I like to think I have a pretty good sense of humor most days. Having a sense of humor I feel is necessary to get through life and on some days, your sense of humor could be the only thing saving you from losing it completely. Everyone has different ideas of what is funny but I hope you can agree with me that you must be able to laugh from time to time. Even if the source of that laughter is yourself and/or what you are doing. It was with that frame of mind that I read this article on the Huffington Post from Robbie Pickard.
I have included his entire post in this article because I wanted to comment on it, but felt that to be fair, I should have all of the context of his words together with my observations/comments. Robbie Pickard is a writer and a comedian who along with writing for HuffPo, has a brilliantly funny website called “Open Letters to Strangers” . I recommend checking that out if you aren’t offended easily and it helps to have an offbeat sense of humor. As a comedian, humor is funniest I think when you are skewering people big time and take normal traits or behaviors to the absurd to heighten the effect. The article he wrote is no exception and the subject that Robbie has chosen to set his sights on this time is Doomsday Preppers.
I want to start off by saying that his article didn’t offend me at all and I don’t think it should offend anyone reading it here. In fact it made me laugh (not as much as the Open Letters site, but still). I am not posting this out of anger or outrage or the feeling that prepping is being mocked. I am posting it because it gives me an opportunity to make a few points. The title was what caught my attention and Robbie goes on to point out in a pretty sarcastic fashion how he feels Preppers will lose no matter what happens. He says that all of these so called Preppers are spending our whole life “getting ready for an event that probably won’t happen”.
Naysayers like this are not something new to anyone who has been prepping for a while and I imagine that a lot of you have had to defend these same positions with family and/or loved ones.
Robbie’s article is below.
The 3 Ways Doomsday Preppers Will Die
**DISCLAIMER: I just purchased an earthquake kit on Amazon.com. You can never be too careful, guys.**
Have you thought about what you’d do if a movie like Armageddon or The Day After Tomorrow came to life? Do you have a “bug-out” vehicle? An underground bunker with at least 100 days worth of nonperishable food? C’mon, tell me you’ve at least got a self-sustaining aquaponics system to feed your family!
Whether by the hands of God, nature, or man himself … 22 percent of Americans believe the world will end during their lifetime.
I was just watching a particularly cringe-worthy episode of National Geographic‘s Doomsday Preppers, where some dipstick from Boston informed his new mail-order bride from Columbia that he is a prepper. Her reaction? A very predictable, “¿Qué?”
I’ve never felt worse for someone. She came to America in search of a better life, and within a day of arriving he’s got this poor woman learning to purify water using a plastic bag. Didn’t she just marry this moron to escape that kind of life?
Every prepper I’ve seen on this show seems like they’re not just prepping — they’re hoping.
They hate their lives and fantasize about a world where they could be a hero. Melvin from Accounting can’t wait for catastrophe so he can become Melvin the Survivor! He’s praying for a complete economic collapse so he can look his boss and say, “I made 40k a year, but now I’m the post-apocalyptic king! I have all the SpaghettiO’s and I won’t lower my drawbridge to give you any! Muhaha!”
Spending your whole life getting ready for an event that probably won’t happen doesn’t make a lot of sense, especially when there are only three outcomes for a doomsday prepper:
1. Nothing Happens, You Die
Okay, so you spent your whole life preparing for something that never happened. So what? You have more canned goods than anyone in your zip code! And if something would’ve happened … everyone totally knows you would’ve been the last one standing!
Who cares if you spent your entire life savings on survival supplies instead of taking vacations with your family or sending your kids to college? They got a real education when you took them into the woods every weekend to teach them how to set booby traps for when the zombie neighbors invade! They can pass on that knowledge to their children! See, it wasn’t a waste!
Your kids will still thrive, even in a world that doesn’t fall apart. You’ve taught them fantastic social skills, so long as that social situation takes place in an underground bunker and the topic of conversation is about how honey is the only food that will never spoil. I smell future beekeepers!
2. Something Happens, You Die Anyway
Ugh, what a bummer! Your $250,000 underground compound was ready and rarin’ to go, a nuclear bomb was detonated and caused an EMP just like you said it would, but you didn’t get to say “I told you so,” because you died along with all of the idiotic unprepared. Just bad luck you weren’t near your EMP-safe bunker when this happened. You’re there 22 hours of the day, what are the odds? Hey world, I’d like a mulligan please!
3. Something Happens, You Survive! (Until You Die)
Ding! Ding! Ding! You hit the lotto! Your dream scenario played out, and the world as we know it has been destroyed. That moat around your house is put to good use, as the unprepared pathetically attempt to gain access to your compound. Bodies float in your moat, and you and your family get to laugh (party because it rhymes).
Those who foolishly tried to enjoy their lives before the apocalypse slowly die off, while you and your family feast on the bounty of dehydrated food you put in the cellar years ago.
Slowly, you realize that you now live in a world where the entire population consists of Doomsday Preppers. It’s terrible. You beg for a second apocalypse.
OK, so what did you think? I thought the article had its funny parts as I said and I can laugh at some of the absurdities presented in here. For comedic affect he has taken the extremes and used those as his normal and that is what I wanted to talk about. So with that, here are some comments to his 3 scenarios above.
1. Nothing Happens, You Die – This example makes three assumptions. First, that Preppers want something bad to happen and second that we do not do anything else with our lives but glance furtively out the blinds at our neighbors waiting for some end of the world boogeyman. Lastly it assumes we spend our entire income on prepping.
For me personally this is the outcome I am hoping for – that nothing happens. I want to live to a ripe old age, retire if I can and lead a quiet life surrounded by children and great grandchildren and the rest of my family. Prepping to me isn’t about hoping for the apocalypse day and night. It is about making sensible preparations and trying to get as many people as I can to make some of those same decisions in their lives. Prepping is not something that requires voluminous amounts of time, but when you look at the preparations some people have made I can see how an outsider might think so. Preppers might be less interested in the usual diversions of TV so we use our time in different ways.
To make a correlation with what the author is trying to imply, I will use the car insurance example I have by now beaten to death. Does anyone mock you if you go your entire life and never have an automobile accident? No, but you could logically have and pay for car insurance for 50 or 60 years, right? You and millions of other people pay every month “just in case”. Actually it is the law that you have car insurance in case something happens you will have a means to take care of it. Why is Prepping for a different kind of accident looked at as stupid? I would bet money that I haven’t spent anywhere near the amount on prepping as I have on car insurance and yet my supply of food makes me a money waster?
2. Something Happens, You Die Anyway – This example isn’t realistic because I wouldn’t believe more than 1% of the top 1% of people have bunkers anyway. I know I would love to have one, but they aren’t something I can see ever purchasing. Now, if I win the lottery, look out!
Even with a bunker people die. People die every day and Preppers aren’t saying that they will live forever just because they have food stored up are they? Are you? I don’t look at prepping as some type of magic spell that is going to make flood waters divert around my property, make me bulletproof or protect me from anything bad ever happening. That is simply not logical.
Prepping to me is about just simple steps I can take to make sure I have some means of self reliance. I don’t want to be the person who goes hungry because I didn’t have any food stored and a drought causes crops to fail and food prices to increase. I don’t want to be the person who is at the mercy of the cold if a winter storm snaps the power on my street for two weeks. I could still die, I just don’t want to die for the sake of not being prepared. I guess that too makes me an idiot.
3. Something Happens, You Survive! (Until You Die) – This would be the worst scenario in my opinion because I think the horrors of any type of calamity will be worst for the people who survive. Robbie tries to paint this also as a dream scenario for some Preppers. I will admit that there are some idiots who fantasize about this, but the public at large doesn’t have the same dreams. The Preppers I know and associate with worry about nut jobs who just want to destroy and kill. Part of the reason we prep is to take steps to deal with people like this as best we can.
I do think that if you have taken the time to make simple preparations you could conceivably live through the initial phases of any crisis like this. You may be those people the author describes as wishing for another apocalypse to get rid of the evil that survived along with you. This may be what happens to everyone reading this. All I know is that I have been given a will to survive. I have been given some form of motivation to make sure my family is prepared and we will deal with the hand we are dealt. I have said it before that I don’t want anything bad to happen. I would really love to face the end of my days at some point very far in the future with people telling me that the events I feared never materialized and that I was a sucker. That would make me very happy.
I am betting that I am not wrong though and there is nothing stupid about taking steps to prepare your family. Does that make me the butt of some jokes? Maybe, and I am OK with that. I would rather be on this end taking the jokes and smiling than on the other end if I am right. Your mileage may vary.
by Pat Henry