Apocalypse When?

Call me a skeptic, a cynic, I don’t care. Heck, go the distance and call me a heretic, if you wish.

Truth is, I don’t believe in the Zombie Apocalypse.

Or the Four Horsemen variety, for that matter.

It’s not that I harbour illusions about mankind’s lease on this planet having no expiry date, or renewal not being an option.

I’m not one of those – their official title is The Silly People – who refuse to accept that our climate is changing in ways that suggest we’re living on borrowed time, or that our profligate ways are part of the reason.

The laws of physics (about which I know practically nothing) dictate that the party will come to an end – not just for our species, but for all others, with the possible exception of mosquitoes and some rather nasty viruses.

Indeed, one of the laws of thermodynamics makes it perfectly clear that the cosmic Energizer Bunny we call the Sun will eventually run out of gas, and things will get a mite chilly in these here parts.

No, I readily acknowledge that we are all doomed. Doomed, I tell you!

But being of a somewhat literary bent, I incline to T.S. Eliot’s view that humanity’s run on the 3rd rock from the Sun will end with a whimper, rather than a bang.

Many wise heads, in the Yukon and elsewhere, can and will postulate about how it will all go down.

Glaciers will melt. Oceans will rise. Climatic zones will drift. Species will migrate, mutate, or simply disappear. The wise heads have done the math, compiled the evidence, modeled the models, projected the projections.

What do I know? My real-time interest in science reached its zenith the day Mr. Ferguson demonstrated to our Grade 11 biology class how to dissect a pigeon.

To paraphrase what John Keats found scribbled on a Grecian urn, that’s all a fellow knows, or needs to know, on this imperilled 3rd rock.

Armed with the wisdom Mr. Ferguson imparted, I can fi llet a spruce grouse with the best of them. I could de-bone a backyard chicken with alacrity and apply the same anatomical principles to a mouse, a moose, even a monster trout from Teslin Lake.

Which leads, f nally, to the main hypothesis of this article: When the end times come, either through cosmic catastrophe, or creeping in a petty pace from day to day (as the Bard and Mr. Eliot would have it), the best place on Earth to be is probably the Yukon.

Fact: survival is encoded in every Yukoner’s DNA. Ask yourself: does your condo on the 32nd floor in Downtown Urbanville have a wood stove? Even if the elevator is working, will the deli on the main floor still be open? Do groceries roam freely on the streets around you?

If you even know your neighbours, would any of them go to the mat for you?

I thought not. You’re doomed. Doomed, I tell you.

By contrast, every single Yukoner has access to a chainsaw, a firearm, a coil of snare wire, a clutch of fishing tackle, a berry basket and a motley assortment of neighbours eager to barter, or otherwise assist in your apocalyptic adventure.

Yukoners know a moose can acquire 1,500 pounds of avoirdupois at the salad bar alone, while a 600-pound grizzly gains its girth on a diet of herbs and berries.

Yukoners have mentors like Larry Leigh, who can explain in 500 words how to jerryrig a shelter, or keep your knickers dry in a blizzard.

They have clever folks like Bev Gray or Miche Genest to tell them how to forage for organic goodness, or convert a dandelion leaf into a gourmet delight.

They have mycologists to explain which wild mushrooms will enhance that succulent caribou steak without killing you.

Most important, they have ready access to the wisdom of those whose ancestors thrived for centuries in the pre-urban rigours of what we call the Yukon Territory.

Bring on the zombies, I say. We’ll recruit them into the Colourful Five Percent.

And those four horsemen? Legend has it the last to arrive will be astride a pale pony. Hmmm… Pale pony. White horse. Need I say more?

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