Good news and bad.
Craigslist and the internet are still up (for now), and I even managed to get ahold of a blacksmith. He said he could make me a crossbow, but it would take two weeks and cost $3,000. He's busy working on a commission for a decorative railing and would charge extra if I wanted a rush job.
The fools. Decorative railing? Before this apocalypse is over, the only use that railing will be get is by savage 14 year old cannibals using it to roast the bodies of the yuppies who commissioned it over a cooking fire made of splintered remains of their tasteful Shaker furniture.
So, a bust on the leaf spring crossbow…but the blacksmith – and I hope he comes through this cataclysm all right – told me that Cabelas might have some in stock.
I drove to the nearest one, not wanting to trust that UPS will still be running by the weekend, and found a
"Barnett Recruit" for $299. Oddly, there was no frantic mob of panic buyers.
I leaned across the counter and told the clerk that if he didn't want to accept US dollars – what with the apocalypse and all – I was willing to trade him salted beef, but he looked uncomfortable and said that his manager would prefer it if I used plastic.
I bought five crossbows – trade goods – and their entire stock of bolts. I also picked up another water filter (20% off sale!).
After that I stopped by the hardware store where I bought 10 jerry cans, and then filled them at the gas station. That should keep the generator running until I can figure out how to set up a still and find a supply of pig shit. My credit card is getting maxed out, but if this government budget impasse lasts another few days the entire financial system will be in ruins anyway, so what do I care?
Thinking of the generator made me realize that I'd need light bulbs, so I stopped at a Target on the way home.
I looked for 100 watt incandescent light bulbs, but the shelf where they used to be was bare. I found a clerk. He was just 17 or so, and too dumb to realize that he should be escaping the chaos with a boy scout troop up in the hills instead of working in the doomed wreckage of civilization.
"Can I get some 100 watt bulbs from the back? Maybe a pallet? Or two?"
He shook his head sadly. "No, there are no 100 watt incandescent bulbs."
"They're gone already?"
"Yeah, you know. Because of the government."
I clapped my hand on his pimply shoulder in silent solidarity.
It's starting, people. It's starting.
May God protect us all.
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