Author of The Blackout Book and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted
The other day, I shared something funny on social media. A little bit of humor is good for us, even (and especially) in times like this. If anyone knows who originally wrote this, please let me know so I can give proper credit.
If you think about it, a UPS driver with a regular route gets to know a little bit about nearly everyone who frequently places orders. I hope this brings you a giggle. (Remember, fun is not the F-Word.) I also hope it reminds you to pay strict attention to OPSEC.
Here are some observations.
From an anonymous UPS delivery driver…
5 types of customers since the “rona”:
1) Steve: He has been waiting for this moment his whole life. He has been drinking boilermakers since 10:00 am in his recliner and his AR is within arms reach. He has 6 months provisions in the basement and a bug out bag due west buried in the woods. Steve demands a handshake as I give him his package. He’s sizing me up as I deliver his ammo. Steve will survive this, and he will kill you if he needs to.
2) Brad: He is standing at his window wearing skinny jeans and a Patagonia t-shirt. He is mad because there were no organic tomatoes at Whole Foods today. He points at the ground where he has taped a 6 ft no go zone line from his porch. I leave his case of Fuji water, organic granola bites, and his new “Bernie Bro” hat at the tape. Brad will not survive. Steve will probably eat him.
3) Nancy: She has sprayed everything with Thieves oil. Bought all the Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, meat, and bread from the local grocery chain. She has quarantined her kids and sprays them with a mixture of thieves, lavender, & mint essential oils daily. She has posted every link known to man about “The Rona” on her social media. She will spray you if you break the 6 ft rule. I will leave her yet another case of toilet paper. She will last longer than Brad, but not Steve.
4) Karen: She has called everybody and read them the latest news on “The Rona”. She asked for the manager at Food Lion, Walmart, Publix, McDonald’s, Chi-Fil-A, and Vons all before noon demanding more toilet paper. Karen’s kids are currently faking “The Rona” to avoid her. I’m delivering “Hello Kitchen” to her. Karen will not survive longer than Brad.
5) Mary: Is sitting in the swing watching her kids have a water balloon fight in the front yard as she is on her fourth glass of wine. She went to the store and bought 2 cases of pop tarts, 6 boxes of cereal, 8 bags of pizza rolls, And a 6 roll pack of toilet paper. There is a playlist of Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, and Post Malone playing in the background. I’m bringing her second shipment of 15 bottles of wine in 3 days. Mary will survive and marry Steve. Together they will repopulate the earth.
Got any other types to add to this?
And boy did people have other types to add to this. The responses were pretty apt and I think we all know someone who fits the bill of these characters. I also sent it to my friend, 1stMarineJarHead, who had a few characters of his own to add.
The observations of our imaginary UPS driver are continued below.
6) Aelfie: It takes me four trips to deliver all her seeds and gardening supplies. Two trips for all her sewing supplies. Her grocery order is smaller than you’d expect being mostly bulk items and alcohol.
She hands me a handmade mask after showing how to fit in the N95 filter paper. It has the UPS logo neatly embroidered on the side. She hands over 5 boxes, prepaid and with printed labels all addressed to different hospitals. They’re full of masks, she tells me cheerfully. Just doing my small bit to help.
The mail carrier walks up with a package for her from a pharmacy, seed catalogs, and a handful of assorted magazines. They’re wearing a mask with the USPS logo embroidered on it and they nod in passing. She limps back inside to get her hand truck, whistling “Good Ship Venus” as she starts to haul things to the back yard.
Aelfie will survive and Steve and Mary will barter with her for groceries. She’ll accept bribes of wine to NOT teach their offspring the lyrics to all the songs she knows.
7) Todd: He pretends to be a partner at a prestigious hedge fund firm in the city, when in reality he is a mid-level analyst. He answers the door to his East Hampton seaside 3,000sqft “cottage,” in his casual attire of slacks, Italian shoes (Corinthian leather, of course), polo shirt and a designer sweater tied around his neck. All of which costs more than I make in three months. As Todd signs for the delivery of a case of Russian caviar, his wife, Buffy, is complaining in the background of how the “help” has not shown up and how dreadful it will be to have to look at all those “townies” for the next few weeks. Faced with a possible mandatory quarantine with Todd and Buffy, the “help” all ran back to their third world Central, South American countries, and New Jersey.
The “townies” know that Todd and Buffy came from the city and storm the “cottage” with pitchforks and torches. Todd and Buffy meet a terrible fate, all the while the “townies” enjoy the well-stocked wine cellar and use the caviar as fishing bait.
8) Brenda: She follows social distancing to her own tailored interpretation. She doesn’t leave but has all walks of life come over every day for bbq’s, extended family games, birthday parties, and jigsaw puzzle nights. Brenda starts a major cluster of illness among her visitors and dies of COVID-19.
9) Shooter: He hunts people like Steve for fun, avoids everyone anyway especially people like Brad and wasn’t aware there was a social distancing issue until they started putting tape on the ground. He wasn’t specifically trained for this but he’s happy to wipe out anyone near him in his pursuit of taking care of his family or just because he’s tired of looking at them. Shooter and his family eventually relocate someplace so remote that no one ever sees them again, but rumor has it there’s a very nice, handbuilt homestead out in the boondocks somewhere that is surrounded by tripwires and homemade claymore mines.
10) Scott: He is a former Special Ops guy, currently contracted as chief of security for a CEO of a major global corporation, his wife and kids, and their grandkids in a former missile silo converted into a bunker at an undisclosed location. After only three weeks, Scott and his team are already growing tired of being referred to as the “help,” and as one teammate commented, “She orders me to make her a chocolate martini one more time and I am going to ghost her! The paycheck is not worth it!”
Within a week, the CEO and his entire family meet a most unfortunate end, and are converted into compost. Scott and his team take up with the locals, integrate, and after a few years, become a nomadic tribe, traveling throughout the wasteland of what was once the greatest nation of the 21st century.
11) Susan: Susan is Karen’s sister. She’s the one who keeps tabs on her neighbors who are out for a walk or anyone she thinks is not social distancing properly. She posts every incident on social media and can sometimes be found at Wal-Mart screaming at people who don’t have masks on. She secretly wants to call the police several times a day.
When there’s no apocalypse going on, Susan heads the locals HOA and makes some HOA kickbacks from threatening to report dead lawns.
Susan will be the first one Steve or Shooter takes out…from 100 yards
12) Kyle: Kyle is like Steve but makes his kids in camo do boot camp in the back yard, and then play Pokémon with him at night, pounds Monster in the morning and whiskey at night, cringes when his former medic wife kicks his butt for using too much TP after eating MRE’s for 2 weeks straight. Kyle likes to hide in the bushes in his ghillie suit to freak out the UPS guy. I just sigh and throw the package into the bushes.
Kyle will survive although his wife strongly considers killing him for being aggravating.
13) Dan: As I pull up the long dirt drive, Dan and his dog, Jake, step off the front porch to greet me. Dan was a high power lobbyist on K Street in Washington DC but retired early after his heart attack at the age of 42. He sold everything and moved to this remote woodland off-grid cabin, where he gardens, fishes, hunts and grows pot. When I hand over his new wheeled hand row tiller, I ask him what is he doing about the pandemic. “Pandemic? What pandemic?” I cannot help but envy him.
Dan will survive and have no idea that the death toll is as high as it is.
14) John: John lives in a small mobile home, off a county road. Half a dozen different antennas of various shapes and sizes fill his small back yard. Just beyond the back yard is the state park, all 5,000 acres of it. After I knock, the door opens a crack, and Bob looks me over and then opens the door a bit more. He looks around nervously. He is tight-lipped as he signs for the insured package of radio equipment. He mutters his thanks and closes the door. Not only was he wearing a N95 mask, as nearly everyone is nowadays, but a tinfoil hat. Once the pandemic broke out, John never appeared in public again.
John will be found years later, dead of starvation in his mobile home, with just one Twinkie left and surrounded by at least 100 empty boxes Twinkies and empty Spam cans.
13) Rachel: She is a nurse at a local hospital ER, but sells homemade candles not as a second source of income, but as something she enjoys on the side. I deliver the wicks in large spools about once an] month. She gets the wax from a local apiary. The additional income would be a bonus, but her husband insists on spending the money on firearms, ammo, and MREs. He has stockpiled enough MREs to feed him, her, and their teen daughter for a year. He has 20k rounds of ammo for each firearm. After the pandemic and the collapse of the food distribution system, I see her at the town square market place. She looks almost bewildered, even nervous as she and her daughter walk among the people who are bustling about, trading things and food. As I approach, she recognizes me, despite my beard and smiles, even giving me a half hug, as she is carrying a case of MREs. I ask her what is it she is looking to trade for, and she seems to be at a loss. I ask her what has happened to her.
She says in the name of OPSEC, her husband demanded they make their home look like it was looted, breaking some of the windows, and putting the body of a dead animal just in front to deter would-be looters/scavengers. He also ordered they dig a pit in the back of their fenced in yard and do their “business” there. After three months of nothing but MREs, OPSEC, and pooping in a hole they had to squat over, Rachel’s hubby has succumbed to an “unfortunate accident” and was disposed of in one of the poop holes.
I tell her the community has set up a daily farmers market like square where people trade for things, socialize as the pandemic has subsided for now. I help her trade MREs for two dozen fresh eggs, cabbage, carrots, apples, and two freshly slaughtered chickens. That night, they eat the best they have in three months.
Being a nurse, I help Rachel find employment as an assistant to the house call doctor that has sprung up in the community. They are paid in various things, from food to home knit wool hats. Rachel still trades her candles for other things. A few years go by, and Rachel’s daughter marries one of the doctors. Rachel later becomes a member of the community council leaders and eventually chairperson. At the age of fifty, Rachel marries a blacksmith. She allowed me the honor of giving her away. She has never been happier.
14) Me, the anonymous UPS delivery driver: Having delivered ammo, Fiji water, toilet paper, pre-made foodstuff, wine, Russian caviar, and a package of unknown origin to an undisclosed former missile silo, I had to call the ball. The food supply distribution system was collapsing. I sat in my brown truck, leaned over the steering wheel, looking at the road in front of me. Do my job or save myself and my family?
I chose the latter and took the truck back home. Had the wife and kids follow me with the dogs to family farm out in the sticks. I figured a UPS truckload of ammo, wine, water, toilet paper, and whatever else was back there would be additions at the farm. I would learn to like Russian caviar. With a good chianti, it cannot be that bad, right?
Do you have any characters to add?
Join in the fun! What characters would you add to this imaginary community?