Regardless of your curiosity and enthusiasm, this is happening.
How does this fit into The Red Shirt Diaries – given that it’s really just a tongue in cheek monologue about my potential demise?
Well, a variety of ways, depending on your beliefs surrounding apocalypses and the opportunity for either mystical or man-made mayhem.
I can dispatch with the mystical variety pretty quickly…since I’ve been known to be brief never, you can feel free to be skeptical.
I guess if you run into your doppelgänger during an eclipse, you’re supposed to resist the temptation to fight them.
Now, I have no idea where this piece of advice originates or why it assumes my instinct would be to fight my doppelgänger, but let’s be honest here: does it really seem likely that either of us would win a physical confrontation?
No. No, it does not.
One of the other things I’ve heard is that animals will behave strangely during the eclipse. Specifically, I’ve been warned not to respond to talking dogs. Luckily for me, I just left all of my family dogs in Sunriver yesterday so that I could be at work at the airport during the eclipse, leaving me safe from canine kind as well as the Supreme Overlord of the Earth, Mistress Myrtle.
AKA: The Most Disturbing Feline In the World
But just to be safe, I think I’ll steer clear of the airport’s Pet Relief Area.
Speaking of vacation…my family planned its vacation in Sunriver last year and just happened to do a Monday-Monday trip to – get this – avoid the vacation traffic that comes standard with all Summer Sundays.
Yeah, that’s Monday, August 14th through Monday, August 21st.
The eclipse is on August 21st.
Sunriver is close enough to totality that I could spit on it…and I’m not a particularly accomplished spitter.
Fretting that my family would be stuck in traffic with the anticipated hundreds of thousands of eclipse watchers – and possibly their dopplegangers – I chose to leave on Saturday versus Monday and risk being late to or unprepared forwork Tuesday.
Not to worry, my boss expected me back on Sunday. It’s nice to be needed.
Making margaritas of the situation, my family extended their stay until Thursday.
Ah, retired life!
But, since I mentioned vacation in the path of totality, let’s delve into a more likely death scenario: Fatality in Totality.
Obviously, I’ve already cheated death by flying home in a puddle jumper and evading totality – see TRSD 14 – but it’s still on my mind because I really can’t wrap my mind around 100,000 people surviving a weekend in a town that is normally populated with a measly 6,000 souls.
Or 12,000 soles, assuming a zero amputation rate. Aw, hell…I’m using round numbers anyway.
Seriously, Capt Can’t has trouble anticipating bottled water needs for our five stores at PDX and its 25,000 daily travelers…and he does this every week and has 11 years experience. How can we reasonably expect a literal small business in a small town to figure out the bottled water needs for an assumed number of people for an uncertain duration of stay during a once in a lifetime occurrence?
And would that small business want to?
It’s a big risk and logistical nightmare for a small business to assume. This should literally be BYOEverything.
But last week – no, the week before – I was at lunch with my parents and mom mentioned seeing a story on the news about people renting semi trailers to park on the roadside, stock them with water and essentials and sell that shit right off the back of the trailer.
Those crafty bastards.
Of course, we assumed this would be strictly a cash endeavor…what could possibly go wrong?!?
And there you have the perfect storm for man made mayhem: demand outstripping supply and a trailer – literally – full of money.
Of course, by the time we were on the road, headed toward totality, we’d moved past that fear.
We realized that each of us having packeda case of wine – 24 bottles, total – that we (they, remember…I bailed out early like the corporate coward that I am) could fill our emptied wine bottles with water for the ride home. This took care of recycling, hydration and waste disposal all in one if the historic traffic jam came to pass.
I wholeheartedly support my family’s decision to extend their stay versus risking getting stuck in 10-12 hours of traffic jam and potentially having to pee into a wine bottle in front of one another.
Our mutual reluctance to end up in that position proves we are related.
And ensures we’ll all live to see whatever the next overhyped once in a lifetime occurrence is!
In case you’re curious, by the way, we order about 13 pallets of water each week. If I recall, a semi trailer holds 28 pallets. So for 175,000 weekly travelers – 100% of whom do not shop at our stores, either, because they don’t have to sustain themselves like they’re trapped in a Mad Max movie – we order nearly half a semi of water.
People camping outside in the peak of the Central Oregon High Desert? Yeah, that’s gonna be some serious Thunderdome shit right there.