|Artwork from Getty Images/Bridgeman Art Library|
I was thinking about that post-apocalyptic service station today, and about the amount of current YA books which are set in the dystopian future. It's a very popular genre: the world has ended as we know it, due to war/famine/disease/global warming/pick your event. Some people survive. But usually not the parents. Parents are extraordinarily expendable in children's literature, since otherwise not too much would happen: everyone would have some tea, have a bath and pretend to wash their hair, read a bit and go to sleep. The most exciting thing that would happen would be when the children kept getting up and the parents got a bit narky.
So, just in case it all goes wrong and you find yourselves trying to survive the new order, XX and XY, here is my motherly advice on how to survive the literary apocalypse. I wrote this first in English, but then realised you might not understand, so I have undertaken a crash-course in teen-slang, and hope it might be helpful.
1. Things you may missElectricity. Tablets (both screen and medical). Phones. Fridges with food which is not alive. Laptops. Cars. Television. X-Box. Playstation. Airplanes. Facebook. Vine. Instagram. Snapchat. AskFM, YouTube. Netflix. Sky (both real and digital). Amazon (both the marketplace and the rainforest). Safari (both the, well you get the picture). Food, beds, houses, etc.
2. Things you won't expect to miss, but might!Dentists. Hairbrushes. Coats.
3. The TerrainOMG it is going to be #massivefail on the world as we know it. There will be abandoned Beemers holding the remains of humans - you might want to barf at their cheese-smelling parts, but you must sometimes hide under these stiffs. When you find a vehicle still in operable condition, just take the fuel for your home-made flame-thrower and move on. You may need it to make some crispy critters later. You will find pads which are mostly looted, but look for some elite grub in tins which can be used, and perhaps a knife/battery/new threads/tin-opener. Vines will grow over everything.
There will be scores of empty cities, where people live on rooftops/underground/scurry between stuff. Sometimes there will be moments of sentimental value. A child's bedroom. A magazine. Lights flickering in the distance. The odd moment where you think you can still hear 'Blank Space' on Capital Radio. Sunset reflected in gorgeous hues against the shattered windows of civilisation. It will be beautiful, but intense. The forests will be blackened sticks. Everything will be buckled. I recommend you take the high ground, maybe a cave. But no chillaxing, please. You must stay on your guard.
4. Your GangThere will be some wankstas, but you can kill them, or they will die anyway. If you are not scientifically inclined, add a geek to your gang. Steer clear of the crashies and the crunks. They will be liabilities. Don't become one yourself. No h8ers. You want your gang to be tight. BFFs.
5. Skills you Should MasterKnife throwing
Building a flame-thrower
Hand to hand combat
Looking into the distance meaningfully
Singing along to birds
Running - essential. You'll be doing a lot of this.
Building a camp
Lighting a fire