02 February 2009

Fun Things to Do after the Apocalypse


This whimsical list comes at the conclusion of a tongue-in-cheeck article on the subject of preparing for an "apocalypse" by a writer for the UK Guardian. As such, it is fairly UK specific.

It's not all bad: Fun things you could do after the apocalypse

• Pop into the National Gallery and take Jan Van Eyck's Portrait of a Man off the wall. (If you have no taste, take a Renoir.) The Van Eyck is hanging in the Sainsbury Wing. If you want to preserve it properly, Thomas Almeroth-Williams of the National Gallery suggests you store it in a slate mine, where the temperature and humidity levels are perfect for its conservation.

• Go to the British Library and help yourself to one of its two copies of Shakespeare's First Folio. One is in a box in a strong room under the library floor; the other is in a glass case in the Treasure Room. If you want to preserve it properly, Helen Shenton of the British Library suggests you store it in a cool, dark place, and watch it carefully for infestations by animals or fungi. Dust regularly.

• Steal the crown jewels. If you can. "There are contingency plans in place in event of a power failure," says a Royal Palaces spokesperson, "so the crown jewels should remain safe." Really? To preserve them properly, do nothing. A diamond is for ever.

• Invade the News of the World - it's in Wapping - and read all its secret files. Then break into M15. It's on Millbank. Read all its secret files too. Oh, no! She was murdered! I knew it!

• Go and stand on the stage at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Skip over the bodies of the dead actors. Re-enact the whole of Oliver!
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Now, of course, we all know stealing is wrong. And in an apocalypse scenario, preserving oneself in the state of sanctifying grace is infinitely better than the fruit of any of the above heists. But, just for fun, assuming we have 72 hours of Divinely-ordained carte blanche, the first thing any red-blooded St. Louisan should do:

Raid Ted Drewes before the inventory goes bad. I mean, right away. You may never taste anything like it again.

And what would I do first if I were in the author's homeland of England? I would head down to Westminster abbey, sit in Edward the Confessor's throne, and officially reclaim that place-- and the realm-- for the Church.

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