Editor's Note: This piece is meant to be satire and fictional, not for news purposes.

Carts

Columnist Parth Shiralkar writes about doomsday preppers and how people are loading up on unnecessary items. 

Hello, it’s mug night soon and the apocalypse is barely a block away. In keeping up with tradition and at least a dozen very well-written postapocalyptic stories (fiction), allow me to gently walk you through a potential meal prep shopping plan for the end of the world.

Although it may appear, at first glance, that meal prep has been in vogue only lately – ever since working long hours became fashionable – the earliest entry I could find was on the interwebs from around 1939. I imagine it was rather convenient to cook food beforehand and make a most arduous trek to and from school every day, crossing several valleys and an enchanted mountain, just like everyone’s grandparents.

But meal prepping is an example of extremely nuanced foresight. To calculate your own calorie intake – a Herculean task, no less – takes far more than just a simple online tool. No, it is a true test of your patience. It does pay off well in the end though. Optimizing your prep time and consuming only a fixed amount of food for three days a week twice a week sounds like a dream.

My point is, meal prepping is pretty much the same thing as doomsday prepping, except you don’t have to worry about trivial stuff like spontaneous death-by-apocalypse. And thus, we require a last minute shopping spree, moments before it all goes down.

Anyway, the country is in lockdown and you and the squad have enough resources to make only a single trip to the local existentialist grocery store. But first, Walmart. You grab all the essentials: two bars of soap, 17 six-packs of the cheapest beer on the shelves, one toothbrush, half a ton of toilet paper, eight gallons of hand sanitizer, a set of three emergency kits, 21 meal prep containers, so on. The essentials are done.

Ah, but what’s this? Paranoia on clearance? That's a steal! So you buy the whole crate. Nothing is quite as revitalizing as a healthy tablespoon of paranoia in the daytime. A quintessential tool for survival in the final hours. More shelves up ahead show clearance and rollout tags. Desperation, 80 percent off. Delusion, 65 cents a pound. You pause. Only a few months ago, there was the very lively scandal regarding meme wars on campus. Things seemed fine. When did it all change? Why was it so fast?

As you push your cart to the perishables section, you look back upon the escalation of events in the recent weeks. You wish you had your laptop with you, if only for one last try at logging into Canvas. Maybe then things would make sense. The comic book movies got that one thing right – the magnitude of mayhem and confusion that follows world-altering events.

The perishables section is wild, crawling with freshly-minted doomsday preppers. There is, curiously, only one item on the shelves. The most perishable essential in the world: hope. It’s already disappearing fast off the shelves as hordes of scared people scramble to hold on to what little hope they could latch on to. And so it begins.

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(1) comment

Steve Gregg

The foundation of any prep plan for catastrophe is lots of cans of Chef Boy-Ar-Dee ravioli.

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