It is always chilling when a family is forced to confront the inadequacies in their level of ‘disaster-preparedness’. Perhaps there is an inverse relationship between the amount of time they spend fretting about scary things and THE TIME THEY SPEND ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING TO HELP THEM SURVIVE SCARY THINGS. Honestly, for all the sleepless nights we’ve spent worrying about the safety of our loved ones, we should all have a closet full of emergency Go-Bags and a medical degree.
Samantha would put the likelihood of the Bee-Joneses having a plan somewhere between knowing how to jerry-rig an internal combustion system for her car, and all of them waking up one day suddenly able to speak fluent Cantonese. Which is to say, they have no plan. (Which is especially terrifying if say, there was a giant hurricane barreling up the coast at her, at the writing of this post)
As for Allana, she’s convinced herself (completely) that she is married to the Canadian McGyver who will somehow save them all from any threat with a band-aid, some mint gum and a pointy stick. But it’s not like she’d be completely useless; I mean, she would be in the background yelling “Do something! Do SOMETHING!”
But let’s be honest here. Are we really prepared? Does anyone know what that means? Is that 40 pack of double A Batteries you just purchased from Costco really going to ease your mind if you don’t own a flashlight? Or, as in Samantha’s case, if her only working flashlight is actually also a Sweet Tarts candy dispenser? Shouldn’t there be a course we’re all supposed to take?
Because sadly, this is what happens when we’re left to our own devices:
Some of us get our roots touched up. Why? And for whom?! Sam cannot explain this, and yet she did it anyway. She drove into the city while people were being evacuated, to have her gray hairs covered. And although she’s as irritated with herself as you are while reading this, she likened it to “wearing clean underwear just in case the ambulance comes.” Shameful.
24 hour fasting. During a trip to Ireland in the 1980’s and right around the time that the Blessed Virgin Mary started appearing in Medjugorje and giving messages to the world that “…with prayer and fasting you can ward off upcoming wars, suspend natural laws.”, Allana and her Irish-Catholic cousins immediately started to starve themselves for 24 hours in order to save the planet. It just was pure coincidence that this also meant they were allowed to stay up late and enjoy a midnight fry-up. Sausages, eggs, and selfless devotion to planet Earth taste especially great when enjoyed at midnight. Useless.
Upon realizing that they had no legal will moments before boarding a plane headed for Mexico, Allana and her husband mailed a last minute handwritten sticky note to her parents that read “If anything happens to us, please take care of the children.” This caused her parents only the mildest variety of gripping chest pains. Haphazard.
And at the time of writing this blog post Sam is hiding in a cupboard* with her family in the Catskills. She’s surrounded by her “disaster kit” which includes: bananas (energy), matches (obvious), water (hydration), a brand new Swiffer (confusing), and toilet paper, (for when she messes herself).
(*The last time Sam found herself in said cupboard was when she heard loud throbbing noises in the middle of the night and immediately assumed that a space craft had landed in her driveway, complete with hostile aliens who had chosen her family at random for general maiming. Oh yeah, she went there. She went there hard. There is no excuse for this, especially given that she doesn’t particularly believe in hostile aliens, and would not anticipate them needing to begin their planetary takeover at her cabin in upstate NY. Embarrassing.)
So in light of being thankful for, well, everything — here is our promise for the future (and now that we have officially written it down for all to see, we actually have to do it):
We will photocopy passports and birth certificates, laminate them, buy two water proof Go-Bags (Do they even sell these in Canada?), fill them with necessities, write legal wills and file them with the proper authorities (and not from an airport lounge while drinking rum), learn Cantonese, stock up on water, canned goods, band-aids, mint gum and one sharpened stick.
Are we forgetting anything?