Doomsday Preppers Episode 8: Living Underground In A School Bus Fortress

Just in time for Hurricane Sandy, we check out the latest instalment of Doomsday Preppers, where a creepy man invites school children into his gigantic underground base made of school buses, shotguns get loaded and everyone slyly hopes for the apocalypse...
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When society falls apart and the human race is reduced to bands of roaming groups of subhumans that fall into one of two groups; inspired by Lady Gaga or inspired by Cher, we’ll be looking to the cleverest of our own to funnel what’s salvageable of society into something that we can live together by. That’s what clever people do, right? Improve society for everyone else’s benefit. Where would we be without the timed toaster? Or the mobile cellular telephone? Well, probably eating porridge and sitting by a landline waiting for a call, like a mug.

But what happens when the clever boffins that have set themselves up to lead a new society are actually as crazy as a box of Kerry Katonas? That’s the problem posed by this week’s Doomsday Preppers, in what we could affectionately call *drum roll* Doomsday Preppers: Where Racial Insensitivity Goes To Die.

In Ontario, which isn’t in America for those who live life by Kardashian Standard, there’s a man. A man who probably should be on some sort of sexual predator register. A man who disguises his deviancy behind, what seems to be a common theme in Prepper behaviour, an altruistic outlook on life. A man who has created a haven for the post-Apocalyptic man within forty two big yellow school buses; the likes of which you’d see on Buffy The Vampire Slayer or in a Marilyn Manson video where he/she is trying to be ironic.

That man is Bruce Beach and he’s a retired scientist. He’s taught at American colleges for decades and would seem to be a respected voice in whatever field he spoke in. He looks like a professor, which is the first half of the educational battle sorted: if you look like you own a tweed jacket and smell faintly of port, everyone will believe that you’re a geography teacher. Bruce could also pass for Santa Claus, which leads us to presume that Bruce Beach is actually a version of Santa Claus in Santa’s past that would eventually evolve into the Santa we all know and love.

A man who has created a haven for the post-Apocalyptic man within forty two big yellow school buses.

Bruce is deathly worried about nuclear war and the effects that nuclear radiation would have on the area that he lives in (why he couldn’t move, we don’t know) so he’s built an ingenious shelter hidden underground. Whereas other Preppers have built long tubes of thick metal, or even just dug straight into the ground, Bruce has thought smart and made his out of old American school buses, which isn’t as Fritzl as it sounds.

Building a nuclear shelter out of school buses sounds a little bit crazy doesn’t it? We would maybe want to tone down the mental a little bit, but Bruce grabs that crazy baton and runs for it with all his bipedal glory and calls his shelter ‘Ark Two.’ After Noah’s Ark. The ark that took two of each animal, on the behest of God, so they could repopulate the World once God flushed his cosmic toilet and wiped everything out. Bruce sounds as crazy as Noah must have.

Leaving the unfortunate sounding name to one side, Bruce has decided to pick and choose who he lets into his shelter. Doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners are out. Professors, politicians and prostitutes? Nuh uh uh. They’ve got no place in a reborn society. Bruce is only going to take in children.

Let that fact just wash over you for a second. The elderly man, with a very long grey beard, will only allow 500 children into his underground shelter without their parents, even if their parents are alive still. He might just seem to be the atypical paedophile, but that could be just another reason why we, the human race, might need to be wiped out like a cocaine user’s undernose.

Elsewhere, far, far from Ark Two there is another medical professional who thinks that we’ll all be scrabbling over dirty puddles for survival in a few years. Whereas Bruce thought that it would be nuclear war and radiation that dealt the final blow to humanity, Bradford Frank believes that a Super Flu will evolve from birds. Despite the fact that it has been proven to be such an unlikely event that it’s the thing of abject fantasy.

Not only is Bradford clinging onto an Apocalypse that has the same probability of a major A-list celebrity being sent to prison for the numerous crimes that they commit, but he also has the racial insensitivity of an elderly, white gentleman who has lived a privilege upbringing and not had to encounter another person’s life.

Which would be wonderful if Bradford was married to a professional housewife and mother and only had to fund his son’s heavy cocaine habit, but Bradford is married to a Cambodian. Not just any Cambodian, but a Cambodian who is the sole survivor of her family’s massacre at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. She’s pretty special, and we should probably call her by her name, which is the equally special ‘Narin’.

Narin, with their daughter Alexandria, don’t really understand Bradford’s obsession with avian flu, and see it like you might see you doddery old grandfather when he focuses on those "pesky Pakistanis" who have moved in two doors down; with an affectionate smile and a shake of the head.

What Bradford seemed to conveniently forget was that while Narin was trying to escape Cambodia and certain death she spent two months living in a cave. Which is like taking Laurie Strode back the house in Halloween.

As Bradford stockpiles rice in what could escalate into one of the most dramatic racist jokes of all time; more racist than Jim Davidson’s entire career combined, Narin seethes quietly about what everyone calls her husband down the local Tesco and the bizarre and insensitive things that he makes them do.

Cue their bug out drill.

Off the three of them tramp to an abandoned mine a few miles away from where they live so they can prepare for a live underground, an idea that Bradford pioneered and went through with despite his wife being visibly unsure about it. All the way to their bug out Narin is telling Bradford that he is ridiculous for doing this, and generally being a nag. Which makes her brilliant.

What Bradford seemed to conveniently forget was that while Narin was trying to escape Cambodia and certain death she spent two months living in a cave. Which is like taking Laurie Strode back the house in Halloween.

Just goes to show that, even during times of great tragedy and destruction, maybe the more intelligent sections of society might not be up to leading us. That doesn’t really help though, because so far in Doomsday Preppers, we’ve seen the stupid, the clever and the violent, and they’ve each been as ridiculous as the last. At this rate, it’s going to be an army of cats that take us into an enlightened age. Which would be terrible. Cats are too needy.

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