The definition of post-apocalyptic irony: A man, me, sitting at a table, eating a fresh rat salad. The bowl isn’t a bowl at all, but a human skull that I’ve fashioned into a bowl. The skull belongs to my recently deceased neighbor, a doomsday prepper that told me to buy gold, because the shit is hitting the fan, buddy. His name was Barry Bowlingreen, and no, that’s not the irony – that’s just a coincidence. The irony is that he was a doomsday prepper and I, an accountant, am eating a rat salad out of his skull.
I didn’t kill Barry. He ran out of food. That might be another kind of irony.
A cannibal walks by my window. He looks at me, at my rat salad, at my skull bowl. I stuff my mouth with a soggy mound of salty white rat meat and nettle leaves. I meet his eyes and give him the nod. Take it in, friend. Rat salad in a skull. I’m not that guy. I’m not your meal. I point at my name, which I scratched in to the side of the skull bowl. George Meyers, it says.
The cannibal gives me the thumbs up. I return it. We’re cool, man. Respect.
I think the cannibal is living in Barry’s house. He’s a better neighbor, really. Maybe I should invite him over? I’d need another bowl. I could teach him about rat salad and he could show me which parts of a person taste the best. Hardly matters, though. With the sulfur in the air, it’s impossible to taste anything.
That cannibal is definitely living at Barry’s house. He’s there now, on the front porch, tongue-kissing Barry’s wife. She’s circled her eyes with soot, which makes them look cavernous. She never put on makeup for Barry.
Barry’s kids play in the front yard. They cavort, even. Cannibal kids cavorting and capering. Cool. Killer.
I look at my bucket of rat meat and nettles. There’s easily enough for five to share. We’ll just need a few more skulls.