Get Your Girl Scout On aka Disaster Preparedness, Obfuscated Iconoclasm Style
This post is dedicated to my friend B, to whom I uttered the title phrase while explaining to her my motto “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.”
Things people should do so that, if the worst befalls them, they are at least capable of dealing:
– Always wear clean underwear, lest you’re in some sort of accident and as the paramedics try to keep you alive they are also judging your sartorial choices. Just because you’re all bloody and broken doesn’t mean your raggedy underwear won’t be noticed.
– Have at least one set of spare keys. Getting locked out of anywhere sucks. It sucks even more when the locksmith charges exorbitant fees for 20 minutes of work. Add to that really needing to pee and the value of spare keys rises exponentially.
– Always have a candy stash. This is one that I should really put into practice but don’t, primarily because candy lasts about ten seconds around me. I just don’t have the self discipline to allow a pile of candy to just sit around. UPDATE: I bought candy today (8.5.11)!!! I find it amazing that in all other areas of my life, I have almost impossibly high standards, but when it comes to candy, any and all is welcome in my mouth. There’s even a photo. Yes, that is a 2 1/2 pound bag of Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers. Like I said, no standards.
– Always have a bus pass. Even if you have a car, always have a bus pass. Cars break down, legs break, choice obscenities get spray painted on your car and now you’re embarrassed to be seen in it (What? It wasn’t me. Though I agree, you are a dick.) Having a bus pass opens up all sorts of possibilities. The discoveries and adventures that can result from a bus ride are delightful. It’s also great for being “unavailable.” Riding the bus requires you to temporarily disconnect from the rest of the world. If you don’t, the person giving you dirty looks from across the aisle is me. Knock it off, jackass, no one cares to hear your cell conversation about your friend just hooked up with that young woman of questionable social standing and how you just CAN’T believe it. We also don’t care that you missed the previous bus and now feel the need to bitch to a friend’s voice mail loud enough for the bus driver and everyone else to hear. Grow the fuck up and shut the fuck up.
– Always carry a pocket knife. I have two Leathermen- a larger purple one that lives in my apartment and a little tiny silver one that lives in whatever bag I’m carrying that day. You never know when you might need to open a bag of candy, fix a necklace, or strip wires. I used mine today at the bus station to open the bag of gummi worms while I waited.
– A small pill case is essential. Mine has migraine meds, pain killers, and extra meds if I find myself unexpectedly staying the night at a friends. It’s an adorable mini tupperware. Even if you are only packing some pain killers, either you or one of your friends will be glad you do.
– I am rarely without a book. Even if I know that I will be interacting with someone all day I bring a book. Boredom and I, we seldom meet, but when we do bad things happen. Books are instant entertainment. Also, people can get boring and books are a great escape.
– iPod + headphones. In general, I hate people. I do not want to interact with most of them. Listening to music and wearing a pair of earphones works in several ways. You can’t hear the inane conversations going on around you. You can’t hear the screaming children, irate car horns, construction. You’re in your own little bubble of appropriately soundtracked existence. People avoid you because they know you can’t hear them. This is one of the reasons I have yet to go on a killing spree while I’m out and about.
– Some way to take notes is always handy. I use my Blackberry, since it’s always with me and keeps everything in one pint sized package (like me!) Notepads, old receipts, really anything you can write on works. You don’t necessarily need a writing utensil but it’s a good thing to have if you end up wanting to compose bad poetry at the bus station.
– Water. I drink a TON of water. I always have a water bottle with me and if I don’t I get really nervous. I hate buying bottled water (I refuse to pay $2 for the equivalent of what comes out of my faucet) so a good sized water bottle is essential. Along with this is a mental map of available bathrooms along your route.
– This is the last one, and it’s the most important (except for maybe the candy one. I’m torn.) A rapier wit makes everything better. Being able to employ a choice phrase that leaves no room for doubt about how you feel releases stress and provides instant entertainment via the reaction of the receiver of said choice phrase. Their look of surprise, embarrassment, and frustration that they can’t supply a snappy retort is priceless. One that was just passed on to me today via my father: “You are just a couple more I don’t cares short of a fuck you.” I might go looking for an idiot just so I can use that. Priceless. Thanks Dad! (The family that insults together stays together.)
I am kind of a disaster magnet. My friend E, on our way to my apartment tonight, was telling me about how whenever I’m in her car, strange things happen. Cars come out of no where, cut her off, etc. BUT ONLY WHEN I’M WITH HER. I’m not yet 30 years old and I found out today that I have arthritis in my knee and will most likely require a total knee replacement at some point. See any posts about the final show saga. I wake up with bruises and scrapes that weren’t there the night before. It’s a really good thing that I am not a CIPA (Congenital Insensitivity to Pain with Anhidrosis) patient; by now I would have had to have something amputated. I also have a high pain tolerance, which is nice for when I slam my thumb in the sliding glass door or run over my pinky toe with the Science Building door, creating a mangled and bloody mess. In both situations I uttered s few choice expletives and moved on, to run errands and the Health Center respectively (my toe was all bloody and while the pain might not bother me so much, blood does.) If you meet me in reality and decide to test this assertion, I will make you pay and I have a very active imagination. Being prepared for most eventualities means more spontaneous beach trips, sleep overs, treks to find the perfect falafel, and anything else that a disaster prone restless person like me can dream up.