One of my guilty pleasures is apocalyptic novels. You know the formula. First there’s a near extinction level event and then the plucky hero fights his way through dire challenges, often involving a trek through a blighted landscape populated with evildoers.
In many of these doom books the wily protagonist is blessed with remarkable foresight and has stockpiled food, water, guns, ammo and all the other things necessary to survive, no doubt including Spam, toilet paper and rice.
I thought of post-apocalyptic apartment living as I read the headline story in today’s Star Advertiser, a piece titled “Condo Mania” that reports on the near 5,000 new condo and apartment units permitted for construction in Kakaako.
How does one survive TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World as We Know It) occurrence in a 600 square foot box a hundred feet off the ground? This is never an issue in the disaster novels because the characters all live in easily fortified and defensible single family homes, like those in Makakilo perhaps.
Pretend for a moment that the grid goes down on Oahu, the food supply diminishes, the water stops flowing and communications are blacked out. Let’s add a popular meme – an electromagnetic pulse that instantly renders electronics unworkable thereby incapacitating cars and planes and smartphones. Indeed, we are screwed mightily.
How shall we condo folks survive? Sure, we all have some extra food and probably 35 rolls of TP squirreled all over the unit thanks to our Costco obsession but that won’t last too long and it’s not like 20 floors of stairwell is a fertile place to forage for food scraps. For that matter, I doubt many of us could make repeat trips up and down while carrying enough water to make coffee.
Escape sound appealing but where do we go? Near the shore and live by fishing? Up in the hills and root around in the forest? Certainly no where near the heavily populated areas, especially Waikiki. I think I’d head for the Nuuanu Reservoir with a plan to subsist on catfish and wallabies.
I just hope there are no zombies. As Dennis Hopper said so eloquently, “Zombies, man, they creep me out.”