After the world ends, there'll be two kinds of people—those who were ready for it and everyone else. My colleagues, who aren't making plans for the future, probably won't make it past the event, whatever it is, and if they do, they'll likely end up enslaved or eaten, or quite possibly both. If a lifetime of post-apocalyptic movies have taught me anything, it's that whether it's zombies, global warming, the Rapture, a rogue comet or a Mitt Romney win in November, there'll be survivors, and I plan on being among them. The world's last day is the first day of my new life, and it will be a great one.
My first stop is City Farmers in City Heights (4832 Home Ave.). Brace yourself. When the end of the world comes, Whole Foods will no longer exist. No more organic pizza or fizzy coconut water. The only produce you'll be eating is the produce you grow yourself. That decadent breakfast you enjoy this morning will probably get you killed tomorrow.
I'll be at Farmer Bill's City Nursery. Not only is it a lovely urban setting; it's also the perfect place to stock up on seeds and sprouted plants for my future garden. And City Nursery offers more than just plants. I'll also be cramming in classes on canning, curing olives and even raising chickens (thankfully, Chik-fi l-A will also be a thing of the past). Like Bruce Dern in Silent Running, I'll be tending the future of the earth's bounty, and learning as much as I can in a short while, because in case you haven't heard, the world is about to end.
Next up is Lucky Lady Casino (5526 El Cajon Blvd.,). Wait, I'm playing cards at the world's end? Of course I am. You're going to have to be able to read people on this cursed planet after the apocalypse; otherwise, you'll find yourself cleaning up your own entrails. Poker teaches you whether someone is being honest or about to draw down and go all in. It was Kenny Rogers who said that if you're going to learn to play the game, you've got to learn to play it right, and there's no better place to learn this lesson than at the Lucky Lady's daily 10 a.m. morning Texas Hold 'Em tournament, which brings out a truly multicultural miasma from across the socioeconomic spectrum.
Get in good with Realtors, lawyers, tow-truck drivers, psychologists and, yes, even degenerate gamblers. Sure, it's a casino, but the Lucky Lady's charm is like a neighborhood dive bar filled with regulars and requisite characters. It's sort of like San Diego's version of Bartertown, that weird little city from Beyond Thunderdome. Just remember, you're here to learn, not win money, because soon that'll be little more than toilet paper.
I'll be hungry after that, so the next step is finding the Meat Men, because once the world ends, our days of bacon cheeseburgers are over. You'll be feasting on whatever kind of meat you come across, like cats and the morbidly obese, and you're going to have to make it last. Remember that old horror movie The Hills Have Eyes? In the future, if you're lucky, you will be that inbred mountain family that snacks on tourists.
The Meat Men have been curing some of the best salamis and sausage creations in town, and they do so without anything unnatural. That's a good thing, because preservatives are going to be tough to come by in the scorched wasteland. You can find their work at restaurants around town, including Brooklyn Girl, Splash Wine Bar and Ritual Tavern, or hit up one of the farmers markets and buy direct from the source.
From wherever it is that I sampled their wares, I'll head on over to Kensington and the Ken Cinema (4061 Adams Ave.), whose 100th anniversary celebration is about to be cut short by the apocalypse. At this point, I deserve a break. I've been prepping all day, and I'll probably have to shoot my soon-to-be-undead editor before long. So, I might as well see my last big-screen movie in San Diego's historic single-screen theater.
It's a gorgeous space, and the Ken really does have the best popcorn in town. If I have some extra time to kill, I'll grab some enchiladas and a margarita at Ponce's across the street (4050 Adams Ave.), which will, essentially, be the last supper. Hopefully, the Ken won't be showing a triple-feature of The Road Warrior, 28 Days Later and The Road. I'll have plenty of time to deal with all of that before too long.
Finally, I'll wrap everything up with a visit to the Cuyamaca Water Conservation Garden (12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West in El Cajon). It's quiet, peaceful and beautiful, an oft-overlooked destination stuffed full of gorgeous landscaping and beautiful native plants, most of which are drought-resistant. Admission is free, and classes are offered on irrigation, raising succulents and, yes, urban chickens.
This is the perfect place to sit and ponder Armageddon. Also, it's entirely fenced in and most people don't know it's there, which means that it makes for a totally defensible base from which you can control and repopulate the new world. Oh, and did I mention the amphitheater? It's spacious, calming and has great acoustics, which will make it absolutely perfect for public weddings and/or executions.