"Yes Mom, I know there was an earthquake this morning. No, I'm not dead."

It seems like every time the San Andreas fault has a bowel movement, someone from my family emails me about the “CA deathtrap,” complete with a link to some sensational SF Chronicle article quoting some random “fact” like “there is a 99% chance of a 4.2 earthquake beaching a whale in the next 20 years, millions of residents will die.”  If your family is not from San Francisco, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.  Anyways, dropped this note to my mom last time this happened:

Thank you so much for the concern you have expressed for my safety over the past 12 hours. I know you’re likely concerned that I, your beloved son, is not ready with a package of supplies (food/water/flashlights/cat food/flannel shirts/spare 700c bike tubes/portable juicer/Season 2 of Nip/Tuck on DVD) in the event of disaster. This email is to confirm to you that I am ready with all the practical items one could pack in an “Armageddon Bag.”

Let’s face it, the apocalypse is on its way, and it’s definitely going to kick off in the Bay Area (Gavin Newsom’s hair is developing its own orbit, God will strike him down [editors note - this line was from a 2007 email, a time that it was still “acceptable” to poke fun at our mayors wonderful haircut.  I know.  We’re all sorry.]). The coming earthquake will make the chaos of New Orleans looks like your average Central Park mugging. We must be ready for the oh-day.

1) This is the basic overview of what I am packing. I have left some key items out of the photos for various reasons. These will be covered after the photo tour.

2) I know the SF government tried to make these illegal once upon a time but some of us live on Capp St.  Besides being used to ‘bust shots’ at ‘haters,’ I can use the gunpowder to blow apart locks; a neat trick to aid in looting useful supplies like big screen TVs/iPods/Zunes/Avocados/Lucky Charms cereal.

3) Condoms - I didn’t feel like dumping the trash bag full of them on the table, so here is 3. Clearly I’ll, uh, need some practice before, uh, I help repopulate the planet? Yeah, that’s it.

4) Snacks - Popcorn and punjab eggplant are delicious treats to eat while kicking back on my roof and shooting looters attempting liberate my stuff from my house.  The knifes are primary for shanking dogs that try to ‘start shit.’

5) Tarot, fixed-gear bicycle/messenger playing cards, and Uno - I’ll need the tarot cards to guide my decisions in a world of chaos and uncertainly. Clearly I’ll need playing cards so I can gamble.  Uno just sorta snuck its way in there.

6) This iPod barely fires anymore, but it is pumped full of fresh jams from Ratatat, Kid Cudi, and various Thong Song remixes. I figure the iPod doesn’t have much utility but it will score me some solid retro style points since this bad-boy is almost 5 years old at this point.  Hella vintage.

Missing items from the pictures (where I hide them is a mystery!):

  • Revolution: A Manifesto - Ron Paul’s book is pretty popular with the urban Google aristocrats.  It’ll probably become the new bible. Recognize.
  • Blowtorch - The more looting tools, the better.
  • A hacksaw - same
  • My neighbors car keys - Fuck it, a stolen Yaris is much more fun than that totaled VW Jetta
  • Anything Practical - That’s no fun. Plus, if I need “medical supplies” I’ll just loot that shit. If Katrina taught us anything, me being white means I’m just “surviving.”

So Mom, I hope you can go forth trusting my judgment about important matters such as emergency kits.


Few hours later, I get this:

I am so relieved that your years as a cub scout taught you something. I have vivid memories of those happy lessons on proper use of knives. You clearly absorbed more than I thought as you butchered the Ivory soap.