So, imagine, if you will…..

…..that these really are the END TIMES. I do not think they are, myself, but I do think TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) may, in fact, be nigh. Not imminent so much as near-on-to-nigh…this is what tipped me off a bit…..

Question tangent: If these are the End Times, or maybe if they are just a trifling TEOTWAWKI, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do, bad boy, bad boy?

I have a couple of male friends in their fifties. One is single, the other with a family. One poor and the other rich. Both intelligent. Both good eggs. No major flaws (well, they ARE male, so there is that). Both balanced and healthy. And both NOT media/trend/future watchers. They do not even follow the news. Whenever I mention something current, they inevitably say, “Oh, I didn’t know that. Who are we talking about again?” They are hip in business and smart and observant in their sphere but not ‘au courant’ or even aware of most current affairs. They do not travel internationally.

One of them even likes country music!

But are they, perhaps, canaries in this global coal mine? Both have recently made moves to fix their current points of view on all things which were, up until-now, ignored. To me, that is telling. One is up here looking for property (but he lives in a city) and the other is planning on ‘getting out’ of the city, too, but is maybe a step behind. Regardless, they are both looking outside the urban box. Don’t forget the salient fact: they are just barely in their 50’s.

Neither of these two guys have been subjected to my constant harangue (Get Out! GET OUT NOW!!) — you know, the one that you guys suffer every blog or two (I reserve the badgering for those already so inclined to hear it). Neither think in terms of ‘End of Days’ but they are now thinking of having an ‘alternative place’ whatever that means.

Neither of them reads the blog. They got there on their own.

One called the other day. The other has called almost every week for the last few months! I listened while one of them ranted about the world going to hell in a handbasket. “How long has this been going on!!??” “Well, I said, I have been ‘seeing’ what you are now talking about since the first few years of this century. I got a boost in that point of view when the 2007/08 financial debacle happened in the States. Then there is climate change, Trump, China and the rise of extremism. Then you got your Covid, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and now Monkeypox. Lots of crap goin’ on, man. Very little has happened to dissuade me from my main survival concerns but a lot of crap and chaffe have piled on to muddy my perspective. To be honest, I think it is steadily getting worse. Don’t you? You might be a bit late to the party but better late than never.”

“What do I do?” “I have no real idea. I preach getting out of the city but, to be honest, the impact of climate change will affect us all. A third world war will affect us all. Hell, inflation is already affecting us all. And Covid altered the world quite a bit already. I do not see a real cover-all-the-bases solution. Still, I do not think the city is where you want to be.”

“But, if I sell now, I might take a hit financially….and my wife loves her neighbourhood, my kids go to the school…..what about my business…?” “Good questions. Most people would have to make some hard decisions. But, you are wealthy enough. You can implement a Plan B and ride the current wave you are on for as long as civilization holds together. Plan B may be expensive but you can do it.”

“What’s Plan B again?”

And therein lies my point. Once we build an edifice of any kind, invest heavily in the game-of-the-day, buy into the mainstream, carry deeply our faith in the system, we are not only committing most if not all of our energies that way, we are blind to seeing other things. Ya hafta keep asking yourself: am I all in for this? Am I all in for THIS!?

I am not suggesting one approach is wrong and one is so much more right….who knows? But one thing is clear, these guys have had a comfort blanket around them for the last couple of decades and it is currently making them now somehow uncomfortable. That is a ‘canary’ to me. They are even wondering about a Plan B.

They are where I was back in the early 2000’s.

Interesting, don’t you think?

8 thoughts on “So, imagine, if you will…..

  1. I know how they feel, but I have been aware what is happening around me and what is happening in the world. But I wonder if all of them will like the life OTG, because as you have stated a number of times, it is HARD work. So it might be appealing to a lot of people now, but what happens if they have been living OTG for let’s say a year? Will they still like it, or return to Dodge City? Maybe we have to wait untill things cool down again and housing prices return to a normal level. I am 100% sure I will like OTG life, and I even think I have the necessary skillset to survive, and I have my own “Sal” that I adore. But it is interesting that more and more people feel what you have felt like 20 years ago!


    • Yeah….younger people feeling that way and feeling that way because of information they were not even looking for? Something did that…..?
      Like you, I am curious about the world around me and that includes everything. I absorb that stuff like a sponge. But these guys are more involved in their own stuff and not so much the BIG picture. And yet, they, too, are getting to the same place. I find that interesting. What exactly prompted their change in perspective – especially the richer one? He is more comfortable, more rooted, more invested.
      Housing prices do not have to return to normal (do they ever?). One just has to approach ‘getting out’ a bit creatively, a bit differently. One couple I know have raised a family and have a nice cabin and they are just squatting! Totally illegal but they have not been noticed for a decade (they are even more remote). Others simply go to people who have land (lots of it) and ‘buy’ a little chunk without subdividing and all that. They just roughly determine a space and they live there. A third bought a boat and lives on it as if it were a homestead. There are dozens of ways to get OTG and there are many ways to do it with increasing conventionality as well but realtors and listings and ‘being shown’ properties doesn’t work. When you get OTG, you hafta get a bit unconventional – sometimes a lot. Another couple I know have their own place but got a gig caretaking a luxury homestead complete with boats and shop and multiple buildings. They get paid to live there!


        • Yes! That would work….well, except that a boat NEEDS fuel and a friend of mine just took in a 100 gallons from the fuel barge and it cost him $1,000. Those are numbers that lead an engine-driven boater to stay at anchor. So, I would alter your formula to a sailboat, bullion, bullets, bumwad and probably a rifle (no sense in having th bullets otherwise, is there?).
          As you know, I got a new boat. It burns half of what a boat of similar size would use. THAT is not the answer, of course, but it is a step in the right direction. Bonus: this boat will row. It will take Sal and me and a bit of sweat but long oars will make it go.


          • I saw those type of row boats in a Charleston Heston movie.
            Multiple rowers seemed to make the boat go faster….or was it the guy with the whip?


  2. I guess finally more and more people feel the heat rising (boiling frog if I remember correctly). Throw in an even more growing feeling of unsafey, prices going through the roof, and then a “simple” OTG life will seem appealing to a lot of people, but like I wrote before, how many people really know what OTG life is? And how many people are suited for this life. You see everywhere people moving from towns to a more rural environment (and working from home and fast internet for sure helps this exodus), but what in a few years? How many people will move back to the cities, because they can find a Mc Donalds or a Starbucks on every corner (and you have to brew your own pot OTG)


  3. The question about managing an OTG life is a valid one. Some can do it, some love it and some are totally committed forever. But about one in ten (over 50’s) stay for a year or so and then slowly find something closer to town that is a bit ‘easier’. Most get more and more committed to feeling free, alive and having real-work to do. But, of that contingent, they are the ones who had the cajones to actually make the leap. Probably only one-in-ten (or even fewer) are even curious to try. So, it is a hard question. One thing is for sure, few go back for Starbucks or McDonalds. Few go back for Walmart. Those that ‘jam out’ and leave (amongst the over 50’s) are doing it because they are not strong or skilled enough to get things done and, of course, they are not getting stronger as they age. The UNDER-50 crowd is more fickle. They come, do well, gain skill and have energy but money is usually lacking so they go into town and go to work. That turns out to be an easier path and so coming back OTG is put off and put off until, well, they are an OVER 50. Part of the appeal of OTG is something really quite odd and I will do a blog on it – and that is attention span, mental health and purpose.


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