In recent years, the apocalypse has captivated the attention of many a reader, viewer, and Internet surfer. Whether the end of days owes thanks to zombies, a really unhappy deity, nuclear fallout, or “you damn dirty apes” (Charlton Heston, you guys), impending doom is the subject of many awesome and terrible examples of media. Although the quality of the films, TV shows, and some novels in the apocalyptic genre is questionable, one thing is certain, and that is that you can learn a lot from even the silliest rendition of the death of all humans.

What I Know About the Apocalypse

No matter what kind of apocalypse we’re talking about, one overarching lesson rings true, and that is to always be prepared. Even though you probably giggle at the overwhelmingly DIY folks currently planting gardens in coffee cans, they are the most ready for a sudden apocalyptic turn of events. Take a note from their recycled notebooks and learn how to harvest food anywhere and everywhere, and also how to make your own preserves. Pinterest has plenty on canning and preserving. It can’t hurt to know how to make a shelter out of materials found everywhere, as well.

In any apocalypse, it’s necessary to know how to defend oneself. In the event of a zombie apocalypse, raid a sporting goods store and find hilarious objects to use as weapons, like baseball bats, cricket bats, golf clubs, or even a guitar or bass (may have to switch stores). Any other apocalypse, you may have to get really good at end-of-world bartering, like exchanging a can of beans for news of the outside world, or instead some Hollywood-style martial arts so you don’t have to waste your can of beans. I almost want the apocalypse to occur after seeing some of the stuff that’s out there.

What I Know About the Apocalypse

Most prevalent in zombie apocalypses, too, is the ability to run, so before the world ends, take a jog every day to build up that cardio (Jesse Eisenberg taught us well in that one movie). Even if there are no zombies, you never know what kind of cannibalistic tendencies survivors of [insert cause of apocalypse here] have developed, and an apocalyptic event usually just leads to lots of wandering around anyway. For a weird but probably legit workout routine made by what I believe to be experts in their field, try the zombie workout.

Beyond basic and advanced survival techniques (special thanks to the Internet for hours of DIY fun), the apocalyptic survivor, according to what we watch and read, should develop a sense of humor, irony, and understanding of the fact that your closest friends are probably mulch. And get a grip on that ego, because as soon as you fancy yourself king or queen of the survivors, someone’s going to thunderdome you, and will probably win, thanks to the rules of narrative. Not that being friendly will save you in a savage post-apocalyptic wasteland, but at least you won’t die in an arena made of salvaged tires and dumpsters.

What I Know About the Apocalypse

More important than anything, though, is to have some sort of fantastical thing to believe in. After the dust has cleared, any scientific or religious mumbo jumbo scrawled on lab paper or in the last remaining sacred text could make you into some super being among the bewildered citizens of post-civilization. As said before, you shouldn’t let it get to your head (that’s the path to ego and believing stuff that may not be provable once that same thunderdomer comes a-knockin’), so utilize any powerful sounding information to firmly plant yourself on what you call a utopia, but is really a dystopia, and makes every citizen believe that hope lies in your teachings. In the case of the villain, this here is what not to do:

And when all else fails, just find a cozy place at the end of all things to live out your limited days in peace and quiet. Who knows, you may just make it till society builds itself back up into a really scary dystopian nightmare! What fun (or else)!

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