Prepare for disaster! Millions will shop!

Its Disaster Preparedness Month in California. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the cyborg governor of So-Cal, announced (This is news, here).

Santa Barbara is ready! This sign, set up on the University of Santa Barbara campus, which is literally ON the beach (and not surprisingly, attracts particularly hot students) gives advice about how to escape tsunami waves that is about as useful as the "Duck and Cover" techniques for avoiding nuclear bombs.

At the risk of sounding ecommunist on the verge of the USA’s de-natured, corn-syrup-sweetened version of Mayday, Labour Day, rich people love preparing for disasters. You get to shop, and you get to feel that you too might suffer someday. Having never suffered, it’s more like preparing for a camping trip than preparing to begin working for less than the clothes on your back and watching your kids dying of water-bourne disease and starvation, like real poor people do in real disasters, and in many cases in day to day life, which is a much worse kind of disaster that’s really of no interest to politicians, given that it lacks any real dramatic quality or interesting character arc. To the people who’re truly vulnerable in a disaster situation, ever day’s meal is a fucking emergency supply, stupid.

In case you’re rich and bored, and want to go shopping: This is what the Red Cross thinks you should keep handy. I think you can find most of it at your local pharmacy – and you can pick up a bottle of decent chardonnay while you’re there, if you don’t mind, dear?

"Don't be a Panoche" - Panoche is a place in California, a highway exit, and also, according to Urban Dictionary "another word for vagina or chick".

I don’t know… I do not have a good history of disaster preparedness. Usually I don’t know they’re happening, or I know they are, but they’re not keen to come through. Back in 1999, when I was watching way too much Millenium and X-Files, I was seriously concerned about Y2K. Actually, my life was going so badly that I almost hoped it would happen. But to avoid being caught in the inevitable riots and looting my then boyfriend and I filled the bath with water (in case we returned for a drink or two) and went to a small town three hours from Cape Town with four of our heaviest drinking friends, where we drew all our money out of the bank, locked the dogs out, and sat to watch the world end on TV, while having a delicious braai. At least one of the people who was there that day is dead now, and another I ran into at a music festival last year. She appeared to be high on something very nice, and was drinking a beer… and heavily pregnant.

Anyhow, the world didn’t end, and when we got home three days later, completely broke, the bath water had all seeped away and cockroaches had taken over the apartment – we didn’t bother to wash up. I mean… why???

So to be more realistic, I made my own list, which I’m hoping you’ll find useful. It’s nice and short, at least. The Red Cross one is so long that I didn’t finish reading it. To anyone crazy enough to action all 300 items on theirs: I strongly recommend you divide the sections up among your neighbours to avoid planning-induced psychosis.


# garbage compactor
For building houses out of all the tuna cans and other emergency canned food supplies you emptied when you came home late and drunk and needed to graze. Also, we all know the first thing to go in case of calamity will be early morning municipal gardening services, and then next will be garbage collection. Hey at least you’ll be able to sleep late!

# Wine or Vodka
The Red Cross actually suggests water. Now water is important, but you’ll be able to get plenty of that by trading your wine and vodka supplied. When stressed, people like to drink. Plus, how are you supposed to throw a decent canned-tuna dinner party without a case of fine sauvignon blanc to wash it down?

# Bicycle
After the gardening and garbage delivery stops, the next thing to close is always the gyms. So you’ll need to maintain your figure. Bicycles are also useful as transport in emergencies, and when peddled by a damp passenger can provide free air conditioning.

# Arnie’s phone number
But only if you work for the Fox Network.

Ok, I’m bored now. Make your own stupid list.

One Response to “Prepare for disaster! Millions will shop!”

  1. Tweets that mention Prepare for disaster! Millions will shop! « Jean Barker's Sign Language -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jean Barker, Jean Barker. Jean Barker said: It's Disaster Prep Month in California, says Arnie. Rich people LOVE this stuff. Blogpost with TMI &pics […]

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