Doomsday, now with extra luxury

One of the best times I ever had as a teenager was the day our high school took part in a county disaster drill. Dos Pueblos High got to play Earthquake Victim for a Day. Kids were assigned a variety of fake near-fatal injuries and got to scream and pretend to be trapped under debris in the Social Studies quad, or to walk around moaning like mummies until the paramedics and firefighters corralled us in the student parking lot for triage. If I recall, I even managed to get my picture in the local paper, writhing on the asphalt as an EMT poured water on my face to wash off the half gallon of fake blood I’d enthusiastically applied.

I was play acting. The emergency workers, on the other hand, were doing what we all should hope will happen in a real disaster: helping those who need it. That’s why I just roll my eyes and shake my head when I read stories like this:

Doomsday shelters line Kansas missile silos.

Tucked deep beneath the Kansas prairie, luxury condos are being built into the shaft of an abandoned missile silo to service anxious — and wealthy — people preparing for doomsday.

So far, four buyers have plopped down a total of about $7 million for havens to flee to when disaster happens or the end is nigh. And developer Larry Hall has options to retro-fit three more Cold War-era silos when this one fills up.

Arm yourself, cower, bar the door. That seems to be the mentality. Abandon friends and neighbors. Don’t help. Don’t even think about preparing your community to band together and survive. And there’s an odd combination of fear and anticipation that seems off base here. Just lock, load, and spin the wheel to seal your blast door. Then wait until you can emerge into the smoking wreckage of the aftermath, when you can shake your fist at the blasted landscape and say, “I told you so.”

These “doomsday preppers”, as they are called, want a safe place and he will be there with them because Hall, 55, bought one of the condos for himself. He says his fear is that sun flares could wipe out the power grid and cause chaos.

He and his wife and son live in Denver and will use their condo mostly as a vacation home, he says, but if the grid goes, they will be ready.

Okay, aside from folks whose idea of fun is to go to sleep in front of a 52″ plasma screen and wake up in the middle of A Canticle for Liebowitz, who leaves the majestic Rockies to vacation 175 feet down a hole on the prairie?

5 responses to “Doomsday, now with extra luxury

  1. “Fear and anticipation”: exactly. And I’d lean toward the anticipation if I had to. There are a lot of people out there who desperately wish they could play The Walking Dead for real. (Of course, these people all want to be Shane, not Rick.) Zombies = desperate neighbors looking for food and assistance? F, yeah! In a way, our mega-houses and the like already reflect this mentality of isolationist luxury . . .

  2. YES, Meg! One of the most fun days in high school AND getting a ride in an ambulance.

  3. Sounds like survivalists with deeper pockets. Social Darwinism on steroids. Makes me sad.

  4. I finally got a ride in an ambulance…long after most of the other victims had been taken away. I was only blinded, so no big emergency. What a blast that was, though I have to admit, I envied Shannon Pullen with her shrieks and wails. I just lay on the ground and cried for my mom. Shannon got taken quickly.

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