ISSUE 106

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 Now is worse than any other time in the history of Earth ever. This means the end is soon, possibly in a couple minutes or yesterday, and you need to gather supplies, make a plan, and think about the idea of the possibility of maybe exercising. Panda Express will not be open. Nor will Starbucks. 7-Eleven… could be.  
 Join the crazy people who have already begun digging underground bunkers, buying up land mines, and stockpiling clean underwear in their basement. Do you have everything you need? What about a toaster?
 To be sure you’re ready, use this checklist for your most important items.   
 A hefty bludgeoning weapon. Being able to incapacitate people with something dense and bulky will come in handy in any apocalyptic situation. Someone wants the last can of beans? HEFTY BLUDGEONING WEAPON. Someone gets a little handsy? HEFTY BLUDGEONING WEAPON. Someone pulls out a gun? HEFTY… well, maybe try to talk it out.
 A map. Everyone knows the first thing to go is cell phone reception, which means no Facebook, no Twitter, and no funny cat videos. Time to return to paper, a compass, and going the wrong direction for an embarrassingly long time. You too can ignore someone telling you you’re heading straight to the robot zombies—because that’s right, they combined.
 With a map, you gain all sorts of power. Walking down a lonely stretch of highway, you can tell Jennifer, “No, that wasn’t the exit” and “I realize this isn’t where we wanted to be but if you ignore the smell, scenery, and criminals, I’m sure Greeley is a nice place.”    
 An all-terrain vehicle. While people may doubt the use of a tank now, they won’t when you get out of town by driving over the traffic jam. Of course, until the apocalypse, the tank could be a bother. Your neighbors might dispute the legality of owning a giant war machine, the same one that destroyed their mailbox and might be parked on their cat. If this happens, just remind them who has the cannon on their vehicle and who has the solar panels.
 Nail clippers. On day five hundred and sixty, most survivors will have claws, and when they’re not retractable, they aren’t as convenient as one would think. You, however, will have clean, manicured nails and anyone who’s not dead will be jealous.     
 Outdoor clothing. You will wear your end-of-times clothing for the rest of your life. It must be functional and fashionable, so that when someone stumbles across your corpse, they admire both the number of pockets on your pants and how they make your figure slimmer, kind of like an attractive plumber.
 Footwear is crucial. Ditch your tennis shoes and get some boots that could be described as “ass whompers.” The goal is to stride into the unknown with an optimism that belies your complete idiocy.  
 Something shiny. When the value of the US dollar slumps below a handful of rice, you’ll need the bargaining power of something shiny. Your credit cards will be useless, except to be used as Frisbees or very small dinner plates.
 But a bright fork, tinfoil, glitter—these are currency for people who can’t think straight because of severe nutritional deficiencies. It will also distract the fire-breathing werewolf lizards and any children you’re tired of and want to leave in the woods.  
 A motivational poster. When civilization is gone, you might be glum. You’ll need a poster with either Arnold Schwarzenegger, puppies, or Arnold Schwarzenegger with puppies.
 It could be something as simple as “What doesn’t kill you will certainly maim you,” “You get eaten one hundred percent of the time you don’t push down the next guy,” or “RUN FAT ASS, RUN.”
 A companion. If there’s anything to be learned from apocalyptic movies, it’s that you will find the love of your life when the world’s ending. The benefit of finding love during the apocalypse is you’ll probably die before the relationship problems crop up, like, While I wish we had more time together, you were also really starting to piss me off. So, this kind of works out.
   
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