If you’re a Boy Scout, you can now earn a Robotics merit badge. Learn to build your own girlfriend, a dalek, or perhaps a more efficient can opener. And if you’re a Girl Scout you can… you can… sell cookies?
I was never a Brownie, a Cookie, a Cupcake or any other wilderness faring baked good. But if I had decided, against my better judgement, to spend my Tuesday afternoons in the company of hyperactive do-gooders, you can bet that I would’ve been the one signing up for robot building lessons. Or nuclear science. But rather than learning to shoot with bows and arrows, I would apparently have been learning how to be a “horse fan“. I know what they mean, but I can’t help but picture a horde of nine-year-olds in some barn stall with a palm frond waving it in an appaloosa’s face.
Where Boy Scouts have bugling, climbing, and engineering, the Girl Scouts get “Becoming a Teen”, “Caring for Children”, and “Finding your Way.” Boys learn “art”, girls learn “art in the home” no doubt in order to emphasize the woman’s proper place.
Boys learn computing, electronics, and metalwork but girls get to “discover technology?”
Boys: Home Repair. Girls: Sew Simple.
So while Tommy shoots guns out of his spaceship and repairs his own teeth and burst spleen, little Suzy sits in front of a mirror trying to Look [her] Best” but she can’t because she’s having too much Frosty Fun with a tub full of ice cream (she was told ‘The Choice is Yours’ at the clinic but according to her mother being a secretive slut is incompatible with a Healthy Relationship).
Okay I’ll stop. Girl Scouts are actually awesome. They have a frackload of badges that could be interpreted any number of ways including developing complex zombie plans, building your own weapons, and temporarily seizing a small island country. Not all troops are necessarily like the ones my friend Lee told me about where the “camping” was in an air conditioned cabin with modern plumbing and no one but the adults were allowed to touch the matches (girls, like bears, can’t be trusted with the secret to starting fire).
Language is important, but when there’s a broad spectrum of the types of personalities girls may have from Troop Beverly Hills girls to Shaving Their Heads for 10 Weeks in the Outback girls it is probably better to be vague. And quite honestly, I’m probably more of the former than the latter so while I mock the Jeweler badge for its emphasis on vanity and adornment, you can bet your ass that I would’ve been at the table with my shepard’s hooks, rhinestones, and 20 gauge silver-plated, anti-tarnish wire.
I do want to build my own robot, but I don’t necessarily want to have to pee in the woods or learn about truck transportation. With that in mind, and particularly in keeping with the theme of the blog, I propose that we (the internet) form a new organization: Apocalypse Scouts.
The goal of Apocalypse Scouts is to prepare the would-be survivalist for the alien invasion, the zombie uprising, or the sudden and inexplicable disappearance of chairs. Badges would include learning to identify and quickly assemble a pack of necessary items should a sudden apocalypse occur, along with many other seemingly random but useful skills:
Sign language (because it’s really rather ignorant of zombie films to think that at least one deaf person wouldn’t survive)
Hummer repair (like car repair only bigger and more environmentally unfriendly)
Hummer hotwiring (like regular car hotwiring only you have to learn to dodge gun fire… because lets face it, Hummer owners probably have guns)
Shooting, Archery, Knife fighting, Harpooning (zombie whales), Scared-Fu (like kung-fu only you learn to do it while running from the unmentionable horrors of the deep)
Tin Foil Hat Design
Robot Parlay (in case Robots, like Pirates, develop and abide by a code of ethics kept by Keith Richards)
67 Card Games Guaranteed to Entertain You and Your Bunkermates
(Related) 8 Ways to Kill Someone with the Ace of Spades
(Related) 10 Ways to Kill Someone with a Queen of Diamonds
And VCR repair.