Survival Sam and I stood by in the aisle of the hardware store as Duane rummaged around for bolts and fixtures and such.
“Sam,” I said, “you said something about using ammunition for barter someday. Do you really think things will get so bad we’ll have to barter items?”
“Naw, I wouldn’t worry about something that’s not going to happen until next week.”
“Next week!” I practically shouted.
“Just kidding. But part of the survival and preparedness mindset is thinking about what now seems unthinkable. What happens if money’s not worth anything any more, or inflation is exponential, like in Zimbabwe? When the economy went south a few years ago, I heard a money manager say we were headed for the worst recession since the 1930’s.”
“I know nothing about the stock market, except what I hear on the news,” I said.
“Comparing things to the 1930’s means parallels to something besides recession. What I noticed is that the money manager didn’t use the D-word.”
“D-word?” I asked.
“You know, Depression. After all, isn’t that what we had in the 1930’s?”
“Yeah, you’re right,” I said. “But how many times have guys like that been wrong? Seems like we don’t go through anything more than the usual bump in the road. That happens every now and then.”
“Oh, well,” Duane interjected while rattling bolts, “to twist a line from the already twisted Cheech and Chong, ‘Depression, recession. It’s all the same, Man. Like, it’s a drag, Man.’”
“I never thought I’d hear Cheech and Chong quoted in this context,” I said.
“You never know where you’ll find philosophical nuggets,” said Sam. “My point, of course, is to raise that significant question. Are you ready for whatever we’re facing now or could potentially face in the future? How will you survive in a serious economic downturn?”
“Yeah, survive the unthinkable, right?” I said.
“As I mentioned when we got out of the car to come in here, put some food by in storage. I heard a storage food supplier put forth a radical notion. He said to buy a three to five year supply. Have at least a year’s worth for yourself and the rest for barter. Of course, if you can only add a few extra nonperishables when you go grocery shopping, or if you can buy a month’s supply from an online company, that’s a good start. If having even a little food on hand gets you by or even saves your life in troublesome times, is there a better investment?”
“OK, fellas,” said Duane. “I think I’ve got everything I can get from here today. I’ll pony up the bucks for these goodies and we can be on to the next stop.”