TMI Questions: It’s the Apocalypse!
I have long loved disaster movies. Irwin Allen was a master chef and I ate at his table frequently. Just the thought, the thrill, the drama. So, this week's TMI Questions are right up my alley.
Questions designed to reveal Too Much Information
It’s the Apocalypse!
Have you lived through a natural disaster?
Tornadoes in North Minneapolis, May 22nd, 2011 - Devastated many neighborhoods. My LLC owns eight homes in North Minneapolis and not a single bit of damage on any of them! Huge trees toppled right next door to them. Homes were demolished, many rendered unlivable. But ours scathed through untouched. A giant mystery to me; I was very, very fortunate.
What did I do during the storm? Unbelievably, I slept. Had no idea until the next day.
And more recently the horrendous storms, June 22nd: tons of trees down. Again, my corner of the world spared while a block away, trees were ripped out of the ground, causing lots of damage. I hope my luck holds. I think, with global warming, or perhaps, this time in the evolution of the earth, we can expect a lot more bizarre, deadly weather.
I survived the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. It was so cool. I was living in this mostly empty three story house, where I would hold rehearsals and throw crazy parties. I had friends who came for a visit. They owned a Yugo! They ended up having to stay overnight and the next morning the Yugo was completely buried in snow. We had to dig down to find it. It was surreal.
And the biggest natural (as far as we know) disaster that I ever survived was the AIDS crisis: Fuck you, Ronald Regan and George Bush, and all the others that stood in the way, or turned a blind eye as thousands perished. You were all cowards and should have been brought up on charges of genocide. Your inaction was criminal and despicable.
Which natural disasters could occur where you live?
Tornados and Blizzards.
And zombies. I live quite close to a huge cemetery. (What? Zombies could rise due to natural elements. At least, it would seem very natural to me.)
Oh, and if the sun dies or a giant meteor started coming toward earth.
And Tom Emmer taking Michele Bachmann’s seat in the House of Representatives – very scary, Mary.
Which natural disaster would scare you the most?
Fire scares me (I am Frankenstein), as it is so unpredictable. The idea of dying in a fire breaks my heart. I would just pray that the carbon monoxide would knock me out first, so that I wouldn’t know what was happening and wouldn’t feel any pain.
Also, the idea of my dogs being trapped or me being unable to rescue them terrifies me. If that happened, and they perished, I’d be one of those people who would either clam up and never speak another word or one of those that howl it out like a banshee.
That said, ‘The Towering Inferno’ is one of my all-time favorite bad movies. All those rich, rich people, in bad tuxes and polyester evening wear burning up. Delicious fun. Also the original ‘Poseidon Adventure’. Nothing makes a disaster more elegant than the right 1970’s evening gown.
What kind of preparations have you taken to survive the next one?
I live in a house with a steel beam. It was built in 1952, probably as a bunker. Yes, I already know exactly where to hide when the zombies come (no, I am not telling you).
I have tons of bottled water in the trunk of my car.
I have a well-stocked pantry, which I actually monitor from time to time with the thought of survival in mind.
I like the idea of surviving, but in practical terms, I would probably wuss out and swallow a handful of Ambien (after my dogs were gone). Rather that, than risk being eaten by a zombie or controlled by Ted Nugent.
Which disaster, natural or manmade, do you fear the most?
Theatre. Musical Theatre, in particular. Oh, the horror.
I have survived two such self-made manmade disasters. Both on a scale of epic ego-inflated, delusional grandeur.
First was a production of ‘Piaf’ in the mid-haties, which I managed to squeeze all the humor out of by inflating it to a three hour production – complete with a ‘mourning bride’ who danced about supplying the little sparrow with heroin, lots of white pancake, a set constructed from shipping crates and lots of weird ‘Bob Fosse’ moments, a la ‘All That Jazz’. As if that were not enough, I also felt that Piaf’s own music was not enough and added a bunch of Elton John songs (‘We All Fall In Love Sometimes’, ‘Idol’, and ‘Cage the Songbird’) because… I wanted to! (WTF?)
Needless to say, the actress playing Piaf had a breakdown during dress rehearsals and I had to toss out a number of her songs to relieve some pressure. She got RAVE reviews and my direction got the stink-eye. The run went on for what seemed like forever. By the final week, the cast was starting to have way too much fun on-stage at the production’s expense, as I sat in the light booth staring at the stage mumbling, “Die already. Why won’t you die?”
The second? A musical I wrote. I decided I would take the high road and hire everybody to do everything and just play producer. Ticket sales were great. I was promoting the hell out of the thing. But the production proved to be a complete and utter disaster: four actresses who fought viciously with one another throughout, a director who did NOTHING, a musical director with a tin ear and a thing for marching tempos, a music producer who wasted a thousand dollars of studio time producing absolutely nothing I could use, and a costumer who could not sew and eventually just pulled things from people’s closets. The set however was fabulous – giant martini glass graphics, lots of neon, backlit multi-colored liquor bottles – very clever stuff.
I died a million deaths throughout final dress rehearsals. Then I made the mistake of giving the preview audiences comment cards. Let’s just say ‘worst musical ever written’ came up a lot, seconded by ‘you suck Marvin Hamlisch’s balls’. In other words, I got off easy. My bank account and reputation? Not so much.
The other manmade disaster I fear? The world according to Ted Nugent or ‘DoucheWorld’ as it shall hereby be known. The only hunting I am in favor of is that of nutbag celebrities (looking in your direction Victoria Jackson).
Which manmade apocalypse do you think is most likely?
Nukes – Kaboom!
It will come in the form of a nuclear meltdown at some plant in Florida or Russia (You know, those neglected, poorly-managed places). Or in the form of nuclear warheads at the hand of some crazed dictator (looking in your direction, Korea). We will all die painfully, with our skin sliding off. Especially Ted Nugent.
Zombies, aliens, asteroids, plague, ice age or ‘?’ Survival is possible: What will you do?
I’m not a joiner. So I will be keeping as low a profile as possible. Mostly hiding in my basement. Though I may go work/volunteer at an animal shelter.
I will steal everything in sight. I am a natural scavenger. Born with it. Can’t help it. Actually enjoy it. But I am a scavenger - not a survivalist, not a hunter. So, unless there is something left to live off of, I will probably die. (And good riddance!)
Ever see ‘Night of the Comet’? If you haven’t, do. That’s what I would do.
Describe the apocalypse, natural or manmade, real or fictional, you'd choose to end all life as we know it.
A virus that causes terminal silliness.
The first afflicted would be all the financial barons of the world, those blowhards of the Christian Right, all politicians, and all news pundits. I would love to see what new heights of silliness could be achieved. I would like to think that silliness could save the world.
I would like to live and die in a world where Russell Brand is rendered redundant.
In one month the world will end. How do you spend it?
Dancing. Alone in my living room. Mostly to Peggy Lee singing ‘Is That All There Is?’ and ‘Dancing in the Dark’ from ‘Bandwagon’
I’d listen to music constantly. Playing all my favorite songs one last time.
I’d want to walk in the woods, unless that wasn’t possible.
If we could be outside, without fear of zombies, or melting, or being eaten, then I would go to the prairie and lie naked in the grass and stare at the sky. I’d take a picnic.
If the end were certain, I would stay off the internet, stop taking calls, stop watching television.
I would play the piano – but things others have written.
I’d walk the dogs and cherish them and give them all the treats they wanted.
I might visit the Walker Art Center, ponder the art, and wonder what it all meant.
I might travel to Simi Valley, California and take a giant dump on Ronald Regan’s grave.
And on that final day… I’d consider taking a couple of sleeping pills to let it all happen without me, but most likely I would wait to see if it was really all over, so I would know how it really ends. As much as I dislike endings, I also think they are an essential part of living and, especially in this case, dying.
Have you ever had a sexual experience that you'd classify as the end of world? Was it a good end or bad?
It was the end of the world as I knew it.
I didn’t always recognize it as such at the time. But the last time you make love to someone that you truly care about and then that relationship comes to an end? In hindsight, that moment becomes the last breath.
There have been only two relationships that I did not want to end, to the point that I put them on life support for a full six months. Needless to say, they didn’t make it.
I smothered with a pillow and never looked back.
And now: here’s some timeless, haunting songs - ones that I would be playing more than once before the end of days.
Videos for the End of the World
End of the World by Matt Alber
Is That All There Is by Peggy Lee
Dancing In the Dark from ‘Bandwagon’
Let’s Go Out Tonight by Craig Armstrong
Lullaby by Billie Joel
Lost by Annie Lennox
End of the World by Skeeter Davis