The magazine Stay Alive is not a veiled attempt to rejuvenate the career of the ’60s music group The Bee Gees. No, it is a periodical intended for people who are pretty darn sure that at some point in the near future they are going to have to hunker down with their immediate family, probably underground, for somewhere between 5 days and 25 years, hoping to avoid just about everything that can happen to you in a Tom Cruise movie.
The magazine’s current edition is full of cheery articles, as evidenced by cover headlines like: Surviving the World’s Worst Typhoon; Choose a Survival Firearm; Arrange Back-up Ammunition; Post-Disaster Tools; and my favorite: The Day the Cell Phones Died, which makes me think that the Apocalypse is NOW.
My favorite feature (a poorly disguised advertisement, really) is titled: DON’T BUY SURVIVAL FOOD…UNTIL YOU READ THIS. That is the author’s ellipsis and I have no idea why it is there. I only mention that because I didn’t want you to think I had left something important out.
In the article, the writer advocates a particular brand of survival food, going so far as to say that it is “as good as or better than any survival food I’ve eaten.” This is the kind of testimony that is hard to discount, not unlike the words of Charles Manson who once grudgingly admitted that San Quentin had the best Salisbury steak of any prison he’d ever been to. You can’t buy PR like that. “The product literally flies off the shelves,” says the unidentified author. You can expect that line to show up on a lot of English teachers’ lesson plans on exactly how not to use the word “literally.”
In one paragraph, the author notes that “many people with good intentions are making critical food mistakes when stockpiling food.” I see this a lot when I am at Golden Corral for dinner. Do people ever learn?
The writer’s biggest concern appears to be that some of the MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) available in stores may only have a shelf life of five years, which is less than the lifespan of a jar of honey, but about 4 years, 11 months, and 3 weeks, six days and 22 hours longer than a tub of potato salad at a picnic. We also learn that buying this product will allow you to avoid the monotony of having the same boring meals every night for 25 years, a problem I am having now living above ground.
If you order a survival kit, which includes these meals, you get 5,550 heirloom survival seeds. Who counted these out? Whoever it was is not going to have any problem occupying himself underground for two decades.
Also thrown in with the deal are four hardcover books. They don’t tell you what the books are about, but with so much time to kill, I’m not sure anyone will care—as long as they are not library books. Oh, by the way, you also get a really cool 11-in-1 survival knife. After all, when you are about to go underground for the rest of your life, you deserve a lovely parting gift.