It's all survival of the fittest


Toothbrush? Check. Sanitizing wipes? Check. Set of dominoes and big fuzzy hat ...

Never mind.

I have issues. This, to anybody that knows me or reads this column, is obvious. See, most of my self-imposed problems start out innocently enough. Something gets in my mind, where it then pings around the wide-open spaces like a pinball on Ritalin, only to land on a thought that is on a far different plane than what had originally filtered in for consideration. Such is what happened to me recently.

A friend and I were discussing the horrors left along the Gulf by recent hurricanes, and some of the preparation tips that had since been circulated by emergency relief personnel for people who live in danger of being hit by a storm.

Ping.

This then devolved into the stashing of supplies people often do when told there is an impending storm, high winds, a loss by UD football or the annual dusting of seven snowflakes we get that throws the community into the collective grip of panic. We see it every time, don’t we? Droves of people flood into stores and fill their wobbly carts with 16 cases of bottled water, 159 pounds of beef jerky, 461 rolls of toilet paper, eight whole chickens, 17 bottles of bleach, nine cases of Q-Tips and 14 cans of black olives.

Ping.

Fine, I thought. That’s great if we are trapped in our homes for six months with dirty ears and a hankering for olives, but what happens if we get driven out of our homes, like so many people did in the Gulf? Or what if something else comes up that keeps us away from our homes for extended periods of time, like a badly broken gas line or one of my errant drives off the tee that leaves me wandering the woods like Frodo in search of a ring?

Ping.

What I needed to concern myself with was something portable. Something I could easily carry, yet still possess the things that could keep me alive if away from the cozy confines of Villa McCann. Yes, I thought triumphantly, this was a grand idea, and one my experiences in the Marine Corps certainly prepared me for in case such a time occurs.

Two problems: First, it’s really not as easy as I had thought to prioritize the things I’d need most. Second, I really wasn’t all that good of a Marine.

See, I started with the notion that food and water came first. My problem was that I’m built more like Arnold from “Welcome Back Kotter” than Arnold Schwarzenneger, so I had to keep my bag light. Therefore, I could only keep a couple bottles of water and a few candy bars. This is an important shortcoming in my plan to remain portable, but I knew I had to maintain my focus on my goal. Sacrifices had to be made.

Ping.

Sacrifices got me thinking. If there is one person I know who loves playing the role of the martyr, it is my good friend Sam Harvey. There was no doubt in my mind that Sam would have enough water for all of us, so I could just go visit my buddy if I got thirsty. Sam would hem, then predictably haw, but he would eventually take a deep breath and allow me to guzzle down whatever water he had. Perfect.

That allows me more room for food. Armed with more room in my McPortable McBag of McLiving McGood (I’m still trying to get that name copyrighted), I stuffed in four cans of Spam, a box of cookie bars and a can of black olives. Personally, I hate black olives. In fact, there isn’t any color of olive I like. I once had an olive I really enjoyed, but I later found out it was just a really hard grape. That never did explain the half-inch pit I broke my tooth on and had to ...

But I digress.

Food in the McBag, I contemplated hygiene. Dirt is not my friend. Neither, for that matter, are germs, loose hairs, small children, kittens or group food. I started throwing in sanitary wipes, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, alcohol ...

Ping.

Alcohol. This was going to be tough. I realized I wasn’t off to a party, and that celebration during a rough time would probably be at a minimum. However, it could be cold, and I’d certainly be on edge if pushed out of Casa McCann for an extended period of time, so a little nip couldn’t hurt. Right?

I switched to a larger McBag to accomodate the four cases of Jameson I’d be packing, and set about looking for clothes. This was not an easy task at all, since I did want to look good if the television cameras saw me, and I knew I could bring no more than 30 or 40 pairs of shoes with me. I switched to an even larger McBag.

Anybody know where to get a Mc-U-Haul?