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Archive for September, 2011

Entertainment Tips for the Apocalypse

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

If you haven’t noticed by now, America, and California especially, are in a steep decline. The systematic decimation of public education, rampant unemployment, and the continued government fatwa on the middle class have changed our lives. Most of us are scared. Many of us have lost our homes and savings. Luckily, however, we are still alive. And despite the hell, we want to have a good time. And as I have discovered, you don’t need a lot of money to have fun. Below find some helpful suggestions on how to make the most out of the end times.

Number One: Go off-roading—right outside your door. You don’t need to find open spaces in the country anymore. Most of our highways and city streets provide enough rough terrain to satisfy the most avid daredevil. Those bus-sized potholes provide perfect jumps for dirt bikers. Hit them fast enough and you can leap cars instead of splitting lanes. Not into motorcycles? Take your Jeep out onto the highway and go crazy. Hint: don’t forget your neck brace.

Number Two: Create collages and artwork with your collection notices and mortgage default papers. Express your outrage and enrich the world at the same time. Make a Statue of Liberty out of your old property tax bills. For those in warmer climes, build a paper snowman at Christmas from your court documents. Or if you want to earn some money, fashion a Virgin Mary out of your unemployment check stubs, then call up The Enquirer and report that the stubs assembled themselves overnight after you prayed for a job that actually paid enough to feed your family. Then set up a viewing in your living room. Ka-ching!

Number Three: Watch your neighbor’s TV. With the advent of the new giant flatscreen TVs, this is easier than it used to be. All you need to do is walk around at night and find a neighbor who watches the programs you enjoy. And one who likes to keep their drapes open. Best choice is an older neighbor or one who is in a rock band—preferably both—people who are hearing impaired and must turn up the volume of the TV to deafening levels. Bring a folding chair, a cooler of cheap beer and a big bag of popcorn, then stake out a nice place on their lawn and you’re set. The neighbor pays for the electricity, the cable, and the pay-per-views. Hint: buy a universal remote control. When your neighbor leaves to retrieve more snacks, surf away. Important: remember the station they were watching or you might blow your cover.

Number Four: Hang out in comfy air-conditioned bank waiting areas. Banking institutions were the ones who took your house away from you. They owe you. Normally, they have TVs and water coolers. Many serve coffee. One bank I know serves espresso and cookies on the last Friday of the month. Bring your book, let the kids make forts out of the chairs and have a nice day. When they ask why you’re there, tell them you’re waiting for someone. Which is the truth. You’ve been waiting for someone in the banking industry to wake up and stop foreclosing on hardworking people’s homes. Hint: make sure to rotate banks so the bank employees don’t become too suspicious. Unless you want to make a statement. Then bring your tent and put up a sign that says: Camp Foreclosure. They may throw you in jail, but at least you’d have a solid roof over your head and guaranteed food.

Number Five: Use public spaces as your new parkland. Since many of the state and city parks have closed, we must be creative. We can all learn a lot from the homeless. Landscaped medians on thoroughfares, courthouse employee picnic areas, lawns in front of city hall, there are many areas open to the public that can serve as a great place to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Hint: if you dress nicely, you can hang out anywhere.

Number Six: Get advice from your kids on creating new family games. After all, this is the generation that plays games at school like: Throw The Deflated Ball From The 70s Through The Broken Window, Name That Mold Strain, and Dodge The Falling Ceiling Tiles.

Number Seven: Go to a place with lots of employees and pretend you work there. This shouldn’t be too hard because everyone at large businesses is pretending to work. The trick is getting inside the buildings. Attach your picture to a white plastic card, add some generic text above it, laminate the whole thing, and secure it to your coat. When you approach the door, simply follow people inside. Then hang out in the break room or around the water cooler and strike up conversations. Drink the coffee, eat the doughnuts and surf the net in empty cubicles. Watch movies in conference rooms. Scavenge for lunch meeting leftovers. Lounge on the nicely manicured lawns in the outside picnic areas. Warning: at some point, people may notice you never do anything and you may be mistaken for a manager. Be prepared to say things like: “Just gotta push through the end of the quarter.” “Put that on the agenda for the afternoon meeting.” “I’ll take that to the higher ups.” You could do this for months and no one would catch on. Hint: to be invisible, men should wear khakis and a light blue button-down shirt. For women, a dark skirt or pants and a white top.

Number Eight: Discover creative new ways to work out. Just because you can’t afford your gym membership, and all the recreation areas are closed, doesn’t mean you can’t get some great exercise. Try the 5K Run From The Debt Collector. Or play Hide and Seek with the Process Server. How about Chase the American Dream? That game will ensure you a long run with no end in sight.

©2011, Janet Periat

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