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"Crack of dawn, all is gone except the will to be…"

2012. Damned Mayans - thanks to their all-knowing calendar, we know we've got less than 3 years left to enjoy this earth as is. Nobody ruins the good times quite like the Mayans, like a bunch of boo-bird calling from history. Well, you've been stocking your kitchen like there was going to be a nuclear war for years now so you may as well start the apocalyptic chow-down.

After you've exhausted that supply, you may want to start thinking about how you want to go wander in the post-apocalyptic landscape. Maybe this is a good time to re-invent yourself, to prove to your high school guidance counselor, all of your ex-girlfriends and the Mayans that you really had a pretty good grasp on what was actually important in life. They underestimated you - you're a survivor. You know full-well that the following things are going to be critical starting in 2013.

1. Cannibalism - As a word of advice for those who choose to join your tribe, beef isn't what's for dinner for that much longer. Keep an eye out for people who drink a lot of black cherry soda and men who cry during romantic comedies. They're very tender - there's no need to stew this meat. Even those who are a little tough and rotten on the inside have a place in the food chain. Lawyers make good jerky with a little seasoning and salt.

2. Dental hygiene - This field, one of the most promising of today and the last 10 years as determined by the US Census Bureau, isn't going to be slowed down by hell-in-a-handbasket scenarios. In fact, this field will become ever more important as teeth-gnashing crescendos follow whatever horribleness passes. If you aren't planning on switching to this exciting and lucrative career yourself, you should probably start scouring internet dating sites for a dental hygienist as a potential mate. If you've ever had a toothache, you know they're going to be deified in a bleak future. Conversely, don't go looking for lawyers and paralegals. In the anarchy of the post-apocalyptic world, a world without laws where only the strongest survive, people with a deep understanding of the law will best be garnished with parsley and a little crushed black pepper.

3. Recreational Vehicles - You know it as a staple in both the NASCAR and AARP crowds but the RV is more than just a vehicle with a bathroom. It is a means to escape, especially in cases and places where cannibalism was ill-advised. Sell everything you can and buy an RV today. If you can't sell everything, buy a pickup truck with a camper shell. If you can't sell anything, lash a waxed refrigerator box to the roof of your Honda and put a sleeping bag in it. Call Countrywide and let them know you will have your revenge. Mail your monthly mortgage payment stapled to cases of black cherry soda.

4. Firearms - Duh. Try to find a popular caliber so you're always covered. You want to make sure your gun shoots more than paint before 2012.

5. Stockpiled Boyardee - The original lion of American cuisine until the Crocker woman stole a lot of its thunder, thanks are in order for the real chef Ettore Boiardi who single-handedly introduced Americans to the 'roni' concept of meals. Be mindful that you can't eat human flesh all of the time. It's just not practical.

6. Dental floss - See (2). If you're not making that career choice right now, you had better be winsome and charming.

7. Fanciful haircut - You've no doubt noticed that no matter what hardships were suffered in the wasteland of "The Road Warrior" starring Mel Gibson that people still find the time to highlight and color their hair. While this may seem needless, it serves many valuable purposes - none greater than attracting a dental hygienist.


8. The entire catalog of Night Ranger - Nothing like the stillness of an earth reborn to make you really appreciate how good these guys were.

9. Ventriloquism - Odd, for sure …but very necessary.

10. Clothing that sparkles with a lot of zippers and pockets - It's going to be a challenge to find the right cut in a fabric that won't wear out quickly. If you're going to be representing the future in a post-apocalyptic world, you want to do it with some pizzazz. Think of Thriller-era Michael Jackson, Mercury-era astronauts and Snake Pliskin with a hooded cape. Yeah, maybe this sounds silly but do you know what really sucked about the inter-galactic instructions Jody Foster received in "Contact"? No dress code. How dumb is that? Believe me, when she showed up somebody was embarrassed for her. No matter whether it's the future or distant planets, you always want to over-dress …in layers.

-William Cadillac Donovan

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