How I Survived Collapse: Chapter 23

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Published on The Doomstead Diner May 10, 2017

Discuss this story at the Collapse Narratives Table inside the Diner

Kenny and Kirsten finished the meal off with the Molten Chocolate Cake, a warm chocolate fudge cake with coconut sorbet, chocolate sauce and toasted coconut, along with Coffee spiked up with Bailey's Irish Cream and Kalua.  As they walked back out to the van, Kenny asked the inevitable question of the night.

"So, ummm, do you want to sleep in the van tonight or go back to your dorm?"

Kirsten already had this planned out.

"Let's sleep in the van!" she said enthusiastically.  "It would be really cool to do it in a van!" she remarked with a giggle. "Let's park in the dorm parking lot though.  Then if we need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night we can go in the dorm for that.  I'm not really up for pooping in a bucket unless I have to.  I'll try to put that off until after TSHTF."

Kenny got a laugh out of the doomer reference. "Eh, you get used to it.", he remarked. "Athough, I do generally try to avoid using the bucket because of the disposal issue and use public bathrooms as much as possible.  It just makes things easier overall, like most of the conveniences of industrial culture.  I like your plan though!" he said with a smile.  "I've never done it in the van with anybody, it's a Virgin."

"Well, we'll make it a great First Time for the van then!" Kirsten remarked."Is it a Boy Van or a Girl Van?  Does it have a name?", she asked.

"Gee, I don't know." Kenny responded as they drove toward the dorm parking lot.  "I haven't given it a name."  Kenny wasn't much into symbolism and had never thought about giving his Stealth Van an anthropomorphic name or gender identity.  How could you determine if maybe your Van was Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer instead of being a conventionally Heterosexual Van?  There were no genital organs on a Van he could examine to try and nail this down.  Was his Chevy Van attracted to Fords or Toyotas or other Chevys?  Maybe it even liked Pickup Trucks or Sports Cars instead of other Vans? He didn't know.

"Well, we can figure it out together then!" Kirsten remarked enthusiatically as she removed her vest, blouse and bra, with the Toilet Paper Stuffing spilling out onto the van floor as the bra came off.

"You STUFF YOUR BRA?", Kenny remarked as he pulled the pre-tied Target purchased Necktie with the perfect Windsor Knot over his head and removed his shirt.  He knew there was something a bit different about her physical appearance than the first time they had been together, but it didn't hit him until he saw the crumpled bundles of Charmin TP dancing across the floor of the van.

Kirsten let out a huge laugh.  "Good Grief Kenny, did you think I grew B size Boobs over the last week?  When you are built like a Carpenter's Dream, you have to make some adaptations." she retorted as she yanked off the 3" Spike Heels that brought her slightly over 5' in personal altitude..

"Carpenter's Dream?", Kenny asked, never having heard this term.

"Flat as a Board and Easy to Nail", Kirsten dead panned to fill him in."None of the tops in the women's department are cut right if you're as flat chested as I am, to get anything cut right you have to shop in the kids department.  Except my lats are too big so my overall chest size is too large to fit those right either.  So when I do dress up, I stuff the bra." she said with a smile.  "You could think of it like a sort of prep storage system!  Handy place to keep toilet paper if you need it!"

Kenny nodded.  "Yea, you can probably carry as many preps in there as I stuff in my Cargo Vest!", he responded as he removed the last of his articles of clothing.

"ENOUGH TALK!" Kirsten declared, jumping his bones.  "Let's get down to bizness!"

——

Kenny managed to survive the night with Kirsten, although the Van shock absorbers had a serious workout. He doubted the suspension system on the Van was that stressed even when negotiating the rutted up logging road into his Doomstead location.  He determined to look into getting some Heavy Duty Bilstein Performance Shocks at Auto Zone, O'Reilly's or NAPA to take care of this problem in the future.

After showering and cleaning up in Kirsten's Dorm suite and meeting some of her roomies briefly, Kirsten and Kenny headed over to the International House of Pancakes, for a massive breakfast to replenish energy and bodily fluids expended over the course of the night while doing the Horizontal Bop.  Kenny selected a traditional Bacon, Eggs and Homefries meal, with sides of English Muffins and Buckwheat Pancakes, with the eggs fried over-EZ.  Kirsten went for a Spanish Omelete with Homefries & Sausage, with sides of wheat toast and Buttermilk pancakes.  On the way to IHOP Kenny stopped off at Safeway to buy a bottle of REAL Wood's Vermont Maple Syrup to drizzle over the pancakes instead of the cheap High Fructose Corn Syrup generic imitation Aunt Jemima maple syrup served up by IHOP.

After breakfast, Kenny dropped Kirsten off back at the dorm.  No name had been agreed on for the van, so Kenny and Kirsten promised each other they would ponder on it, and Kenny promised her that he would call as soon as he got back from Spokane, where he wasn't really going.  After a lingering kiss goodbye, Kenny drove over to the storage unit and exchanged out his landscaping gear for his preps, then hooked his trailer for the drive to his property to spend a night of peaceful recuperation prior to the early morning wake up call for his "riding lesson" with Karen.  Mr. Johnson was pretty pooped and needed a night off.

Arriving at the Doomstead, Kenny unhooked from the trailer so he would be able to easily drive over to Karl's place in the morning, and since it was still light out decided to do some log splitting with his Leveraxe, specifically designed for wood splitting by having a counterweight on the upper right side of the blade designed to pull the head to one side on impact to help ply the wood apart.  He pulled out his Husqvarna chainsaw first to section up one of the trees he had cut down with Karl in preparing the site for the Fire Ring and outdoor picnic table they had built.  He considered waiting until Karl brought over his 34 Ton Swisher electric start log splitter, but needed to get in his daily exercise and kill some time anyhow.

After working up a decent sweat, Kenny took a sponge bath over by the stream and then settled down for dinner, which was pretty light since he had gorged himself the night before at the Red Bird and then again in the morning at IHOP.  In fact, he went over to a spot to dig a latrine hole for a major deposit resultant from those meals and now well digested by his alimetary canal where he intended to try planting a Black Walnut tree, even though the climate wasn't currently suited well for such trees.  With some global warming though, it might thrive, although it would take a few years before producing good nuts to squirrel away for the winter.  The Humanure deposit would provide good fertilizer for the tree once planted.  Until then, the worms and other microbes would work on it.

For dinner he just had enough appetite for a can of Campbells Chunky Beef Barley Soup and a small portion of the Pomodore-Tortellini salad with crumbled Feta Cheese and Kalamata Olives marinated in Greek dressing he had put together from the salad bar at Safeway before leaving Missoula.  Finishing off the night at his computer workstation, he surfed over to the Doomstead Diner to find out the latest breaking newz in Collapse and cleaned up his mailbox deleting the gobs of spam dropping in there each day.  Finally, he finished off the day smoking a spliff from the fine Ganja he picked up from Kareem and put himself to bed early for a good night's sleep before an active day ahead with Karen.

———-

After an early wake-up call at 5AM from his smart phone, Kenny took a sponge bath down by the stream,, then had a quick breakfast of 2 hard boiled eggs, a banana, Teriyaki Beef Jerky and French Guilloteau Soft Goat Cheese spread on a Baguette, washed down with Organic Cranberry Juice from Knudsen.  Tidying up the van and getting all his gear properly stowed for the bouncy ride down the logging road took another 15 minutes, most time consuming of which was to properly stow the Dell All-in-One Computer so that it was insulated from vibration and knocking around while going over rough terrain.

To accomplish this and thoroughly insulate his sensitive electronic equipment from road vibration and bounces, Kenny build a storage box inside one of his cabinets that hung from the roof of the van with bungee cords.  This by itself insulated the equipment from vibration, but then on top of that he had 3 shelves lined with 1" Open Cell Foam with cutouts to fit each of his sensitive electronic devices.  The Dell by itself took up one shelf, then the other shelves had his laptop, his tablet, a spare Smart Phone, modem and wireless router, his GPS units, his FRS walkie-talkies, his digital Shortwave Radio Receiver, his Night Vision Scope and Binoculars and two spare Micro Computers, one running Mac OS and the other Linux.

Setup for any of the computers was EZ upon pulling them off the shelf, everything was hooked together either with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, so there was no clutter of wires to deal with.  It was just a matter of plugging in to the Van power supply which was native 12V DC, and for most of his equipment he had native DC-DC transformers picked up on the cheap from China  for $15 which could convert 12V DC to any voltage 8-80V to power them, along with several DC-AC inverters in various wattages as well to convert to 120V AC when necessary.  For most of his own equipment, this wasn't usually needed, but it was good backup.

Around 7AM, once everything was ready, Kenny fired off a text message over the SMS to Karen to see if she was up and ready to go riding.

"Hey Karen, r u up?"

Less than a minute later his Galaxy Mega tuned with the jingle he had set for Karen.

"Sure am!  When will u get here?"

"Maybe 20 minutes.  I slept at my Doomstead last night."

"OK great!  Did u eat?"

"Yup.  I'm ready 2 ride!"

"Cool!  I'll get the horses saddled up!  C U when you get here!"

Signing off on the chat, Kenny fired up his still unnamed Van and headed on down the road for another day of Kollapsnik Adventuring with Karen.

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