Mar 052009
Authors: Alex Stephens

Here it is. I’m about to give you, the precious reader and potential savior of civilization, one of three things. This will either be the best, worst or at least mildly amusing chunk of advice you’ll ever receive. Ready? Go.

It’s really no secret that the economy is spiraling out of control. No one, not even the president and his crack team of economists, seems to know what to do.

George W. Bush tried bailing out some of the key banks back in September, which didn’t work. He tried bailing out the auto industry. That didn’t work either. President Barack Obama is doing the same with the same results.

Europe is in financial ruins. Last I checked, British stock brokers were cannibalizing each other and Iceland has ceased to exist. Times are dreary.

It won’t get any better. With the latest news of financial giant AIG plunging deep into the red (of which it is said will take the rest of the world with it), I think it’s high time we prepare for the worst: a complete collapse of society followed by an indefinite dive into anarchy.

Now’s the best time to get ready, while most of us still have some savings. Go out and use your paper money to trade for objects that have actual value while you still can and take this prioritized shopping list with you.

First and foremost you need guns. Why? Because with weapons you can pillage the other necessities you forgot to buy.

I recommend ammo-free weapons as well, such as machetes and axes — they can double as tools and are also great on zombies.

It’s essential to buy a low caliber rifle in order to hunt small animals for food, like rabbits, foxes and your neighbor’s dogs and cats. Better lower your meal standards, too, if you want to survive. Before you know it you’ll be eye-balling your fat comrade and wondering how many weeks worth of nourishment they could provide.

Next, you’ll need all the non-perishable, storage-efficient food possible. High calorie stuff is the best, like dog chow. If you’re feeling fancy, buy all your favorite foods now, grind them together and can it yourself. Ta da, pizza-burrito-banana surprise — everything your body needs.

I highly recommend you stock up on booze. Lots of it. Jack Daniels is the preferred drink among eight of 10 post-apocalypse survivors. Consider growing your own marijuana too. But if you decide to toke up, be sure to have a sober guard in case of an ambush. Nothing is easier than ransacking some delirious hippie.

Now gather up your friends whom you can really trust; even one bad choice could be fatal. You’ll need to form a tight bond of brotherhood to weather this storm of inevitable calamity.

Don’t be afraid to form co-ed tribes. You know why. Which reminds me, contraceptives. Aside from shooting squirrels in the hills and getting loaded on Jack, sex will be a great way to pass the time. You definitely don’t want children though.

Recruit a few muscle men to handle the grunt work of constructing your fortress or bunker. You’ll want to relocate to the mountains; cities will be a death trap.

Brush up on your farming and shooting skills. Diplomacy wouldn’t be bad either, or husbandry. Horses are essential. Being dependent on gasoline isn’t good (see “Mad Max”).

Last, be wary of marauding bandits led by former fax machine salesmen (see “The Postman”), and never underestimate how frequently dragon attacks can occur (see “Reign of Fire”). Having a Matthew McConaughey look-alike around might just save your life.

So there you have it. While the rest of your friends might waste their time pursuing useless degrees in computer, exercise or political science, you’re now the one who’s equipped to handle the end of the world. I bet you’re feeling very reassured.

Alex Stephens is a senior political science major. His column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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