I saw a lot in the papers about “Doomsday Preppers” in the papers last month in the weeks leading up to December 21st – the date of the mystical Mayan prophesy of the end of the world. There were all these people who believed that the world was about to be hit with some sort of major catastrophe which would lead to the breakdown of society and the end of life as we know it. There was even a TV series about them called Preppers UK: Surviving Armageddon.
Now I’m all for having something extra in the freezer for a rainy day and a couple of tins of tuna in the cupboard but I kind of considered the mass stockpiling of food (not to mention, in the US, weapons) to be, well frankly, a bit bonkers. That was until I went up in the loft last night to put the Christmas decorations away and discovered….. to my amazement…. that I’d been a early Doomsday Prepper. But clearly my commitment to the cause was rather faint-hearted as I’d forgotten I’d even been one.
It happened just like this: I moved a box in the loft and the lid fell off. Inside were the sum total of my preparations for armageddon. No keys to a bunker, no Ray Mears books about how to live off the land, no knives, fish hooks or water purification tablets… Just the following:
Eight packets of Cup a Soups
Ten tins of vegetable soup
4 tins of Jersey new potatoes
They were all marked “Use By 2007″ so I’m not planning to eat them… well probably not. So how did they get there? Well I’ve got this hazy memory of buying some extra soups following the 2000 fuel protests – the closest time I can recall to there being a chance of Britain’s supermarket shelves becoming empty. Frankly I’m rather embarrassed about my secret food stash – and I’m certainly embarrassed about throwing away what is quite probably edible stuff… I’m also slightly bemused by the fact that we’ve moved since these products were bought – and they must have moved with us!
So next time I see something about these wacky doomsday worriers I will perhaps view them with a little more kindness…. as clearly I’m not quite as detached from them as I thought I was. Now, where’s my tin opener….?