My beautiful bunkerette

Go party all you want, but I'll be laughing next year

Suffering from millennial anxiety? Having trouble making plans for this night of nights (and potential alien abductions)? I urge you to run and check out Martha Stewart’s special millennial issue of her infamous Entertaining magazine.

Our queen of wreaths and special touches provides dozens of helpful tips to help make this the most beautiful New Year’s Eve ever. More than anyone else on the planet, Saint Martha knows the spiritual and social value of a well-decorated bunker. In this issue, Martha serves up 25 glossy pages of tips on creating a truly chic fortress in the face of impending doom.

When a fabulous city like New York cancels its millennial party-of-the-century due to lack of interest (read: barely suppressed terror disguised as civic apathy), this is a sign from the gods that we ourselves should consider staying home.

According to media surveys, a large percentage of us are planning to do just that, foregoing the hoopla and possible rioting/looting in favour of personal safety. But just because you may have elected to remain behind dead-bolted doors this festive night is no reason to be idle or slovenly, or to feel you are missing out on something. All that you will be missing is the human tendency to behave in the worst possible manner wherever a crowd has gathered and where good taxis are hard to find.

Staying home isn’t boring, it’s smart. And, as Martha sagely points out, there is no need for a shortage of glamour just because the world is ending.

To start with, make sure all canned goods, quality chocolate (ie imported), toilet paper, candles, 40 gallon drums of fresh water, pads of paper, emergency flares and flashlight batteries are stacked in attractive pyramids. Do not, for any reason, place said items on the path to the fire escape.

Martha also shows us how to make an attractive but discrete wreath out of all the $100 dollar bills we have hastily withdrawn from our bank accounts. She then shows us how to knit an attractive and colourful cover for the high-powered generators that some of the more nervously practical among us may have rented for the occasion. Ever the fashion expert, Martha insists that we finally rid our closets of all those outfits which we have heretofore sworn we “wouldn’t be caught dead in” in case we are required to emerge from our cozy bunkers to forage for supplies in the days following Armageddon. (As we all know, queers will not be allowed to board the final spaceship.)

Like well-dressed squirrels, we may indeed find ourselves reduced to scavenging along with our neighbours, especially those of us who stubbornly refused to stockpile certain items. Shrewd businesswoman she is, Martha has also suggested that instead of stocking up on cases of Veuve Clicquot, we put away a few hundred cans of moderately priced beer to increase our barter power when the smoke clears and the Y2K-compliant-we-promise government booze-vendors cannot help the thirsty among us. There will be many people who will eagerly give up an entire 50lb bag of basmati rice for a few sips of our national beverage. And remember, there is nothing quite as sexy as a well-prepared neurotic in a clean blouse carrying a flashlight and a case of Blue.


Confessions about my more festive plans for this New Year’s Eve have been met with disapproving sneers from friends. Seems they feel it isn’t normal to want to spend this ultra-historical evening alone.

“But Marnie, what if the world does end?” they insist, wide-eyed.

If? Well, if it does, I wanna leave just as I came in: alone and naked with a quill-pen in hand! (Okay, so I wasn’t holding a pen of any kind at birth, but I do plan to die as such.)

I’m also going to prepare myself a delicious candle-lit feast (menu: all the Death Row request items I can hold), crank up the stereo (just this once the police will be too busy to bother yelling at me) and chew along with all the top-pop-40 hits I have enjoyed over the course of my short 20th century life.

What I haven’t told people (until now) is that I’ve also arranged to have some company, albeit hired. The world’s only Jehovah’s Witness hooker has agreed to swing by my bunker and will, she promises, force me to adhere to the War Measures Act over and over before we explode at midnight. Good thing I bought those Martha Stewart Super-Absorbent bed-sheets!

As a closing note, Martha suggests that you shout these lucky words as midnight strikes and the century slams shut: “Debbie Travis is a talentless whore!”

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Culture, Faith & Spirituality, Toronto

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