THE LAST PERSON ON EARTH

Being in school, there have been many a time where I’ve been delirious from lack of sleep and food. During those times, I’ve come up with some interesting thoughts.

“I should put up a photo of myself from grade eight computer club on my web site.”

“Yeah, I think I can eat over 30 chicken wings tonight.”

“I’m going to purchase a pair of yellow slippers with hearts on them.”

“Being an avid baker of desserts does not undermine my sexuality.”

One of the most interesting thoughts I’ve had, however, centers on being the last person on this planet. I’ve always wondered, somehow, if in a single second, all human beings on Earth were to disappear (except for myself), how would I survive? Could I? For how long?

I’m guessing my first set of feelings would revolve around sorrow, fear, and exhilaration. Sorrow for the fact that the entire human race had somehow disappeared, leaving me to deal with that. I’d probably be pretty distraught at the loss of my friends and family. I’d definitely fear for my survival. How would I get food and water? After a while, I think I’d feel exhilaration because no one could tell me what to do or where to go. I could walk the hallways in my underwear all day now, whereas I only do that late at night when no one is awake.

So let’s explore this further. First up is survival. Shelter would not be an issue. I could live anywhere I want now. Any shack, apartment, house or mansion would be mine. Food would not be a concern for several months. There would be enough food in the city to last me years. The big kicker here? Electricity. Without electricity, I wouldn’t be able to live in places that necessitated elevators. Refrigerated food would go bad. Pumps at gas station would not work. I could have any car I wanted, but without access to gas, I’d be out of luck. So much would depend on electricity. The question is, how would the electricity stay on without human monitoring? Do hydro plants require human control on a daily basis to stay functioning? Probably not, but if something went wrong, someone would need to look into. Would I know how to do that? No.

Even something simple like a downed power line would screw me up. If a tree fell on a line on the street I’m staying on, I’d have to move. There’s no way I know how to fix power lines. The issue of electricity is a total crapshoot. I could have power for anywhere from months to years. If power did fail, I could just decrease the scale of my problem. Instead of trying to maintain the local power grid, I could just run generators for my local power needs.

Assuming I had electricity, food, and shelter, what the hell would I do with my time? I’d probably do a lot of exploring. I hate to say this, but I’d most likely break into a lot of homes. Not to steal stuff, but to see how people lived their lives. What furniture they bought. What they ate. The pictures they took. What their lives were like before they were gone. In terms of material goods, I’d take stuff from stores. I’d get a really nice computer. Plasma TV. A good stereo. A stainless steel blender. A lemon zester. A Clapper(tm).

I would probably try out a few different type of cars. I’d bring a few back to where I lived. Knowing me though, I’d settle on a single reliable car that I knew could serve me in any situation… like a KIA.

The underlying theme in all of this would be survival. I’d be aware that at all times, if I got hurt, I’d be the only that could help me. Yeah, sure I could drive a Porsche down the #1 at over 180 kph, but what if I wrecked it? Then I’d be begging for death if I managed to survive the initial crash. What if I got sick? Would I self-diagnose and then prescribe my own meds? How the hell would I even how to do that?

Then there’s the question about exploring beyond city limits. It’d be pretty neat to explore the cities of North America, but also dangerous. I’d probably drive, but what if my car broke down in the middle of nowhere? I’d probably have enough food for me for a few days, but what if I couldn’t find another car? What if I go to a city that had no electricity? I’d be stranded there. That would suck. What if I managed to get to a city that had a nuclear power plant? Let’s say said plant didn’t shut down properly. I’d be irradiated and not even know it for a few days. By then, I’d be a dead man walking.

If I were really bold, I’d learn how to fly an airplane. If I were smart about it, I’d take months, even years to learn how to do it properly. Just in case, I’d get cold feet about the landing, I’d take a parachute me. I’d get the airliner over the city I’m going to, and just jump out. Yeah sure, the plane would crash, but hopefully I’d be smart enough to point it away from buildings. Like a power plant. Or a Wal-Mart.

Well, it’s getting late. What would you do if you were the last person on Earth?

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