Bob Smith and I were sitting in a nondescript diner just off of I-84 in Kingston, NY, when the lights started to flicker and go dark. “Ha!” joked the russian owner behind the cash register. “You see? I didn’t pay my electricity bill!” The lights kept flickering, then gradually died out, and the diner became very quiet when the salad bar stopped humming.
We finished our lunch as the diner got steadily warmer, then went outside and tried the internet. “Reuters: 8 minutes ago: Blackouts are affecting New York, Toronto, and Detroit, witnesses say. It’s currently unknown if the events are related.” Geez, that’s eerily doomsday-y.
I tried to refresh once or twice, waiting for the reports that aliens have landed in rural New Jersey, but the connection was dead. So we took stock. We each had about 100 miles of range on our motorcycles; not enough to get home. With power out, apparently, across the east coast, there’s no way to buy more gas. And, with the approach of night, it seemed likely that flesh-eating zombies would arise from the sewers, unleashing their unclean hunger on a panicky and well-marbled populace.
The solution, as always in catastrophe situations, was clear: immediately find a luxury resort enclave with its own generator system, a staff prepared to handle unusual situations, and a team of sharpshooters with high-powered rifles to keep the flesh-eating zombies at bay.
Fortunately, there was one such place at hand.
So, I’m writing this in the computer room of the Mohonk Mountain House, a Victorian castle resort enclave high in the Shawangunk mountains built by a Quaker family in 1869. With a diesel generator plant, gourmet chefs, a glacial lake for swimming, and a notable lack of creepy zombie manholes. Which is good, because Quakers believe only in non-violent zombie discouragement tactics. Though they may have experience dealing with the uncanny: Mohonk Mountain House, a fifth of a mile long after numerous additions, is the building that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining (even though he decided to set it out West.)
Our plan is to leave at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning, after recharging my laptop and our cellphones with precious, precious Quaker luxury electricity. As we roll through a post-apocalyptic landscape filled with burning taxis and feral youths carrying sharp-edged boomerangs, we will relive the worst thing that happened to us during this blackout:
Mohonk’s kitchen is out of lime peel!