Monday, December 7, 2009

Skills that won't be worth cinnamon

I'm pretty darn sure, at some point, our earth is going to be reduced to a pile of post-apocalyptic rubble. There will still be humans, for sure, but dust-covered ones that forrage for food in a world were giant EMPs have wiped out most of our proudest technological achievements. In our new, dirty world, we'll rely on the food we've stored, what we can grow, and whatever we can trade for.

And I'm fine with that.

Maybe I won't live to see it, but I know whenever it happens, my posterity or I will see an end to it all eventually - one way or another.

What I am worried about, is what happens when we run out of spice. You see, I'm with Frank Herbert on this one - in a world devoid of quickie marts and grocery stores, with a very real risk of all that stored and grown food becoming repetitive and dull - spice will be the new gold.

And I am unfortunately cursed with a vast array of skills that won't be worth cinnamon.

I sometimes picture this; a dust-ridden, dark earth of humans scrounging around, trading and bartering for supplies...and me, standing rake-like, hunched over at a shanty stall attempting to trade my skills for some cinnamon for Christmas. The vendor asks, "Whatcha got?"
  • "I can write some basic html. Well, not as much as many other people, but I could scratch a few things out in the dirt here. No? Not worth cinnamon?"
  • "How about typing? I can type at 110wpm."
  • "Okay, I am really good at 'saves'...you know, say you were to accidently to knock that pouch of salt off of the table there, I would be able to snatch it up before it hit the ground. Go, try me. Wait, I was expecting that, so technically that's just a 'catch'. You need to do it when I'm not ready, and then you'll see I'm really quite talented. I wasn't looking, you can't do it while I'm not looking."
  • "I can pick things up with my feet."
Then I trudge away empty-handed to serve up yet another night of bland potato mash back at the family shack, muttering the entire way, "If only I could build stuff...or sew...or garden...or hunt...or play a lute".

Then I realise, I'm not the provider - Haki will be the one in the spice predicament - and fortunately for our family, he is very good at opening very old jars, has some sweet tecktonik moves, would be an excellent human ambassador among a monkey people or alien visitors, can spot a faulty robot or cyborg a mile away, could probably devise an ad hoc way to make urine drinkable if we were in a pinch, would also make a very good postman, and I'm pretty sure he has epidemic resistance. In fact, I think the air he exhales acts as a smokescreen against all danger.

All bases = covered
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