By Chris 'Lanky' Thomas
I know for many that the prospect of the end of the world might seem like a pretty depressing thought. What I find even more depressing is that I may not be alive to experience, nay, participate in it. It’s something I would hate to miss out on because to me it feels like the only realistic next big thing to happen to this planet, at least in my life time. Inter-galactic travel is centuries away, nobody has the balls to push the button for World War 3, and another good Terminator movie is simply out of the question. So the end of the world would be an exciting new challenge that I would warmly embrace.
Pictured: A future better than one in which Terminator 5 exists.
For a few years now I’ve known that that this world and my life weren’t really going anywhere, and that a nice little apocalypse would be just what the doctor ordered to spice things up a little. It all started when one day when I was exploring an emporium of miscellanea in the city. A tome on the shelf beckoned. I felt compelled to buy it and study the wisdom held within its pages. That book was the Zombie Survival Guide. This was the moment that changed my life and transformed me into the pessimistic person I am today who always hopes for the worst because it would make things a lot more interesting.
There are hundreds of forms the apocalypse could bless us with and I’d like to go over a few of my top choices (if I were given the option to choose).
Zombie apocalypse is easily and by far my number one choice, and of all of all the ways the world could end, this is the one I'm most prepared for. What easier way to live out some of our favourite gaming fantasies than during the lawless and unpredictable madness of a class 4 zombie outbreak (i.e. the worst kind). Melee weapons are plentiful but guns are hard to come by and ammo is even rarer. Neighbourhoods and cities are ripe for scavenging and there are literally hordes of skulls to cave in, unleashing your formally impotent rage. We can finally cast off the shackles of society and live the way I want to live, whether it’s taking the fight to the zombies or living a quiet life away from it all, without the burdens of modern everyday life.
My biggest dream for this scenario is that I can put together a badarse end of the world costume, consisting of crudely assembled chain-mail armour, chain-mail underwear and a chain-mail cape. I can design a trademark weapon (like a wolverine tied to a stick), get an awesome nickname and adopt some sort of legendary persona through incredible feats or simple rumour spreading. They would call me the “Chain-Mail Man” and I would be infamous for delivering the pain. Although, as the Zombie Survival Guide strongly recommends it, I haven’t got a plan should the dead rise, but I feel I would be ready should it suddenly occur as I often find myself in places wondering what is the most effective weapon at hand.
Everything is a deadly weapon in the right hands.
Further down the scale would be an alien invasion. Providing you manage to survive the initial attack, an alien invasion may play out similarly to the zombie apocalypse: humans banding together to fight a common enemy and plenty of bad things to be destroyed. But the prospect of having to do battle with an enemy of distinctly higher intelligence than the common zombie would be a more stressful situation. This would lead to higher chances of people simply going insane after having worked so hard to survive the end of the world, only to have it completely ruined.
At the bottom of the scale, would be nuclear war/any kind of natural disaster that leaves the earth horribly scarred and low in population. Nature in all its disastrous glory is the hardest enemy to fight. Sure, scientists can happily predict disasters of whatever and whenever the fuck they want but when planetary devastation does occur, where do we run and hide? And how do we fight back? There is no plan when it comes to battling nature. Nature always wins and no matter how much we try to get one-up on it, the battle is already lost. Nuclear war is a very similar kettle of fish. Just replace ‘nature’ in the previous paragraph with ‘nuclear fallout’. Though both could conceivably be survivable, nuclear war would be the worst because it would be years and years before we could sample in the spoils of the nuclear wasteland, making nuclear war not even worth surviving.
I know I have a warped view of a perfect future but it never hurts think about what we, as humans, might be in for one day, and if my time in the Scouts taught me anything it was to “be prepared”.