Lately I’ve been looking at things a little differently. No, I’m not speaking esoterically or metaphorically (I always wanted to use those two five dollar words in one sentence; now I can mark it off my bucket list). I mean literally. For some reason I’ve begun wondering what would happen if electricity decided it’s been used long enough and leaves for Venus. How would I cope in a world without it? Imagine waking up one morning and discovering the world has suddenly gone back to the 1800s? Personally, I’d get me one of those cool Civil War hats.
But really, life as we know it would be radically different. First of all, there would be the problem with food. I bet most people would run to Wal-Mart or Krogers or Piggly Wiggly to stock up on groceries. Me? I’m headed to Dollar Tree. You wouldn’t believe all the cool stuff they’ve got, and I’d have the aisles all to myself. Everlasting Gobstoppers, Milky Way bars, canned black olives (pitted!), pork and beans, vienna sausages, animal crackers, the list goes on forever. I’d have a leg up on everyone else because while I’m filling up my little green shopping cart in the middle of the night (explanation to follow – bear with me!), folks are standing in monster lines at Wal-Mart realizing their plastic credit and debit cards are as useful as a losing candidate’s campaign sign a week after the election. That’s exactly why I’ll be doing my shopping at 2 AM in Dollar Tree when its closed. Which begs the question: Can someone get in trouble for saying they’re going to break in a Dollar Tree if the electric grid says sayonara? I’ll find out, won’t I? I mean, if you don’t have cash you’re pretty well screwed, right? But that’s secondary to needing food. I would say you can’t eat money, but in fact you could. I love a shredded twenty dollar bill in a Hollandaise sauce topped with pitted black olives from Dollar Tree.
Food would fall into three basic categories if we lost electricity: canned, boxed and better-eat-it-quick-before-it-spoils. Another thing I would yoink from a Dollar Tree would be all their can openers. That would be the new currency. Well, along with booze, cigarettes and Justin Bieber posters (you’ve gotta wipe your butt in the woods with something when all the toilet paper runs out). That brings up another problem if we all find ourselves back in the stone age. How would we survive without MasterCard or Visa? I think we’d probably have to develop a marketable skill that could be used to trade for necessities. You know some idiot will try to juggle his way into food and shelter. There’s always a fool in every crowd. I think they have a union and work in shifts. Me? No, I am foolish sometimes, but it’s not good enough to join the local Fools Guild. No, my marketable specialty would be as a doctor. I trained as a Medic in the Army and also worked as both a scrub tech and Medical Assistant. I can remove your appendix, set your broken leg, jerk out a bullet, stick an in pen in your throat if it swells up, and practically anything else you can think of. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to perform open heart surgery. I loaned my rib spreader out a couple of years ago, haven’t gotten it back yet and probably never will. Never trust a dog with rib spreaders. So if the world plunges into powerless chaos, just call me Doc. I will take your gallbladder out for a case of pitted black olives.
There are so many things that would change if we all lost electricity. Horses and rickshaws would regain popularity. Toilets would be flower pots and denture material. Computer desks would be kindling. Computers themselves would make excellent butcher blocks. Dogs would become doorbells (as if they aren’t already). Squirrels would be the meat in your stew. Televisions would be … well, we’d just have to watch TV in the dark, wouldn’t we? I suppose Survivor would be the only show left. So listen, do me a favor if electricity takes a dirt nap: Go find your own Dollar Tree. And remember – if you ever need surgery, I prefer to get paid in black olives. I wonder if they can be grilled?