My friend Graham and I have a game: we like to organize our survival “team,” i.e. who we would want on our side were the apocalypse to come. With his farm-boy history and ability to slaughter animals, the boyfriend is always on the list, as are my brothers and sometimes other miscellaneous people we meet with relevant skills (martial arts, carpentry, etc). This slightly morbid, obviously strange discussion occurs at least once a month, if not more, and usually draws in whoever happens to be sitting nearby. We also periodically assign jobs. My job is usually to find food.
Which isn’t actually why I bought this book. Unlike some of our other, far more superstitious friends, neither of us believe that the apocalypse is actually coming — we just like to play a slightly more adult, Cormac McCarthy-inspired version of pretend. I bought this book because when I was a kid, I was obsessed with finding edible plants. I tried to eat a lot of things I found in the woods, and when I was too scared, I convinced my brothers to do it. Usually this turned out fine, though once I lied to my younger sibling and told him the red berries I had gathered were completely safe, and very nutritious. He ate several handfuls, only to throw them back up again a few hours later. Good times.
But I’ve been learning. We’re going camping in a couple of weeks, and I am looking forward to trying out my new-found skills. I will try my best not to poison anyone.