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Ask Pajiba (Almost) Anything: Let's Get Apocalyptic

By Tori Preston | Miscellaneous | January 23, 2018 |

By Tori Preston | Miscellaneous | January 23, 2018 |


Move aside, hairy legs and feminist boyfriends! Today’s “Ask Pajiba” is going to be tackling something a bit more speculative. Something a bit more… apocalyptic. Because it’s literally about the apocalypse! And also sports, because apparently making me talk about fucking Bitcoin wasn’t good enough.

(Reminder: send your speculative fiction prompts and/or life questions to [email protected] and we’ll duck down into our Pajiba Bunker to review them over cans of baked beans!)

This week’s question comes from a longtime commenter, who is waiting for the world to end apparently. But Quatermain — if the world ends, the internet will crash and WHAT ABOUT PAJIBA THO?! #priorities

Is Alabama just the greatest football school in SEC history, or are they, in fact, the greatest football school in the overall history of college football?

Also, I’ve been promised a civilization-ending apocalypse at least three times a week since November of 2016 and, to be honest, I’m getting a little impatient for my chance to either carve my own kingdom out of the radioactive wasteland and/or drive the last of the V-8 Interceptors, fight roving gangs of bikers/bondage enthusiasts for gasoline and take my chance in the Thunderdome against a midget riding a fat guy. Anybody got an insider’s knowledge re: a timeline for when that might happen?

Roll Tide,


Dear Quatermain,

What the fuck is “football” and what’s it got to do with the history of the Securities and Exchange Commission? Oh… oh. You weren’t referring to the government agency. Well, I dunno what this other “SEC” is, but I shared your question with the Overlords and here are some of their thoughts, verbatim, taken out of order and in absolutely no context. Ready?

“I feel bad dumping on the Alabama football team just because Alabama doesn’t really have a lot going for them. But it it also fun for that very reason. They get so mad.”

“They have the most national championships in the SEC, but college football is really about making money, and Texas A&M appears to do better in that regard.”

“Princeton and Yale also have more national championships, it appears”

“That being said, their ass was just saved by a true freshman from Hawaii, so I’m gonna give them greatest of all time. But they have to acknowledge that they owe everything to Hawaii”

Does that help, at all? I can’t tell.


Anyway, let’s get to the meat of the issue: THE END OF THE WORLD. You want to know when it’ll happen. Answer is… uh, I dunno. Why would I have inside knowledge? Do I look like the Antichrist? Don’t answer that.

But since “I dunno” is a boring answer, especially in response to Thunderdomes and radioactive wastelands, let’s approach this from a different angle. Since you’re so eager to test your survival in a post-apocalyptic scenario, let’s explore some of those scenarios and think about what skills would be necessary to survive them!

Nuclear Attack: Lately this has seemed like the most immediate threat to our existence. But really, all you need to survive it is forethought and forewarning (and not being inside the blast radius when it happens, obviously). Build a bunker. Fill it with supplies (non-perishable foods, first aid stuff, batteries or whatever, and fuck-tons of water). Wait it out until the surface of the planet is livable again. The main concerns are stockpiling ENOUGH supplies, and being able to contend with any mutants you might encounter when you resurface. Make sure you do your homework on fallout and how to treat radiation burns.


Cannibal Holocaust: Be less tasty or something. I dunno, I never watched that movie.

Global Warming: This is a tough one, because the effects of global warming are so wide-ranging. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is you would need to be prepared for. Droughts? Heat waves? Intense rain events? Rising sea levels? Changing ecosystems, which could lead to the extinction of plants and animals? Take the bees, for instance. As their life cycles get disrupted, it impacts the pollination of plants, which then impacts the food sources of other animals. Or if the temperatures rise for extended periods of time, crops could die off, and water could evaporate, raising the humidity level and encouraging certain diseases to spread. Part of it has to do with where you live, but then again — timing is everything. Should you avoid coastal areas now, or should future generations worry about it? My advice? Definitely set up your own rooftop apiary now, but maybe hold off on recycling your urine.


Robot Uprising: Look, I don’t care how fucking badass you are — you are not going to be badder an ass than a fucking killer robot. So instead of weapons and brawn, you’ll need some serious engineering skills. Either build your own robot, or reprogram one to defend you. Terminator has shown us the way.


Actual Biblical Apocalypse: Be a good person? Or something? oh wait — be a Winchester!


Zombiepocalypse: When society collapses under the strain of too many rambling, brain-eating corpses, the key to survival will be banding together. After all, you’ll need someone to act as a lookout and make sure your ass isn’t eaten while you sleep. And in order to do that, you’ll need to be useful — otherwise you’re just another mouth to feed, or zombie waiting to happen. Doctors will do fine. Any makeshift community would love to have a doctor around! Farmers and hunters as well, because people have to eat. Mechanics can fix cars to help people move around faster. Sure, it’s nice to think that maybe you’ll be able to LEAD some group of survivors, and set up your own bullshit little fiefdom made up of fear and loathing, but I think the safest bet is to just become an expert in something that makes you worth keeping around.


And really? “Learning” will probably be the key to ANY apocalyptic scenario. Educate yourself on how to survive. Weapons and strength may help against a horde, but it’s not gonna help you fight a staph infection, or radiation, or… ya know, robots. Personally, I’m banking on dying out in the first wave of any apocalypse, so I won’t have to deal with any of this nonsense. Survival is overrated.

Tori Preston is the managing editor of Pajiba. She tweets here. You can also listen to her weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.