Ah, this writing class I’m taking… It’s a treasure trove of reading and writing enlightenment. The homework for our last class was titled Funhouse Mirror and again was from The 3 a.m. Epiphany: write a caricature of some aspect of yourself. Blow it up. Take it to the extreme.
At first I thought I’d take some part of Johanna which is exceptionally vulnerable and see how I felt when I pushed that to the extreme: no one likes me; I am not actually good at anything I think I am good at; I am selfish. But those ideas sucked and made me want to cry, so I went another direction. Below, I present to you, the first – perhaps of many – meet Afthead in the funhouse mirror posts. Enjoy!
Johanna is a prepper, but her version of the apocalypse appears to differ from those typically found in literature. In her end-of-the-world scenario the killer bug, aliens, nuclear fallout, or zombies will only be thwarted by soft colorful hand-knit items. Heads of her family and friends will be covered in zombie proof alpaca toques. No body part of her child will be exposed to epic flus; instead they will be covered with garments knit from hand-painted yarn produced via sustainable practices high in the Andes, which have known germicide properties. Aliens will be repelled by the soft glow of angora halos radiating from shawls wrapped around her shoulders. Pile on enough woolens and radiation has no chance of reaching human flesh.
Anticipating the end of the world, Johanna knows that saving humanity will invariably be hampered by a lack of crafting resources. Scarcity is common in apocalyptic scenarios. She knows yarn must be hoarded and protected. Today she is building best practices by keeping her yarn stash safe from invading caterpillars – well known to eat through woolens. Her basement stash is displayed in a glass front cabinet for protection and ease in project planning. However, while glass protects against moths, it is vulnerable to a quick alien smash and grab, so in nooks and crannies of her basement lurk larger stashes of more securely organized knitting raw materials.
High in the dark corner of a closet is the sweater yarn protected by five gallon Ziploc bags. In these giants of the sandwich bag world lurk yarn quantities large enough to cover an adult torso in stitches. There are two, or three, okay maybe five such bags on the top shelf. On the bottom shelf? An opaque Rubbermaid container of blanket yarn: quantities similar to sweater yarn, but with more color variation.
Most preppers would stop there. Yarn stored in three discreet locations with the big quantities hidden away for protection, but not Johanna. No. Hidden in the storage shelving under the stairs lurks two more large Rubbermaid containers. These hold the auction yarn. Yarn that was purchased for a tenth of its value, and while it might have limited use as yarn today – certainly it won’t smell like cigarette smoke anymore someday – everyone knows that aliens hate nicotine, so when the invasion comes she’ll be ready with jewel toned garments which will repel even the biggest eyed anal probe wielding creatures from another planet. One can never be too prepared.