The “just in case” gene is strong in me. I think it was passed down from my grandmothers. It skipped a generation with my mother, but it has flourished in me, perhaps even mutated.
My mother is not a hoarder of safety items, food, or anything—except flip-flops, of which she has every style known to womankind. Other than that, she travels light.
My grandmother was the type to scoop fistfuls of sweet-n-low packets into their pocketbooks, “just in case,” and because “you never know.”
In my purse, the “just in case” includes a week’s supply of Tylenol, a safety pin, wet wipes, an extra pen and pencil (on top of the already-included pen and pencil), a disposable razor, and a pair of socks. Again, this stuff is on top of normal things like a wallet and lipstick. The “just in case” stuff is there in the event I get a massive headache while eating sticky food that ends up in my socks. Really, I have no idea what these items might be used for, but “you never know.”
My car “just in case” supplies are extensive, varied, and some would say, slightly unhinged. The “just in case” stuff is stored in the center console and the cargo area of my vehicle. Because “you never know,” I shall share them with you, and doing so just might save your life.
Up front, I have this tool that, to me, is prudent. To others, it is, uh, dark. It’s called a life hammer. It can shatter your windshield and cut your seat belt in an emergency. I’ve given them as Christmas gifts. No one in my circle appreciates them. It’s as if they think I’m trying to bring the celebration down by mentioning scenarios that would require a life hammer while people are emptying Christmas stockings. Still, put that life hammer in your car console, and thank me later. I also always carry an extra charger for my phone in my console in addition to the charger I have in my purse. Remember, this is the “just in case” list!
Obviously, I have tissues, but every extra napkin in the history of drive-thru dining is also available, along with every extra silverware packet, because you KNOW the person at the window will forget the silverware packet the next time.
We’ve now reached the deep-dive portion of my “just in case” list. Look away if you’re sure nothing out of the ordinary will ever happen to you. I have instant coffee, “just in case” I have to sleep in my car, along with a blanket, for the same reason. I have instant soup, bottled water, a tin cup, a candle, and a lighter. I will not starve to death in a traffic jam outside of Cincinnati, no sirree.
I also have a winter coat that stays in the car, a dog ramp, a yellow safety vest, a flashlight, and a rain poncho.
A social media query of my friends about their, some would say, weird, “just in case” items, elicited 271 comments. The results confirmed that I associate with people who are prepared! Sure, you could say we’re paranoid, but one man’s paranoia is another man’s treasure to barter with in an apocalypse. Folks revealed they have fishing poles, cans of tuna, gloves, a deck of cards, books, flares, and a machete. The machete is for zombies because, as mentioned, this is “just in case” you encounter them at the rest stop. Some carry a change of clothes, portable potties, tweezers, box cutters, masks, a flat iron, MREs, zip ties, Cheetos, St. Christopher medals, rosaries, and of course, a stuffed-animal Eeyore, for luck. Oh, and the neatest of my friends carries a Swiffer.
The wittiest answer was from a grandmother named Colleen. When prompted to name something “weird” you have in your car, she replied, “me.” Same, Colleen, same.
I think that covers it. Despite this list, you might think I’m prone to doomsday scenarios, but I’m not.
However, if zombies attack me during a rainstorm in the dark and offer me a Frosty from Wendy’s—but they don’t have utensils—I will be prepared.
It probably won’t happen, but you never know, and I’ll be all set, just in case.