31 January 2013

Doomsday Prepping

Doomsday preppers range from the casual survival enthusiast preparing for a "zombie apocalypse" to the hardcore survival enthusiast preparing for the "impending economic downfall" or "Katrina-style looting following a natural disaster".

Food, water, and protection will be critical in any of these doomsday scenarios.

Many people overlook some other doomsday scenarios that, while slightly more personal in nature, are measures more difficult to prepare for.

Identify prep kits for each scenario.

Groundhog Day

Being caught in a Groundhog Day style "day stuck on repeat" is considered by many leading experts to be inevitable. It's a known fact that 80% of the world's selfish, abrasive TV reporters will be subjected to the trials of a Groundhog Day at least once in their careers. This fact alone makes TV Journalism one of the world's deadliest professions, ahead of Alaskan crab fishing but behind poison-tester.

Those outside of the world of journalism would do well to stay on alert, however.

In a Groundhog Day, having a carefully rehearsed plan with friends and loved ones is more important than ever. You'll need to agree on a phrase or demonstration that will let those close to you know that you are actually on the 10,000th repetition of a particular day and have not, in fact, slipped into a psychotic episode. 

In the past, jazz piano, speaking French and ice sculpture and worked well in this regard. Describing events in detail moments before they happen may work as well. If you are a French psychic who dabbles in ice sculpture and jazz piano, you may need to think of some other ways to let people know that you're stuck. You'll need an ally to take you through your Groudhog Doomsday as it is only through an exhausting voyage of self-discovery and selfless acts that you can break free from the loop.

You may also take comfort in knowing that acts of malice are guaranteed to keep you stuck. That way, you can punch everyone you know in the mouth at least once before you get to the dual task of sorting out their lives and learning how to speak Pashto with a regional accent.

Don't get too punch-happy. If you're hallucinating and not actually stuck in a Groundhog loop, expect to see some jail time.

Freaky Friday

Obviously in a body-switch mishap there will be at least one other person who's aware of your predicament. The two of your are intrinsically linked until, again through self-discovery, you can un-fuck each other's life and switch back. Expect to come out on the other side with a freshly broadened perspective. You must maintain good relations with your swap-mate as it is only with their help that you can fix things.

Avoid any temptation you may have to get into hijinks while you inhabit the other person's body. Remember that they will be at least as out of sorts as you are. If you quit their job, you'll find that they will likely quit your job in an even more embarassing fashion. Prudence here is key.

If you're in a gender-swap body swap your immediate inclination may be to get into some really fucked up shit. Remember that at some point, you will swap back and while your body may be back to normal, your shattered psyche will never recover.

Misc. Enchantments/Curses

This one is trickiest to prepare for as it can manifest itself in many ways. It may be as simple as having the ability to lie removed. Depending on your job and overall nature, this may or may not be problematic. On the far end of the spectrum, you may find that you've been transformed into God for a period of time. The challenge there is to avoid getting drunk on power.

Expect the curse to be slightly ironic. That way, though careful introspection, you can prepare yourself for the future. For example if you generally hate the idea of Santa Claus, prepare yourself to one day become Santa Claus. Maintain good relationships with department stores and malls as they are often looking for Santa Clauses to employ around the holidays. You may want to keep a duffle bag handy with elastic waisted pants and cold weather gear. Drill your family (including any ex-spouses) on what to do when you turn into Santa Claus. The separation anxiety will be tremendous, especially for young children. Securing a magical snow globe that enables instant teleportation ahead of time will be difficult, but helpful.

Home Aloneing

In any case, it's important to determine whether or not you've been "Home Alone'd". In a Home Aloneing situation, no actual enchantment has occurred even if it appears that way. If you wished to be "left alone" in some manner and subsequently wake up to empty streets, it may mean that you are the sole survivor of some kind of neutron bomb or other cataclysm. Don't expect anyone to come back. You may also have just missed some kind of critical announcement and are left at home as a result. If you determine that you have indeed been Home Alone'd, it's important to note that your actions will continue to have consequences. Don't expect for things to reset to their pre-enchantment state once you feel like you've learned a lesson. Know, too, that any burglars you encounter are very real and are willing to take a murder rap if it means getting revenge.

General Tips

If you work, go ahead and call in sick. If you have been transformed into an animal - a frog or a Beast, for example - you may not be able to work a phone and you're going to have to take the unexcused absence while you sort out your shit.

Think back carefully to the events leading to your transformation. Were you issued a warning of some kind, or some sort of dire conditional prediction? In this case, you'll need to spend every waking hour attempting to satisfy the conditions of the curse.

Is your condition manageable? If you're an ad executive and are struck by magical lightning that allows you to read women's thoughts, you might be able to use this to get ahead in your career. If the crushing pressure of the psychic tsunami you're now being subjected to become too great, note the first tip. Call in sick; take some time to get it together.

If you do not remember being cursed or enchanted and are not aware of any conditions on your transformation, you may have been "Kafka'd". In this situation, prepare yourself and your loved ones (if you're capable of communication) for living out your days in your new, metamorphosed state.


While it's true that magical or semi-magical scenarios are not given the same consideration in the doomsday prepping community, they are no less important. The goal seems to be spending all of your free time and energy worrying about (but also kind of fantasizing about) some kind of cataclysm. The studious prepper will be sure to include these so-call "fantastical" scenarios along with the more standard but also still fantastic scenarios. 


Cracked.com's Chris Bucholz has published a guide on switching bodies with your mortal enemy. I consider it to be a helpful addendum to the tips provided here.

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