Skip on over to Women and Words if you haven’t already to catch my interview with horror/surreal writer Gina Ranalli. I call her a surrealist, too, because she seamlessly blends the macabre with comedy in a lot of her work, and the effect is a really cool juxtaposition of contrasting moods and emotions. Definitely give her a looksee. Here’s the link to that interview.
I had a dream last night that the world as we know it is going to end in September, 2015. WTF? I’m supposed to go to Milwaukee, according to my dream, because this is where I’ll be reasonably safe. I’m not sure what sort of apocalypse this entails, but there it is. Oh, and I’m supposed to introduce myself to the chief of police in Milwaukee so the force knows I’ll be coming.
Um…yeah. Milwaukee’s a great place, don’t get me wrong. Been there, too. Nice city. But as I’ve told people many times, in any kind of scary sort of apocalypse, it’s probably not a good idea to be near heavily populated areas, especially if it’s a zombie sort of meltdown because, as we all know by now, the more people, the more zombies. In other sorts of meltdowns, heavily populated areas will most likely become heavily lawless areas. I mean, think about it. People are going to be freaking out and trying to survive as best they can. And when that happens, in 2-3 days, all bets are off. So stay away from those urban areas. Even nice ones like Milwaukee.
In smaller communities (say, small towns) where most people know each other and it’s not a zombie kind of meltdown, you’ll probably have a better shot at staying put. Especially if you’re known in the community. That’s not always a guarantee — survival makes people go nutso — but you’ll probably have a better shot at weathering more storms in a smaller community like that than a larger. However, what people in smaller communities need to worry about is the so-called “outsiders” showing up. That is, people escaping larger cities and wandering around and ending up in smaller communities. Not all of them have bad intentions. But desperation makes for bad situations. This is pretty basic human behavior, kids. You cannot count on anything except yourself, pretty much, in a meltdown, and sadly, you cannot just trust that others aren’t going to do some crazy stuff in the midst of scary times. Bummer, I know.
Now, depending on how long the meltdown goes on, survivors will probably eventually empty the cities (leaving a few behind). At that juncture, you might be able to go into what once were heavily populated areas (if it’s not a zombie apocalypse) and scrounge for supplies or even set up housing for a while. But be aware that people, like animals, get a little territorial and that could prove a problem for you, the “outsider.” So always, always be cautious in your travels during a meltdown.
Something else to think about in a meltdown is that a situation like that invariably exacerbates existing ideological mindsets, layering them over levels of desperation and freak-out. So that guy who lives in the hills in his bunker railing about the government coming to get him? That’s only going to get worse in a meltdown, no matter what causes the meltdown. And, depending on the type of apocalypse (excluding zombie), you might see small groups of survivors forming new sorts of hierarchies in order to develop some semblance of control and order in a really out-of-control situation. I do not recommend dealing with groups like that. Remember, all rules are gone and all bets are off and groups like that will be making their own rules, regardless of how ethical they are. Think Lord of the Flies. But if that’s your thing — if you’re willing to do that for a sense of safety in numbers — good luck.
I’ll talk later about things you can learn now that’ll help you in a situation that — yikes — might be a major meltdown.