Preparing for Trump – a time capsule piece

Imagine the smell

It’s been exactly a year since Donald Trump took office as the most powerful man in the world.

Here’s what I wrote just a few short weeks before that fateful day. As with many things I write, it was intended to be exaggerated, sarcastic and silly. I noticed as I was re-reading it, it doesn’t really seem like that in hindsight.

I wonder if there’ll even be a second anniversary on which to read it again.

Donald Trump is President-elect of the United States. Well… at the time of writing. Between now and the day this gets published he may well have peeled off his fluro Hypercolor mask and revealed himself to be a kodiak bear in a suit. O̶r̶ ̶b̶e̶e̶n̶ ̶e̶x̶p̶o̶s̶e̶d̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶a̶ ̶v̶u̶l̶g̶a̶r̶i̶a̶n̶,̶ ̶a̶ ̶p̶e̶r̶v̶e̶r̶t̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶a̶ ̶s̶n̶a̶k̶e̶-̶o̶i̶l̶ ̶s̶a̶l̶e̶s̶m̶a̶n̶ ̶t̶o̶t̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶u̶n̶f̶i̶t̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶r̶o̶l̶e̶

A lot of people are talking about imminent global armageddon and the need to stock up on canned food and fresh water, even here in Australia. That’s childish and silly.

Any nuclear strike would be confined to a set of specific, strategically important landmarks, so unless you happen to live or work right beside the Big Banana or the street on which Neighbours is filmed, you’ll have no need to hide in a fallout bunker.

You probably will need to hide at some point, though. 

After the bombs drop, you, as a fine, upstanding member of what was once called “society”, will continue to come into work. Not everyone will be so conscientious, however. Some will turn to looting and cannibalism, in some cases out of desperation; in others because it just feels right under the circumstances. When they enter your office to eat you or your communal Assorted Creams, make yourself scarce.

You should also hide – under your desk in this case – if you notice any blinding flashes of light outside. (I saw it in a 1950s education film for schoolchildren once, so it must be legit.)

The rest is all pretty obvious: opt for shallow breaths, be suspicious of cockroaches and settle work disputes at the nearest Thunderdome.


This article first appeared in the MyCareer section of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

You can read the column – Benign to Five – in those papers every Saturday, and if you miss it, you can look it up online in the Workplace section of The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Canberra Times, WAToday and Brisbane Times. (I now wankishly call myself a “syndicated columnist” on my CV.)

Read more Haught newspaper columns

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