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Well, it's up and happened. Dragons have returned to the world. We were wrong to laugh at the old man who warned us this day was coming.

We were wrong to push him down those stairs. as well.

You probably have a few questions. How did this happen? Why did this happen? Why did this have to happen to me? Here are the answers you seek, traveler.

How Did This Happen?

The dragons came tearing out of a portal in spacetime which appeared, possibly by coincidence, above an Arby's.

Why Did This Happen?

The dragons forever travel a circuit across the multiverse, intersecting this realm every five to six thousand years, depending on traffic. There is no why to explain; this is an immutable part of the fabric of reality, and almost certainly has nothing to do with something that was going on in that particular Arby's.

Why Did This Have To Happen To You?

The dragons hate you.

With that answered, here are a few fun tips that should help you live your best possible life in a world which now has dragons.

Work From Home More


The threat of imminent fiery death is going to have a number of global socioeconomic effects, almost all of which will just wreak havoc with your morning commute. You're gonna have dragons that ignite cars from above, and dragons that dwell deep in tunnels (and also ignite cars), and small dragons that lurk in our back seats and distract us with riddles. And even if you avoid murder by one of those, the nature of traffic means it only takes one or two smoking heaps on the freeway to slow down everyone's day

"And on the 401, we've got Bat'lythur, Flayer of Souls, causing a lot of congestion."

The implications of this are deeper than you might first suspect. Not only would dragons make getting to work a challenge, but they'd also make getting home a challenge. In a world filled with dragons, the two will probably become one and the same.

And not always in the way you might hope.

Welcome home.

And that's if you still have a job. Because those global socioeconomic effects are no joke. With traffic at a standstill and people not showing up to work, and also many things being on fire, trade will likely collapse, sending the economy into a tailspin. So even if you do make it to the office, did the guy who mails out the checks? And can your company even make payroll if all your customers stop paying their invoices, because those invoices are on fire? Certain economic sectors will be a little more dragon-proof, like defense and asbestos. But the rest of us might want to start updating our resumes.

Get A Haircut


There are a couple of aspects to this. First, shorter hair will be less likely to ignite if you are attacked by a dragon, or caught in their claws if you are being toyed with by a dragon, or clog their digestive tract if you are eaten by a dragon.

That last benefit is mainly for the dragons.

But perhaps more importantly, shorter hair will also make you less likely to be recognized as a damsel. Which is good, because dragons love kidnapping damsels. This isn't a gender thing, incidentally -- because of their scales, all dragons love and envy creatures with long hair. The notion that they only lusted after "damsels" was just how our patriarchal ancestors perceived this behavior during the last age of dragons. Now we know that long-haired men are just as likely to be seized by a dragon and placed in a tower or aerie to make it look pretty.

Or more like a karate dojo.

But what if you don't want to cut your hair? What if your partner doesn't? How do you protect your beautiful, long-haired woman or man from the dragons? What if you want to fight back? Then you'd better ...

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Keep An Eye Out For Legendary Swords


If we hope to take back this realm from the dragons -- and we should, since it's ours and all our stuff is here -- we're going to need some way to harm them. Because of their thick skin, quasi-real nature, and high levels of cunning, dragons are incredibly difficult to kill, even with modern military technology.

Wikimedia Commons
Unless that's the +5 enchanted 120mm, you're just wasting ammo, guys.

If the old people whom we even now continue to berate and ignore were actually right, the only thing capable of wounding a dragon is a blade forged of magic and shadow. No one knows where you might find such an artifact. The only current source of swords -- that weird store at the mall -- seems an unlikely place.

You'll probably find this guy, actually.

It was almost certainly a coincidence that the dragons appeared above that one Arby's and now roost around Arby's the world over, including countries that didn't have Arby's until just now. But if it isn't a coincidence, then it stands to reason that enchanted weapons might appear in the vicinity of an Arby's. So have a look there, or perhaps around their archnemesis, Hardee's.

But after you get make a nuisance of yourself at a few Arby's and some Hardee's, and then some Wendy's and also one Jimmy John's, you'll realize that defeating the dragons might be hopeless. We'll just have to live with them until they wander off to the next realm. Which means you'll probably want to ...

Protect Your Riches


Like humans, dragons love treasure. It's quite likely that after they arrive on this plane and collect some damsels and eat some tanks, their next goal will be building a hoard of treasure. Which means they'll be coming after your riches.

Timothy Tsui via Wikimedia Commons
Unless your "riches" are mainly in the form of game cards, in which case they'll just set fire to them.

There's no reason to think they'll stick to gold; they're just as likely to get bank accounts and offshore holding companies, and accumulate wealth in a very modern fashion. And if you don't think you're likely to be swindled by a flying lizard, remember that there is a wide variety of dragons. The flying lizard variety originate mainly from the Western tradition, but those aren't the only type. Most Asian cultures have legends about dragons who look a lot more like serpents and are known for their wisdom, magical ability, and in some cases, the ability to take on the human form.

Trust no one until you see them bleed human blood.

It will likely be these dragons which do the most damage of them all. After the flames and layoffs and missing damsels, the world will be desperate for some kind of stability, and when dragons posing as humans offer it, humanity will place a tremendous amount of wealth and power in their hands.

Not you, though, because of the wisdom you had to read Cracked articles throughout the working day. And not only will your wealth be preserved, but you'll also be in prime position to ...

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Scam The Elderly


Eventually, the world will become aware that dragons can take on human form, and as one, slap themselves in the forehead.

When we all do it at once, it will sound quite a bit like a gong.

But with your own small reserve of wisdom and wealth, you'll now have the opportunity to pass yourself off as a dragon. By equipping yourself with nothing more than a couple of smoke bombs, a lisp, and a children's book of riddles, you should be able to claim that you are yourself a dragon to anyone who isn't looking too closely. At which point you will, obviously, swindle the elderly.

A lot of my columns end with swindling the elderly, and I'm sorry for that, but this is me living my best possible life.

Why would you do this, other than for greed and chuckles? Remember, the elderly have been around for thousands of years, and knew about the dragons. They even tried to warn us about the dragons, but it was really boring, and no one wanted to hear it. So really, this is as much their fault as anyone else's.

Anyway, once you've justified it to yourself -- and honestly, don't knock yourself out doing so -- you'll get to the swindling. Lacking the cunning or fire breath of an actual dragon, you won't be able to execute any of the complicated wealth-building scams they perform, but there's nothing stopping you from a simple protection scheme. "Give me your money or I'll eat your precious grandchildren," that kind of thing. But don't use that. Do something better.

"Give me your money or I'll ... heat your precious grandchildren."

If You Can't Beat Them


After that, it's simply a matter of using your ill-gotten wealth to acquire an Arby's, use its powers to access the space between spaces, and then move on to the next world, where you will be the dragon.

Where you will acquire riches and damsels to your taste.

Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and is feared and reviled on many planes. The author of the science fiction novel Severance, his next novel, Freeze/Thaw, is available right now! Holy shit! Join him on Facebook or Twitter.

Learn how humans mentally live in a fantasy world when you read 7 Reasons the World Looks Worse Than It Really Is and learn why people kill whales just out of habit in 6 'Traditional' Things That've Kept The World A Worse Place.

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