Thursday, January 16, 2014

Let's play a game! Working in the Real

OK, before I go outside for my run-around, let's list three things we all know how to do that would be useful real-world skills (that is, having nothing to do with computers or not dependent on electricity) that would allow us to be picked for the surviving team in the apocalypse.

I'll go first:

I can shear a sheep, clean, card and spin the fleece and knit a sweater out of it.
I can snare rabbits and know how to use a tap-board to drop a net under a sheet of ice on a lake to catch fish.
I can shoot 13 clay pigeons in a row.

OK, now you.



Anonymous said...

good to know, I need a shearer for April.

Katharine B. said...

I am extremely fertile, have easy pregnancies and labor no longer than 3 hours with zero complications.

John said...

I can't do much of anything that's practical or of any use to anybody.
Although, I have been having a go at learning to make my own reeds. Not very successfully so far, alas.

On the other hand, I have no particular desire to survive the apocalypse. So it evens out in the end.



Lucy said...

I could crochet a blanket out of your spun wool.

I can be scary to strangers.

I can make frightened people brave, and handle toddlers.

(Also, once things stabilise a bit and we have paper, cardboard, fabric and time to write, I can make and bind you a blank book.)

Wendy in VA said...

I can teach children how to read, write, and perform basic arithmetic (up to algebra); prepare them for first Confession, first Communion, and Confirmation; and give them a solid grounding in the history and literature of Western Civilization.

Chloe said...

I could tat a lace collar and cuffs for the sweater. Or make copious amounts of sauerkraut.


rubyroad said...

I can calculate a square root by hand.

Dymphna said...

I have no problem shooting anyone who kicks in the main door. Other than that I'm not handy.

Anonymous said...

I could carve a rood screen. But I'm with John: I wouldn't want to survive the Apocalypse.


nic j said...

Okay, Hilary, I’ll play. Although I might have to go back on a previous undertaking.

But you have more than three skills. You’re either bragging or trying to make the rest of us feel better. My dear grandmother knitted, but she didn’t shear the sheep first. So I count at least six for you. The local fauna must have lived in terror.

I had to think for a little while to play this game of yours and I concluded my skills were both lesser and fewer, it won’t surprise you to learn. A period of introspection has not turned up much. Can I build a simple shelter out of rocks, twigs and leaves? Sorry, but no. Like your friend Kathy, I prefer the artificial. Finished timber and industrially produced roofing materials were required the last time.

So what can suburban-bred man offer to justify his existence?

1). I can walk quite a long way without getting tired. I can carry heavy burdens while I do so. That might be useful. The apocalypse might require us to travel and carry our own equipment. Can still run for a while too, even at my age – I’m older than you, remember. Well, it’s more of a jog. But cover some ground without driving. Go on a raid or a hunting party and not return until had slaughtered the great white bore, er, boar.

2). I can sing a bit in the lower register. In a world without pods, pads and other gadgets like thru-wired houses with internet sounds on demand, that might be nice. Lead a sing song. Impersonate the members of Steeleye Span a bit. This is somewhat shades of Tony Curtis in Spartacus, admittedly. I just hope I don’t run into Laurence Olivier. (Although, of course, who am I to…zzzz [oh, I must have sent myself to sleep there for a moment]).

I can’t think of any more really valuable post apocalyptic stuff right now. As you know, I can turn the occasional memorable phrase. But that’s more of a backroom, speech-writing-for-the-front man type of thing. Sitting on the big white horse like Papa della Rovere and leading the troops into battle has not so far been my line. It might be useful to learn in case the Christians needed to defend their hill fort against the hosts of Midian. No, wait! There’s number three; while taming a wild mustang is a little beyond me at the moment,
3). I can ride and stay on for quite a long time. Completely forgot that. I promise to learn to balance a lance very soon. Although if we have shotguns things might be easier.

So far, not too much. I can carry stuff for you, sing and canter about a bit. I shall obviously have to learn more useful skills.

So I will learn to make and use spears to throw at wild boars and others and lead the men in war songs, if you will knit us something warm to wear. The men will go and fight enemies and hunt big game while you teach the womenfolk to card, spin and overcome their squeamishness vis a vis small and water-dwelling wildlife.

As Mr Riley didn’t quite say, “All creatures of our God and King…” had better watch out for you.

But for now I hope the apocalypse (‘Apocalypse’?) doesn’t arrive too soon.

Mary K said...

New to your comment box, and I like your game.
I can help livestock in the birthing process, castrate the male babies, and vaccinate them. (I'm a people nurse...)
I can graft desired tree varieties onto hardy root stock.
I knit, crochet, sew, design my own patterns. I have combed the fleece from my own cashmere goats in the past, but I haven't devoted myself to spinning yarn from it.

BillyHW said...

I could do all the math required to fire a cannon on target.

(P.S. These capchas are getting too hard to do.)

Anonymous said...

I have and axe and a maul and can chop down trees and cut them into logs and firewood.

I have a pretty green thumb, and neat books on how to identify wild edibles.

I also write poetry:

Thanks, fun game!