“What? Let ‘em haul me off to the FEMA camps?” Duane’s fork clattered into his plate of eggs. “I don’t believe what I’m hearing! What about that story you told us about the guy who wore the T-shirt that says, ‘Don’t get on the truck’?”
“Easy, Duane.” Survival Sam put his hand on Duane’s arm. “Let’s back up and take this slowly.”
“I’ll say. How about slowing it down to a complete stop.” Bright sun gleamed through the window as Duane reached for his orange juice. “I never thought I’d hear the Great Survival Sam say such a crazy thing. I mean, it’s just crazy.”
“I’m not sure I know what you’re getting at either, Sam,” I said. “Usually when we have these get-togethers at the Café 23, you focus on something that has to do with survival. Are you saying give up and give in to Big Brother?”
“What the…?” Duane reddened. “What kind of an answer is that?”
Sam looked momentarily at each of us. “To quote our beloved politicians when they speak to us about
“Ah, come on Sam, don’t play games.” Duane wadded and unwadded his napkin.
“Oh, believe me, this is no game, Duane,” said Sam, “and this is indeed about survival. You gentlemen may have heard that a number of British citizens are leaving their country and heading to where they hope there’s less socialism and oppression. No doubt some Americans are doing the same. There are certainly businesses heading out of the country.”
“Yeah, like we need more of that.” Duane looked down for a second. “Where would you go anyway?
We sat for a few seconds, letting that one sink in.
Finally I spoke up. “I remember hearing about one of those investment consultants with quite a following who moved to Chile, and that was some 20 years ago. Think how bad things have gotten since then.”
“Yeah, well, all I know is I sure can’t skip the country,” Duane said. “That’s for rich fat cats.”
“Most of us are in no position to emigrate.” Sam paused to sip his coffee. “Of course, if the
“There’s a thought,” I said.
Sam continued. “Consider another option, Duane. Perhaps you’ve read the posts on John’s blog featuring letters from Karl, Prell’s survivalist friend. He’s thinking of escape. If I read him correctly, he’s talking about getting out of the hot spots should anarchy break out or martial law be imposed.”
“Oh, yeah.” I put down my toast. “I remember you suggested once the idea of living for a while in caves. Is that what you mean, Sam?”
“Permanently?” Duane calmed a little. “Me and my family know how to camp out for a few days, but I’m not sure just how long we could hold out in the boonies.”
“perhaps a few days is all that would be necessary until the worst of the crisis of the day has passed,” Sam said.
“I don’t know.” Duane picked up his fork again. “By the time we’d get back home, everything would likely be looted by raging mouth breathers. That’s not for me. I’ll stay and fight to the death. I’m not doing all this prepping stuff for nothing.”
“None of us knows what will happen tomorrow, duane. I’m simply suggesting we consider all possibilities. Depending on the situation, it could be that your strategy is wise. In the aftermath of a hurricane you may want your shotgun in plain sight to keep looters at bay. On the other hand, in a different scenario, if you go up against federal troops, you’ll be outmanned and outgunned. Dying sounds noble, but Don’t try to be a hero only to get killed and leave your wife and children to fend for themselves. For the moment, stay informed on current events. Act wisely. Consider how you might survive the adversity at hand.”
“Yeah, I see your point, but I don’t like it.” Duane gulped his orange juice and banged his glass on the blue tabletop. “Look, we’re Christian men here at this table. When it comes to adversity, there’s a verse in the Bible–Jeremiah 29: 11 I think it is. It says, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
“History and practical experience prove that Christians aren’t immune to adversity.” Sam took a swig of coffee. “Incidentally, it’s interesting you bring up that verse, Duane. That verse is part of the text of a letter the prophet Jeremiah wrote from
I felt like I’d been hit with a mild lightning bolt. “Is that where the idea of going to the FEMA camps comes in, Sam?”
“Very perceptive, John. That’s the third option. Our choices are to flee, fight or fall in, in a manner of speaking. Necessity may dictate we go along with whatever program is offered. For example, if power and water are cut to wide areas, you can bet people will be standing in line waiting for the water and food trucks to come around. At some point many will gladly volunteer to move to internment camps, hoping for better circumstances.”
Duane bit off a piece of bacon. “I think we know how that story ends—and I do mean ends.”
“Not necessarily,” Sam said. “It could be an opportunity to do as my dad often told me to do as a young man. Whenever there was a job to be done, he’d say, ‘Make yourself useful.’ Do you have any skills that might make you indispensable?”
“Like what?” I asked.
“What has your background prepared you for? I seem to recall you telling me how your elderly friend in
“Yeah, that’s right,” I said. “He worked in the kitchen in the Royal Air Force. He spent most of his time in the
“Interesting.” Duane chewed a little more bacon. “You know, when it comes to submitting and all that, I know about the first few verses of Romans 13 and obeying authorities, but I just don’t know. It would still be hard to go along with whatever I might be asked to do by the powers that be at some concentration camp.”
Sam looked thoughtfully at duane. “Nobody’s asking you to be a loyalist. Just a pragmatic survivalist.”