Tuesday, February 20, 2007

just in case: on recreating modernity

last night, b and i realized that we have no idea how anything works. anything. we're smart enough people - he could talk to you about theories of regional development and no child left behind, and i'd be happy to discuss reassigning agency to slave populations or class action lawsuits, but aside from that, we really don't know how to do much.

  • change the oil (take it to the place around the corner, right?)
  • something stuck in the drain (call the management company?)
  • install recessed lighting - or any lighting (call my dad? or just buy a lamp?)

sure, we probably can get by without knowing how to do those things. most of the stuff we need, rk knows anyway. but what if. i mean, what if everyone else is lost in some nuclear holocaust and we're the only two people left on the earth? here's a a list of all the things we don't understand that we might want to work on just in case we end up somehow being the last people on earth and have to recreate modernity.

  • electricity
  • how to make toilet paper
  • harvesting cotton
  • indoor plumbing
  • how to prepare meat after it's been killed. (oh, probably need to learn how to use a gun or something, right?)
  • do nuclear warheads need to be maintained?
  • am i going to have to milk a cow? hm. and does anyone know how to make cheese? (i bet rk does)
  • soap
  • painkillers (because, friends, if i am going to personally birth humankind from my loins, i am going to need some drugs. for real.)
  • oh, god, and alcohol!
  • (computers were on our list, originally. our recreated population really should know about those. and airplanes. but i'm going to have enough trouble milking a cow and hunting for toilet paper while trying to repopulate the earth without trying to figure out how a damn computer works. i barely know how a computer works anyway. ok, not barely. i don't.)
  • printing press. easier than a computer. wait, i guess we'd need to figure out how to make paper.
of course, we can take solace in a few things, should this actually happen:
1. no more going to class
2. no more going to work
3. we'll probably have keith richards and pete dougherty around to entertain us (you know those guys will survive anything)
4. we will be able to live in the white house as squatters (sweet)
5. no more oil dependency
6. hopefully the ice caps will stop melting and drowning cuddly polar bears

will we spend our entire lives roaming from super target to super target, living off the contents therein until we've drained them all? it would be really helpful if we at least had a horse and buggy or something to take the loot from the super target to the white house or whatever other mansion we've decided to squat in.

so i was thinking maybe it'd be a good idea to print off all of wikipedia to use as a guide to modern civilization. i'll make a binder. with a nice pretty cover and some helpful tabs and an index, just in case. oh, and if one of my readers is the last person on earth, i'll leave the binder under my bed. it will look like this:

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