10 Real Survival Guides for One Very Fake Apocalypse
As we move into 2012, the final year of human existence, I wanted to take a look back on the last great apocalypse-- Y2K. We've rebuilt society since the Millennium Bug destroyed everything we knew, but for what? So our souls look better as they're being pulled from the gnarled teeth of Ah Pukuh in twelve months? That's ridiculous. Luckily, ridiculous is my specialty, and I've kept all my helpful guidebooks from the Year 2000 to help us defeat ancient Mayan bookkeepers together.
You probably think it's crazy to have so many books and VHS tapes about the end of the world 12 years after it didn't happen, but hey, dick, would a crazy person have an end-of-the-world survival kit sitting in his living room that looked like this?
Y2K Family Survival Guide Hosted by Leonard Nimoy
If you want level-headed advice about preparing for a global crisis, who better to turn to than a nude photographer who played a space creature on TV? As you can imagine, the producers had no idea how to approach a problem as big as the end of the world. As a survival tool, this tape ranks somewhere between a seal costume and a shark pheremone suppository.
It starts with Leonard Nimoy scolding the ancient Atlanteans for their hubris. This is to create a context for what comes next: this is all your fault, mankind. Your lazy dependence on transistors is what caused all this in the first place. And it never makes sense from there. For 48 minutes, random and irrelevant information is dropped onto the viewer like grave dirt. And while I was sitting there learning the history of binary language and the moral implications of, I'm serious, death ray technology, the only thing I could think about was what led Leonard Nimoy to do this project.
Steve: I don't think people will take this VHS tape seriously if we just have an Earthling hosting it.
Dinonaut 800X: Why you looking at me? I didn't come all this way to host an instructional video on going extinct.
Steve: Fine. I'll make some calls.
Dinonaut 800X: Even with a gaping penis wound, subcreature?
Dinonaut 800X: Initiating space plan alpha!!! KROMPP!!
The Christian's Y2K Preparedness Handbook by Dan and Tammy Kihlstadius
When one buys a book for Christians by an author named Kihlstadius, one expects a few tips on how to kill arena lions with nothing but the bones of the weaker Christians. Instead, this is an apology letter written by a coin dealer to 1999 readers for wasting their time. It knew nothing at all was going to happen, but here's the strange thing: it took 299 pages to explain that. I don't know about you, but I've read enough government reports on weather balloon crashes to know that 299 pages of "Nothing here is weird!" is a sure sign you've got your fingers in an alien body. What did God tell you about Y2K, Kihlstadius? What are you hiding!?
A.D. 2000: The End? by Dr. Jack Van Impe
Televangelist Dr. Jack Van Impe was way ahead of everyone when he made this video in 1990, and it has nothing to do with computers. Jack simply knew the world was about to end based on subtle clues laid out by his God. For example, AIDS. Crop circles. I'm sorry, is your mind not blown yet? Well, we'll see who's laughing in the year 2000 when his people are playing sky polo and we're all haggling with a pit demon over the price of ground baby.
WHAT WILL BECOME OF US? - Countdown to Y2K by Julian Gregori
As he states several times in his book, computer expert Julian Gregori hates the cynical, doomsaying nature of all his rival Y2K guides. That's why he's created a calm and reasonable guidebook to survive what may turn out to be only twice as bad as the worst cataclysm Earth has ever faced. Keeping that anti-alarmist spirit in mind, WHAT WILL BECOME OF US? devotes 5 of its 239 pages to the emotional issues you'll face after killing bandits in order to protect your family. I'm very excited to make this clear to you: I'm not kidding. No one has ever been so certain his or her reader was going to die since this author:
Y2K for Women by Karen S. Anderson
In the male-dominated field of all civilization ending, women are often overlooked. After all, it's their feelings and ovaries that confused the machines so much in the first place. This book catered to the forgotten demographic of lady maniacs. It helped them understand how terrified they should be about the Y2K bug. Irrationally? Double that? For example, when the clocks roll around on 1/1/00, every firmware chip controlling gorilla cages will malfunction simultaneously. Do you know how to menstruate without them smelling you? Trick question, ladies. We freed the gorillas weeks ago.
In all seriousness, Y2K for Women does have some cute tips on how to purify water or start a vegetable garden in the ruins of a metropolis. Let's not play games, though. It's a known fact that no matter how big a gang of wasteland marauders becomes, there is only ever room for one female member. If the apocalypse shows up and you're not already throwing nets at the other women from a dirt bike, the best you can hope for is slave dancer or gorilla bait.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to New Millennium Predictions by The New Age Collective & Lisa Lenard
I'm confused. You mean those other guides were for people who weren't complete idiots?
How to Profit from the Y2K Recession by John Mauldin
The most obvious way to make money from Y2K was to write a terrible book in the late nineties about how to survive Y2K. The main problem I had with this one is that it wasn't even published until well into 1999. Assuming you read this the day it came out and put together a business plan and found investors the next day, you'd maybe be up and running for a week before your company's computers tore you apart for their Y2K Robosports. Society was literally months away from collapsing and this asshole wanted us to weasel money out of the paranoid? What needless villainy. That's like Grand Moff Tarkin calling the people of Alderaan and taking pre-orders on discount rape whistles.
Countdown to y2k - The Coming Storm by The Inspirational Network
This was a guide that knew exactly what its viewers wanted-- graphic detail on all the ways the future was going to rip the eyes from your burning skull. It didn't care about helping you get ready for Y2K, it only wanted you to know you weren't. You have to watch this VHS set for four actual hours before it gets to anything remotely resembling advice, and I can sum it all up for you right here: practice shrieking into a tape recorder every day until you can convince the flesh eating crows that you're one of them.
Spiritual Survival During the Y2K Crisis by Steve Farrar
We may not know the mysteries of God's plan, but we know that part of it involves flaking every time He says He'll show up with an apocalypse. That's why an actual Biblical end of times is going to really shake everyone's faith.
I can't believe anyone believes anything preachers say after they've changed date of the rapture a dozen times. And I'm no stranger to blind faith in the supernatural. I've watched Robocop 3 every year since I was 17, hoping my birthday wish that it didn't suck would some day come true. By any standards that's insane, but not insane like the people who read these books and I can prove it. I bought Spiritual Survival During the Y2K Crisis last year at a Thrift Store and here is the bookmark that was left inside it:
It's a story with a lot of action and plot twists, but I have to say the ending was a little sad.
2000 Time Bomb by Dr. Jack & Rexella Van Impe
Even before he knew what a computer did, Dr. Jack Van Impe was pretty sure human civilization was ending in the year 2000. But holy crap, once he found out that these flimsy computer chips controlled everything from the missiles we launch to the toast we eat, he-- hold on, I think Jack might still not know what computers do. He knows they have something to do with airplanes which are a lot like eagles, which is exactly how Jesus would fly and that's why we're going to die in Y2K. You know what? I'll let him explain it:
Seanbaby invented being funny on the Internet at Seanbaby.com. Follow him on Twitter.To see more from his library, enjoy 4 Unintentionally Hilarious Guides to Depressing Situations or The Worst Board Game of All Time.