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This is a question The Apocalypse

Power cuts, internet outages, mild inconvenience to your daily lives - how did you cope? Tell us your tales of pointless panic buying and hiding under the stairs.

thanks, ringofyre

(, Thu 14 Jun 2012, 14:15)
Pages: Popular, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

It’s long one....but worth telling.

My family lived in the bush, on a few cleared acres at the base of a mountain, surrounded by dense Eucalypt forest. A semi-rural, idyllic Australian life. I was one year old, still at home with my Mum, and on this particular day my elder siblings were all at school in the town and my Dad had gone to work in our only car.

Mum was at home with me, listening to the radio while cooking a saucepan of custard for my lunch.

The summer had been especially dry and hot. There were reports on the radio of fires all over the state, and as it turns out, a great number of them had been deliberately lit (some simpletons get a kick out of initiating mass destruction by fire).

The radio announcer had changed from giving updates on the bushfires, to telling everyone to evacuate to town...now!

Mum decided to get the hell out of our death-trap bushland house and into the safety of town...now!

Now what follows...

My Father’s version of events has always been this;
“The wife called me from home to come and get her. I rushed home, she took too long to get ready, mucking around the house, frigging around instead of leaving, cooking up some fucking custard. I grabbed her and baby Oath, jumped into the car and headed down the road. Thanks to her, we were were too late. The firestorm leapt the road ahead of us and behind us. I saw a stormwater drain down in the gully, we crawled into it and thanks to my quick thinking, and we all survived.”

Years later, my mother is visting my house and I am re-counting this story of paternal heroics to my wife. My Mother quietly said, “Actually, I remember it very differently”.

“Your Father was reluctant to leave town to come and get me, instead, telling me to hold tight and stay in the house. If it got really bad and the house caught on fire, I was to run across the paddock and jump into the dam with the baby, duck my head under the water when the fire hit.

Eventually I persuaded him to leave town and drive home to collect me and the baby. While I was waiting for him to arrive, I climbed onto the roof, cleared the sticks and leaves from the gutter, stuck a tennis ball in the gutter downpipe and filled the gutters with water, threw the wood stack away from the side of the house, sprayed the house down with water and finally let all the animals out of their pens (pigs, duck, goats, chooks).

When he finally arrived he was much panicked, not wanting to leave the car, revving the engine and yelling at us. We leapt into the car and by then the wind was searing hot and ferocious, the sky was orange with smoke and burning embers. Cinders were starting to land around us. Dad tore along the driveway, and turned onto the twisty road that led down the mountain into town. Progress was slow because of the dense smoke.

We could sense the fire all around us, the smoke was very thick, then it cleared suddenly, and all of a sudden a huge fireball flared up from the gully, cutting off the road in front. The road behind was ablaze too.

Your Father completely lost all sense, got out of the car, ran around to my door and wrenched it open. I thought he had a plan to escape, but in fact, he screamed to smash the baby’s head against the road thereby killing you instantly, then we were to plunge ourselves into the heart of the fire and die as quickly as possible.

He was beyond panic, simply gone mad with fear. We apparently had no means of escape and his only solution was to kill ourselves.

I pulled myself away from him, grabbed the baby and ran. I had to get away from him before he killed us. I slithered down a steep embankment with the intent to lie low in the ditch at the bottom and simply pray. Your Father followed, trying to grab the baby from me. At the base of the embankment was a large concrete pipe for stormwater, I shuffled inside to get away from him and kept moving along the pipe, further and further into the cool darkness. After a while, we realised that we might just survive inside the pipe.

There was a breeze coming up the pipe as the fire was sucking all the air through it from miles below, and despite the inferno outside, there was a small trickle of water running through it. We wet one of the baby’s blankets in the trickle of water and held it up to the entrance, and lay down as the fire raged outside. After what seemed like an eternity the fire moved through. We waited, and waited then finally crawled out to greet a scene of hell. Every house around us had exploded, there were no trees, only ash, the petrol in the tank in the car had boiled dry, and the tyres had completely melted. “

But, despite being surrounded by desolate smouldering carnage, my Mum felt safe. She knew everything had burned, and therefore the fire couldn’t come back to get us. They had survived, so Dad’s desire to kill everyone had dissipated somewhat. Then, my Mum suddenly realised that I hadn’t made a noise for quite some time. She had a cold chill of panic, fearing that I may have suffocated from smoke inhalation, or being smothered by her own body in the pipe.

She gave me a pinch.....and fucking woke me up.!

I’d slept through the entire thing.

Then she fetched the saucepan of custard from the car and we had lunch.

And she didn’t give any to Dad.
(, Sat 16 Jun 2012, 2:46, 29 replies)
Two Tribes
If you pay any attention at all to the warning posters at railways stations these days, you’d think that a beardy nutter with a lighter and a wonky sole on one of his trainers is all that’s needed to bring about loss of life on a hitherto unknown scale. The very same authorities that are sounding dire warnings of some nutter putting “mental” into “fundamental” were thirty years back noticeably more reticent about giving the public meaningful advice as to how to avoid getting irradiated by several hundred megatons of SS-20 payload which were pointing at our cities, towns and WMD sites at RAF Greenham Common.

Back when the Soviet Union was getting through premiers at a rate roughly comparable to the rate at which I got through Airfix kits, the Nine O’Clock News seemed to feature an endless parade of pictures of decrepit old men tagged with the word “hardline” who were in control of our destines. This worried ten year old me for two reasons, firstly my grandmother was equally as decrepit and old as the likes of Andropov and Reagan, yet each and every time a picture of either was on television, she’d announce to all present that Bing Crosby was on the box again. Secondly, I really didn’t like the sound of the word “hardline”.

Having sat through the horrific docu-drama of the day which featured Sheffield being nuked, I resolved to formulate my own plan for survival in event of the imminent nuclear catastrophe as simply leaning a spare door against a wall, lining it with sandbags and stocking it with six weeks of canned food might be difficult to accomplish within the given four minutes. Or was it three? I needed somewhere sturdy to shelter. As luck would have it, a short distance from my house there was a large underpass that was ran underneath the nearby A12 and thanks to the bollards at either end, it was closed to road traffic. Despite the underpass being covered in badly scrawled graffiti and smelling like a urinal, it looked sturdy enough not to collapse in event of a nuke falling on our nearest town, which lay three miles away.

After deciding on a shelter site, I took my BMX out of the shed and timed how long it would take me to ride from my house to the underpass. The results weren’t promising, none of the six practice runs I did that Sunday afternoon took anything less than four minutes and twenty seconds. I needed to find time somewhere. I figured that when the sirens sounded, David Finnan would be overcome by fear, religion and the resulting diarrhoea and thus wouldn’t come out of his house to beat me up if he saw me cycling down his road without permission, so I tried a couple more highly risky practice runs taking a short cut past his house, narrowly avoiding a beating on each occasion. Best time was three minutes, thirty eight seconds, which left me twenty two seconds after the sounding of the air raid siren for me to retrieve my bike from the shed and grab my survival kit. I would be safe.

Being ten years old, I put a lot of thought into what should go into the green canvas rucksack that would guarantee my survival, so I filled it with enough rations to get me through until the background radiation died down, together with one or two luxury items to help while away the hours and a deadly weapon to assist me fighting off the starving, radioactive hordes.

A year or so later, a bloke called Gorbachev rocked up announcing that he and his Soviet pals actually wanted to be mates with us after all. A big wall covered in barbed wire came down and a bloke called Yeltsin decided that there would be no more Soviet Union. Reagan spent his final years insisting that each face on the television was Bing Crosby and all the missiles were aimed at the north pole in the event of a careless trigger finger and that was that.

Not too long ago, whilst helping my parents move house I found myself in back in the dusty shed. It wasn't long before I shifted a pile of old tarpaulins and located the dusty green canvas rucksack and curiously rummaged through the contents. My cursory inspection of the decade old survival kit revealed the following contents:

2x bottles of raspberry flavour Panda Pops, with a sell by date of the 15th March 1985
4x packets of Smith’s Salt n’ Shake, sell by the 31st October 1984
1x tube of Trebor Refreshers, sell by date obscured by mildew
1x imitation Swiss Army knife with a blunt blade and missing toothpick and tweezers
2x Bananaman plasters
And finally, four pages hastily ripped from July 1984’s issue of Fiesta Magazine, sourced from the pile of similar publications I discovered underneath my older brother’s mattress.
(, Fri 15 Jun 2012, 14:15, 12 replies)
Drought breaks with Flood ...
Here in sunny Brisbane, Australia, we don't often have much to complain about weatherwise.

Four years ago, the worst problem was how lovely and sunny it was. All the fucking time. No rain worth mentioning for almost two years. Wivenhoe Dam, our supply of drinking water, got down to 14% capacity spawning a God awful bum splat plague because the last few percent of drinking water was little better than mud.

Water restrictions were introduced. They started off with;

Level 1 water restrictions: Don't water your garden during the heat of the day. Why not? Because all the fucking water will evaporate you fool! That's why! Pardon me B3tans, but first generation Brits (of which I am one) were the worst offenders. No concept of a drought at all.

The restrictions quickly escalated through to Level 6: Each household restricted to 140 litres per person per day with a ruinous fine and supply cut off for a day in punishment. To put that in perspective, a load of washing was 160 litres. The joke at the time was under Level 7 restrictions you could only water the garden with your own tears.

The odd thing about this Apocalyse was the slow burn effect. Unlike earthquakes, tsunamis and bush fires, there was no PANIC PANIC PANIC! Grab the kids, the photo albums and find the fucking cat! Things were just steadily getting worse and we were all saying loudly with forced cheer that the Rains will be along any day now and quietly wondering just how much longer we could hold out.

And then, the Rains came! It was early December 2010. We ran about in the backyard chasing our naked giggling children drenched to the skin. We were wet, warm and perfectly happy. Oh the joy! The sweet relief! The IMPENDING DOOM!

We got over our celebrations pretty darn quick when the Rains settled in for six long weeks.

The Wivenhoe dam was back up to 100% within a week. And then 125%. And then 150%. My husband works in the electricity industry (much of Brisbane's electricity is supplied by the dam) so he was privy to the growing concern in the industry. Would the dam hold? What was it's maximum capacity? The dam was built in the 1970's and had never been tested by this volume of water.

After three weeks of rain we were at 175% and rising fast.

The greatest problem was the mindset entrenched by the severity of the water restrictions only a few weeks ago. As a result, water releases from the dam were considered Sacrilege.

It's water! More precious than gold! Must keep!

And then it was Christmas. Most senior management went off on two weeks holiday. This seemed quite reasonable at the time. Unfortunately, there were precious few junior staff left guarding the switch and no instruction on how to cope with what happened next. My husband would return home each night after that Christmas looking grimmer and grimmer. He quietly let me in on his concerns and asked me where I would go with the kids if the dam burst. I told him he was being melodramatic. But I did stock up on batteries, toilet paper and casks of drinking water (oh the irony!)

Five weeks of rain and one week after Christmas. Dam was at 200% capacity. Water releases are ordered. The spotlight of attention from the media and the State Government was (quite rightly) on the north of the state where the Rains had already translated into Floods and massive relief efforts were underway.

I felt so safe here in Brisbane. We lasted through the Drought. The Rains will stop soon. It's okay.

3... 2... 1! Happy New Year 2011!! Yay. Drink champagne, make a few calls, go to sleep with the rain hammering on the roof. When will it stop raining!

The first indication that the floodgates of Hell had opened came on Tuesday 11 January 2011 in the sixth week of the Rains. It started like any other day. It was fucking raining! The first sign that something was wrong was a lack of signal on my mobile phone when I tried to check in with my husband.

Odd, I thought.

Then I overheard a whispered conversation between two shop employees. "The city has been evacuated."

Which city? I wondered. I assumed they had family in one of the many cities in the flooded North.

I got home, the phone rang. It was my mother. She told me that the city being evacuated was Brisbane. She was heading home. I wished her luck and told her to call me as soon as she could. I called my husband at his office. No answer. I tried his mobile. No signal. I checked the email. Nothing.

I turned on the news. Fuck. Me. Devastation on an indescribable scale. I heard the words of the Hindenburg announcer. "Oh the humanity." So sudden and so devastating.

Acts of stupidity and bravery abounded. A car park in Toowoomba was rapidly flooding. One guy waded through fast flowing shin deep water to save his car. His fucking car. The water was covering its wheels as he started the motor and the car was being shunted by the floodwaters as he drove off just in time. Fucking leave it! I was shouting at the TV. It's insured! Just get out!

A 12 year old boy was one of the first to die. He was trapped on the roof of a car and insisted that the rescuers take his mother and 8 year old brother first.

The piers along the Brisbane River used by the city's Rivercats (public transport catamarans) broke loose and were heading out to sea. The Storey Bridge, biggest bridge in Brisbane, was right in their way. I watched the bravest man in the world, a tugboat captain, damn near burn out the engine on his livelihood by skilfully nudging these twenty tonne pieces of wreckage so that they turned sideways and speared out to sea, sparing the bridge and the thousands of people trapped on it. I never found out his name.

The next five hours were the longest of my life. This Atheist briefly found God and prayed earnestly for the safe return of her beloved husband. "Oh, and if you've got time God, please try and help out my Mum too".

When my husband arrived at the door, drookit, solemn and exhausted, I felt the most intense sensation of relief of my life. He had walked 15 kilometers to get home, some of it through fast running water.

His story was of an entire city's rapid descent into chaos. He saw people punching each other for a place in a queue 150 deep waiting for buses and trains that never came. The Army was on the ground. Evacuation centers were being established. We offered to put up a family who had lost their home.

My Mum's still caught in that, I thought.

Two hours later, the phone rang. It was Mum, almost hysterical with relief. Her house was fine. Her cat was pissed at her. All was well. For us at least.

And after all that, I realise that we were very lucky. Wivenhoe Dam peaked at 225% capacity. If it had burst, Moses himself couldn't have parted those waters. Brisbane would have been washed away. Like vast swathes of Japan only a few months later. We lost 35 people. Mostly folks trapped in their cars by the rising floodwaters. Some were children ripped from their parent's arms by Mother Nature at her most merciless and indifferent.

And there were sharks. Mother fucking bull sharks heading upstream, eating the dead and dying. God I love Australia.
(, Tue 19 Jun 2012, 2:34, 13 replies)
Baby's first apocalypse
When I was about four years old, my mother set fire to the kitchen. She was like that. This was the 1960s, and our kitchen had these futuristic new polystyrene tiles on the ceiling - and we quickly discovered why they are no longer recommended for kitchens, as droplets of toxic burning sludge rained down from the merrily blazing ceiling.

So I'm four years old staring, down the hall at the raging inferno that had been our kitchen mere moments before. Determinedly, I trotted out into the front garden, scooped up a handful of snow, returned to the hall and tossed a toddler's-hand-sized snowball into the flames.

Satisfied that the crisis had now been averted, I returned to the lounge to read comics.
(, Mon 18 Jun 2012, 12:03, 1 reply)
When the Apocalypse came some turned to God.
The summer of 1987 was the summer I spent bumming around Europe. The plan had been to spend the hot months working in bars around Marbella and then the autumn would be spent picking grapes and getting my end away with as many locals as I could. But at the beginning of September I met Paz. She was a walking Spanish cliché: long dark brown hair, bottomless chocolate brown eyes, long slender lithe limbs, spoke very little English, a good devout catholic girl, and utterly enchanting. I spent all of September trying to talk her into my bed with no success – she was hung up on ideas of love, fidelity, God, marriage, and the church. I was eighteen and wanted as much Spanish pussy as I could get. The closest I could get was when she let me apply Piz Buin to her back on the beach. Unlike the British girls who stayed for a couple of weeks of sun, sangria, and sex, Paz didn’t sunbathe topless. None of the Spanish girls did, and only a few of them would go skinny dipping. The Brits spent most of their two weeks naked and working their way through all the waiters and bar staff. I’ve got dark hair and fairly olive skin so I would get chatted up initially because the girls thought I was a local, then they’d be thrilled to discover I was actually from London and understood them. A good tan and a moped loosens a lot of knicker elastic.

Paz was entirely different – she was Spain for me. Hot, sultry yet pure, and just out of my reach. So what’s this got to do with the Apocalypse?

Paz invited me to a bull fight up in the hills near Grenada, I think. It wasn’t the usual touristy version; this was the proper Picasso hard on affair. I wasn’t sure – I’d given a few coppers to anti-vivisection charities and all my female friends from Sixth form had only purchased Beauty Without Cruelty cosmetics – it was a thing in the 80s. But this was with Paz. “Come. Come with me, Richie. I show you Spanish passion.” Paz looked and sounded a little like Penelope Cruz…but then most Spanish girls in their late teens do. We went. We saw the bull fight and I’d like to say it appalled me, that I cried for the murdered and tortured animals, but the reality was that sitting there in the blazing September sun with Paz gripping my thigh every time the matador waved his cape, I got a hard on, just like Picasso promised. Unfortunately Paz’s grandmother was sitting the other side of me in her black widow’s weeds and she noticed. She told Paz’s father and the upshot was that it became quickly obvious that leaving Spain was a good idea unless I wanted to get married. My money was getting low too so I came home for the bank of Ma and Pa.

So that’s how I found myself back in England by October 1987. I’d put off going to uni for a year and I found some work housesitting for a friend of my parents. They lived in a large chalet style bungalow on the south coast. I slept in the loft room which had an amazing view out over the channel and all I had to do was to watch tv, read books, and wank as I was under orders not to take home any local talent.

On the 15th October there was a knock at the door. Paz had followed me to England – she’d been to my parents’ house and they told her where she could find me. She’d had a massive row with her father and walked out. She said she’d had enough of being the perfect catholic girl, following all their rules, being the dutiful daughter….okay, her English still wasn’t that good. What she actually said to me was, “Richie, I am hot for you”….Okay, in my dream she said that. I think she told me she loved me and dumped her suitcase on the doorstep.

Oh boy.

Still, I was eighteen and all my brain function was filtered through my cock. Still is, to be honest.

This didn’t count as local talent.

Being a gentleman I made pizza and oven chips and we watched a video – Nine and Half Weeks had just appeared at the local video rental shop, £2.50 for the night. I wasn’t bothered about watching the news on BBC 1; I didn’t see the fateful weather forecast by Michael Fish….

I took Paz upstairs to my room. We sat on my unmade bed. I kissed her gently and held her hand. Then she put her hand on my thigh, and I began to kiss her neck. “Si. Si.” Paz whispered into my hair. I slipped a hand under her U2 t-shirt and discovered that she wasn’t wearing a bra. I loved Walnut Whips.

I wanted this to be a proper Erica Jong zipless fuck, but when you’re eighteen they never are. Instead we spent hours heavy petting – no one does that anymore! Just like white dog turds, it’s all gone now.

Finally around 1am we were naked under the duvet and my trusty packet of three had come off the subs bench. I’d kept up with my reading during the summer and had wanked my way through Anais Nin, so I knew what Paz would like. I licked and sucked every inch of her until the room began to shake. I paused, there was total stillness like we were inside a church. Gently I pushed into her – no sliding just yet, this was her first time. We kept kissing and kissing and slowly we began to fuck. Never before and never since have I had an experience like it. The room began to shake again, then the bed seemed to come up off the floor in time to our banging. My entire body was fucking this exquisite Spanish girl who wanted me like a badger wants honey. As I shot my bolt the roaring started….I couldn’t feel, hear or see anything else except the white blindness of coming into a tight pussy and it seemed to go on for ages.

It was then that we both realised that the earth wasn’t moving because of this incredible hot teenage sex we were having. There was a fucking hurricane going on outside. We didn’t sleep at all that night – not because we were humping like a pair of dogs on heat but because I was chasing the barbecue around the garden.

In the morning the scene of devastation was apocalyptic. No power, no water, no telephones. Most of the roads around us were blocked but by the evening things improved a little and I drove her back to my parents’ house where she stayed until she could get a flight home. The hurricane was our fault, apparently; God’s sign that Paz should have been married before she lost her virginity. She stayed in touch for a short time but while I was in university she decided to take up Holy Orders. And that’s how shagging me made a Mother Superior.
(, Sat 16 Jun 2012, 15:07, 3 replies)
The world ending horror from near Geneva... Switzerland...
Cast your mind back to the year two thousand and eight. It was a very exiting and fearful time filled with promises of futuristic wonder; e-books, a black guy in charge of America and most of all the invention which would tell us the science behind the fabric of the universe.

I am of course talking about the Large Hadron collider.
It was in all the papers and on the telly of how it could prove the discovery of the mythical "god particle" the "higgs boson".
Speculation was agasp at how it could either revolutionise science or create the most destrutive force in the universe. No not Brian Blessed with a mega phone, a BLACK HOLE.

I was twenty one and my father was busy in the back garden of his house. He was always tinkering with something or another; bikes, homemade ladders/death traps etc etc.
After twenty minutes of banging he called me into the garden with a cry of childish glee.

"You know that black hole that might happen?" He said looking into my eyes with mad intent.
"yeeess" I replied slowley and carefully.
"I've made something to stop us getting sucked into oblivion"

I looked at his grinning face and then to the kitchen window where my mother was washing pots in the sink under it, she just looked at me and shook her head sadly.

"Go on then" I said as he lead me up the garden path before pointing at small patch he had cleared away of weeds and grass.

In that patch ladies and gentlemen was a tent peg hammered into the ground with a piece of nylon string attached.

I was that gobsmacked that i forgot to ask why it took him twenty minutes of banging to make it.
(, Fri 15 Jun 2012, 4:38, Reply)
Last time I had a power cut,
I discovered that I owned a glow in the dark T-shirt.

Best. Power Cut. Ever.
(, Thu 14 Jun 2012, 14:31, 6 replies)
World War Three
Sort of on topic...
As a kid I lived with my Dad who was career military. He was posted to the United States at the time of the first Gulf War starting (1990 I think it was) and as such was working a 24 hour day, coming home only for a quick rest and a change of uniform etc but was always on call.
I remember him being home asleep at one stage, when his phone rang waking him up. I heard a brief exchange and then he was out of bed, into the room where I was looking very ashen faced. I askd him what was wrong and I still remember his exact words, "A thermonuclear device just got detonated over Baghdad. Thats it, World War Three."
I froze.
My heart leaped out of my young chest as I tried to come to terms with what my Father had just told me. Then I may have started crying. He then bursts out laughing, ever the kidder, telling me he was joking and it was the on-duty guys calling to wake him up.
I think I was 9 at the time.
(, Fri 15 Jun 2012, 2:28, 3 replies)
The Flood Box
I went to live with (and work for) my Father for about a year, in my mid 20’s. It was ok, he is a bit of a hard-living hard-working bugger, but at least I got to know him a little bit better, which put to rest a few demons (only a few).

He lived on a farm in a semi-rural area in Australia. It was reasonably remote, and from time to time the heavy Summer rains would cut off access into the farm.

Dad often travelled abroad and before leaving on one particular trip, he told me there was a “flood box” of emergency rations stored in the shed just in case I might be flooded in.

Sure enough, I was alone on the farm, the rains came, power went off and access across the creek to town was cut.

No worries, cooked all the perishable food out of the fridge on the camping gas stove until the gas ran out, that saw me through for a few days. Then, I remembered the flood box. “Oh goody”, I guessed I’d be eating cold Baked Beans out of tins for a few days.

So, I cracked open the flood box..........24 packets of cigarettes.

That was it, nothing else. Dad's version of Emergency rations.
(, Tue 19 Jun 2012, 3:40, 4 replies)
A few years ago I suffered some horrific injuries as a result of a fishing accident.
A fishing hook got caught in my mouth and ripped it to bits. Fortunately, thanks to a revolutionary new surgery technique, the doctors were able to perform a transplant using a domesticated species of South American camelid resembling a small llama in appearance.

I've got alpaca lips, now.

whaddya mean, "fuck off?"
(, Fri 15 Jun 2012, 0:05, 6 replies)
I may be the only one who does this, but on odd occasions when I have the house to myself, I'll masturbate to internet porn
Careful to maintain the illusion that I don't, I'll clean up after myself, then delete my browser history. I find this order works best, so as not to get the mouse sticky. It was on one occasion last year when I had a rare few hours alone, several tabs open buffering away on their videos, that the power went out. My wife came home later and the power was still out. She announced she had some important work to do on the computer when the power came back on. Now, I'm aware that firefox has a feature that will reload all previously open tabs when it's reopened after a shutdown. I could not let this happen.
Like a guard dog, I stood vigil near the computer for the afternoon. The one time I went to the kitchen, the power came back on with a whirring of the fridge. I returned to the living room to find the missus already sat at the computer and windows booting up. I stood behind her in rising panic, trying to think of a distraction.
"Can I show you something in the kitchen, babe? Come and check this out"
"Just let me do this quickly"
Fuck! Windows was open now. Should I kick the power button? That would be too obvious. What about taking the mouse off her? But what reason would I give, and I'd have to open firefox in front of her anyway then close it without saving to fix the problem. No time! She's about to open it....
I'd forgotten the wife prefers IE.
Nowadays, when I have the desire for some Gentleman's Time, I'll use the Private browsing feature in advance.
(, Thu 14 Jun 2012, 17:47, 6 replies)
Since I've got old
I respond to things a lot slower
(, Fri 15 Jun 2012, 10:59, 3 replies)
I've got a plan...
We're going to The Winchester
(, Fri 15 Jun 2012, 7:50, 5 replies)
Saturday 18 January 2003
a bloody hot day, around 40C by 10am and a howling westerly wind. Some smoke in the air but nothing particularly alarming. Being a Saturday, I took refuge in the lounge room with the TV on the Australian Open Tennis - one of the Williams sisters was playing. I filled the evaporative air conditioner and set it on high. It dropped the temperature by 2 degrees. Some time after 2pm a mate dropped in and we watched the tennis together for half an hour, then he said he had to pick his Mum up from the bus. I saw him to the door.

The sky was orange. He said it has not been that way when he had arrived. Just then the sirens started. I went down to Hindmarsh Drive and looked west. Black smoke was rising - it was houses and shops burning. Fire engines and ambulances were racing west. Most other traffic was heading east. Helicopters trailing huge buckets of water passed to the north.

Burnt gum leaves and grass began to fall, fortunately none of it was still burning. I grabbed the garden hoses and wet down everything I could, then went next door to do the same for the neighbour who had gone away for the weekend. Their water pressure was pitiful, mine was good.

I got the ladder out to check that there was not too much leaf rubbish in the house gutters. I'd cleared them several weeks before but with three eucalyptus trees in the yard which drop leaves continously it does not take long to build up again. The wind nearly blew me off the ladder as I came over the gutter level. The leaves were not too bad, so I sprayed the roof with water and got down.

The people across the street were packing their car, and I thought of the man on the corner whose car had diplomatic plates and was still there. I knocked on the door and he had no idea of the fire to the west.

Then to the south west I saw Mt. Taylor burning, just 2.5 kilometres away.

So things went on until 4.30pm when the electricity went off. Half an hour later the wind dropped. For five minutes or so it was very still, then it blew steadily from the south east. The temperature dropped 10 degrees in as many minutes and after 20 the sky was clear, not a trace of smoke and it was a cool summer evening.

The toll - four killed, 492 injured, more than 450 houses and business premises destroyed or damaged.

The area burned was virtually identical to that burned in 1939, recorded by H G. Wells who was in Canberra at the time.

These scenes were shot less than 5km to the NW of my house.


(, Fri 15 Jun 2012, 5:14, 5 replies)
No mint sauce
A long time ago when I was at school. Myself and a bunch of class mates were on an outward bounds course. I was really foggy and when we stopped for a breather we realized that one of our group was missing.

He was the scruffy ink stained kid that every class seems to have. He was a bit of a a loon and on the bus on the way to the hostel we were staying at he showed me the hunting knife he had brought along "just in case"

We were organised to to teams to spread out and search for this numpty. Luckily the fog was clearing making our job easier. When we found him he had taken his shirt off and tied it around his head. Smeared mud on his cheeks and was chasing sheep around brandishing his knife and shouting "baaaaaa ya bastards" He later confided in us that if he'd caught one he'd have "eaten the fucker raw"

he had been missing for less than 1/2 an hour. Also it was the Brecon Beacons hardly the back of beyond
(, Thu 14 Jun 2012, 16:05, Reply)
I'll sneak this in here
Seeing as it has to do with the New Testament (so only a few chapters removed from Revelations' apocalypse):

Jesus drove a Honda. He just didn't like to talk about.
Proof: John 12:49 'For I did not speak of my own accord'.

I bet he also didn't mention the supermodels for obvious reasons.
(, Wed 20 Jun 2012, 5:15, 5 replies)
If a nuke goes off nearby
I shall be all British and stand tall with a stiff upper lip and shake my fist in defiance at the mushroom cloud.

Have at you.
(, Tue 19 Jun 2012, 12:15, 8 replies)
Clients DO NOT give in to terrorism
A few years ago I'd recently started a new job, and was still getting to know our somewhat demanding clients.

The first day I was actually going down to Winchester to meet them face to face, my journey to work was a nightmare. First, the bus inexplicably stopped halfway to work and turfed us all off. Then I couldn't get through to work on my mobile to tell them I was running late.

Finally got to work, grumbling about TfL, to discover VERY few people in our office, and something about bombs. Yes, 7/7, and I'd managed to not notice due to an iPod playing Shostakovich distracting me from the fact EVERYONE was walking.

What happened next astonished me. Rang the client to explain we wouldn't be able to make it:
c: But there's nothing happening in Winchester
m: We're in London. There's no trains and police are asking people not to travel
c: But we need to plan our advertising campaign. Can't you drive down?
m: No seriously, it's bombs and stuff. It's quite big news
c: Don't you value our account?
m: Um, yes. But not as much as I value my life, and not irritating the police who are tense and carrying guns during a major terrorist incident
etc etc.

tl;dr: In a crisis, I respond as if I'm in a crisis. Public sector management believe nothing should stop the bureaucracy, and perspective is for losers.
(, Mon 18 Jun 2012, 14:25, 4 replies)
Golden ascent to heaven
After the usual Friday night of mayhem with the lads I woke up in my loft room bathed in golden light and with the distant sound of a heavenly choir singing "God is great". "Oh shit" thinks I, "that last pint and kebab killed me". A feeling of utter panic ensues until a tiny logic bubble pops up. "hang on" I think, "if I was entering the kingdom of heaven would I feel this shit?"

So I jumped out of bed, the sun was shining through the window in the roof, hence the golden light and the Salvation Army were marching past my house singing happily away!
(, Sun 17 Jun 2012, 19:04, Reply)
Was out walking the dog the other day..
...when the landowner appeared and started yelling 'GET ORF MOI LAND! DON'T YEW KNOW TH'END O' THE WORLD'S A'COMIN'?'
I wasn't even on his land, I was using the footpath.
That Farmer Geddon is a utter cunt.
(, Sun 17 Jun 2012, 16:28, 5 replies)
In 1984
I was 13.
Threads was on the telly. Never been so disturbed in the whole of my young life. It's on youtube if you ain't seen it.
I think it's even more weird now as it has that public information film feel to it, that makes it even more creepy.

It seems really weird now to explain how fucking petrified I was of getting obliterated by a giant mushroom some day, but it was in the back of my mind as a kid. All of the time.
It was on the news, it was talked about, you couldn't escape from the nuclear threat. My dad was an avid supporter of CND and I joined in, even at 10/11 because fuck that, I wanted all that nuclear stuff to just go away, because I was scared!
I knew about Duck and Cover, not sure where from, and thought about which stairs I could hide under when the bomb finally dropped. Like it would help.

Then When the Wind Blows came out just to cheer us up a bit.

There were articles in newspaper supplements with people showing off their expensive underground bunkers in their back gardens, and I remember being so jealous of the rows and rows of tinned goods, all ready to save them from the instant hit, but wondering what the fuck would they come out to when they finally plucked up the courage to open the hatch.

Strangely of my favourite places to visit is Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker. Now a tourist attraction in Cheshire. Go if you get the chance. It's a bit shit, but I have the best snow globe EVER from the gift shop.
Except that's not snow. It's nuclear fallout!
(, Fri 15 Jun 2012, 0:40, 15 replies)
My better half is a great fan of disaster films.
Unfortunately she also tends to get drawn into them and forget that Hollywood has a habit of exaggerating physical laws as well as just plain making shit up.

In the past six months as a direct result of her seeing numerous films in which the world nearly ends (Thank you very fucking much Sky and your free film channels!) she has requested the following modifications to the house: -

A large fireplace, A basement, an electrical generator, a reinforced roof, a fuel storage tank, a water storage tank independant of the main supply, a solid fuel stove and my absolute favourite, a fucking raft.

We live in a smallish two-up two-down terraced house on the outskirts of Derbyshire.
(, Thu 14 Jun 2012, 16:46, 5 replies)
Maybe it's me...
...but here's a short list of the natural events I've been in/around/through:

1987 Whittier, California earthquake
-- I lived over the hill from Whittier. House suffered only minor structural damage. Pain in the arse commuting for a few days, but not a big deal.

1988 49er Fire, California
-- Happened near my home town. Had to help a friend evacuate his place which was in the line of the flames. Used back roads to sneak around road blocks to get in and out with his belongings. Fire was across the river from his place as we were loading my truck, and when we left were unsure if we'd return to an intact building or a pile of ashes. Fortunately the fire was contained before his place burned. Minor smoke inhalation for me.

1989 San Francisco earthquake (technically the Loma Prieta quake)
-- Was in my office in downtown San Francisco. Rode my office building as it swayed and allowed me to see around the corner of the building across the street. Took 8 hours to get across the bay to a relative's home. Again, not much damage personally, but in the aftermath the commute around the bay was messed up. It is because of this altered traffic pattern that I met the first Mrs. Grundig. As she is now the first ex-Mrs. Grundig, this can hardly be considered a complete dodge of the bullet. (N.B.--Never refer to your ex-wife as your >first< ex-wife when your current wife is in earshot. Bad things result.)

1991 Oakland Hills Fire, California (see a pattern here?)
-- Was at home when it flared up on the ridge behind where I lived. The situation went from "Gee, it's smoky out there," to "Holy shit, the building is on fire!" in about 5 minutes. Grabbed what I could and left in my car, sending the first Mrs. Grundig on her way ahead of me in her car. We took separate routes out. She was unscathed. I nearly burned to death in my car. Lost everything I owned, except the clothes on my back and a car with bubbled paint. I am honest when I say that I was glad to be merely alive.

1993 Storm of the Century
-- Was in Atlanta, Georgia for business on the Friday that this thing hit. Being a southern city, Atlanta is not equipped for much snow. They got 16 inches. Was stuck in the hotel through the weekend with no power or heat. Hotel management opened the bar and the vending machine stock as there was no other food. Made a few friends. Froze my arse off.

There are more, but these are the ones that affected me most. The current Mrs. Grundig sometimes scoffs at the stock of food, water, and other necessities I keep on hand. The silly cow. I smile, nod, and think about rotating out the perishables.

tl; dr: I am a disaster magnet.
(, Wed 20 Jun 2012, 6:27, 4 replies)
I just had a bit of a cleanup in the cab of my old truck.
Shamed when offering someone a lift and having no room for them had led me to try and tidy it up a bit. At first glance it's an extended cab pickup which should seat 5 people comfortably but has over the last 3 years gradually accumulated my "survival gear".
It all started innocently enough with some winter basics in case I got meself stuck in a winter storm. Here in Alberta we do get some rather unpleasant storms which sweep down off the Arctic and can drop a huge amount of wind blown snow and extreme cold temperatures on us. -35º to -40ºC are not uncommon. It makes sense to be prepared and avoid death while trapped for a few hours on a back road.
In theory I can munch on high energy snacks and make myself a hot drink while I snuggle down in my sleeping bag (the cab kept just above freezing by candles) and await the end of the storm or rescue. There's even something to read.

This so called "winter emergency kit" is all well and good but it's June now and the days are warming up nicely so I thought I'd have a rummage through the piles of stuff filling the back seats and take out what I didn't need. I have to admit this is the first time I've attempted this in 2 years or more.

Here's just some of the stuff I found on the back seat, under the seats, in bags, in the side pockets..
2 kinds of bowsaw, a chainsaw chain with handles, 4 knives, knife sharpening equipment, a can of bear spray, 3 multitools (2 of which I thought I'd lost and had replaced), 2 sleeping bags, 8 candles, flint and steel, spare flint and steel, various lighters, can of lint to start fires, a small axe, a machete, a substantial toolkit, compass, mini gps, whistle, kettle, gas stove, 12 volt kettle, can of butane for various lighters, gloves, hats, socks, waterproof boot covers, a small tarp, a bigger tarp, bag of energy bars, packs of coffee, hot chocolate and cold drink mix with vitamin c. Big tow chain, heavy duty towing strap, folding shovel, hammers (2 of), cable ties, assorted self tapping screws.

There's more. I've put it into 2 large tote boxes and still there's more. Tins of food, 12 cans of fruit juice, dog treats ( I don't currently have a dog but there they are anyway) and more..

And I wondered why my fuel consumption was poor..

So now if the apocalypse rears its ugly head while I'm on the road tomorrow, the very things I had planned on using to stay alive will be at home in plastic boxes.
(, Wed 20 Jun 2012, 3:36, 12 replies)
Melbourne Quake, 2012

I survived it. It was about 4 hours ago. A 5.2 - biggest earthquake to hit Melbourne for over 100 years.

The best way I can think of describing it is it's like your house was driving over a cattle grid. For 30 seconds. Long enough to think:

"Shit! It's an earthquake"

But not long enough to actually do anything like get the fuck outside.

I checked the house - no noticeable damage then, horror, struck me!

"Oh noes! What about the bottle shop?" (Convict-speak for an off-license)

So I jumped in the car and hot-footed it to the shop. It was OK. A few bottles broken but only cheap shit. As I didn't want to appear rude I bought a bottle of Jim Beam and headed back home. Catastrophe averted.


Addendum: Just had a report of the first confirmed casualty. Silly fuck was up a ladder (at 9pm - mid-winter here - pitch black) when the quake struck and he fell off.
(, Tue 19 Jun 2012, 16:43, 10 replies)
A 151 word story about MAD apocalyptic fallout

My ex would not wish the world to know that she likes to be read bedtime stories, or that she once released such a gargantuan turd that the toilet wouldn’t flush for a week. Likewise, there are dirty secrets that she knows about me that, God willing, will never see the light of day. People say that it’s romantic the way a couple can open up to one another, share their vulnerabilities. People are idiots. These things will out sooner or later if you’re living with a partner. Partners tell each other these things for the same reason countries have nuclear arsenals, but the partners bombs are “he makes a noise like a horse when he ejaculates”, or “she got so drunk she pooed herself”. There’s no intimacy in these shared truths, it’s a case of if I’m going down, you’re coming with me. Mutually assured destruction is not romantic.
(, Tue 19 Jun 2012, 16:10, 4 replies)
If there's ever a nuclear war, I've promised myself
that I'll shit my pants and cry. I believe in setting achievable goals.
(, Tue 19 Jun 2012, 16:05, Reply)
I survived the fire
of B3ta. Which also melted the servers of the forum that Mr Entity posted on.
We were forced to talk to each other!
(, Sun 17 Jun 2012, 17:12, Reply)
Scariest dream I've had
I'm stood on a street near my parents' house. No idea what the rest of the dream was about, but I look up towards the skyline and watch a mushroom cloud curling up.

Even now I can remember that feeling. Everything I wanted to do in my future was over, all my hopes and dreams and desires were pointless.

I'll take a scary monster chasing me any night now.
(, Sun 17 Jun 2012, 12:33, 1 reply)
When everyone was shitting it about the nuclear power plant in Fukushima
People in China started panic buying salt, since if you can saturate your body with normal iodine, then your body can't absorb any radioactive iodine. It might work, or you'll far more likely have a heart attack from eating too much salt. (Some even started panic buying soy sauce, as it's so salty). Here they are:

Bloody idiots.
(, Thu 14 Jun 2012, 23:39, 3 replies)

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