Tag Archives: canned goods

That’s enough. I’m done.

That’s it, no more, I’m not going to work today. I’m going to wake up nice and early, take a shower, go downstairs, I’ll make my coffee like I always do, and while the coffee is brewing I’m going to take my dog Steve for a little walk, and then I’ll come back, drink my coffee, I’ll eat my breakfast, and then I’ll just sit there and wait.

And finally my phone’s going to ring, I’ll pick it up, “Hello?” “Rob, it’s your boss. Where are you? It’s eleven thirty. You’re fifteen minutes late. Lunch service is going to start soon. I want you in here now.” And I’m just going to say, “Sorry boss, but the answer is no.” Click.

And maybe he’ll try calling me back, I don’t know, maybe he won’t. I’ll still answer it. I’m not rude like that. Everybody’s always texting anyway, and so I’m always interested in hearing another person’s voice, even if it’s only my boss, calling just to make sure that he heard me correctly the first time. “That’s right boss,” I’ll confirm that he did hear me correctly, “I’m done.”

My wife’s going to get so pissed. “You just quit your job? What’s wrong with you? How are we going to pay any of the bills?” and I’ll just take it all in stride, enjoying my coffee, thinking about all of the free time I’m about to have, to really just sit back and enjoy, and I’ll tell this to my wife, I’ll say, “Honey, think about all of the time we’ll have now to spend with each other, you should do it too, just stop showing up for work and do the same thing.”

So she’ll calm down eventually and when she does, she’s going to definitely see it my way. Maybe her job won’t call her up for a few days. Maybe they’ll just say to themselves, “Huh, this isn’t like her at all. I’m sure she has a perfectly good explanation as to why she hasn’t shown up for work all week.” And she will. The explanation being, “My husband and I aren’t playing this game anymore. Done. Done-zo. No more work. Find somebody else to transfer line two to accounts payable. We’re done.”

And the bills might pile up, sure, and eventually the cell phone service is going to get cut off, and, yeah, it’ll take a while, but the city will eventually file all of that paperwork and that judge will order the marshals to forcibly evict us from our home and, whatever, that’ll take some time. Maybe something lucky will happen before we get the boot. Maybe we’ll open our arms to the universe and the universe will open its arms right back, that warm universal embrace you always see people posting about on Facebook.

Sure, we’d run out of food, eventually, but again, that wouldn’t be for a long while, because we have so many cans of tuna, so many packets of dried pasta and beans. One time I read about this lady who survived a whole winter trapped in some house only eating an apple a day. She went crazy and didn’t make it out alive, but I don’t think it was the hunger that did her in, that’s the point I was trying to make.

Actually, that’s a little morbid, maybe, we’ll run away before they kick us out, before the credit cards get cut off, we’ll find some commune somewhere, something a little culty but just slightly, nothing dangerous, none of that weird group ritual stuff like you see on TV, just something in the middle of nowhere where everybody farms and maybe gets together at night around a big communal campfire and they sing songs and pass around some old guitar that one of the older members brought from when he left his life back behind, and maybe there won’t be a B string, but we’ll make due, humming and singing along to stripped down bare-bones versions of all of our favorite nineties alt-rock hits.

And whoever winds up moving into our abandoned home, back here, back in our future-old life, or our current life, they’ll still get notices from all of the credit card companies and cell phone providers and cable companies all with variations of the same message, “Pay up.” And you know how bill collectors are. They try to collect a bill. They can or they can’t. If they can’t, they sell it to somebody else for a little less, somebody who might be a little better at collecting. The more times it gets sold, the better the collector, but also the more dangerous, the crazier, the ones really willing to take those extra risks to collect. And so these new tenants will get all sorts of threatening letters, knocks on the door in the middle of the night, “Pay up you deadbeats!” written on a note wrapped around a brick and left outside the front door, the message here being, next time maybe we’ll throw this through the window. Or maybe we won’t, but the next level of debt collectors that we’ll be forced to sell your debt to, they’re definitely going to throw it through your window, and maybe it’ll be on fire.

Enough of that harassment, enough bills, enough of this modern world, it’s all enough to make anybody want to skip town for a while, to get away, to go live on some commune somewhere, whatever, I’ll even take a crazy cult commune, even though I said I’d prefer something a little on the normal side, it’s not like these communes advertise on the Internet, and so if you’re looking for one, you just take it, because what are your chances that you’ll find another one any time soon, before your supply of tuna runs out, and those dried beans, you didn’t really think about eating them on the road, how hard it would be to find a stove, somewhere to boil them for a long enough time to where they’re tender, palatable, and so, yeah, you probably should have bought canned beans. But canned tuna, canned beans, do you know how demoralizing that can be, eating everything out of a can, every day, meal after meal, regardless of what’s inside, it always has a touch of that can taste, like something metal, like something that’s been in there for a long time.

Call me Mr. Emergency. Seriously, call me that. Like the next time you see me.

I’m the guy you want to be with during an emergency. I’m ready for anything. I’ve got escape routes tattooed on my body. I’ve sewn spare batteries into every pair of socks that I own. I know, that sounds a little much, but I’ve got a system. In my thick, wool winter socks, I sew in one size D battery. And then for every other pair of socks that I own, I go down in battery size with relation to how much thinner the socks get. Like regular socks might have double-As, really thin running socks triple-As, and then for my wife’s ultra thin pantyhose and leggings, I’ve hidden away little watch batteries of various sizes.

You know how some people fill up the bathtub whenever a big storm rolls into town? I keep my bathtub filled all the time. You might think it gets in the way of taking a shower and staying clean, but it doesn’t. I submerged my whole body in the tub when we moved in and I filled the whole thing up to the brim. I used a straw so I could breath. After it was filled I got out and measured how much water was left in the tub, and I labeled it with a line around the perimeter. So I just always keep it to that level, this way while I’m waiting out any potential disasters, I can still take a bath without wasting any water. I mean, yeah I’m spending a ton of money on constantly keeping the water level up that high, but whatever, it’s totally worth it.

I just bought twenty-five packs of candles. I hollowed out the bottom of each candle and snuck inside little birthday candles. If I ever need an emergency birthday party, I’m set. If not, then I assume that once the big candles gets down to the little candles, they’ll just continue to burn like a regular candle. But another trick: I didn’t use regular birthday candles, I used those prank candles, the ones that relight after you’ve blown them out. That way if it’s really windy, I’ll be the only guy on the block with a functioning celebration. Also, I figure they might come in handy in case anybody needs an emergency joke.

I’ve got a backup generator for my backup generator. I even bought a separate computer and loaded a bunch of web sites and photos and videos on it. So when the power goes out for good, I can just crank up the generator, use my regular computer to wirelessly link up to the emergency computer, and there it is, emergency Internet. Yeah, it might not be as comprehensive or up to date as the regular Internet, but it beats playing chess or reading a book or having a conversation.

I’ve got it all. Emergency power, emergency entertainment, even emergency money. If the dollar ever collapses, I’ve printed up enough personalized currency to keep me in the black for at least a decade. Nobody else is going to have any. You know why? I bought an emergency money press, and so if people get wise to my idea and try to make their own money, they’re going to look up “money presses” on the Internet, and Google will tell them, “Calculating route to nearest money press,” and they’ll take out their phones and load up the directions and it’ll lead them right to my front door. And they’ll have to go through me. And sure, I’ll do business with you. But I only accept my personalized emergency money as payment. Sorry.

Flashlights? Please. I’ve designed our guest room’s furniture entirely out of flashlights. Canned food? Come on. I filled the basement entirely with cans, floor to ceiling. You’d literally have to eat your way out, which, in the event of an emergency, that’s exactly what I’d want to do. The only thing I think I’ve forgotten is emergency clothing.

Actually, the only thing I forgot is that I actually didn’t forget about the emergency clothing. I already took care of it. I got out the sewing kit and laid out all of my clothes inside out. Then I sewed another shirt or pants on the inside of every inside out pair. One, this saves so much space, because it looks like it’s only one shirt or one pair of pants. Two, once civilization has collapsed, after a year or two, everybody will look really haggard, all post-apocalyptic torn slacks and ripped blouses. And all I’ll have to do is flip my clothes inside out again to reveal a brand new unworn garment. People will be like, “Rob, how do manage to look so good throughout all of this societal unrest?” And I won’t tell anybody, because once they figure out how prepared I am for even the smallest of details, word will spread that I’m the emergency king, and people will think, what else has he thought of? Guest rooms filled with flashlights? Basements stocked with canned goods? Emergency Internet?”

And all of the personalized currency in the world can’t buy your way out of a mob of desperate people, all driven to storm your house and take whatever they can grab. Which is why I have an emergency self-destruct button. “It’s a fake!” some people will scream, to which I’ll reply, “Go ahead! Try me!” and even though most people will see it as the fake button it really is, there will always be that doubt in the back of everyone’s mind, telling them, well, he’s been this prepared for everything else. Maybe that button really does work.

And eventually they’ll all leave. And I’ll be put in charge of rebuilding, because I’d have shown tremendous wisdom in getting through emergencies and crises. And that old saying will be replaced by a new saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going, to line up in front of Rob’s house, to pledge allegiance, to beg for supplies, and see if there isn’t anything he might not need in return.” Yeah it’s a little long, but it’s practical, and as far as sayings go, in an emergency anyway, practicality always trumps catchiness.