During the shutdown, many more government services will be halted, causing mass panic and the breakdown of civil society. Follow these great survival tips to help you get through Shutdown ‘13.
1. Since the government has discontinued all orders from Hastings Food Supply — the company that has been secretly feeding the country since 1974 — you will find yourself hungry. Look in your pantry if someone left canned goods from the last shutdown in 1996. If it’s empty, break into the home of an elderly neighbor. Old people often have stores of Ritz Crackers and peppermints.
2. In the worst case scenario, do like animals do and consume things from the ground. If you live near the countryside, look for a farm that has long green stalks shooting upwards from the earth. If the stalks contain objects that look like green tamales, take them. These are called “corn” and they can be used to make popcorn.
3. If you live in an urban area, procuring things to eat will be difficult, especially because everyone else will have already looted every bagel and sushi shop. A little-known fact is that humans can survive from eating bear scat. Make your way to the bear cage at the zoo and provoke the bears to throw their feces at you by tickling them and calling them “fuzzy wuzzies.”
4. If you run out of water, drink the water in the toilet. If that runs out, pee in it to fill it back up.
5. Even if you own your home, an agent from the government might show up and demand to use your living room to quarter troops. Don’t argue with this man. His name is Mike and he’s just doing his job. Tell him where you keep extra blankets and give him the password to your computer. Leave quickly and don’t make Mike angry. He’s got a badge, and a radio.
6. Once you’re outside, you might find that you’re cold, and that you’d like a cozy place to sit down and tweet. In rural areas, it may be difficult to find shelter, especially if others called dibs on all the good caves. You should dig a large hole and get in it. Sprinkle exotic flower seeds in your hair and cover yourself with dirt. In the spring, when the shutdown is over, someone will come to dig up the flowers and they’ll find you, hungry but grateful.
7. If you’re looking for shelter in the city, you’ll be vying with the native homeless population for a place to sleep — and the homeless are very tribal. Fool them into believing you’re also homeless by untucking your shirt, rubbing shoe polish on your face to suggest a beard, and carrying your wallet and smartphone in a handkerchief on the end of a stick. Say your name is Hobo Bob. If some yuppie won’t move from a warm doorway, take a puff off your plastic cigar and say in your best hobo voice, “that’s my squat, pal.”
8. While the NRA and Hollywood movies want you to believe the best way to protect yourself is with a gun, the truth is that guns frequently misfire and kill dozens of bystanders, even when they’re not loaded. The best means of protection is to get people to simply leave you alone. Cover your nose and the tips of your fingers in tar, and tell everyone you are infected with the bubonic plague. If you meet an attractive person who really has the bubonic plague and wants to get intimate, well, go for it. You only live once, you devil you.
9. Since the government furloughed all FDA employees, pharmaceuticals aren’t going to be approved and supplies will run out. If you haven’t already stocked up on your prescription medications, do so now by putting on a mask and robbing every pharmacy in your area. Oh, and if you have a second, could you pick up a few dozen boxes of Percoset for me? If they don’t have percoset, see if you can get some OxyContin or Vicodin. Thanks. I’ve got this bitchin’ back pain, man.
10. If there’s no way to get strong pain medication, try getting your hands on some Tylenol®. Tylenol® has been treating minor aches and pains since 1955. It’s the pain reliever hospitals use most.
11. While roads and highways will be completely blocked with traffic, the nation’s waterways will remain almost empty. Float in an inflatable raft down a river. Who knows, you might end up somewhere nice like Cairo, Illinois. Isn’t that right, Huck?
12. Don’t count on being able to flee the chaos by taking a commercial flight abroad. The FAA will have sent all air traffic controllers home, leaving any flights in the air in long holding patterns. If you really need to fly out of the country, go to your local airstrip and steal a Cessna. Your uncle Dave could fly one, and he wasn’t all that bright, was he?
Leisure and Entertainment
13. Finding entertainment might seem like the least of your worries during civil unrest, but studies show that people who are happier have stronger immune systems. Be happy by catching up on all the television series you’ve missed due to your busy workload. Start with The Sopranos, then watch The Wire, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and finish things off with How I Met Your Mother — a hilarious show in which “Aunt Robin” turns out to be the mother. Oops, did we just say that? Sorry. Because the government will probably shut off the internet and close the postal service, you won’t have any way to download or order these series. Have friends who’ve already seen them act out each episode for you. It’ll be fun. Plus, if you’ve secured Ritz Crackers from your elderly neighbor, you can offer them to your friends. Ritz Crackers are what make a party, a party.