Elisabeth Hieber’s Guide to Life Preparedness, part 1

8 Nov

Dear adventurers,

If you have a car, you know that’s it tends to be pretty useful. It gets you from point A to point B, and if you’re me, points C, D, X, Y, and pi. I use my parents’ car probably more than I should, but it tends to be a necessity when you take care of 4 dogs in two different borroughs, have a job, attend school, and live somewhere between Avondale and Clifton.

This is Honduras. He’s my bro – we kick it all the time. He has the best jams, knows exactly what to do when I’m angry or upset (drive fast and away from cops, duh), and he always forgives me when I run him into poles or over deceivingly concealed boulders outside Taco Bell.

But probably the best part of Honduras is his trunk. In the transition between moving from one side of campus to the other, we had a few days where our lease at Clifton house had ended and our lease at Euclid house had yet to begin. I lived out of that trunk like a boss. I had a pillow, a change of uniforms, my toothbrush and toothpaste, all of my shoes, now that I think about it, a lifeguard tube – basically, everything I needed to live at whatever location I happened to roll up to: my parent’s house, the zoo parking lot, the Christian frat where our animals were living. I learned a lot from that experience. It is never detrimental to stock your trunk to be prepared for anything. Unless, you know, you’re preparing to stow a body. You might want to empty our your trunk for that.

The contents of my trunk include:

1. A lifeguard tube. You never know when you might encounter someone drowning and a lifeguard tube makes the whole rescue deal so much easier. Plus, it makes a great pillow.

2. A swimsuit. Again, do you want to get your clothes wet when you save someone? Alternately, we’ve all had that “Let’s go swimming!”-“I didn’t bring a suit :(” exchange. Never be that person again! My preferred suit is a TYR trainer, one or two piece. You never know when you’re going to have that opportunity to tan.

3. A basket full of water bottles. I love drinking water. I hate encountering a water fountain and not being able to take it on the road with me.

4. A small empty rabbit cage. In case of zombie invasion and I have to flee the state, I need to have a place for Lenny to stay comfortably. Unless, of course, he became a zombie rabbit at some point during the invasion. In which case, the cage is even more of a necessity. It keeps one less zombie Leporidae oryctolagus from roaming the streets, eating braaaaains.

5. Toothbrush and toothpaste. And an extra brush, mascara, and lip gloss. After surviving what has been referred to as my frat-boy weekend (numerous swimming pools, smoothing over police and a landlord, a Reds game, all-night clubbing, and then waking up in an apartment in Kentucky), I realized you never know what’s going to happen or where you’re going to wake up. Use foresight! It prevents looking like a hot mess!

6. A scooter. I’m not kidding. Once I had to park my car like 8 blocks away during a football game, so I rode my scooter out to my car the next morning. I keep it around in case I ever have to park that far away and want to easily scoot back home.

7. First aid kit. Knowing me, this goes without saying. I have enough supplies to provide preliminary care for anything ranging from paper cuts to embedded objects. Not kidding. You stick a styrofoam cup around it and secure it with gauze. There! Done! Next!

8. A bathmat. Ok, I should really replace this one with a towel. It just makes more sense. Here’s just a little backstory on the bathmat. The summer before moving into my first house, I went garage sale shopping with my roommate Kristi. We bought this bathmat, but for fear of bed bugs, mom wouldn’t let me bring it in our house. The bathmat stayed in the trunk of the car, forgotten, until the following summer. I went to a park in Forest Ridge to go for a run, which was characterized by a mid-sized lake sitting in the middle. After making it almost completely around the lake, surviving almost three miles of trail-less stumbling, I realized that the land didn’t connect; it stopped in a rocky peninsula between where the lake and a tributary of the Little Miami met. I could see my car on the other side of the water. And turning around and stumbling throughthe underbrush was extremely undesirable. Talking to myself, saying things like “Hiebers don’t quit!” and “Come on, E-beth. You know how to swim.” and “What’s the statistical likelihood of there being venomous snakes?”, I made the decision to forge the river. I took off my shoes and socks, held them over my head, and swam across. When I made it to the car, I was at a loss as to what I was going to use to dry off…until I spotted the bathmat! And that is the life event that convinced me to never take the lucky bathmat out of the trunk.

You see, with just a few mundane items stashed in the back of your car, you can pretty much survive everything. Get creative!




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