The Z Word

Over to the right there you will see a recent purchase I made at the grocery store. Six cans of Spam.

No one in the family even eats Spam. But I bought it anyway. Why?

Because of The Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse.Spam

Yes, I say that with a laugh. No one really expects zombies. Not really-really. Although as far as monsters go, they — to a certain limited extent — are a lot more plausible than physics-defying concepts like vampires or werewolves. Zombies don’t have superpowers. They’re just insane cannibalistic humans with no regard for their own safety. The “undead” thing doesn’t even need to enter the equation. Apparently all you need is bath salts.

No, I’m not expecting some sort of zombie plague. But the phrase “Zombie Apocalypse” has become the default code word for anyone who is stocking up on emergency supplies. Spam was on sale, at a pretty good price, so I bought some. It goes on the top shelf of the linen closet with the jars of peanut butter and vitamins and bandages and batteries and Spaghetti-Os. And then we forget about it.

The thing is, shit happens. No matter where you live, you might experience some sort of localized emergency situation that will put you on your own for a while. Floods. Blizzards. Hurricanes. Tornados. And here in California, earthquakes. We were only a few miles from the epicenter of the big Northridge earthquake in 1994, and we were without water, gas, or electricity for ten days. It isn’t like we suffered — our house is basically a plywood box and stayed upright — but a lot of other people were worse off, and it was definitely uncomfortable.

Thankfully, one thing you can say about Southern California is that while it may have earthquakes, wildfires, wind, and mudslides, we’re at least not likely to actually freeze to death. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live somewhere where the weather can actually kill you. You know, like most of the rest of the planet.

So the emergency supplies are not intended for the End Of The World. They’re just to tide us over while whatever shit may hit the fan in our area gets dealt with by the duly constituted authorities. They don’t have to be tasty. We’re not worried about balanced meals. Just calories that can be consumed without any need for cooking, and which will last for years until needed.

The problem is, when you buy stuff like this, people start looking at you like you are one of those nutjobs with a heavily-armed bunker up in the hills.

Thus, the “Zombie Apocalypse” line. Said with a laugh, everyone understands you’re just throwing down some earthquake supplies. And now we have six heavy cans of Spam that no one will eat.

But you never know. And in case there ever is a Zombie Apocalypse, we can always bash their brains in with the corners of the cans.

— Bob out.