Last Man Standing
The following is a transcript recovered from an audio recording device discovered among the ruins of twenty-first century North America.
Don’t know if anybody’s ever gonna hear any of this, but here goes.
Y’all will know about preppers. We knew something bad was gonna go down sooner or later so we got ourselves prepared. Out here in Idaho we got streams of clear water, trout, and some good game passing by from time to time. I got me a generator to keep the freezer running and the TV going. A man needs his Saturday night football.
I felt pretty good about The End Of Days. First of all, I knew I’d be one of the Saved. Been a church-going man all my life, never missed a Sunday, except when there was that business with the feller who ought not to have come to our town. We aren’t racist up here, but we don’t want to see dark-skinned folk acting like they’re as good as the rest of us. Anyhow, apart from that one weekend when I had to help out with the lynching, I’ve never missed a Sunday. And that was god’s work so I’m pretty sure I’m in good ’n’ tight with the big guy upstairs.
So anyhow, I got all my essentials: four AR-15s, some night vision goggles, eight Smith & Wesson .45 semi-autos, and 20,000 rounds of .223 FMJs. Figured I was set and prepared for anything. Oh, and I laid in a whole stock of instant potato and plenty of pasta, and a palette of canned chili con carne. And beer and crackers. A man’s gotta have beer and crackers when he’s watching football. It’s a thing, you know?
Didn’t pay much attention to those pointy-head liberals whining and a-fussing about climate change. Figured that’s what air conditioning is for. If you ask me it’s still a heap of nonsense. I mean, how can a butterfly in one of them Mexican countries melt a glacier someplace else? Makes no sense at all.
So when the power went down I was prepared. Turned on the generator, sat down to watch TV like I always do. And when I ran out of gas for the generator I hopped in my truck and rode down to Big Dave’s Rodeo Shack so I could watch from there. That was a good night: all of us good ol’ boys drinking and a-laughing and watching the Broncos beat the Cardinals.
I guess it was two weeks after that they made the last gas delivery to the local gas station. Course, we didn’t know it would be the last delivery. The driver just said supplies were getting tight. We figured that was Big Company talk for “we’re gonna put up the prices again.” I didn’t want to take no chances so I filled up another 5-gallon jerrycan for the generator, just to be on the safe side.
A week later the TV went off. I rode down to Big Dave’s place, figuring there was likely something wrong with my set, but it turned out the TV was off down at Big Dave’s place too. That was a surprise, I can tell you. We never had much call for the Internet up here but some kid said that was gone too. Well, no bad thing if you ask me. Most of it was just homosexual pornography according to Pastor Jonathan. It was his sad duty to watch a lot of that stuff. “You gotta know Satan’s doings so you can counter them,” he always said.
I have to admit things did get a bit slow after that. I mean, there’s only so many times a man can stare at the writing on the label of a bottle of ketchup.
Then the power went down. Like I said, I was prepared. Thing was, I didn’t exactly count on there being no more deliveries of petrol. After ten days the generator stopped working ’cause I ran out of fuel. For a week I ate as much of the meat in the freezer as I could so as not to waste it, but in the end I had to bury a good ol’ part.
Good thing I had plenty of potato powder, pasta, and cans of chili. Problem was, with no power I had no way to cook anything. But, turns out, cold chili con carne straight from the can doesn’t taste too bad. Add enough sugar and a man can get used to it quick enough.
The real problem was water. When the power went off, I guess the pumping station went down too. So I had to take a bucket down to the river and fetch up enough to get me through the day. I’m guessing Sam went back to his old trick of taking a dump upstream because the next day I had me a real bad attack of the runs.
Mind you, it did clear out all that meat that was backed up inside me for a couple of weeks, so I guess it all worked out in the end.
I started to wish there was power so I could boil the water, but at times like this you just gotta make do. After a couple more weeks I kinda got used to things, and also I learned not to carry more than a gallon at a time. What with my back, my knees, my high blood pressure, and my heart condition, it’s not good for a man to push himself too hard. Speaking of heart condition, I kinda wish I’d thought of laying in some medicine, but it’s too late now. What with my diabetes and all, I shouldn’t be doing as much as I am.
Speaking of health, my teeth are acting kinda strange. Don’t brush my teeth no more ’cause the gums are bleeding a whole lot, but it’s the loose teeth that are starting to worry me. How’s a man gonna chew up raw racoon meat without his teeth?
I guess I oughta have laid in more breakfast cereal with all them vitamins. Funny the stuff you think about when it’s too late.
Thing is, I’m a heap luckier than most folks. I heard ol’ Pete Simmonds had himself a heart attack trying to walk three hundred yards into town when his car ran out of gas. He tumbled down into the drainage ditch and was only discovered when the smell got real bad. Mary-Sue accidentally shot herself in the head when she was cleaning her daddy’s rifle, and Gerry LaMarr added too much rat poison to his water. I guess he figured the rat poison would kill whatever germs were in the water. Which maybe it did. Too bad it killed Gerry too.
So I’m feeling pretty blessed right now ’cause the good lord’s looking after me. If it weren’t for my back and my knees and my diabetes and my high blood pressure and my teeth ’n’ gums and my aching guts and a strange skin rash I’m developing, I’d say I was in tip-top health. Whatever, I’m gonna survive this thing.
Yes sir, I’ll be the last man standing, or at least laying down for a while on this here sofa.
You can be sure of that.
Audio recording ends