Opinion: Apocalypse frau

I have just had a small taste of the apocalypse, my friends, and I can say with some degree of confidence, the flavor leaves much to be desired.

Months ago my husband Doo and I planned a vacation to his family’s lake house in northern Indiana. To help minimize the need for parental involvement, each of our four kids were allowed to invite one friend. Then Doo learned he had to work, so he was out, as was our oldest when his friend also needed to cancel. That left me with six children for four glorious days at a 100-year-old cottage with no competent boat driver. Good times!

The first day went alright, though I may have, sort of, accidentally crashed the aforementioned boat into the pier before I realized it was just too choppy to be on the water. Oopsy. That night, however, all hell broke loose. I awoke around midnight to gale-force winds and tornado sirens, followed quickly by a power outage and the realization that my twins had just turned 13. Coincidence? I think not. Displaying unusual cool-headedness though, I herded short ones downstairs and away from the wall of lake-facing windows, found and distributed flashlights, and calmly wished my new teenagers a happy birthday. After an hour of Pop Tarts and Nintendo-DS playing, we all headed back to bed, confident we’d have electricity by morning.

No dice. On my bike ride (the triathlon is looming!), I found tree branches and power lines down about a half-mile from the house in both directions, with nary a utility truck in sight. Ah well. Amish Day would just be arriving early this week. Only, Amish Day was soon pluralized, and the full extent of not having electricity began to take its toll. In addition to the obvious side effects of a power outage – no television for World Cup action, no way to charge cell phones and DS’s, no refrigeration for recently purchased high-quality frozen custard, and no high-octane coffee to assuage my caffeine addiction – we also had to contend with the unforeseen consequences, namely what happens when the water stops running.

So here’s an LSAT question for you: If seven individuals must utilize only four toilets and each commode can only be flushed once until power is restored, how long before the noxious fumes and general nastiness force the occupants to cut their vacay short and head home? As it turns out, about 36 hours. That’s all we lasted, folks. Not even two days! In the event of the real apocalypse, it won’t be the zombies that do me in (I have teenagers, after all) but the lack of working and hygienic bathroom facilities. Peace out.

Danielle Wilson

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the same year Dick Nixon was elected. Along with my twin sister and three younger sisters, I attended Catholic schools for thirteen years. (Holy Mother, pray for me.) I spent two years as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado until I wised up and transferred to a more normal school, Indiana University, where I received a B.A. in history and a teaching license just for funsies. In 2001, I officially entered the ranks of stay-at-home moms to care for my two-year old son and newborn twins. I have mentally blocked all of 2002 and most of 2003. In 2004, I received a Master’s degree in U.S. History from I.U.P.U.I. and a fourth child from my should-have-had-that-vasectomy-sooner husband. From 2005 until mid-2010, I played Super Mom in the yet-to-be released indie film "Provide Daycare for Your Sister-in-Law's Children Because You Don't Have Enough to Do Already." I returned to teaching this fall at an undisclosed Indianapolis school where thankfully very few parents know who I am. I am considering developing a bad habit.

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