Friday, August 26, 2011

Roadmap to Winning the Darwin Awards

For any of you who may not know, the Darwin Awards are given to people who manage to kill themselves in the most stupid possible way. It can also be awarded if the idiot in question just manages to remove his or her ability to procreate in a spectacularly stupid fashion.

For a better idea of what is meant, click the link above, and scroll down to the examples section. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so sad.

Once, long ago, I read a book which was based on the idea that someone had the capability to make everyone in an area decide to do the same thing at the same time with disastrous results. in the book, everyone in New York City decided to go to the beach at the same time. Then I lost the book before I could finish reading it, but I never forgot the beginning of  it.

That exact scenario is playing out all along the east coast this weekend. It's an instant replay of one aspect of the earthquake from earlier in the week, where cell and other phone circuits were overloaded because everyone decided to call everyone else at the same time.

Anyway, with hurricane Irene on the way, I woke up today to find a sheet of instructions in my door on how to cope with the impending gale force winds (and rain). And after reading it through, I have come to the the conclusion that following the instructions could get me nominated for a Darwin Award.

I have to admit that some of what I was given was intended for before hurricane season, and as a last-minute instruction is pretty useless (like: Review your insurance policy). And some of it is not helpful because it doesn't apply, such as: decide where to move your boat, and fuel and service family vehicles. They also keep telling me I need a radio (which I can't hear). After a bit of analysis, though, I think what I really need in lieu of a radio is my tablet, which won't do me any good if the local towers are down, but at least I won't need another person to let me know what it says. Along with the radio, they recommend checking your flashlights and having lots of batteries, which is a wonderful idea! I have a lot of batteries and plan to check my flashlights immediately.

But one of the lists I consulted advocated getting lots of canned food. Well, that's something that will only be needed if the electricity goes out, in which case, I will also lose the ability to heat it, and most canned food needs heating. What you really need is food that will keep without refrigeration, and will not need to be heated. Those little pots of applesauce, pudding cups that don't need refrigeration, apples, etc. Canned soups and other foods won't help unless you have a camp stove and a safe place to use it.

The best ideas I've found for preparing are here .

Oh, and if you have to leave (or don't) remember something to knit and some books to read!

If you're on the East Coast, I wish you the safest, most comfortable weekend possible!



No matter where you are, even if you're on the East Coast, bracing for Irene, don't miss the return of the new season of Doctor Who on BBC in America!

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