The year is 2014.
Many things have happened between now and then. Most of them not pretty.
Stan Grimshaw was ready. He had read all the books, seen the movies. He was prepared for any eventuality.
His friends told him he was mad for stockpiling every tinned foodstuff known to man. He spent hours pondering over each purchase, looking for the longest possible shelf life available.
Soups, ravioli, spaghetti, all-day-breakfasts, beanz, Fray-Bentos pies, fruit salad, pineapple chunks. You name it, if it was tinned, it was in.
His neighbours tried, and failed, to stop him from building a fallout shelter in his back garden. A small, postage stamp sized plot of green, in an otherwise urban sprawl.
He dug down twenty feet, and encased the three room shelter in concrete, twelve inches thick. Large, industrial metal doors, sealed and lockable, protecting all that was within.
He housed a generator in a small back room, with an ingenious ventilation system in place, so as to vent the gases, yet not let harmful radiation in to his abode.
He had all of his homely pleasures. Pictures on the wall. Books, hundreds of them, lined shelves around one room. He had thirty soduko books, crosswords, magic eye puzzles. Entertainment.
Porn by the plenty, and enough toilet roll to cover any eventuality, or need.
He had thought of everything.
- Powdered milk. Check.
- A fridge, powered by the generator. Check.
- A storage tank, inbuilt and filled, for the diesel. Check.
- A small wind-up radio, for communication. Check.
He was ready. When the time came, he would simply enclose himself inside his new habitat, and live a long, albeit lonely, life.
Unfortunately for Stan, the time came all too soon.
The world went mad. Destruction on a global scale. But Stan was ready. The news told of earthquakes, tsunami's, people dying in every country.
He made his way down to his humble abode. Ready, if not totally willing, to begin his new life.
As he sat listening to his radio, the newscaster told of massive loss of life. The chances of the human race surviving was 0.1 of a percent. Anyone lucky enough to be listening was told under no circumstances to go outside. The fallout would instantly kill. The radios went dead shortly after.
Stan sat, head in hands, wishing things had been different. He was now totally alone.
Food is always comfort to a lonely soul.
He chose ravioli that evening.
He pulled the tin from the shelf.
Unbeknownst to him, he was about to utter the last openly spoken sentence said by mankind.
It was a sentence that had become a standard for people that had lived and loved before him. It was a sentence that had been uttered countless times before.
Mainly on campsites.
"I don't fucking believe it! I've forgotten the fucking tin-opener!"