I know you’re all shocked.
My loyal readership, probably dwindled down to a desperate few, wondering if Farmer Tracy would ever again throw out a morsel.
Actually, at this point, I’m probably writing into the abyss. Tossing my scattered paranoia driven thoughts onto one of a bazillion blogs out there in the fertile field of the internet. Like a tiny seedling in a 10,000 acre cornfield my writings are, only to be savored by a precious few. With butter and salt. Or grilled. Grilled corn is really good, especially marinated in curry sauce. I have a good recipe if anyone wants.
Well, that sentiment may soon be more real than you think, folks. The one about the precious few, I mean, not the corn. See, I knew this farming thing would foment something for me sooner or later, and the skills I learned there that were lingering in isolation, not playing well with my other skills of bullshitting, leaving long messages on people’s answering machines, social lubrication, etc (those skills were kind of being mean to the other skills, and we had to go in and do this conflict resolution thing, and it was sort of an ordeal, but whatever), the farming skills, they would rise to the top sooner or later.
You’ll recall many months ago, before the post about the rats, and the hay, and the wardrobe, a post I wrote about survival skills and drinking one’s own urine and whatnot. To clarify, no drinking of one’s urine was conducted on the farm, nor did I have the opportunity to remove my own appendix with a pocket knife and a bottle of whiskey. But what I did learn, or skimmed the surface of at least, was Self-Sustainability. Now you say it!.....uh, okay, great. Didn’t hear you two in the back there. So, farming, as you all know, does include quite a bit of growing food, mostly in the fruit and vegetable arena. Not surprising to anyone I’m sure. As you dedicated readers know, there were also two beef steer, and 45 broiler chickens (did I mention the chickens?) They also had a grain combine, because at one point grains were grown. The water, though not purified urine as I clarified before, was well water. Can you kinda see what I’m getting at? In addition to all that, there was a food dryer, a dehydrator, a canning size pressure cooker, all manner of canning jars, a home beer brewing operation. They made, and I learned how to make, yogurt, kefir, bread, and preserved and canned a lot of the food they grew in the summer so no or almost no vegetables were purchased in the winter. There were so many meals I ate there where every item of food except maybe the salt and the butter were from the farm. So, there was a whole lot of self sustainability going on. Other farms I visited had dairy animals, hens, grain mills, alpaca and sheep for wool. Even more self sustainability. I was kinda feeling that it was sort of a thing out in Maine. You know, people in Northern California hang out in hot tubs, people in Maine can beets. Regional Cultural Diversity, right here in the USA, people.
And I have to say, the fact that I was learning all of this stuff was not only neat, it felt useful. I really felt like my value in the post-apocalyptic world was skyrocketing, way exceeding that of my male friends, whose ability to drink beer out of boots and write code for software was really going to be of no use for us in the dystopic future I predict, where computer monitors are hollowed out and used as planters and the rusted out empty shells of those things we called cars litter the landscape like so many trees.
So maybe right around now, you’re sitting on the edge of your ergonomically designed chair, carpal-tunnel braced wrist eagerly clutching your mouse as you scroll down the screen and wonder excitedly, How is she going to do it? How is she going to tie in yogurt making, avian flu, the dwindling readership of her blog, and bicyclist ticketing policemen together? How, How HOW! The suspense is killing me, I can hardly take it!
Is it? Hmm, that’s kinda cool, maybe I’ll drag this out…just…a…..little……bit…… longer//////ooops, meant to hit the period key………….there, that’s better.
Avian flu, my lovelies. It may kill us all. Or most of us. Or many of us. Certainly the weak, and we all know a weak person, and maybe we even like him. I mean, after it morphs into a virus transmitted from human to human, which I guess isn’t that likely, but STILL! WE COULD ALL DIE! DID YOU GET THAT? D-E-A-D! If not avian flu, some other kind of flu or airborne virus or something, uh, deadly. (Look, I may not sound like I know what I’m talking about, but read this article if you don’t believe me.)
Yes, so what are you going to do when they announce that avian flu is now transmitted between humans, or when the next flu-like virus becomes a pandemic likely to kill hundreds of millions of people? You panic, eat lots of ice-cream (because fuck it, you’re gonna die anyways), and hope that if you make it out alive, you’ll have lost all the weight you gained from the ice-cream binge because you were deathly ill, or that if you die, the afterlife really IS like being on Three’s Company (with Chrissy and Mr. Ferley, which I am not sure ever happened but this is a fantasy of course) and you’ll spend a blissful eternity jumping to wacky and improbable conclusions about your fellow castmates and drinking Tom Collinses at the Regal Beagle.
Or, maybe I have a proposition that will make you reconsider certain death and oblivion. What if you could escape it all, and create a new life, filled with integrity and honesty, where you had everything you needed and everything you needed was all you really wanted? This would of course mean giving up your TVs, your stereos, your ipods (or Raff-pods) your Hummers (the car, you perverts, and if you do read this AND drive a Hummer, can you please email me offline and let me know, because the irony of that would just tickle me), your leer jets, your Burning Man (well, that won’t exist anymore when everyone’s dead), I mean you get the point here. Or the point about giving up stuff.
Okay, so you’re giving up stuff, lots of integrity and honesty, farming, post-apocalyptic skills, I’ll get to the cops part in a second – so here’s my idea: we need to form a totally self-sustaining (did you notice that word again, students?) community, completely cut off from the outside world. No disease vectors in. So that means, if you’re sick or prone to sniffles and coughs like the delicate flowers you are, you’re gonna need to buck up and get healthy. Or buckle down. Change your diet. Eat a burger. Stop eating so many burgers. Whatever you need to do. We can’t have any weak links here. And we can’t let the diseases in. So that means once we leave (oh, and we’re gonna need a whole bunch of fertile land in a relatively isolated place – can anyone who has any leads on that email me offline as well?) nobody goes in and nobody goes out. And that means, no imported foods, no buying stuff on the internet, and no petroleum usage. Bicycle powered only. Grow and prepare all our own food. Maybe get a few draft animals. (Bonus Question: What’s the difference between a steer, a bull, and an ox, and what purpose does each serve?) We can take stuff from the doomed-to-die world before we leave, but once we’re there that’s it, and we don’t leave until the storm settles. It’s about survival! It’s about freedom! It’s about creating a new and better world! It’s possible! Who’s with me?!?!?!?!
Right, so just shoot me an email or text me and I’ll start a listserv or something.
So, the part about the bicyclist and the cop. That sounds like the start of a joke. A sad, sad joke. But I am realizing now that the connection between that thread and this post is seeming kinda tenuous. But stay tuned for the next saga.
Post Apocalypse Society Engineer
PS. I’m not sure, but I think I made up the word “self sustainability.” Can someone confirm that please?