2016 has been a hellish year, all things considered - but looking ahead to 2017 and things could be about to get even worse. On January 20th, Donald Trump will be moving into the White House - and no doubt cladding it in gold straight after. Over here in Britain, Theresa May has said that she’ll invoke Article 50 by the end of March, starting the countdown clock on Britain leaving the European Union.
But at least now we have Christmas to cheer us up in the interim - and provide valuable time to stock up in preparation for dark times to come. So here’s our guide to what you should put under the tree for your loved ones if you’re worried about Brexit and Trump.
When the world goes to hell, currencies will too. With no credible central banks to endorse the value of paper with numbers written on it, the world will no doubt retreat to exchanging lumps of shiny rock instead. Of course, gold isn’t intrinsically valuable - but it is commonly recognised as valuable, so will be useful for trading with other bands of survivors when you encounter them. As it’s Christmas too, I guess you could conceivably gift gold in the form of jewellery rather than a lump of bullion, so that even if your loved ones think you’re insane for preparing for the end times, you can still help protect them.
“Why is it so cold, Daddy?” is set to be a persistent question once we destroy the only political institutions capable of mitigating climate change. And this is why when the gulf stream finally stops keeping Britain from freezing over you’ll wish that you’d been hoarding fuel instead. So give the gift of a jerrycan full of petrol or some nice ashwood.
A Good Stick
There are few tools as useful as a good, sturdy stick. It can be used to prod irradiated apples from dead trees, or rubbed against another stick to start a fire. It can even be used as a makeshift weapon to fight off wolves or marauding gangs of survivors. Perhaps not the flashiest of gifts, but this is the sort of thing that could be a family heirloom - passed down between survivors as a totem from the world that existed before the cataclysm.
Sometimes a stick won’t cut it. Which is why you and your loved ones will also need to be well armed in the post-Brexit hellscape. A hunting knife is always a good option, as it can also be used for killing squirrels, foxes and whatever else we may be forced to subsist on. But a gun can also be useful. Maybe go for an AK47 rather than anything too fancy - the gun has a proven track record of reliability in difficult conditions. And ammunition should be relatively plentiful as there are hundreds of millions of AKs out there - a big advantage over anything more specialist.
Survival and Combat Training
When society breaks down, it’ll be every person for themselves. WIthout the state and other institutions to mediate our interactions with other people, the only guarantor of trust will kin. With no police force, no army and no law, the biggest man will be in charge - and success in society will once again relate to who is the fastest, and the strongest. And I hate to break it to you, but nobody will give a shit about your web design skills and business studies qualification.
So now is the time to train yourself and your loved ones. Buy them some training - claim that you’re taking them on a fun “experience day” or something. But you’ll know the real reason.
Perhaps the biggest post-Brexit decision is going to be one about movement. Not freedom of movement between European countries - but whether you and your kin want to try to remain anchored to one particular location, or instead want to take your chances as a roaming group. Roaming does have its advantages: You can raid the camps of others without patrimonial bonds making it awkward, and who knows… you might stumble upon a brilliant cache of supplies if you stumble upon the ruins of an old ASDA or something.
Staying put has advantages too, as it means that you and your kingroup will learn the local area, and can become embedded as powerful local players. If you manage to successfully re-invent agriculture, it could also mean more stable food supplies.
But if you take this latter option, you’re also going to need somewhere to stay. So perhaps the best gift for your partner to wake up to on Christmas morning could be a reinforced concrete fortification in your garden. Don’t forget to include some heavy steel doors - you may also have to survive the bombs before you can start using it as a base.
Lots and Lots of Drugs
Finally, let’s face it: If we do face a nuclear holocaust perhaps being instantly vapourised when the bombs hit could be a blessed relief. The worst thing could be having to struggle along on a planet in a constant state of nuclear winter. So why not prepare your friends and family for this eventuality by stocking up now on drugs? Cannabis? Heroin? Something a bit more hallucinogenic for dessert? Basically whatever you think they might need to make it through the day.