I was chatting – well, whining really – with a coworker about the nightmarish drive in to work that day. Traffic was backed up to a ridiculous degree. Construction is the order of the day around here, but this was crazy. I assumed an accident, but, it turns out, a light at a major intersection was flashing red. By the time I got through nearly an hour of stop-and-go traffic, my clutch foot was numb.
My coworker’s eyes widened. “You drive a stick?” Although that always makes me think I’m being called a witch, I understood and nodded.
“Oh!” she cried, truly excited. “Will you be on my zombie apocalypse team?!”
“Seriously,” she said. “In every horror movie, the only available get-away car is a stick and I’m always worried about that.”
“Well then,” I said in an Oscar-worthy performance of non-giggleage, “count me in.”
“Oh yay!” There was hand clapping.
I nodded solemnly, timing my building eye rolling and laughter so I could make a clean get-away before it started. “Consider me your driver,” I said.
She extolled my value and my virtues and I walked away feeling much more important than I had any right to feel.
So driving a stick-shift, standard, manual, or whatever other name it goes by, is what makes me valuable. It made me wonder. What else do I have to bring to the apparently impending zombie apocalypse?
- I can make a meal out of whatever’s in the pantry.
- I can write stories and poems (ish).
- I’m a good listener.
- I can train dogs to sit up, speak, and shake hands.
On the other hand, I’m lousy at math and logic puzzles, so get-away planning would be lost on me. I’m not a good runner (“good” was an unnecessary word). I don’t recognize wild edible plants, have never shot a gun, and would probably starve if the animal I was to eat for supper was looking at me and still breathing.
In other words, I’m the first one being tossed off the survival raft.
But, by jingo, if you need a driver, I’m your girl.
That conversation did cement my NaNoWriMo plans for this year, believe it or not. I’ve been toying with the idea of a post-apocalyptic story involving a woman about my age. What would someone like me do if suddenly life as we knew it was over? How – or indeed WOULD – I survive? When Google is no longer an option and my “what-to-do-in-an-emergency” books are all on my Kindle, what’s left?
Call me foolish, but I am truly not worried about a zombie apocalypse. However, several people I respect are concerned about a grid collapse which makes me think about it occasionally and wonder what I would do. Here’s where I need to mention one extremely critical thing I left off my can-do list: I can pray. And God listens when I pray. No matter what happens in or to this world, one thing will always be the same: my God is in charge. That may sound simplistic to unbelievers, but to those of us who know Him, nothing could be more comforting.
I’ve been looked at like an idiot for not stockpiling seeds and canned goods and considered a fool for not turning my back yard into a garden. And I’ve wondered if I am indeed living in ignorant bliss. But if I were to plough my backyard under right now, it would be in response to fear. Instead, I place my trust where and with Whom it belongs, and listen. Truly listen. The first time He says, “Get to digging,” I’ll be out there faster than Usain Bolt.
But for now, I’m content to be content. I have had a talk with my family about where everyone would go in a catastrophic emergency, so we don’t cross paths looking for each other. And now I can offer some added security: I’ll be the one driving the zombie apocalypse car.