Journal of the Great Shutdown, Day Eight

My credit card was declined when I tried to buy ammunition this morning. At first I thought the financial system had finally crashed, but my bank told me that the actual problem was the six pallets of Vienna Sausages I special ordered at Costco.

The first rule of post apocalypse club is to adapt, and I've adapted. I've emptied out Mrs. Clark's IRA – it's not like any of us is going to retire anyway.

I invited the Craigslist blacksmith over (his hourly rate is high, but it's surprisingly affordable when you realize that dollars are going to be worthless by this time next week). Turns out he's pretty handy at welding and is teaching me to "stick weld". The family minivan should be supercharged and up-armored by the time dinner (spam, tang, and matzo) is on the table. That project means that I have little time for further blogging, but in the mean time Nick Gillespie & Meredith Bragg have stepped up to fill the void.

If you haven't already stocked up on food, it's probably too late…but I suspect that the animal shelters still have cats.

For now.

You know what to do.

Last 5 posts by Clark


  1. Richard says

    Of course I know what to do.

    Get a cat, and use it to hunt mice, rats, squirrels, rabbits, birds, and other food.

  2. ZK says

    Get a few cats, and take funny pictures of them?

    Once the internet finally collapses, you can write misspelled captions on the pictures to simulate the old times.

  3. TomB says

    Shutdown theater:


    'Gestapo' tactics meet senior citizens at Yellowstone

    The bus stopped along a road when a large herd of bison passed nearby, and seniors filed out to take photos. Almost immediately, an armed ranger came by and ordered them to get back in, saying they couldn’t “recreate.” The tour guide, who had paid a $300 fee the day before to bring the group into the park, argued that the seniors weren’t “recreating,” just taking photos.


    (I think that means 'no sex')

  4. Burnside says


    Bet they weren't rangers, but actually Park Police. I've had "run-ins" with Park Police before, and they all had the same type of personality: hmmm, couldn't be a real cop, so I'm going the be the AWESOMEZORGEST PARK COP EVAH!

    Once, while camping at a national park and leaning against the wall of a cabin, part of the wall caved in due to dry rot. We reported it to the park rangers as a courtesy ("hey, looks like you have some dry rot here") and the park police threatened me with several felonies including destruction of government property, defacing a historic building, etc. It took every ounce of self control I had not to roll my eyes.

  5. Sinij says

    My doomsday preparedness plan consist of a map of preparers in my area. I fully expect that in the time of crisis my violence will be in high demand and will be freely exchangeable for anything I need.

  6. Jose Fish Taco says

    Ok, this stopped being funny after about the third try.

    I can't believe I'm saying it, but Clark, could you please go back to writing about Pax Dickinson or something?

  7. says

    People are still accepting your dollars?! I may need to take a road trip so I can dump the rest of mine. They're already worthless here.

    There's absolutely nothing "funny" about a man navigating the devastation left behind after the collapse of our great and benevolent federal government. Nothing.

  8. jb says

    BTW, I am back to thinking these posts are funny because the bank found a way to proceed with the sale despite not having an IRS transcript.

    The debt ceiling, however, not so funny. The Republicans should do a clean debt ceiling increase and double down on the shutdown.

  9. Ryan says

    I'm enjoying this series Clark's scathing indictment of survivalists/preppers, but what I really want to know is when the author is going to get eaten. The suspense is killing me :)

  10. says

    These are super-funny. My mom is probably going to have some difficulty getting treatment for her degenerative nerve disease since this will probably affect her financially, but it's a riot reading all these funny posts about this. Just because small, unimportant people are being harmed doesn't mean we can't all have a laugh about it.

  11. Luke says

    @jb –

    I closed on my house on the 27th & when I read your comment about this the other day I thought it was odd because I didn't remember needing the IRS. Friday in the mail I received a letter from the IRS saying they couldn't provide a transcript because the addresses didn't match (I had moved between filing & buying the house). In the end the bank didn't care either and I didn't even know about it until after the fact. Wonder if it is just a formality.

    Glad to hear that it worked out for you!

  12. Geek Chick says

    If you are planning on eating cats, raccoons, possums, or other non-standard meat critters, you should get a supply of lots of vinegar and salt . My Cajun friend shared the secret of how to eat any ole thing that swims, walks, flies or crawls upon the face of the earth (without hurling): soak the meat in vinegar over night, rinse out the vinegar, and then brine it for a couple hours. Apparently this removes the unpleasant "essence of roadkill" flavor.

  13. Shane says

    @Kevin Lyda

    My mom is probably going to have some difficulty getting treatment for her degenerative nerve disease since this will probably affect her financially …

    And how will this happen exactly?

  14. Shane says

    @Debbie Notkin

    Could you say something about the salmonella in chicken and how it can't be recalled because the FDA is furloughed?

    Clark won't, but I will.

    Two words …

    Cooking, Collusion

    I think that we are safer without the FDA, and just FYI the FDA doesn't recall the tainted food it is the producers that do that and yes Dorothy they do that on their own dime.

  15. TomB says

    Could you say something about the salmonella in chicken and how it can't be recalled because the FDA is furloughed?

    I'd like to say something about salmonella:

    Wash your hands thoroughly and often when working with raw chicken and cook it the whole way through.

    There, I saved you from the scourge of salmonella in raw chicken.

    No government involvement required.

  16. Mike_C says

    … a map of preparers in my area … my violence will be in high demand and will be freely exchangeable for anything I need

    Heh. Be sure to pick the right preppers. Many will be both willing and able to treat those with a regrettable tendency to commit aggressive violence — despite the anticipated breakdown of organized mental health services. Intracranial or intrathoracic injection of lead at several hundred (e.g. 9mm) up to nearly 3000 (.30-06) foot-pounds is the preferred therapeutic modality, or so I'm told.

  17. Erwin says

    Realistically, there's a small segment of government programs that impact the poor and disabled that are affected by the government shutdown. It really is unfortunate that those people are being harmed. And, well, they exist.

    There's some who feel that dismantling the welfare state is an overarching priority and that harming vulnerable people is a necessary harm of the success of that work. I can sympathize with those people. I don't know whether or not they are right. Personally, I'm more interested in reducing military/security state expenditures; reform of the financial sector; and reform of the medical system. Those strike me as higher priorities, but I could be wrong.

    Then, there's the idiots who claim that the government does nothing and no one will be impacted; the idiots who claim that the shutdown is an earthshaking event; the evil buggers who are gleeful that the poor will be harmed; and the idiots who think that a welfare state is a good thing.

    I have less sympathy for them.


  18. says

    I had cat decades ago and wasn't impressed. More recently I came to realize I just don't like the green curry. Yellow and red curry are OK though.

    About Chicken. I always rinse my wooden cutting-board off with a bit of bleach after cutting chicken on it.

  19. says

    I heard today that Obama is going to announce that NASA will be returning to the moon. It turns out Tranquility Base where the first moon walk occurred is now a national park and he wants to put up a sign saying it's closed.

  20. orvis barfley says

    yes, debbie, i'm enjoying these, too.  somewhere in the ether eudora welty and t.s. eliot are sharing a table and nodding.  eudora, as is her wont, is playfully toying with the cuff of tommy's pant with her big toe.