skills for the new stone age

Last year we were supposed to have a Rapture, and then when it didn’t happen the way it was predicted, we were told it’d been postponed. Later in the year, we were supposed to finally get our Rapture. But no such luck.

And this year? They’re predicting some big things in disaster this year. What with the solar flares and the polar shift…all the survivalists who’ve knowingly smirked at our unpreparedness can finally gloat about the skills they’ve honed.

So I’ve been pondering what my skills are. What useful things can I do in the event of a natural disaster? Everything on the internet will be saved though, right? I want there to be a record of what I have to offer in case we’re returned to the Stone Age. You never know, eh?

Let’s see…

  • recite the first 20 or 30 lines of the Canterbury Tales in Late Middle English (my specialty is to do it in a Ross Perot voice)
  • pour a beer with very little (if any) foam; can also froth milk quite well
  • speak a smattering of Japanese (I know the basic travel phrases and a few adages that almost always make Japanese people laugh when I say them)
  • change a tyre in the dark (think I’m better at it in the dark than in the daylight)
  • play major and minor scales (both harmonic and melodic) on a wide variety of musical instruments
  • manoeuvre my way through almost any public transport system, whether I know the language or not
  • make a decent omelette
  • train a dog (but only for gentle companionship)
  • proofread a text (with varying results)
  • brew a proper pot of tea
  • scream at the Italians playing football (diving as if fouled when there’s no opposing player within a few metres)
  • ask unrelated (and potentially annoying) questions
  • walk long distances often without any discernible goal

That’s not much, is it? I really need to work on my survival skills. This is a bit worrying.

Categorized as thunking


      1. I’ve often thought that as much as I enjoy tea, I should at least be able to care for a tea plant. Cultivation of tea leaves might be a bit more complicated, but for the sake of my survivalist team, I’d give it my all.

  1. I think, as long as we have a cultured rapture, you’ll do quite well. I’ll take you on my rapture team. It’s a good team, because I’ll do all the stuff like looting and shooting and starting fires. You can do all the classy stuff. This will work out BEAUTIFULLY.

    1. I really enjoy how you immediately took to this hypothetical and have already figured out the things you’d be most excellent at. The looting? Really? Can you loot Amy?

      When I read ‘shooting’, I misread it and thought you’d written ‘shouting’. I know you’re good at shouting with your CAPS LOCK. Can you do survivalist shouting and yelling?

      Why am I grilling you on any of this? Anyone who can start fires is going to be very useful in this dystopian world. Glad to have you aboard.

      1. I think I would be a very good looter. Because most people would be taking stupid things, like jewelry and televisions, even though they would not come in handy since there’s nowhere left to pawn them and no electricity. I would not be swayed by the shiny. I would get important things, like axes and shotguns and sleeping bags.

        I can shout AND shoot. I’m truly a Renaissance woman.

        Yes. We are going to be a force to be reckoned with. People are going to want to join in our survivalist gang. I might let them. It depends on what skills they bring to the table. And if they annoy me.

  2. You will be our guide and leader. You can direct us and keep up our morale on long walks, while reciting Chaucer and playing scales on various instruments! And you could make us breakfast, AND channel that screaming into keeping away predators and enemies (pretend they are all Italian, you’ll be golden). I think you would be an invaluable team member, sir. Invaluable.

    1. Oh, I don’t like the sound of ‘leader’. Leaders are always being usurped and overthrown. That sounds like a lot of inherent hassle.

      But I do enjoy the thought of being the guide. And like I’ve said above, I’m glad you’ve all agreed so eagerly to take me on with you.

      Invaluable, no less? When I was coming up with this list, the last thing that came to mind was ‘invaluable’.

  3. Diving Italians? I didn’t know it was limited to one group.
    The musical part is most impressive.
    The ability to properly pour beer is extremely valuable. And rare.

    1. See John, I think the musical part is impressive except under the circumstances. If we’re all scavenging for food and worried about predators, my musical doodling suddenly becomes less advantageous.

  4. Oh, god: I’m expendable. The only additional skills I could bring to the party would be the recitation of the first 20 or so lines of Beowulf (albeit in late West Saxon) and large chunks of The Princess Bride (stunt doubles may be required; do not try this at home). I’m doomed…

    1. You’re anything but expendable Debbie.

      West Saxon? That must come in handy sometimes. Right?

      There’s a line in Beowulf that I don’t think I’ll never forget. The way I remember it was that the narrator was listing all the ways in which Beowulf was an exemplary individual. He was fierce in battle and shared his loot and did many other honourable things, but then it stated clearly, ‘…and drunk, he slew no hearth companion.’

      Isn’t that a curious line? It tells me that others would get angry after having a few gourds of mead, and then would let their anger get the better of them and kill one of their compadres. As one will do. Not our Beowulf, though. He was another sort of character.

  5. i already shop like a mormon, so have stockpiled all the soya milk and dog food, at any rate, and would probably be good for that sort of thing.

    also, when everyone was talking about the rapture it became clear to me that IF one was whipped up to ‘heaven’ in the body one is in now, it would be horribly annoying to be wearing anything in the least bit uncomfortable. some people floated the idea of wearing pjs and i am with that in principle, but in practice my experience of actual comfort is more yoga pant based. so i have stocked up on them.

    also, should it come to it, i think my staffie would make good eating. she has a lot of meat on her bones. not to be disloyal, but just saying.

    1. Uh Elaine,

      Are you talking about eating your dog? Really?

      I know this is theoretical, and we’re talking about raptures and armageddon, but I don’t want to even think about eating your dog. And my dogs aren’t going to be eaten. Might sound naive on my part, but I’m simply not willing to go there.

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