You’re having a bad day. You lost your job. Your home was broken into and looted. Oh, and 95% of your friends and relatives are now dead. Just another regularly scheduled apocalypse.
And since you put off building that underground bunker, you now need to find a place to hang your hat. Your hat being the only item the looters left.
Somehow you have enough food and quasi-clean water. Somehow you have avoided the marauding mobs. Somehow you have escaped your surroundings and have, again, somehow found a compound set up for surviving said regularly scheduled apocalypse. And somehow those inside the compound didn’t shoot you before you reached the razor wire entryway.
Your life comes down to a few precious moments. Are you someone the compound would take? Do you have the skills, knowledge or items that make you valuable to a society now living on the edge? Can you make it in? You need to do a little self-assessment.
Do I have a gun? I’m not talking about a cutesy, little 6-round handgun. I’m talking semi-automatic, oversized magazine, would make Dirty Harry weep for joy type of handgun. Do you have rifles, shotguns, a bazooka, plus a generous supply of ammo to go with them? Even having all that, there’s nothing to prevent a compounder from shooting you anyway and taking your stuff. That’s the inherent problem with stuff. Someone can take it away.
What about my cache of precious metals and jewels? Precious metals and jewels are ideal for barter. That’s a plus. However, again, it’s “stuff.” Stuff can be taken from your prone body.
Likely life or death will come down to: Who are you and what can you do?
Am I a farmer? Nice one. Especially if you brought seeds with you. You’ll be indispensable. Walk on in.
Am I a doctor/nurse? Medical professionals will be in high demand. Your ticket’s punched. Negotiate for a good mate.
Am I a Wall Street banker? Somehow, some way, this apocalypse is partly your fault. Even if it isn’t, the survivors will believe it is. Take your pick of unmarked graves.
Am I a lawyer? You believe that your knowledge of law and negotiating skills will help bring order to what you believe is the chaos of the situation. The thing is that the compound was founded by people versed in quasi-military life. The compound is already organized. Maybe not well organized, but no one in there wants a lawyer coming in to tell them what to do. You’ll be next to the banker.
Am I a musician? Do you play the accordion? Isn’t humanity suffering enough? Take up the lute. Play the old favorites around the evening campfire. Wander from camp to camp. Be a troubadour delivering the news. Learn to pick pockets.
Am I a drop-dead gorgeous female in her early to middle reproductive years? Need you ask?
Am I a computer whiz? How quickly you forgot when your brand new, spiffy, all the bells and whistles with more RAM than the whole of Honduras suddenly went dead. Huh, the pulse bomb that knocked out the grid? Think you can tweet the world powering off a propane generator?
Am I an actor? Yes, I’m sure your extensive experience waiting tables will come in handy somewhere.
Am I an exceedingly charming international art thief? You’ll probably talk your way in anyway, but being able to plan and pull off heists of rival compounds’ assets will put you in great standing.
Am I one of those continuously mocked craftspeople who set up a booth at the local Renaissance Faire every summer to peddle my pseudo-medieval wares? Congratulations. You’ve unintentionally taught yourself a now-admired skill set. As those cotton-blend shirts wear away to threads, your leather jerkins will be the fashion.
Am I a history teacher? Seriously? Look around you.
Am I a sociopath? In a world with multiple groups of survivors contesting for quickly dwindling supplies, tough decisions have to be made. Tough actions have to be taken. Being the one who can kill a rival compound’s small children without remorse will finally be a useful asset. Try to keep the ritualistic aspects of the killings to yourself.
Am I Glenn Beck? Considering the general political views of those who have already established survivalist compounds, sadly, you will be invited in although you have no evident knowledge or skills that would help anyone to survive.
Am I a professional blogger? HAHAHAHA!