Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll wants you to prepare for PREPPING AND OTHER POINTLESS ACTIVITIES. She writes:

So some friends of ours ordered a whole bunch of MRE meals in case we experience an EMP attack which knocks out all of our electricity. For at least awhile, I would welcome the absence of television, computers, and cellphones. In other words, in my case, returning to 1958, which was when we got TV. Playing outdoors, reading books by natural light, two-parent families, home-cooked meals – 1958 was a pretty good year.

Sure, I’d miss the stove and refrigerator, the big box of Shabbos candles would only last so long, and it would be tough to have no way to bully people except in person as in the Days of Olde. Bullying in person runs the risk of getting punched back, so it’s much safer to hide behind fake names on the Internet, innit, trolls?

Anyway, my prepping friends’ hope was to stockpile things that do not need to be cooked that could keep us alive until such time as power could be restored: I am envisioning this message delivered by carrier pigeon to our home. (We have a LOT of pigeons.)

“Yeah, Ma’am, this is Chuck from Electrical District #3 and we were wondering if you were going to be home between noon and 5 p.m. — every day until sometime in 2028?”

Anyhow, inspired by that set of friends, the Paranoid Texan ordered a few MRE samples to try first before ordering in bulk. He pointed out the expiration dates, which made me fall on the floor laughing. Don’t worry – he’s used to it. Falling is kind of a hobby of mine in the last few years, so it may as well be from laughing as from tumbling off a two-inch curb.

The expiration date on several of the MREs was March 2058. Yes, you read that right. I think I’m just going to have to trust that that’s accurate. I was born in 1946. The chances of my living to 2058 – even without societal chaos, war, recycled Jew hatred, and mass starvation – are very very very slim. I got a hearty laugh out of the specificity of that expiration date.

“Okay, we’ll guarantee this Lasagna’s freshness and edibility for 34 years and two weeks. We cannot promise that if you open it in April of 2058, that it will be up to snuff.”

When I opened for Jay Leno in St. Paul many years ago, he told a wonderful story about his father who noticed that one of the toilet seats in his home was broken. He FOUND the Warranty, which was good for 25 years and it still had a few months to run. He made Jay come with him to take it back to the Hardware Store to get his money back. Sadly, the guy whose name was on the Warranty had passed away and Boy Howdy, was his SON surprised to see someone returning a 24-year old toilet seat. But he honored the Warranty.

That story came bobbing up to the surface of my unreliable memory at the thought of somebody buying that MRE today and trying to return it in February 2058, saying it had been opened, cooked, and found unsatisfactory.

Let me explain the difference between “prepping” and “hoarding.” Prepping I have always done. It simply means having sufficient of your most necessary supplies on hand to last through a crisis. I suffer from a cranky colon and the thought of running out of toilet paper terrifies me. So I do have a considerable number of rolls on hand – always! Really quite considerable. Hoarding is when the shelves are already bare and a panic ensues and, instead of letting your friends and neighbors have one package each of toilet paper, you grab as many as you can carry to “hoard.” For the COVID lockdown, because of course, we still had the ability to refrigerate and cook, I could have fed us for several months with my two freezers and large pantry. But doing it without heat, light, or refrigeration is a whole different ballgame.

We have a small bin with canned and dried fruits to last us a couple of weeks, and quite a few things that have protein but do not need to be cooked, like nuts, protein bars, beans, and canned tuna, salmon and chicken. But without refrigeration, things like bread, milk, yogurt, eggs, and cheese would have to be gobbled up more or less instantly. You couldn’t get them at stores – even marketing daily — if the electricity were out everywhere. Duh.

Boy, would I be steamed if all my wonderful leftovers and plan-aheads like Brisket, Short Ribs, Chili and Chicken Wings, now inhabiting my freezers all thawed out at the same time and had to be eaten cold. But what a last party! Maybe reheated on the BBQ grill.

But the main problem, in my mind, is that IF some old geezers had food and some young fit non-preppers did NOT, well, how long do you think you could protect your food supply?

History has shown that people who are at risk from unpreparedness do not just say, “Oh, well, I guess I should have thought ahead,” and lie down and die. Sure, we have a couple of weapons and a few rounds of ammo that remarkably survived the tragic boating accident. But how many people would you be willing to shoot to protect your canned kidney beans and Granola Bars? When Civilization blows a gasket, the whole notion of “private property” quickly becomes null and void.

Not only would you have to fear freelance looters, brigands, and thieves, but the Government can loot and steal with the best of ‘em. The Government – whether Fascist or Communist (there’s barely a dime’s worth of difference between them) – could order men with machine guns to enter every home where there is food, seize it and “redistribute” it to those who did not think ahead. It would only be “fair,” doncha know.

Remember when various medical entitles that have been “woke” to the point of not putting a baby’s obvious sex on its birth certificate decided that people of color would take precedence over people of pallor in getting treatment for COVID? Because reasons. That’s not “triage” where the sickest get attention first. That’s just regular old tedious racial discrimination.

If an EMP attack comes from China, and IF we haven’t already been killed en masse by the thousands of young, military-age men from various hostile countries walking undisturbed across our borders, I can only hope that it comes in the winter in Arizona.

We’ve had an unusually long, cold winter here, but as a happy ex-Minnesotan, I know how to survive cold. You put on more clothes and move around a lot. You have quilts and afghans on every chair. (Soon, we may have ACTUAL Afghans on every chair!) We own probably 3,000 hardcover and paperback books. We could burn stuff in a fireplace for a long time before we had to start on the furniture. Also, you can keep warm by vigorous cuddling at night.

But IF all electricity goes out in the summer (late March through mid-November in Arizona), then miscreants beware of the sweaty, irritable old lady with low blood sugar who has lost her mind. Long-time residents of Arizona tell me that people lived here for eons – cowboys, Indians and such – without Air Conditioning, but frankly, I don’t believe it. Next you’ll tell me that people were much tougher then.

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