Georgina Guedes

Ten reasons why I don’t want to survive the apocalypse

2012-12-20 08:14

My whole life, I’ve quite fancied being one of the few survivors of the apocalypse. There would be a whole lot less irritating people, for one (although I would miss all my friends and family) and it would be fun helping myself to whatever I wanted from Diesel.

But in recent years, I’ve started to think that if the world were going to end, I’d like to end right along with it. I’d be sorry to miss handing out all the Christmas presents I’ve bought and wrapped, and I’d have to cancel my “we survived the apocalypse” breakfast on 22 December, but other than that, I think it would be better to check out. Here’s why:

 1.   Medication

The human race has found ways of dealing with a huge number of diseases and disorders that would otherwise kill us off or make our lives jolly uncomfortable. If the apocalypse were to take 90% of the world’s population, I would hope, for our sake, it would leave behind a couple of doctors. But doctors wouldn’t be able to do much for us without a ready supply of drugs. And anaesthetic.

 2.   Contraception

Granted, contraceptives are a subset of the previous point, but whereas other medication gives life, the purpose of contraception is to keep it at bay. I’m sure that in the immediate wake of the apocalypse, I could turn over a few convenience stores for their supply of condoms, but ultimately, these would run out, and I’d be left with a fertile womb and quite a few childbearing years to get through.


My dentist keeps my teeth from rotting out of my head. My husband pays far less attention to his teeth than I do to mine. He has never had a filling. My mouth is full of them. I put it down to genetics. Without my annual visit to this particular specialist, I’d probably have a dark and gappy smile. I wouldn’t be winning any post-Apocalyptic beauty pageants.

4.    Wild dogs

I don’t think it would take very long for hunger to whip the domestic right out of all the apocalypse-surviving pets. Hungry dogs would soon turn to hunting, and in suburban environments, we would be their prime source of meat.

5.    Red meat

Speaking of meat, once I had exhausted the supplies in the freezer at Meat on Grant, I’d find myself hankering after a good steak. The only way to get one of these would be to wring a cow’s neck with my bare hands. Which would leave me with the option of …

 6.   Growing vegetables

I have a black thumb. I can coax the occasional seedling out of a patch of earth, but somewhere between those first tendrils and harvest time, I generally lose interest. My entire life’s worth of gardening has yielded about two decent strawberries – certainly not enough to sustain a person in the absence of meat and …

7.    Bread

Throttling cows and growing vegetables is tricky enough, but baking bread is reliant on so many links in the chain of industry that I’m not convinced it would ever be viable again in the post-Apocalyptic era. Fields of wheat. Harvesting. Pounding the stuff into flour. Where the hell do you get yeast if not at your local Spar?

8.    Global food

Actually, food would be a pretty big part of my problem. Let’s just say I worked out how to survive on strawberries and pigeons, I’d still really miss a Thai curry, an Indian dhal, a bit of sushi, some won-ton soup or butternut ravioli with burnt sage sauce. Food is not just sustenance for me; it’s an art form, a source of joy. I’m not sure life would be worth living without truffle oil.

9.    Social media

I’d miss email, but I’d really miss Twitter. Never mind the fact that the electricity would stop working in fairly short order, and with it the cell phone towers and whatever, the real problem for me would be the thousands of little updates I receive daily from people all around the world, alerting me to issues of international importance, and what everyone had for lunch. It would also be a pity that those people would be dead.

10.  Television

I’d miss the movies, but in recent years, television has come into its own, and I have to say that I’d miss it more. Life would be pretty shoddy if I wasn’t able to look forward to the next season of Downton Abbey or Homeland. And if the Apocalypse really does hit on 21 December, I’ll be pretty bleak that I went through all of that without ever knowing how Breaking Bad winds up.

- Georgina Guedes is a freelance writer, editor and trainer. You can follow @georginaguedes on Twitter.

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