Spoofs & Satire

How I Survived the Various Apocalypses

From zombies to aliens to zombie-aliens, the times that, with civilization at its very brink, against all odds—you know the drill.

Credit: Stephen Dann

Zombie Apocalypse

A fairly standard apocalypse, as apocalypses go. Had to barricade myself in a used bookstore with a handful of other customers as they argued over what course of action to take. Stayed away from the drama myself. Found a cozy little corner and caught up on my reading until the National Guard arrived and decimated the undead hordes. It was all pretty much like you see in the movies, except in real life you can’t kill a zombie by shooting it in the brain. It has to be the solar plexus.

Dinosaur Apocalypse

Couldn’t make it safely indoors during this one. Had to hide in the branches of an oak tree with several strangers. The trick was to stay high enough to avoid the lunging T-Rexes, yet low enough to avoid the swooping pterodactyls. It took weeks for the National Guard to kill the dinosaurs. By that time we considered ourselves Tree People, above you Earth Dwellers both literally and figuratively. We were determined to stay put and continue our tree society, but three days later the authorities called in a lumberjack and we were forced to disband and return to our land-homes. Even now, years later, I sometimes climb the maple in my backyard and dream about what might have been.

Republican Apocalypse

Waited out the worst of it, then, at first opportunity, voted Democrat.

Alien Apocalypse

As the cities were laid to waste, I fled into a remote cave. Unfortunately, I was captured after discovering that their spaceships bore a strong resemblance to remote caves. Sneezed on as many aliens as possible in an effort to kill them with our native bacteria, against which they have no defense. Was probed approximately 12 times for every sneeze. Stopped sneezing on them and willingly became human slave/pet. Later came to my senses and realized I had hallucinated the entire thing. I was in a cave after all. Will never again sample mushrooms while hiking.

Cyclops Apocalypse

Barricaded myself inside a muffler shop with a group of other people. Tried to lighten the tension by frequently remarking that “Cyclops Apocalypse” very nearly constituted an amusing rhyme. The others weren’t impressed. After rigging an armored SUV in the back of the shop, they decided to leave me behind. Turns out the Cyclops, though scary looking, were completely harmless, even friendly. The National Guard wiped them out, anyway, just to be safe. Occasionally I still see Randy, one of our muffler shop group, around town. We avoid making eye contact.

I ran off to safety as they debated among themselves whether to eat my face or give me an all-expenses-paid trip to the Bahamas.

Game Show Host Apocalypse

Got cornered by several of these fiends in an underground parking garage. Thought it was the end for me, but instinctively I recited a bio including my name, occupation, hobbies, and a tedious anecdote. I ran off to safety as they debated among themselves whether to eat my face or give me an all-expenses-paid trip to the Bahamas.

Snowman Apocalypse

Overtaxed by all the recent apocalypses, the National Guard couldn’t be fully mobilized and they advised everyone to stay inside their houses all winter. Didn’t even need barricades, because snowmen can’t do much damage with those little stick arms. Got to sleep in and watch a lot of cable and even managed to get a good start on writing my novel. Snowmen all melted by the first week in March. Best apocalypse ever.

Democrat Apocalypse

Voted Republican.

Telemarketer Apocalypse

Although they still come after me now and then, it’s with nowhere near the same apocalyptic frequency. I’m much more patient with them these days, but during the worst of it, I would just hang up right in the middle of their spiels. Felt guilty about it, but in extreme circumstances you do what you have to do to survive.

Monkey Apocalypse

Was in bed for a few days with a bad case of the flu and missed this entirely. Thought I heard some inhuman screeches coming from outside at one point, but assumed it was just a passing troop of monkeys not necessarily related to an actual monkey apocalypse.

Assistant Manager Apocalypse

Didn’t need to take any severe measures during this one. If one or more of them tried to eviscerate you, all you had to do was demand to see their boss and they would immediately shuffle off.

Guy Wearing Gold Chains Apocalypse

This one has been going on for quite some time. Until the National Guard gets on the ball and eradicates these characters, all you can do is shake your head and try not to laugh.

Robot Apocalypse

Voted human.

Ralph Gamelli has been published in The Big Jewel, McSweeney’s, Monkeybicycle, and Yankee Pot Roast. This is the part where he’s supposed to put down some little joke, but as always he refuses to bow to societal expectations. More by Ralph Gamelli