Calamities, I knew even then, are rare, but it’s a wise man who recognizes that they can occur and who makes timely provision for his family to flee for their lives. I’m thinking of things like our resident volcano erupting, or the biker gangs going to war with each other in our town, or Sarah Palin being elected president.
My way of escaping is, of course, by sea, and to this end I have always turned my impure thoughts into deeds by choosing a suitable boat berthed in my nearest marina or mooring field. I recommend that each of you who lacks a boat suitable for crossing an ocean should follow suit and generate some impure thoughts of your own.
Let’s get one thing straight immediately. You’re not going to steal this boat when panic sets in. You’re merely going to borrow it to sail to New Zealand, or Tahiti, or wherever it’s nice and safe and peaceful. And when things have settled down, you’ll see that it gets returned to its owner. Honest.
Meanwhile, as you stroll the marina docks, pick out your boat and find out surreptitiously as much as you can about it. What kind of boat is it? Do some research on the internet. How many berths? Does she have a good sail wardrobe? Does the owner keep food and water on board? Does he lock the boat, and if so, what size bolt cutters do you need to buy?
Find out how to start the engine and how to raise the sails. You can do a lot of this by lurking at a distance and making notes but if you can bring yourself to be really impure, you could make friends with the owner and get invited on board. It would mean betraying a friendship when the time comes to borrow the boat, and ordinarily I would never encourage such a thing, but when it comes to survival — and survival is what we’re talking about here — then it’s every man for himself, as Nature intended.
From time to time, you might want to change your planned escape vehicle. Better boats come along now and then, or easier boats to spy on. I am tempted to tell you which boat I have my eye on presently, but it wouldn’t be wise. All I can say is that it’s always known in the family as Plan B. It’s not clever to tell anyone else about it, lest they should take advantage of you and beat you to it when the time comes. Let them do their own homework, I say. Let them have their own impure thoughts, and learn to live with them, as I have to.
“The unfit die—the fit both live and thrive.”
Alas, who say so? They who do survive.
— Sarah N. Cleghorn, The Survival of the Fittest
“Are you Russian?”
“Do you always drink your vodka neat?”
“No, sometimes my shirt tail hangs out.”
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