Smug Uncles: Our Only Hope In The End Of Days
By: Sophia Birks
CHICAGO, IL—Phones lines were down again as another wave of calls from terrified 20-somethings flooded the network. These calls were all made in an attempt to reach their one crazy uncle. You know the one; for years you thought his crazy rantings about the end of the world were a symptom of his high functioning alcoholism, but it turns out there was a reason to build a gas mask wall after all. If he hadn’t bought them in bulk, there would be egg all over our faces right now. Most of the calls that did make it through went unanswered and were sent to a real answering machine, like with a tape that you have to rewind. The uncles we’re talking about own those.
Even if they did pick up, what would we say? We’re sorry? We’re not. They’re not crazy? They are. Where can I stream Zoolander 2? No one can! The bunker on their ranch you never want to visit during summer break is your last chance to survive the second wave of infection once the virus has adapted to vaccines? It is.
If you’re wondering to yourself, “Do I have a crazy uncle?” think back and ask yourself if this sounds familiar:
The year was any year before this one. The day, Thanksgiving. As you passed the yams and texted with your cousins about smoking weed in the woods later, your uncle rattled down his list of beans he was stocking up on for the end of days. Lima, green, pinto, kidney, the list went on and on. There are a lot of beans out there, he assured you.
A comment about his second gun cabinet sparked a heated debate between him and your sister about the social responsibility of responding properly to a school or mass shooting. The conversation mainly swirled around whether or not to arm teachers with assault rifles. As the pie was divided, so was the family. Finally, as the belts were being loosened and the tensions eased, the conversation naturally shifted to global warming, like tectonic plates shifting to cause a terrifying tsunami.
Although the reasons differed, everyone agreed that the world was ending. For you it most likely had something to do with the islands of garbage killing the great barrier reef, but to him it was an apocalyptic government contagion Cloverfield-like scenario. The family laughed and laughed and laughed. Childhood traumas were forgiven in that laughter, but to your uncle, it was the sound of fools.
Did that remind you of something? Of course it did! If it didn’t, call your mom. She misses you. Ask her about her brother you don’t invite over anymore. 85% of crazy uncles are on the mom’s side of the family.
Once you’ve located your uncle, do whatever you can to get on his good side, there may still be time for you to make it the ranch you were never allowed to visit because of “boobytraps protecting the gold buried on the property.” Maybe you’re reading this in between TikToks of teens licking doorknobs or maybe you found it while you were pulling the ladder up to the Motel 6 roof so the infected don’t get you in the night, I’m not really sure where “society” will be when this is published.
Wherever you are the only chance you have is calling your uncle and telling him you love him. If he doesn’t answer the first time, don’t be discouraged; he’s probably just screening for the FBI inquiries about the explosives he bought online. If you’re wondering if this is all worth it, studies have shown 4 out of 5 uncles haven’t run out of toilet paper. The 5th uncle brews kombucha in his garage and is probably your dad’s younger brother.
If you do make it, validate that crazy son-of-a-bitch to the ends of the earth because we’re staring over the edge of them at this very moment. With enough groveling, maybe just maybe you can enjoy some of those beans and have a gas mask to call your own.