The post-apocalypse dinner party

As most of you probably know, American Thanksgiving is only a few days away. This is my first Thanksgiving in the U.S.; it’s also the first Thanksgiving where I’m required to do the cooking myself (sadly, there’s no one around to do the cooking for me, since my family–namely my mother–is still in snowy, wintry Canada).

Now that I have to think about making a slightly fancier dinner for my hubby and kids, I (of course) got to thinking about dinner parties in the apocalypse. What will those by like?

Obviously, I’m not saying that survivors will be hosting dinner parties immediately after the world ends. No, no. I don’t think people will have get togethers like these until, oh, I don’t know…

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Not until people are settled into survival camps and a defensive perimeter is set up, anyway.

But at some point, someone’s going to want to play with a zombie pinata (and so will other people), so you might end up with a dinner party anyway. And it might become a Thanksgiving dinner, though not because of the arrival of the first pilgrims. You’ve got something else to be thankful for now–you surivived the apocalypse!

So now that your survival group has decided to hold a dinner party, what are you–as the newly designated host or hostess–going to do?

Luckily for all of us, Tavia sent me a link to a site (The Post Apocalyptic Housewive’s Domestic Companion) that’s already thought this through. The link is here. Of course, this newsletter talks about the post-apocalyptic picnic, which isn’t something I’m thinking about right at this moment (but hey, if you want to have your post-apocalyptic Thanksgiving dinner on the beach, I’m not going to stop you. Just make sure the water hasn’t turned into acid, though, okay?)

Like any good host or hostess, you’re going to have to plan this right. Here’s a quick guide to help you through the ins and outs of event planning:

Guest List
Obviously, your entire survival group/camp will be invited. Leaving out the really quiet loner will just have dire consequences. Because, you know, that really quiet loner is probably the one with all the pent up rage, and you’ll find yourself quickly being the lone dead person the day after your new Thanksgiving. No, remember to invite the whole group. Kids included.

Should you invite those from outside your group? That’s up to you, but I suggest extreme caution on this one. Do you REALLY know who you can trust? Enemies and bad guys still lurk out there, you know.

And, as the Domestic Companion says, I suggest you only invite guests of the human persuasion. I know you might want to invite your now-zombified best friend or now-robotified spouse, but please don’t. The zombies, aliens, vampires, robots, and what have you are best left outside.

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You do want this to be a celebration of sorts and not a total massacre of your camp, don’t you?

Well, I do think this should be held at your survival camp. You may decide otherwise, but if you do, be cautious. Always check to see if your chosen location is safe–after all, that beach or mountain lake might be beautiful, but is it now full of acid and radioactive sand/grass? You know your camp is safe. Your defense perimeter is still up. This is supposed to be a fun (or as much fun as you can have when most of the world is dead) event, not one where you have to look at your feet every thirty seconds to make sure they’re still there.

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If your food is still being rationed, you’re going to have to pool everyone’s rations together to host this dinner. This means that anyone who doesn’t hand in their ration doesn’t get to eat, because there won’t be any food for them. (This will make getting RSVPs a little easier…I hope.)

If you’re beyond the rationing stage, you’ve got a little more flexibility. I still don’t suggest getting too fancy though; keep in mind you’re still in survival mode, so don’t go nuts and insist on that mutant chicken-turkey hybrid bird for your table. And don’t deplete your supplies, either. Moderation is key, even though it’s a party.

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Before deciding on your menu, take stock of what you’ve got in your supply pantry/box/vault. That’ll be your best starting point.

This one might be a good task to give to the kids (or the adults that keep getting in your hair). Don’t be too strict or rigid with your design plan, though. You won’t have much to work with, so don’t worry about having fancy centerpieces and/or party favors. Maybe give the kids the materials you want them to work with, then leave them to their own devices (but give them some guidelines about what’s acceptable). And remind them to try to keep the dead bodies off the table.

I don’t know if this is necessary (none of the dinner parties I’ve been to have included entertainment, unless you count the decorate-the-Christmas-tree-with-tacky-ornaments contest my in-laws have every year). But if you do decide to have entertainment, you can always play zombie pinata. Or pin the stake on the vampire. Or robot bowling. Really, the options are pretty open. Just make sure those enemies are contained–you don’t want them accidentally getting out of their pens (or whatever you’re holding them in) and taking over your survivor camp. That’s guaranteed to ruin the party.

This is, of course, just a basic overview. And you can use this for any dinner party or any holiday/special occasion. It certainly doesn’t have to be restricted to Thanksgiving. (It might also be used as the basic structure for a pre-apocalypse apocalypse-themed party. Just sayin’.)

And now that you’ve got your basic primer, go forth and plan your dinner party!

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