Posted in Monday Mayhem

Plan B

The other day I was at the station waiting for the train into the city. As I was sitting on the bench, a thought ran through my mind and I haven’t been able to shake it. What if a zombie appeared and began attacking those waiting on the platform? What would I do? Where would I go? After all, I don’t think about these things every Monday Mayhem. Wait. Maybe I do.

What is your Plan B?
What is your Plan B?

Then I remembered a scene out of the movie The Bourne Identity where the main character Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is sitting in a restaurant and while he’s talking with someone, he is scanning his surroundings. He is accessing the people, the objects at his disposal and formulating an exit strategy—all within a matter of seconds.

It got me thinking. If there ever were a zombie attack, would I be ready?

Subsequent to thinking about this, I began a little exercise to see if I could actually accomplish doing what Bourne did, which was to assess my environment, catalog people and objects, and plan a quick exit.

Believe me—the exercise is much harder than it sounds.

The first time I did it, I failed miserably. I couldn’t keep track of the comings and goings of people because too many things changed within a minute, and I didn’t realize the amount of things I had to take into account to remember. Then again, it didn’t help that I tried this walking through a department store.

My next attempt was in a much more controlled environment. I’d chosen our town’s library. This time around, I did a bit better. I was able to memorize the exits, track people’s movements and keep a running tally of objects I could use in case of a zombie attack. I actually saw a letter opener on someone’s desk behind checkout that would come in handy for such an occasion.

A donut shop became my next assignment. I was feeling like a secret agent already!

As soon as I walked in, I committed the exits to memory. As opposed to remembering those working behind the counter, I counted them. Uniforms are far easier to remember than plain clothes. I also took separate counts of people standing up, such as waiting in line, and those sitting at the booths. As one would get up from their table, I subtracted one from those sitting at the booths and added it to those standing up. Obviously, I couldn’t stare at the people my whole time, so I looked for reflections where I could, using those as prompts for maintaining the count.

The other thing I found I was doing was that unlike the library exercise, where I was looking for specific weapons (eg. scissors, rulers, pencils, etc.), I now simply took an inventory of items on the counter and around the shop. This allowed me the freedom to know what my inventory would be in case the zombies came at me from all directions.

I know. I’m weird. But I had fun doing it in spite of the fact I had to commit so much to memory. One thing’s for sure—Plan B has become more real to me should a zombie attack actually take place.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE SEARCH FOR PARADISE, on sale October 20.

Have you thought about inventorying your surroundings? What is your Plan B?

Posted in Freedom Friday, Other Things

The Library

To me, the library has always been a special place to visit. In grade school, every teacher I’ve known would bring me, along with the rest of my friends, into the magical world of books where I would lose myself for hours at a time. While the rest of my class enjoyed recess outside, I took to the books, drowning my imagination in their stories.

LIbrary
LIbrary

For Freedom Friday, allow me a few minutes of your time to tell you what I love about the library and why I think everyone should take the time to enjoy this great resource of knowledge and wonder.

As a teen, I had my first job working at the city library. They hired me as a page. I never really knew what the title meant, but it wasn’t until I got older that someone told me a page is a gofer. Go for the books. Go for the librarian. Well, you get the picture. I spent most of my time putting books away. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

Late one fall evening, as I sat in my usual spot near the window sorting my books, the rain began. I stopped my sorting and just sat there watching. The traffic lights made a reflection on the street as they changed from green to yellow to red. People scattered to the nearest store searching for shelter. I sat on the ledge of a carpeted bay window. I remember how peaceful it was to look at the water coming down in the middle of the street.

When my wife and I had our first child, it was an incredible period. All of a sudden, we were parents, but at the same time, we became kids again. We filled our home with toys, books and baby clothes. We’d take family trips to the zoo, the movies and our nearest park. What I remember the most though, is the trips to the library. I don’t know who enjoyed it more, my child or me.

The biggest kick I got from the experience was watching my child’s face as it lit up with joy after having found the most perfect book. It brought me back to when I first graced the aisles of my school library to discover the book Where the Wild Things Are.

Now that my kids are older, I visit the library on occasion. I still get that wonderful feeling in the pit of my stomach knowing it’s an extended home to me. My interests may have changed, but I’m ever willing to explore the catacombs where fantasy and reality meet.

The library is my refuge. It’s where I belong.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.

Have you been to your local library recently? What do you like about it?