to after the collapse of western civilization?  No wonder all the prepper sites sold faggot survivalism.  A world of no cold beer.  Well, no beer at all, really, in a lot of areas without trade moving around hops and whatnot.  And coffee eventually running out.  The horror!  The horror! ( Heart Of Darkness, one of the most kick ass books of all time.  Most “literature” is pretentious swill, usually produced by pillow biting butt pirate upper crust Brits.  HOD is just simply a great book.  Read it.  Apocalypse Now is of course a great movie based on that book, because what movie featuring The Doors “The End”, dudes surfing under mortar attack, directed by the Godfather movie guy, with helicopters attacking under cool classical music, AND having a stoned Dennis Hopper at the end, among a ton of other awesome crap, isn’t one of the best films ever?  But it still isn’t as Billy Bad Ass as the book it is based on )


   So I crashed out.  Just another false alarm.  Mindy wasn’t there, working the day shift, so while that sucked not having a warm body, it sure was nice to stretch out my legs.  I’m over six feet tall, so the feet always go over the end of the mattress.  And Mindy pretty much hogs up the whole bed.  Her and her furball of an ankle biter dog,  both of them keeping me on the narrow edge of my side ( the warm body usually is the dogs- the critter won’t get into bed when I’m there, although I never kick the fucker or anything.  I swear, the fecal streak acts like I abuse it, waiting for Mommy to get home so she can be seen to be sleeping under the table or something ).  So without them, I get to sleep diagonally.  And I do sleep all through the morning, getting up to discover the power is still out.  Which, again, would have sucked if I didn’t have my camping/retreat equipment handy.  I had read enough post-apocalypse fiction to recognize how retarded it would be to try to boil water on a BBQ grill and had bought a propane camping stove.  They use those little disposable tanks, which I had here at the apartment, keeping a supply of larger refillable tanks at my property.  A few years back the area had gotten a freak cold spell, two weeks in a row with mornings fifteen below and highs five above ( that’s Fahrenheit, not gay Euro-Trash  Celsius.  The Euro’s do something cool like save our ass from the Brits during the Revolution, then turn around and invent the metric system which is NOT cool, despite militia pukes thinking it is cool to distance in “klics” and other monstrosities of uber-faggot measurements ) and because so many houses out of the city limits used propane ( and not just to cook with but to heat also, which seemed retarded to me because even without forests here there was still pellet stoves that were more economical ) there had been an acute shortage.  No trucks could be sent out to refill the big tanks, including the ones that refilled your five gallon BBQ tanks.  I learned from that one and planned on enough tanks to last me all winter.  Not one giant tank- putting all your eggs in one basket, but multiple small ones.  I wasn’t planning on propane lasting forever, but was planning on having it for some time.  The next shortage could last months instead of weeks, and long before the End Of The World.


   You ever have perked coffee?  You know, like they last made during the Leave It To Beaver era, before drip machines.  Best stuff on planet Earth.  You can use a French Press, which is great saving energy and almost taste as good, but a camping perk coffee pot both heated up the place and made a wonderful cup of Joe ( never could figure out why they called it “Joe”.  I guess you need to be 103 or something, being alive during the Roaring 20’s to get the reference.  Just for the record, I looked up that question one day on the Web and they offered no plausible answer. What the “Average Joe” drank?  That sounds stupid ).  Best part of the day, as the rest went wretchedly.  I picked up the landline ( I hate friggin cell phones and only have one because work insists- not that the cheap cunts pay for it.  Hasn’t anyone heard about the study the things cause brain cancer?  Like we don’t eat and breath enough toxic shit, you want to deliberately cause cancer, just so you can talk at a whim? Tell all your peeps what you are doing like, for sure, totally, right that second ) and got no tone.  Which shouldn’t be the case.  I thought they had more juice backing them up than just twelve hours.  More sliding scale towards zero redundancy, I guess.  The cell phone got a recording that the system was overwhelmed.  That I should have assumed.  So, a quick whores bath to wash off the worse stink, get dressed and go down to the casino.  Chucks car is gone and a sign on the door says, in effect, sorry customers and bite our small corporate dicks, employees.  Love you too, you fucks.  Looks like an unpaid vacation.  So, back to the home.  And Mindy, home early from work-I assume because they have no power- is on a tear.  Not only does that mean I’m not getting laid tonight, I have to hear her all day long, hinting that this is somehow all my fault.  Hey!  Who has back-up equipment for this shit, right?  But I get no love there.  First, I can’t run the camp stove long enough for it to be warm enough for her.  I want to use it for bathing water, hot drinks ( to warm us up internally ) and cooking.  She wants me to burn all of it up, NOW!  The power will of course resume at any second.  Second, it is my fault I am not richer and so provide her with a better insulated dwelling, and have a generator and a wood stove and all the rest.  I suggest we de-ass this dump and go out to my buried trailer.  It gets solar gain during the day, and even if it is cloudy, being buried it doesn’t fall too far down temperature wise.  You can survive without heat, just wearing sweaters and thermal underwear.  But my little Mindy will not live like a bare-assed savage, no sir and no how.  She is quick to remind me what a complete moron I was for even buying and building said “retreat, like a paranoid prepper thinking the world will end”.  She implies I would never make a good husband, being so stupid and irresponsible ( and here I had been thinking she liked her FemLib independence and never wanted a legal union ).


   Now, I’m as pussy whipped as the next guy, but I’ve also been in a relationship or three, and while it took awhile I’ve come to realize you need to draw a line with gals.  They aren’t evil or bad or stupid, but they do think entirely different than males.  They are always attacking you, probing enemy lines looking for a weakness.  This could be genetic.  The female, despite all the fucking total bullshit shoveled out by everyone for decades now, is weaker physically.  Not mentally, not by a long shot.  If I had to shit a volleyball out of my rectum, I’d be a complete basket case, whimpering and rocking back and forth in pain, screaming like a wounded monkey.  A gal pops a kid, gets mushy and doe eyed, and goes on with business.  Tough bitches.  But as far as upper body strength, they blow.  Their bodies are equipped for different tasks.  Not rocket science, but something colleges, professors, female rights advocates and the media all cannot grasp ( nor your local police chief or fire chief, as they stupidly put females into harms way under the assumption they can perform like young and fit males ).  This doesn’t make them worse, just different.  So gals are far superior in manipulation and trickery.  She is looking for a mate that is strong, and modern males are always failing that test by giving in to their demands and never standing up to them.  The ugly truth, guys?  Don’t put up with their shit, and you will get laid MORE, not less as they threaten.  Treat them like a princess, not like a turd ( like all the Bad Boys they are gravitated to do ), but they must understand SHE personally doesn’t have to be The One.  You can go find another, better, improved model.  But you can’t bluff, either.  You have to mean it.  Preppers have a Bug Out Bag, mostly because they are stupid twats who insist on still living in large urban mega-cities rather than a small town or the boonies, because “ITS PAYS BETTER” as if the US Dollar is worth anything other than a company store chit, and with a female you must have a relationship bug out bag.   The bitch pushes you too far, you leave.  Either you will find another one, or she will be back after testing others and finding them wanting.  Counter-intuitive is the operating instructions with relationships.  Just like never finding love if you are looking for it.  Gals smell want, need and desperation. 


   So, of course I let her rant and rave and get stupid for a time, then I simply told her to Shut The Fuck Up.  Quickly followed-because I’m not stupid- with assurances of my true love for her.  But let her know she could be right, but could be wrong.  And if she was wrong, we needed to conserve.  And since she didn’t study shit, and I made this my hobby, she would defer to my expertise.  Well, as you might imagine, this went over like a turd in a punchbowl.  She told me to get out, we were done, I was an asshole, blah blah.  Fine with me, as she was going to have an issue paying rent in a few weeks.  I had my clothes in my duffle bag in five minutes, and got the coffee pot and coffee and stove in a gym bag, along with a few books and some LED lights and other critical items.  Most of my crap was out in my trailer.  I did have my .38 revolver with me but not much else.  That left the TV and other crap.  CD’s, the usual urban apartment collectables.  I could get them later, or not.  I’d miss the early 80’s techno-pop but assuming I simply had to have music I could upgrade to an MP3 player and rebuild my collection.  Just like we all did when cassettes went to CD’s ( I understand the need for companies to recover sunk investment in equipment, so of course they hang on to a format far longer than necessary.  Hell, I remember when a very few DVD discs came out and all the VHS movie tapes were advertising the Awesome Collection Of HUNDREDS Of Movies Available In Crystal Clear Dolby Digital.  And I didn’t mind slowly changing over to a format with better longevity, since I only own movies I’ll see more than once.  But still and all, a bit of a rip off ).  Back to the bike, cussing and creative solutions involving bungee cords, and I was on the way to my buddies place.  I knew he was good for a few nights on the couch, plus one of his roommates was a nicer looking MILF.  Damaged goods of course, but who isn’t anymore.  Perhaps I could woo her with my pathetic lifestyle choices.


   Well, I could bore you with more minute life dramas, but I’ll just skim over.  Plenty more mind numbing details will follow anyway.  The power didn’t come back on.  Not that night or the nights after.  As you can imagine, things went to shit pretty quick.  Because people, being people, acted just like Mindy.  Denial and insistence life would treat them just as they expected.  What needs power?  Everything.  So people acted like the power was coming on the next minute, and acted accordingly.  They kept flushing toilets, even from just urinating once or throwing in a snot rag ( not stopping to think if the diesels didn‘t have fuel, no more toilet paper was coming, at least not on time ).  No one remembers Mayor Koch in New York City during the 70’s?  If it’s yellow, let it mellow.  If it’s brown, flush it down.  Politicians were a bit more earthy back then.  So the water ran out and the sewers backed up.  They tried to heat their houses rather than their bodies, so fires got started.  Without water to fight them.  No one could call the fire department anyway.  Ambulances eventually ran out of fuel.  Even though their tank was above ground, one likes to imagine just for an eventuality as this, the city shared with the county and it wasn’t that big of a tank.  Plus, everyone needed a LOT more services.  I guess they all were waving down the cops, the cops calling the ambulance, or  something similar.  By day five, however, it was getting obvious to everyone ( and rumors don’t have far to travel in a small city such as this ) that first responder activity was decreasing dramatically.


   Which was when crime started getting pretty serious.  Not over life and death items like food or heat or water.  Not yet.  But the usual suspects of luxury items, items of imagined wealth such as jewelry ( I could understand gold and silver, but diamonds?  To me, a complete racket, a monopoly by DeBeers artificially jacking up prices to nose bleed levels while holding supply back.  No real wealth, just assumed, imagined, mass hallucinated ) and paper currency.  Things that would work great in yesterdays world, not so good if the power didn’t come back on.  That was day five.  By the time the power was off for two weeks, things were getting toward Mad Max levels.  Because by then, it was a daisy chain failure and Reno wasn’t broadcasting anymore.  Nor Salt Lake.  It could have been our repeater stations going down, but I wasn’t getting a signal with my shortwave radio, either.  I can’t pretend to know what was going on out there, but it couldn’t have been good.  The same as here, but worse.  I know that small towns are as prone to violent collapse.  But they aren’t populated with experienced psychopaths beforehand, either, like the larger urban areas are.  In the end, it is all Tooth And Nail, but in a smaller town you have a much better head start to escape the coming total shit storm. 





Serving Queen And Country


Yes, I served in the military.  It wasn’t infantry, nor some self styled super stud like an intelligence analyst or snake eating Green Beret ( some military branches are better than others, and some occupations require more effort than others, but ALL suffer from belonging to a bureaucratic organization that does all things half-assed ), but as an MP.  That’s Military Policeman for those who never watched a war or action movie.  And I can only claim it was almost like being a cop, because law enforcement is five to ten percent of the job and rear area security ( Infantry Lite ) and site security ( guards ) are their primary functions.  Now, anyone who has ever served in the military falls into one of two camps.  The MoTards, and the Problem Children.  A MoTard is a Motivated Retard, hence the mash-up of the first and last letters into a new word.  They are so motivated, it makes them retards.  They have drank the Grape Kool-Aid of the organization and bought into the organizational group-think.  The Problem Children are those who can’t accept stupidity as a necessity of an organization existing.  They refuse to do something illogical just because it is good for the group as a whole.  They think for themselves and are individuals.  They do NOT make for great members of the military.  I was one of those children, and I’ve retained my ability to think outside what is prescribed by “experts”. 


   With a few exceptions, whatever the military does is stupid.  At least for the individuals involved.  That is why there is a world of difference between a soldier and a warrior.  A warrior fights for family and tribe.  And has no problem dying for them.  His only job in life is to do so.  A soldier must fight for his country.  Not his family and not his tribe.  His country is most likely not his neighbors or his culture and sometimes not even his language.  It is more often than not an occupying entity forcing his allegiance.  It is not a natural group but an artificial one.  The military uses all the mental subterfuges in the book to trick compliance by using the habits and history of the warriors as its false face, but in the end true warriors make poor soldiers and true soldiers make poor warriors.  For the most part, there always being exceptions.  A warrior follows the path of the true tribe, the soldier the false path of nationhood.  Not that there was a much better way to fight currently, than in a conventional organization, unless you were a guerrilla in occupied territory actively resisting a neighboring nation state.  But I always knew the world would end ( not that I knew how or when ), and even if I couldn’t articulate my thoughts at first, not without more years to come of study, I always knew the military way was never the correct way.  It never seemed natural.  Not even logical for its time and circumstance.  For instance, the de facto mode of training was under baptism of fire.  This was never admitted, but current structures in place supported that assumption.


   Training was always modeled after the public school system.  One thing was taught, tested for, assumed learned, and never treated again as always new and always better subjects came along.  It was quantity over quality, and it assumed that everyone has a photographic memory.  Which is so ass-backwards it is not funny.  Good memory of this sort is more the exception than the rule.  Even the training admitted this, as a subject was repeatedly drilled before testing.  Yet, after testing, rarely was it drilled again as new subjects were covered.  When it came time for another test, even if the test was combat, old moldy skills were quickly reinforced by hurried repetitive re-training, but there was so much initially trained for, they could only be superficially covered again.  The units only had to look like they passed the test.  But it was just cribbing for a non-classroom test, each person in the chain of command motivated by appearance over substance.  The bottom of the food chain, those going to see the sharp end of the spear, were not prepared.  So they were thrown into battle and the survivors were finally properly trained.


   Now contrast this with a true warrior.  From birth on, he was repetitively trained in the same skill sets needed in combat.  First by hunting, then in safe quasi-military activities ( safe being relative, of course ) then moving up the food chain through puberty into more dangerous activities.  Then, between battle, he kept practicing his skills.  Every day.  Muscle memory, constant training, slow but steady on the job training.  It was the same as any apprenticeship, the simplest tasks done repeatedly as very slowly new tasked were introduced, done IN ADDITION TO the old tasks.  You never stopped performing all skills.  You were not thrown half trained on to the shop floor, nor into battle.  The new way of training, the century old classroom model of abstract teaching, is at odds with the historical norm.  While the new practitioners thought they were improving training, in reality all they were doing was teaching much less to a lot more.  Quantity over quality.  Then, like all things in a dysfunctional centralized organization in decline, any problems were treated with more of the same solutions that caused the problem in the first place.  Once too much was taught, the solution was to add to the training load.  Not that anyone was going to change the system.  Not after so many where invested into the system, after years of the same became the new normal.  But I knew enough to want to have nothing to do with the organizations.  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t have a crystal ball. I couldn’t see any specifics.  I just knew the system was rotten.  I thought, at first, I would die before it exploded. Then, I learned it might happen before that.  Which followed learning how to survive the process.  I didn’t learn the survival part until almost too late, even if I knew the thing was on self-destruct decades prior.  And the military was the first to teach me that very important lesson.  The whole system worked against nature, so it couldn’t possibly be permanent.


   I had tried the military at first thinking it was going to be a career.  This quaint notion I could rid myself of the need to work on a daily basis ( work being a very heavy imposition on my time much better spent reading ) after a mere twenty years was quickly collided into reality when I discovered how insanely stupid the organization was, and I was expected to participate in it.  For some bizarre reason, the Army had decided everyone needed to be a non commissioned officer.  It wasn’t important that you were good at your occupation specialty, that you had experience.  You were not allowed to stay in and retire unless you were promoted.  And I had no reason to do that.  I just wanted to be a grunt, but they wanted me to be part of management.  They wanted me to receive the full force of the blast of complete bullshit received from on high, then turn around and be held accountable for those under my command after I implemented the retarded policies my superiors had degreed to be sound decisions. 


   Another peculiarity of the post World War Two Imperial American military was its officer heavy structure.  After the war, it was discovered that due to the hasty nature of assembling a huge military, nobody had a friggin clue what they were doing.  If they could retain the combat experienced officers, the next conflict would much easier to fight.  So, you had heavy retention in those ranks.  But, as soon as the war is over, budgets are slashed extensively ( there being no other choice if bankruptcy was to be avoided- even with all those new colonial possessions such as Guam and England, no money was going to be available for siphoning until our economy could transfer over to peacetime activity ).  Almost from the start, there are too many officers fighting each other for promotion, as money is short for pay.  Hell, it even could have been designed that way.  But rather than getting the most competent and talented into the top command, you got the most ruthless, dishonest back-stabbers and kiss asses.  Not a recipe for greatness come war.  Not that it greatly mattered in the end, as we continued with tactics that had won us our empire.  A meat grinder, men simply another disposable commodity available in great supply from a nation blessed with super abundance.  We could have taught the Soviets a thing or two about sacrificing men rather than caring about sound equipment or tactics.  Which, if you think about it, we did if they ever studied our War Between The States, or more accurately, The War Of Northern Aggression.  Even more to the point, the War Of Northern Occupation. 


   If you strip away all sentiment, if you look at it from a totally pragmatic, cynical viewpoint, the war had absolutely nothing to do with slavery.  The north, it should be remembered, had no problem making humans into slaves in half the nation, in return for a nation state that personally enriched its founders ( there was land to be sold to settlers that the British had deemed for Indians alone ).  The northern merchants invested in ships to carry the slaves to the South ( it should also be remembered that fellow Blacks went into the African continental interior to capture men to take back to port to be shipped as slaves ), so they were far from innocent.  The North was pissed that they were not making as much money off of the Southern commodities.  This was clearly un-American, the economic system we developed was to steal or find something nearly for free and then to sell it dear.  We don’t like middlemen taking a cut.  The Southerners were taking too much of a cut, and the North wanted more say in the profits.  They had invested heavily in the new machinery of the new age and they needed the commodities to feed those machines to be as low cost as possible in order to make money, or they faced bankruptcy.  And since, in a resource rich environment, war is profitable AND a way to get free commodities ( free to bankers, industrialists and capitalists, not to taxpayers ), war it shall be.  Especially with all those immigrants coming over, and the former farmers being displaced by the new farm machinery.  Cannon fodder aplenty.  The new colonies ( after the first Indian lands-also, it should be remembered that the western expansion had halted not so much due to problems with the question of new states being pro or con slavery but with the fact that the new lands were NOT agricultural treasures as was the norm back east ) were acquired at handsome profit to the nobility and fully exploited in no time.


   So there I was, my new occupation, and I quickly learned I was to be sacrificed due to my lowly birth and poor training, an easily replaced cog in a machine, forced into participating in an ill conceived leadership slot if I wished to stay, practicing not law enforcement but rather as a security guard judged mostly by how shiny and bright I appeared.  The military was not for me, obviously.  It was a shame I hadn’t developed a Plan B for this eventuality ( having bought into the mythos created by television ads of how desirable this career choice was- that was the last time I believed any of Madison Avenues hype, a lesson learned with a three year near prison sentence ).  After my first three year hitch, I gladly went back to civilian life.  Which quickly proved a far better choice philosophically but not financially.  Living in the Eighties was cheap enough ( if not as cheap as the Nineties ) and even at minimum wage I was able to live on just half my pay, but then there was that pesky unemployment problem.


   After the military I had gone back to my home town down in central coastal California and gotten the first job that came along- working graveyard shifts at a gas station.  It wasn’t full serve and it was a franchise agreement as a highway was close enough by that they had to stay open even with no customers, so I had over half of the shift with nothing to do but read.  Other than staying up all night, it was pretty sweet of a deal.  But after awhile, on that kind of shift, even in my early twenties still young and invincible, I started getting sleep deprived and stupid and soon felt like a case of wanderlust was developing.  I was renting a room and working at a gas station and I wasn’t going to get laid any time soon that way.  I gathered up my worldly possessions in two duffle bags and went to the wild northern reaches of the state.  Far, far fewer people.  As well as fewer jobs.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but up in the middle of the national forest the only thing keeping any small town alive was not the sawmill but the marijuana crops grown illicitly in the surrounding hills ( this was near the coast with the abundant rain and snow ).  But I was on my journey towards trying to be book smart, and had no real world experiences and so walked in blind.  Again I rented a room, even though I quickly bought my own travel trailer to live in a park with as soon my tax return check came in a bit later.  And another crappy job, this time bagging groceries. 


   Crappy jobs didn’t bother me.  The bills were paid and I had half my pay left over for books.  I didn’t need a social life since I had too much reading to do, although in a small town you make friends quick enough despite your wishes.  It wasn’t idyllic, but I was content enough.  Then, about a year later ( the only excitement in the interval being the near market crash on Wall Street that had me worried enough to buy a few months of food stockpile in beans and rice ), during the fall lightening storm, after an extremely dry summer I wasn’t even paying attention to, the whole area started burning with wildfires.  For weeks the air was smoky as hell, enough so I temporarily quit smoking.  Then, as the firefighters left the area, the economy crashed big time.  I’m talking off the cliff.  Everybody blamed the departure of the one time windfall of the fire crews spending extra cash but those closer to the shit end of the economic stick were a bit wiser and explained to me about all the Mary Jane being grown in the woods and now all burned down.  No more weed, no more money being brought in.  Now, remember this was the Eighties.  Nancy Reagan might have had her panties in a bunch over drugs, Just Say No and all that, but as a society most of us could give two craps what the government was telling us to do or not to do.  We were Americans, free, and did as we pleased.  We didn’t feel oppressed or under siege like we would in the Nineties.  Drugs were no big deal.  We simply didn’t care one way or another.  I wasn’t rabidly following the news about them and had little inkling I had inadvertently moved to a hot spot for their cultivation. 


   Well, I had little choice after losing my job, then.  I sold my trailer and had a few months reprieve, moving back into a rented room with the proceeds and lived the last month on nothing but potatoes and margarine.  Didn’t touch a potato after that for several years, not even French fries.  Do yourself a favor.  If you ever have to drastically cut back on your food budget, don’t eat just one cheap staple, eat one different one each meal.  Bread for breakfast, rice for lunch and potatoes for dinner, for instance.  Of course, in my defense, years earlier I had experienced a bought of stomach flu and puked up a gallon of undigested rice and stomach acid, the pellets buckshoting the back of my throat, and was then on a no-rice regimen.  Live and learn.  Anyway, at this point I had little choice.  I should have moved as soon as I lost my job, hitchhiked out of the area to a bigger town and found a job, but I really loved where I was.  A thousand people lived there, and that included the Indian colony, and it was surrounded by forest in all directions for thirty to a hundred miles.  It was secluded, an oasis from the real world.  I thought I could hang on and find another job.  But that wasn’t to be.  I ran out of money and faced with one last month renting before that money ran out and the god awful prospect of another months diet of only potatoes, I grabbed a ride over to the city and re-upped in the military.  I knew it was a very bad idea, but I think subconsciously I was more worried about the blow to my prestige going from a cop to a high school level job.  It wasn’t something I admitted, because then I’d have to admit I was a dumbass for taking those jobs in the first place, or even worse that I now had no idea what to do with my life.  I just told myself this was all economic.  I was in a hurry and couldn’t wait for my desired duty station ( although my MOS was still in critical shortage so they were happy to take me back ), so I was stuck with Korea.  I thought that would be cool, a foreign exotic Asian locale and all, and happily kept that thought ( hey, this isn’t as bad as I thought, AND the food actually tastes good this time, after all those potatoes ) until about two days after my arrival.  Second Infantry Division, a short skip and a hop below the DMZ, at Camp Casey.  A name to haunt my dreams for years. 


   I quickly learned that while the Army sucked blood engorged green monkey dick, the Marines are much worse.  What a bunch of overly excited gung-ho pukes.  And the supreme idiots of the universe at Casey wanted to be just like the Jarheads.  Here’s one example.  The base commander thought it would be a really swell thing for the gate security, as they waved in authorized vehicles, to yell out at the top of their lungs, “Second ID, Second To None!”.  Now, forget that our commander didn’t stand up to this idiot, the spineless hump ( the MP‘s are supposed to be independent of those they police, for obvious reasons, and even if our captain is outranked by the general, he shouldn‘t be firmly attaching his lips to the old incontinent bastards rectum ).  Me and him had no love lost.  Forget that security should be alert and focused on security ( not worrying about some punk ass bitch officer with an ax to grind reporting us for not yelling load enough-which did happen ), not about being a cheerleading squad.  Forget how embarrassing that was ( how much respect are you going to give the guys yelling like buffoons when they come around taking a crime report or enforcing an order? ).  From a logical standpoint, how smart is it to have guys yelling at the top of their lungs, over the roar of diesel engines accelerating, for a twelve hour shift?


   These idiots were dangerous to themselves and each other, and more importantly ME, but doubtfully not a concern to the North Koreans.  Here we are one month out in the field, not doing much but getting woken from a short sleep several times a night for “attack drills” which due to sleep deprivation were nothing more than comical assholes and elbows routines which never satisfied the NCO’s so we kept doing them, each time getting worse and worse at it, sitting around in our Hummers that we had no mechanic for except a shadetree variety ( the motor pool evidently overwhelmed due to the mass volume of vehicles that kept breaking every day-this was at the same time our unit had returned their Euro-trash pussy limp wrist 9mm’s for mechanical failures and reverted to our old .45’s.  Evidently the Army was switching wholesale over to crap that didn’t work so as to keep their procurement budgets maxed out ), bitching about four MRE’s a day, not just because they tasted gross but because they were dangerously constipating, and very little else.  Once the “exercise” began, we were told to drive from one parking spot to another at high speed.  That was it.  Later, some high ranking officer out of our chain of command drove by and congratulated us on a job well done.  Really?  Damn, if the gate guards screaming didn’t place the fear of god into the Russian communist bastards, our driving sure would have.


   Now, perhaps I was being a little too harsh.  Perhaps our occupation was meant to be kinder than just game pieces in a big “Risk” board game.  Perhaps we were there to guard the factories we invested in ( steel mills generally went to high quality materials in Japan and the lower grade moved over to South Korea.  This bought off the population from communist influence, gave us a staging area helping us control the Pacific, but most importantly enriched our 1%’ers ).  And, at the same time, pump up the local economy with service members paychecks.  Perhaps stationing so many troops in foreign lands had the effect of troop strength AND leaving dollars there.  The global standard, back at one time-dollars.  Dump thirty thousand military personnel in the major population centers and their dollars, and watch a country beg, borrow and steal for those dollars.  Unofficially become part of the dollar cartel.  Well, I was doing my part by partaking in the local prostitutes and beer venders, but my love for the locals had hit some snags.  Mainly, we didn’t get jack spit for time off.  Shifts were twelve hours, but there was always PT, inspections and field gear maintenance.  Add in classes we snoozed through after six hours of rack time and every day was a sixteen to eighteen hour day of regimented activity.  Seven days a week.  It was common to get only one or two days off a month, and uncommon to ever get a few extra hours in a day off.  How am I supposed to spend $800 a month?  The platoon shoe shine “boy” ( an old bastard that shined our boots and ironed our uniforms had already sent several kids through college charging $35 a month per soldier ) and haircuts didn’t cut into that by much, and when a Pink Lady drink for your nightly companion was $5 and beers $1, and a hump in the sack $30, you needed more than two nights to kill a paycheck.  Somehow I managed, but it was a lot of work.


   You would think with sleep deprivation, all waking hour shifts, more money than I could spend on beer and pussy, that I could have been content to just let the days speed by, blurring into each other, and just do my one year tour and get any place else that was better.  That would have been the smart thing to do.  I could even have gone into another field, one in even more demand so promotions were a rubber stamp, like Explosive Ordinance Disposal ( at Basic, they were authorized to take anyone who wanted to transfer, from an MOS already experiencing shortages, so that should tell you a thing or two ) which was cool with the blowing up stuff, and put in my twenty to retirement ( after I got a Korean wife-they were pretty thick on the ground ).  But I tend to take people fucking with me seriously.  I tend to not play their game, even to my detriment.  I barely lasted six months and decided the BS was way too thick and getting out before my three years was up sounded like a great idea.  In my first tour, budgets were tight and Early Outs were encouraged.  Two years later, I couldn’t get kicked out to save my life. 


   Over the winter, physical training was all indoors and pretty half-ass.  There were so many people stuffed indoors in the gyms, everyone pretty much assholes and elbows, we congregated and pretended to be playing basketball or whatnot.  A few motards would run laps for the hour, which in hindsight would have been a good idea, but any activity engaged in by the Grape Kool-Aid Drinkers must be disregarded even if it comes back to bite you in the ass later.  It is a matter of honor.  Well, the first day that outdoor activity was approved, our sergeant, a Vietnam vet who chain smoked, took us on a five mile run, I shit you not.  I knew a heart attack was right around the corner, it being years for me having seriously run.  Hell, my first tour I had been in the malcontent squad and we partied everyday, then somehow managed to huff and shuffle our way a minute under the bare minimum for a run every quarterly qualification.  So, between all those times plus my civilian sedentary life, I was so out of shape it was like going to basic training all over again ( but at least in basic you didn’t start at five friggin miles ).  Here is our ancient bastard Sarge, fresh from a pack of Camel non-filters, sweating up a storm but far from out of breath, and I’m fifteen years younger about to die.  Myself, and a few of the other malcontents who had fucked off over the winter, were then yelled at by the sergeant, as he was still running, about how we had better pick up the pace, get tough, the usual bullshit, or we could see him about getting out of his beloved Army.  Well, right after I somehow got through the run, pissing everyone off as they were having to push me along, literally, I went to go take him up on his offer.  I think he was surprised someone did.  He was actually a pretty decent guy about the whole ordeal which lasted a few more months, as I tried every way I could to get kicked out, considering how much extra paperwork and aggravation I must have caused him. 


  I’ll skip all the details, a lot of which remain fuzzy anyway being twenty five years ago.  I tried going to the chaplain, underperforming on my PT tests, going AWOL, etc.  I finally had to fake a suicide attempt, and my timing was perfect as the captain, that spineless weasel puke I mentioned earlier, was up for a promotion and didn’t need me screwing that up.  Once my shenanigans made it to his attention, I was a civilian within two weeks.  He chewed my ass and took a stripe, like that was going to hurt my feelings, and then soft soaped my reason for discharge so I got out “under honorable” conditions rather than “dishonorable”.  After that I just erased my second tour, extending my previous job to cover the time in question as they had gone out of business after The Great Marijuana Burn Off and couldn’t verify the time worked.  A Under Honorable discharge reverts to Honorable after six months anyway, and I could have just bluffed my way out if I had to.  Not that I had issues, as I just showed my first tour DD214 discharge papers to employers.  Hell, a major casino in Reno, and I’m talking a chain casino with a huge payroll for personnel, hired me for security within weeks of Korea.  Talk about Baby Jesus shining a favorable light on me.


   This was back when casinos paid Union level wages and bennies in an attempt to avoid workers unionizing and causing them extra grief.  I was getting double what I could have in the general economy working security.  And it did beat a gas station or a grocery store doing Monkey Spanking jobs ( a Monkey Spanker job is any job so brain dead and worthless you could perform it while at the same time spanking your monkey ).  Alas, it was back on graveyard shift.  But, as the pay was so good, this time I sucked it up.  You pay me good wages, I’ll put up with your crap.  I’m compensated.  And I wasn’t going back in the military if you paid me in gold coins and naked dancing girls.  The difference between a crappy military job and a civilian one is you can quit at your leisure as a civilian.  Sometimes just knowing you CAN makes staying okay.  Plus, your boss can’t push you as far, if for nothing else the retraining cost.  You gotta love the military.  Before, during the draft, your ass was theirs because it was the law.  They could treat you like crap, use you as an unaware guinea pig as in nuclear fallout victim, throw away your life.  After the military went All Volunteer, they still treated you like crap.  Your ass was theirs because you signed on the dotted line.  They could STILL treat you poorly, use you as an unaware guinea pig as in the anthrax shots for the first Gulf War, throw away your life.  What a bunch of fascist assholes, parroting freedom fighters.  George Washington, the cunt, started that crap of throwing away soldiers lives as if he was King Shit The Invincible.  Well, I’ll let that rant lay for another day.



Let The Die-Off Begin


I already commented on the effects without electricity.  No water to flush the toilets or drink or fight fires with.  The tanks at the higher elevation don’t last indefinitely ( the water being replenished regularly, probably at night when electric rates were cheaper and the grid wasn’t overloaded from air conditioners or prime time TV or whatever.  My pet theory on city lights are that once upon a time, at night when so little electricity was being consumed, because the generators never stop and the juice would be wasted otherwise and every penny not a profit was the businessman’s equivalent of the devil pouring molten lava into their rectums, the power companies had to find more uses for their product and so sold urban areas on the benefits of street lights such as reduced crime and safer pedestrian crossings and so forth.  Paid for by taxpayers for the equipment and as power consumers themselves who subsidized the rate cuts.  Perhaps pumping water was subsidized similarly ).  Running out of water wasn’t necessarily fatal, short term.  The absence of water doesn’t guarantee fires will start immediately.  That waited until folks got desperate enough to jerry-rig stoves.  Not everyone had zero water reserves.  Lots had all those stupid cases of bottled water, some used the toilet tank for drinking rather than waste it flushing urine ( pissing in the corner of the backyard instead, for instance ) or drained the water heater.  Neighbors shared with each other.  A lot of people never touched water and kept drinking soda, even if it was warm.  Immediately into the crisis, the dumber segments of society preoccupied themselves with looting.  And the cowboys and militia wanna-be’s had fun forming Neighborhood Watch groups to suppress the looters, as if it was all a big game of Occupy Myself Until Power Resumes.  Few thought it was long term.  Hell, even New Orleans got some power back soon enough ( and, as previously stated, the Yuppie Prepper types never prepared past a short term outage and had invested more in guns and generators than food or non-middle class lifestyle tools.  Those thinking to prep thought they were covered and failed to panic until it was too late ). 


   Come Week Two Plus, things started seriously going downhill.  By then, I was guessing the last of the semi trucks were using the last of the diesel, as more and more areas went dark and more pumps stopped working and less refineries could refine or ship.  And before that happened, I image a few Brighter Bulbs got the hint and detoured their loads towards home, or to a black market dealer who would pay in tangibles.  Such as cut of the goods, plus protection for the driver and his family ( crooks would be no more crooked than a real politician, and probably less so as it benefited them to retain street cred, and so I’d imagine they quickly became the new political class and their goodwill keeping their word helped retain peace in the community.  A similar thing happened locally, but more on that later ).  Collapses follow a similar vein, in that most people retain civilized behavior long enough to get weak enough to lose the ability to fight, then die from disease brought on by malnutrition.  When starvation is widespread enough to be institutionalized in a normal society- as in, official corruption drains all the resources-resentment can build over a long period of time ( as in, prior relatives had died, repeatedly, such as with the Irish and Brits ).  Then revolution can break out over hunger.  But when collapse suddenly happens, there isn’t time or inclination to revolt.  Local thugs step in to guarantee peace in the streets and do a better job cheaper than the officials.  If only because the long term corruption hadn’t set in, demanding more resources and delivering less services.  But that couldn’t work long term, as we as a nation had long ago centralized all economic activity ( except housing which went from centralized around industry or agriculture and decentralized to the suburbs ).  No supplies would be coming in.  The local warlords would have a short reign.


   Weeks in, the shooting went from organized and benevolent groups forming for self protection to more men out for themselves.  Think about it.  Your group of friends or casual acquaintances or neighbors forms the first few days after the disappearing news stations hint at a nationally occurring black-out ( I certainly shared these thoughts with my new roommate as we both listened for functioning stations on the wind-up shortwave, and I’m certain that speculation got around to others not similarly equipped ).  Limited supplies are pooled, everyone works together to help each other.  Then, as supplies get too low and the news keeps getting worse, faction develop over perceived injustices ( which is just people justifying the poor behavior they are about to engage in ).  More groups form, or families split off, and former comrades fight over dwindling supplies.  Basic human survival instinct.  To survive, you kill.  And everyone justifies killing.  No serial killer ever thinks he was evil.  If it looks that way it was just a strategy to appear insane to avoid the electric chair.  Insane people are just like me or you, just without the inhibitions.  Which are just civilizing taught responses to suppress our baser instincts of survival.  And most of that is not to be helped, being physical brain damage.  Drugs reintroduce inhibitions, or at least enough laziness to mimic inhibitions.  Those first to throw off civilized restraints survive.  Nothing sinister or evil.  I mean, sure, I’d know first hand.  Right? 


   How did I know about these other groups?  You’d be surprised how fast and efficient the new word of mouth reappeared.  Without TV or the Internet, the old village gossip habit spontaneously erupted, even in our larger town of nearly twenty thousand.  And why was I still in town?  As soon as stations hundreds of miles away started dropping off air, I knew Serious Shit Was Going Down.  But that doesn’t mean you panic prematurely.  There is always the off chance things right themselves.  And if things stabilized, I had little desire to meander into town one month and discover I didn’t have a job, and couldn’t get one again because of a bad reference.  We might be a small city but the business community was like a small town.  I’d be blacklisted.  And Nevada, outside the three giant festering crapholes ( city limits plus suburbs and bedroom communities ) of Reno and Vegas and Carson, was still a backwoods Western province.  There is still the inclination to shoot outlaws and the propensity to arm for the eventuality.  Only the stupid shits try any crap and are quickly culled.  It wasn’t Dodge City by any means, but enough folks had enough arms to keep 90%+ of the population polite.  I could walk anywhere I wanted at 3 a.m. and not feel creeped out in danger.  Staying in town was a viable option up to a point.  And, I was quickly learning, rather informative.  A few folks out in the county had satellite Internet, which lasted until too many work-around lines and servers stopped working-an embarrassment to its early nuclear war designers, and enough folks had generators with satellite TV so that together with a few shortwave sets, a lot of information got around.  Not all true, obviously, but why was that any different than in the old full hook up Information Age?


   After 9/11 most newspapers finally gave up any pretense of journalism and turned into government shrills, both to please the new fascist masters and to please the next investment group hoping to buy them out.  The Internet was finally catching up to print, and every time the paper went up a quarter ( after their classified died from Craig’s List and E-Bay and such, the paper lost huge swaths of revenue ) in a desperate bid for survival, more people went over to Internet news.  Our local rag was an incredible $2 an issue, and only survived by covering local news so well ( whereas the local Web based news groups were just insane bitching and moaning to the point of uselessness, a gaggle of gossiping porch grandma’s, in effect ).  TV news had surrendered to mediocrity long ago, to the point now it was celeb puff pieces and sports, with DC platitudes posted verbatim, and no global news at all as if it would disturb the masses.  And the Internet was itself 99% crappy wanna-be reporting built around insane worldviews like the tinfoil hat groups “proving” every event was of the design of the Illuminati, or pop up ads surrounding a few re-worked sentences of stale news, worse than the old Ponzi schemes.  You really had to search for rational, logical, informative news, and then its disseminators would like as not eventually give up on all that hard work for free and close their Blog sites and you’d have to go searching all over again.


   So one thing you get trained in is a relatively reliable bullshit detector.  Wild rumors are not that much different in person than online, and with some thought easily dismissed.  At least if you were older and cynical and self-taught in critical thinking.  There were plenty of those folks lacking all that and buying into every implausibility, but I stuck around and listened and heard enough probable answers to guess at things.  I was by this time staying with my new girlfriend, aforementioned MILF, at my buddies, and earning my keep by biking out to my place a couple of times a week to retrieve camping food for all of us ( MRE’s and freeze dried foods from my short lived phase of believing the expensive foods were necessary to prep with, before I researched further and got into wheat kernels from the feed store.  The vet medicine wheat is stained red, so avoid that and buy whole kernel red winter wheat- the White was a lower protein count.  After I started stockpiling wheat I just bought the cheapest generic Spam I could find, by the case, plus canned my own meat from fresh when something went on sale.  Protein, carbs, vitamins from sprouting the wheat plus vitamin pills.  Much cheaper than mail order bought Apocalypse freeze dried foods ).  It was a long haul out to my place by bicycle and carrying back light weight food was a good choice.  The stuff tasted like crap, and I wouldn’t be doing myself any favors by saving it.  I just looked at it like a transitional food.  I knew MRE’s tasted like packaged death, but the freeze dried wasn’t much better.  Especially the meat.  I think it all came from Downer Cows.


   Well, obviously things weren’t going to stay relatively safe for too god awful long.  I had started getting slightly more nervous and had retrieved my military style shotgun scabbard from my trailer, attaching it to the back milk crate basket on my bike.  Then started pedaling back and forth with my rifle as well as my sidearm slung low in a leg holster ( I was traveling by back road, sparsely inhabited and by extremely paranoid rednecks at that so that they expected vicious armed reprisals and hence left me alone, but getting close to town I expected my bike to be coveted by some and so was more at ease with serious firepower ).  I had gotten New Gal- her name was Mandy, if you can believe my luck on that-her own bike early on ( it cost me three quarters of my box of 38‘s, which was a small deal since I had plenty more safely tucked away ).  I was armed up.  I was ready to bug out as soon as the Tense Gauge went up much at all.  And I was still surprised when things Went To Shit so completely and so quick.


   The parks had become a natural gathering place for trading and news ( we had an unnaturally large number of parks for a city our size, one imagines because all the Californicators moving here couldn’t handle the desert-remember, L.A. had disguised itself from a desert long ago-and so had agreed to pay more taxes to pump from deep aquifers to artificially green up the place.  You couldn’t leave almost any neighborhood without hitting a park ).  Not really all that much food other than at first a lot of barbeques as freezer food was offered, but very little since.  I poke fun at most people, who even if not idiots sure do act moronic, but most seemed to have enough vestigial survival instinct to keep their food and shun paper money, at least for that staple and guns and ammo.  None of those to be seen, at all.  But plenty of electronics and clothes.  Clothes seemed to be briskly traded.  The more fashionable than functional.  The now-too-small, the ones kids outgrew.  There was an immediate demand for more clothes as the furnaces went silent.  Water, surprisingly, was traded.  At least in small amounts.  A few guys were trading gas for water and I suspected they had solar powered wells out in the boonies and some gasoline went for transporting it and the bulk went to barter. 


   So, here I am biking down to the park, perhaps a five minute leisurely trip, and I see a corpse by the curb.  Which was a bit odd.  He wasn’t an old corpse or a sickly looking one, but a gunshot one.  Up to now, no corpses, even without the city services running.  I figured the clandestine deaths had the perpetrators hiding the bodies in a gully out of the city somewhere ( it did seem like there were more buzzards active ).  To hide their crimes ( as neighbors and groups started their infighting ).  And old and sick folks would at least be buried by relatives in the back yard ( I was even asked to help dig one for a guy on my buddies block.  Not a problem, as city soil was fertilized and watered and not like the rock hard crap out in the desert proper ).  To see a stiff out on the curb, and gunshot at that, was disturbing to say the least.  Things were getting to that point of lawlessness.  And if body disposal became an indifference, disease outbreaks were not too far away ( I had brought back a short term water filter, a cheap camping unit, to use on the river water we hauled.  I didn’t trust that from day one.  But while water could be boiled and filtered, airborne and pest born disease from decomposing bodies were a far different threat ).  Of course, as they said on TV info-mercials, but wait!  There is more.  If you order now, the situation will get worse double quick and for the same price.  The body had a nice jacket on it, and as I parked on the other side of the street about fifty feet away ( perhaps a hundred, how would I know? A few houses down ) straddling my bike seat in a leisurely and relaxed manner, I contemplated taking it.  I didn’t need a jacket, being partial to layers, but I knew it was worth something. 


   A good thing I waited longer than I should have, because even though someone beat me to it, it turned out to be a trap.  I was of course startled.  I froze up in confusion and felt my sphincter loosen to a dangerous degree.  The first looter comes along-I’m not sure from where-and looks around and sees nobody and gets down on one knee to start stripping the coat off the corpse.  The guy has a rifle strapped across his back, which was kind of stupid, but I doubt laying it next to him would have helped much because as the coat is half way off, here comes a guy running like there is a mountain lion after him and his ass is covered in marinade, sprinting silent on tennis shoes and holding a baseball bat up over his head.  It couldn’t have been but one to three seconds and he is on the squatting guy, barely slowing down as he swings that bat like Ty Cobb on a bad hair day.  I swear to God, that bat half sunk into that skull and lobbed a chunk of bone and brain in a homerun trajectory.  Holy Fucking Shit!!  You can’t get those kind of special effects from Hollywood using Cray computers!  Now, I was still pretty much frozen except for my eyes getting all bugged out and I think my chin must have dropped to my chest, and I just watched the ball player go over the new corpse-or soon to be corpse as it was still doing the funky chicken- and take the guys rifle like it was the most natural thing in the world.  What incredibly big balls that guy had, a bat against an armed dude.  So when he looked up and noticed me, I didn’t even think.  I just raised both my arms like I was at the sports stadium, a fan excited by a touchdown or goal or whatever ( I‘m of the mind that sports suck blood engorged monkey member, a complete waste of time and money, a Rome type of bread and circus distraction to fool people into approving of their shackles, and hence have little experience viewing them as an organized, capitalized activity ), and grinned at the guy.  That must have surprised him, but he half grinned back and mock saluted me.  I turned around and tore ass out of there in case he changed his mind about eliminating witnesses.  Not that I was totally convinced he wasn’t going to shoot at me anyway, but I just played the hunch.  Big Balls aren’t too excitable about a lesser risk, now are they?  This was definitely a new turning point.  This was when folks started discounting the issue of law and order affecting them and started going into pure survival mode.


   There were still cops out.  They rode an assortment of bicycles, and rode in a pack of a minimum of three ( how to call back-up? ) and all had M-16’s or shotties.  They were not our regular civilized laid back local cops of yore.  I even noticed the sheriffs deputies had joined the city cops, so the area out of the city limits must be pretty wild and hairy right now.  The county was huge, and un-patrolable  without vehicles.  They must be consolidating forces in this centralized location.  But there weren’t saturation type patrols.  I’d image not every cop showed up, plus there had to be serious illnesses among the almost retired that now couldn’t be treated.  Some injuries and casualties.  A lot leaving the area hoping the gas in the tank got them to a warmer region.  A police patrol was random, and far between, even if they did happen.  So for some guy, huge testicles or no, to ignore the danger of the police was still a huge deal.  No law and order, acting lawlessly would be understandable.  With people basically behaving themselves, if only because cops still did patrol, to Go Postal to me was a flashing neon sign the apex of civilization had been reached and we were about to plunge straight down over the cliff.  I pedaled like I meant it and got back quick.  Time to bug out.


   Mandy was doing her usual thing, multiple layers of wool sweaters ( I had a short metric ton of wool sweaters, slowly gleaned from the thrift store.  Living in the high mountain desert, cold is a nine month a year thing and even if I hadn’t cared about the end of the world along with its central air and heat, I still liked saving money.  A wool sweater cut WAYY down on the heating bill.  Plus, believe it or not, ugly sweaters are a nice conversation starter with gals, assuming everything else about you doesn’t scream Uber Dork ) on and sitting in the window seat soaking up the sun.  Her room was the only one exposed, the other dipshits opting for the rooms without drafts or sunshine in the summer, so right now they were freezing while me and her were comfortable at least half the day, and not too bad off at night with the wool blankets I brought from the trailer.  I love wool.  Everyone else can bundle up in their puffy down feather polyester jackets.  One rip, duck tape will do the trick.  One soaking, or a serious fabric or zipper malfunction, it is worthless.  Wool is hearty and rugged and much more efficient.  It cleans easy, and considering how long it will last, cheap.  If it itches, you wear a cotton undergarment.  Then layers of wool.  And you can replace wool without paying DuPont.  You just find some grass a sheep can eat. 


   We were going to have a time of it, packing everything up ( I had moved so much we needed into town from the trailer-surprisingly a lot for just a few trips ).  But I had kept this eventual egress in mind as we had accumulated, so I knew with enough bungee cords we would do just fine.  Dealing with the other roomies was going to be more of a problem.  Granted, I had more than earned my keep with the food and water, but my buddy hadn’t had to let me in in the first place.  But, he was after all a casual buddy.  And I had limited supplies.  I might have a low opinion of others but I also don’t try to act like a dick.  That was just my social interaction coping mechanism.  And I was just about to try to be an asshole, brandish the gun around, be tough, when a much better idea came to me.  When me and Mandy started packing everything up, everyone else naturally wanted to know where we were going.  I got a place out in the country with supplies, I truthfully responded.  We wanna go, we wanna go, like little kids on a Sunday drive.  They had obviously heard my talk with Mandy, explaining the jacket ambush-damn thin walls.  I guess they heard every orgasm she had, too-filthy perverts.  No one had really panicked previous to this. 


   Not like it should have been a surprise.  No water, no heat.  Every day more and more loaded cars heading for the freeway entrance.  More gunshots at night.  Now this.  So, of course I argued with them.  Not enough supplies, not enough room.  Etcetera.  Of course, they all refuted my arguments, because they needed me to be wrong.  Suddenly I’m everyone’s best friend, like a retarded dork at school, shunned by all until one day he shows up with a brown paper grocery sack bulging with candy.  He’s your best buddy.  For five minutes.  I knew I’d be dead in a week I let these morons anywhere near me.  They’d see how few supplies I had.  They already had the idea in their head from the news we had heard in town.  Families kicking out non-blood relatives.  Best buddies fighting to the death over a girl ( although it was really over dwindling supplies ).  Whatever.  A dozen variations of the same theme.  But I am certainly not going to bring that up here and now.  My luck, one of them holds me down after jumping on my back as I’m unawares, the other sticks a butcher knife up my ass and tortures me for the location, then slits my throat.


   So, I just played along with the idea it would be great to have them with us, and write down instructions as I verbalize them.  I used to have a girlfriend.  Crazy ass bitch-she would definitely have stuck a butcher knife up my rectum.  She lived out in the boonies and I gave these jerk-offs the instructions to her place.  It sounded realistic because I knew the road names and landmarks, and with any luck they would off her for me ( a horrid break-up, so don’t judge me ).  And, it was in the opposite direction  of where I was headed.  I told the guys to head out individually, every twenty to thirty minutes, so a big group wouldn’t draw attention to where we were headed.  I figured they were on foot so even if they left in just five minutes, our lead on bikes, even overloaded bikes, would disappear us and they would have no idea where we went.  Well, that plan went off without a hitch.  But we soon ran into much bigger trouble.


   I had thought, hey, only in Hollywood movies does everything all fall to crap all at once.  You know, like a few lucky fools get down in their fallout shelters and the howling mobs outside all seem to develop Mind Meld and spontaneously erupt into very poor behavior.  Like in a zombie film when it seems every swinging cheese dingus except our main hero/character suddenly turns cannibalistic and immune from pain.  Here I was, just bragging on how every one was pretty much super cool in our nifty small town, well mannered because of being well armed, and they go ahead and prove me wrong.  Just this morning I’m going to a peaceful park to trade campfire coffee for news, and now a couple of hours later I see a guy ambushed by bat, my roommates wanting to stick a knife up my ass, and as soon as I head for yonder hills to bug-out, it seems like gunfire is popping all over the place, a couple of fires erupt ( I’m guessing some bright boy remembered the scene from “Michael Collins” where the Irish freedom fighters threw flaming chunks of peat atop a police station in order to get the cops to surrender and then be armed- and was trying to recreate that tactic ) and I’m even hearing cars colliding.  What telepathic signal did these people get?  Or, seriously, did people take movies so seriously that subconsciously they were fulfilling their expected role as extras in a end of the world disaster film? 


   I thought reality was supposed to be more bizarre than fiction.  Yet, here is some yahoo throwing rocks at me.  I guess to topple me from my bike so he could get my supplies.  So I just drew my pistol and waved it at him.  You think he was scared?  Bitch must have had a Palestinian father who chucked rocks at the Israeli occupation forces ( most of the Israel and Palestinian conflict was over farmland and water, not terrorist security or independence, but both sides kept up the charade as if world opinion would win the battle.  Although, sorry, I digress ), because he acting like this was the most natural thing in the world, hucking stones at armed dudes.  I certainly didn’t want to waste a bullet on him, as he was going to have to get lucky to hit me on the head, but he could hit my balls, or break a spoke or three and then my stately five miles an hour ( stacked wide, deep and tall on strapped on supplies ) ride would get much worse.  I didn’t mind spending over a dozen rounds on Mandy- the bitch was seriously sex crazy and at my advanced years while that was like getting a glass of water after roasting in the lower bowels of hell for decades, it was also potentially dangerous health wise.  I seriously wanted to die riding her like a rabid pony bound for the glue factory rather than dying of starvation or killed by raiders.  So I had to do something about this little conehead and his rocks.  But seriously, who throws rocks at the Apocalypse.  Bat Guy, he had class, engaging a foe in close quarter combat.  To the victor went the spoils.  But Rock Dude, he was just like some petulant punk irritating people to no end.  Okay, I changed my mind.  He was worth a bullet.  So I shot at him.  And missed by a country mile.


   I was pretty nervous.  I think, subconsciously, I felt bad for him and I didn’t want to hit him.  But he sure as hell hit me.  Dude got in a total groin shot.  Cool as a cucumber under fire, the bastard lobbed a total rainbow trajectory mortar round which hit my inner thigh and bounced right into my nuts.  Words cannot describe the painful agonizing world altering feeling.  I saw white.  And, somehow, kept on pedaling.  Even picking up the pace, while at the same time firing off the last of my cylinder.  Didn’t hit crap, and I engaged in the most retarded act of survivalism imaginable.  Suppressive fire.  Here we are at the end of civilization and every round you fire is one round closer to moving you towards a sword or a bow because post apocalypse sure as hell ain’t Industrial Age.  Goes petroleum extraction and global trade, goes ammunition.  And the cop-out, “you can’t count your rounds if your life is on the line” doesn’t cut ice.  Every time someone shoots at you, that saying would apply.  So you Spray And Pray every armed encounter.  Then you are very quickly out of ammo forever.  Every shot should count.  Not every shot can hit, but suppressive fire as a tactic is a death warrant, after a collapse.  And I started this one out pissing away my ammo in a display of pissyness.  There went a complete box of ammo, due to my horniness and rage.  I better get on a much steeper learning curve.  Repeat after me-”the least stupid survive”.



Refreshing Adult Beverages

Doug was my old boss, head of security.  When I worked for him we didn’t socialize together, what with the manager/peon distinction and all.  The same thing I do with all my guys in the slot department ( well, all the gals.  Mostly gals.  Have you ever tried to boss a bunch of gals?  Good friggin God, herding cats.  Herding cats with rabies.  Herding female cats at that time of the month with rabies.  Herding female cats on the rag with rabies with a stick up their ass.  You wonder why I drink?  Half the problem is right there.  The male chauvinist misogynists of a bygone era who fought against the inclusion of broads in the workplace where right about many things.  I’ll tell you this right now.  If nothing good comes out of the apocalypse, and plenty of things will like the depopulation, the end of the Industrial Age and the bankers and lawyers and politicians and CEO’s and others on the Lamppost List getting their just deserts, at least the sudden death of Women’s Lib will make all the war and rapine and disease worth it.  Bitches are a separate species and mixing them with men is and was a great source of the world’s ills.  One thing cool about all those Bat Shit Crazy religious sects, with the secret underwear and the bonnet hats and the shaved mustache beards?  Segregating the sexes again ). 


   Notice a slight whiff of a class system there?  The serfs are not worthy of breathing the same air as the management.  Well, Doug got to shooting the shit with me once I got to be management too, a bit of down time here and there between customers.  Every once in awhile if we got out at the same time  we would have a beer at the casino bar, get to know each other a little but mostly talking crap about the moronic nature of any decision emanating from the ivory tower the owners inhabited.  Every shift we got a free drink, and you can bet I drank a good imported German beer.  Of course, it wasn’t free-you’d be a dumbass not tipping the bartender.  But it was cheaper than the supermarket.  You used to get a lot of perks from working at a casino, way back in the day when they worried you might try to Unionize.  Free uniforms, cleaned every day ( now, you bought your own everything, and cleaned them ).  Free meals for everyone ( now just discounted ).  Double to triple the pay you could get any place else ( now the same, i.e. shit on a cracker pay ).  I expected the free drinks to be eliminated any time by the tight wad bastards.  Okay, you can’t really blame them, what with all the competition from the Indians ( feathers, not dots ) and the riverboats and all the state lotteries and the state raising taxes every decade or so as all the other revenue dried up ( Nevada is great for dicking itself up the ass, revenue wise.  They got rid of the lucrative divorce/marriage market, put too many restrictions on bordellos, won’t help the casinos and keep failing to legalize and tax drugs.  They think tourists arrive here for the dust?  Plenty of dry and dirty places out West ).  But like all of corporate America, they keep squeezing past the point of rationality.  When no worker makes enough money, no workers are customers.  Not that it mattered in the long run, the end just a cannibalization, but to the end they stayed focused on quarterly profits exclusively, disregarding any investments for future cash flow ( ever read Forbes and similar magazines?  An unapologetic pimp for corporate types, they once rationalized the quarterly profit by declaring our companies remained nimble and flexible that way.  Flexible enough to think of new ways to screw everyone until they went out of business, being the new businessman award of the year normal, apparently ).


   One day, after this had been going on awhile, Doug suggested BBQ beef and beer at his place, if I’d bring the beer.  Hell, ya.  With the drought in Texas and elsewhere, beef prices were insane.  Like, if you wanted two small size rib-eye’s, it was two hours of wages.  For me, management.  For the wage drones, three, three and a half ( as I said, I earned less than minimum wage if I counted all the hours I worked on my salary.  But the total at the end of the month is what you take to the bank, so whatta ya gonna do? ).  You could still get crap beef, suitable for crock-pot cooking, at fair prices.  But that ain’t good ol’ burnt to shit BBQ meat.  I’d pay a buck a can for beer for that.  After we had sufficiently lubricated our tongues with adult hoppy beverages, I started ragging him on his house.  A drill sergeant would have been in awe, the bitch was so clean and squared away.  I even asked to check out his bedroom, and sure enough his bed had military corners.  Having been a slacker enlisted, I of course assumed Doug was some broom stick up his ass career military dude, quite possibly the officer type ( I assume officers develop the anal retentive quality from the endless amount of corporate cheer they must assimilate on a daily basis, followed by translating all that into acronyms, followed by trying not to trip over their own shoes they are so rigidly ramrod straight and glassy eyed ). 


   No, never been military.  Just a really OCD type of fellow.  Which, I guess helped explain his attention to detail at work and his favoritism amongst the big cheese bosses.  He even drank his beer compulsively, checking his watch for the proper time frame between drinks ( I got off pretty cheap that night, buying-the-other-guys-beer-wise ), I assume to retain mostly full functional cognitive powers.  And he brought up survivalism that night.  I don’t know why.  I guess he didn’t hate the MP’s since he had never served, and was a bit in awe, even after my Fuck-It attitude never rested.  You ever notice that about some people?  When you can get away with not taking as much shit as is normal, a lot of those taking the full dose of shit are a bit in love with you.  Like, their repressed rebel lives vicariously through you.  I had been displaying my poor attitude at work for a long time, mostly because I now just didn’t give a shit anymore.  I had paid off my last credit card, I didn’t have a car and the only thing keeping me in town was the girlfriend, and she was just a few more “I can’t tonight, I have a headache” or “I’m not a piece of meat, I want our love making to be special” away from us breaking up.  Trust me guys, as soon as the no-sex excuses get regular, your relationship is over.  I knew we were on the way to splits-ville, but I always keep trying past the point of usefulness.  At least that way, once we go our separate ways I can say I screwed up more of their life than was necessary by keeping their blood pressure high.  Hey, bitches just had to put out to keep the relationship.  Anyway, you know how it is with drinking.  You get more depressed, not less, and your attitude sinks deeper into the toilet.  But I also had the means if wanted, to go with the attitude.


   Doug asked me if I knew a heck of a lot about the economy, which of course I did.  I used to be a Dungeons & Dragons geek as a teenager, but after I dropped that I turned into an economics and history geek.  Always reading ( when I wasn’t drinking or cavorting ).  I can’t explain it, I just always loved economics and history, even more the combination of the two in economic history ( although military history-after gunpowder, not so much before-a close second ).  I used to get pretty excited about politics, but after the obviously BS vote count drop from the Libertarian Party at Clintons second term, I gave that up as a waste of time.  After Waco and Rudy Ridge ( ten extra points for not hurting the kid she was holding, or for each kid you BBQ ), I’m expected to believe the national Libertarian Party gets LESS votes?  Bull Fucking Shit.  I knew then, way before Shrub and Al “ I Invented The Internet” Gore and the Florida hanging chads, that votes were rigged completely.  Once they used the hanging chads as an excuse to push for complete electronic voting ( and I was awestruck how few people questioned this ), you can be sure a sanctioned hacker computes the votes as decided. 


   We had a pretty lively discussion on economics, enough so that I even drank a bit less myself, so engrossed in the debate was I ( another reason I got by with a cheap “date” ).  We disagreed on a lot.  He didn’t think the behind the throne power was much more than the Military Industrial Complex, whereas I felt the ultimate puppet string puller was the central bank, the Federal Reserve.  He tried to counter that fiat money was needed, business constricted by the gold supply, and there was nothing sinister about a central bank and a little inflation.  I countered that Benjamin Franklin himself approved of inflation until a currency was worthless, as a means of eliminating public debt ( Ben was a pretty cool guy, chasing buxomly bitches well into his very advanced years for the time, so I guess this was just candid talk from a realist displaying cynicism.  Ben always kept it real, yo.  Still, a bit embarrassing for the ruling moneyed class who surrounded him to have the obvious stated.  We owe you one, Benny, for that if not the bifocals and cast iron stove and electricity terminology and the discover of the Atlantic sea conveyor ).  Doug wasn’t as well versed in history ( although, you notice in certain fields of interest a shared tendency towards researching other similar topics ) as I was, and really didn’t grasp economics as practiced prior to World War Two, but he did have a better grasp on the relatively recent arrival of derivatives ( I tend to go with wide but shallow trends, he digs deep on a narrow subject ).  Although he wasn’t about to admit a complete conspiracy to game the financial markets by the big boy banks, he figured out derivatives were our weak spot, now more than in 2007/2008. 


   Not that our differences mattered, because Doug believed in hedging his bets and emulating the military with Worse Case Scenarios ( I tried to caution him not to fall in love with the military way of doing things.  As one on the ground floor at Fort Moron, I knew they were highly overrated on effectiveness, intelligence, perception or competence.  But in this instance, it wasn’t a bad example to copy ).  He didn’t care if the money system imploded, a super bug was spread, an EMP or solar flare erupted, or whatever.  He was going to prepare for all of them, in fact already was.  And he wanted a disciple.  Me, apparently.  He was choosey, and felt out prospects, and I guess I passed the test for whatever reason.  I mean, really?  Me?  I was moderately successful managing my money.  I had some experience in the real world by having served in the military.  I strived at my job without being an ass-kisser or brownnose.  But I had no real skills beyond management.  I didn’t feel he wanted me for my limited law enforcement experiences.  Or my shooting skills ( with perhaps yearly practice, I was lucky to get “minute-of-paper-target” ).  Hell, perhaps he was just lonely for a nice conversation and nobody else ever came close to agreeing with his paranoia so he never broached the subject.  It wasn’t like he was even telling me much that was new, in that I knew everybody and everything was pretty screwed up.  You’d need to be a walking Cheerio ( head up ass, your body bent into an “O” shape ) to think anything was normal or sustainable anymore.  But I never really had a notion to prepare, not even being aware of the notion past the historic examples of guys in the backwoods or in bomb shelters, both way past my financial abilities.  I thought it was a weird rich guys past time.  But Doug, he was having no such delusions and broke down how easy and cheap it was to prepare for the end of the world.


   First off, you needed to defend yourself, right?  You didn’t need semi-auto rifles.  Those were for close combat, and you were not good enough to risk your life that close to the enemy.  Just get yourself a hunting rifle, and proficiency from two to four hundred yards means you out-gun most assault rifle wielding opponents.  An AK-47 was crap much past 150 yards and with an AR-15 that wasn’t much past 200 ( it could shoot a lot further, but was easily moved off target by wind and vegetation ).  And a bolt action rifle was one third the cost ( plus, it conserved ammunition and there were no clips to buy ).  For close quarters, as in an ambush, a revolver was just as handy as an automatic.  You got that close, a few rounds decided the conflict.  Any further, don’t fight, flee.  And eating was pretty important.  Even if we lived in an agricultural area, which we were far from, the shut down of irrigation in a collapse, plus the influx of nearby urban populations, plus soil degradation nixing organic methods for some years, plus globally populations precluding moving over to organic, all pointed to the necessity of storing a lot of food.  Even less than a fill on collapse might see us needing extra food storage anyway.  For five years of food, nobody could afford “survival food”.  Freeze dried, at twenty to thirty bucks a can?  Forget about it.  Wheat kernels, ground into whole wheat flour, was the way to go long term storage, long life storage and dirt cheap ( gluten intolerance folks exempted, obviously, and then there were less worthy, more expensive alternatives ).  Before factoring in the storage container, only $120 for a years worth of core calories ( bare bones diet, hopefully supplemented with trapped meat and wild plants, but at least a minimum amount of calories in the worse case such as asteroid collision or super volcano blotting out sunlight for two to four years ).  A grinder was as cheap as $40 for a Mexican peasant corn grinder ( ground three times, on course, middle, fine settings as wheat ground different in a grinder made for corn ).  Boring diet?  Sure.  Your choice, a couple of weeks of a varied diet, or a years bland one, for the same price.  As they used to say, “hunger makes the best sauce”.


   Forty acres in the mountains?  For rich folks.  For poor ones, an acre in the desert.  A concrete bunker, a barn, a bubbling brook and forests and pastures?  For poor folks, a shovel and pick.  Dig an underground shelter.  Luckily, here our ground didn’t need shoring up, so the cost was minimal.  Dig a pit, wider than deep just in case of a wall collapse worse case like an earthquake.  Place a structure in the middle.  Roof over the whole thing with two by fours and plywood and insulation, then cover with heavy plastic sheeting and a few inches of dirt.  Not 55 degree years round, but close enough for our budgets.  You didn’t need a generator, as the sun shone here most of the year.  Chinese solar panels were down to $1.75 a watt in 100 watt units ( $3 a watt in smaller panels-still much better than the $7 a watt they used to be at the turn of the century ).  Four hours of sun, even in the winter with reduced potency light, and you could run a computer a few hours, and a small TV, as well as a lot of LED 12v lighting.  Batteries, with such small requirements, didn’t need to be specialized or expensive.  A Wal-Mart Marine/RV battery at $65 worked just fine.   And after a collapse, you wouldn’t be using much except for lights anyway.  Five lights on continuously, four PM to bed, not even a hundred watts a night.  And who needed that many, anyway?  One four watt bulb light a whole room bright enough to read by.  Water?  The river ran through town, plus they sold big water tanks for rain catchment.  That was better thanb twenty grand for a well.  Learning to use less water was easier than earning that kind of money.  They made bike racks or trailers you could use for hauling water.  You didn’t even need a sewer, with composting sawdust toilets.


   I had already learned the hard way about substituting a car with a bicycle, and that was the stumbling block for most people trying to live poor-getting rid of the car.  Hell, I wasn’t that god awful old, and when I was a kid living out of town, bikes and shoe leather was the norm.  Only rich kids had their own car.  Now, everyone thought they were not only mandatory but the lack of one could literally kill you.  Doing without a car in a three mile square town?  Easy as could be.  Commuting out to the boonies, not so much.  But Doug got to talking about the different kinds of bugging out.  Five hundred miles was one thing, five to ten miles an altogether animal.  I could still stay in town, and my “retreat” was only a few miles down the road.  It was a perfect end of the world shelter, plus a perfect unemployment insurance.  That right there got my attention real quick ( there had been rumors of a sell-off for awhile now at work ).
That's it, end of novel.  Half way through and I'm bored with it.  No closure, no wrapping it up.  Fini, yo.

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  1. My own fault.....You warned that it was only part way done and you were throwing in the towel.

    But I couldn't resist and I started reading.

    Very, very good. I would have liked more.

    Why do you get bored writing fiction? Your stuff is better than half the PA novels I read from Amazon.

    Can you at least do one more chapter and get Matt and Mandy to the bug out place?

    Idaho Homesteader

    1. It might not be noticeable ( although I fear it is ) to readers, but I feel I'm just covering the same old rants/subjects again. Even though it is only filler. Perhaps I need to write short stories only?

  2. It reads well Jim. I actually like this more than the two dudes ending-up shooting-it-out with the punks everywhere they end-up going... This one seems more "individualistic" or "independent", if that makes any sense. Easier (for me at least) to relate to. Maybe, sometime later-on, you'll be in the mood to finish it - I'd like to "see" where your imagination might take it... If that time comes, then don't hold back :-)

    1. I felt more comfortable writing from the first person. Perhaps it came across less stilted.

  3. I'm sorry abou that...just when things were getting good (die off)!

    1. I was excited about exploring the die-off more, but then it just kinda "stuck" in place.

  4. I enjoyed reading it as well - thanks for the taking the time to write and post it.