Get Fit For Brexit

Free Fiction

So, you’ve decided to survive the coming civil and international turmoil? Good. As everybody knows, Brexit will probably trigger the breakup of the United Kingdom and/or cause the downfall of society. In order to survive the potential war, famine, poverty, and fear, you’re going to need skills. I know that a conference room in an office block in [insert town here] isn’t where I’d first think of to find out how to survive an apocalypse [pause for laughter], but here we all are.

In the first part of today’s session, we’ll tackle fitness itself. To cope with times of scarcity, you’ve got to think differently. The gym, for example, is surprisingly not the ideal way to Get Fit for Brexit. The expensive machines, climate controls, and hand-sanitizers are probably actively working against your chances. A better form of exercise would be the ‘fleeing’ practice programme we’ve designed. You go outside, in all forms of weather and times of day, and run up hills, through brambles and shrubbery. Oh, and – periodically – practice diving flat on your stomach to lie completely still amongst the undergrowth.

[Question from attendee.]

No, that’s a common misconception. ‘Body building’ is the last thing you want to do. Those big, shiny muscles are incredibly protein expensive. You’re much better off having a wiry physique, one that can walk ten miles on a handful of berries and some bark.

Speaking of food, this is the next major area we’ll tackle. There may come a time when there are a few ‘blips’ between one trade agreement ceasing, and the next coming into force. By blip, I need you to start thinking about food supply chains interruptions for a minimum of twelve months. During this time, food will become egregiously expensive and scarce. Those who can grow and find their own food will be out ahead. And if things develop further…

We’ll teach you how to identify edible plants and non-poisonous fungi. There will be handouts with your ten most likely sources of carbohydrate found in the British countryside, and your ten biggest poisoners. While most won’t actually kill you, shitting yourself to death — pardon my French — is not a pleasant way to go either.

Vegans among us, please look away now. We’ll show you basic hunting and fishing techniques. These will be something you’ll have to pick up quickly, to give you the edge before all the game is gone. We’ll learn how to skin a rabbit and roast a badger. [Pause for gasps.] Yes, they are incredibly cute. But if it’s between you and Mr Snuffles, I think you’ll all be surprised at what you’re capable of.

Preservation of meats is another vital skill, and we’ll be recommending you buy up that salt before it disappears from shelves. After the ‘Shit Hits the Fan’ moment, you will need to find other sources and we’ll show you how large quantities of salt might also be retrievable from gritter stockpiles. Oh, how we will laugh at how we used to chuck it down our driveways!

That’ll be the lunchtime session. Then it’s on to shelter. We’ll be showing how you can inhabit your house for as long as possible. Even if the water and electricity is off, most modern houses have excellent insulation and can be easily barricaded from rioting hordes with some basic carpentry. Boards that can be easily kicked in? Not on our watch.

If, however, more incendiary civil conflict has overtaken your region, and it is no longer safe to stay put, we’ll cover how to move yourself and your loved ones at the drop of a match. A ‘bug out’ bag packing list will give you the basics for survival, including creating a shelter with a small hatchet, twine or rope, and a tarpaulin. The hatchet can also double as a self-defence tool, against at least a small horde.

We’ve collated and analysed recent historical records including resistance forces in Afghanistan and Vietnam to provide you with a handbook of tactics when it comes to dealing with invading forces. Most of you will think about the Russians in this context. Please believe me when I say HM the Queen will not hesitate to send tanks up your High Street, when she thinks you’re getting a bit too uppity. Learning how to disable these machines of war could be your only hope. Diagrams to follow.

Next, it’s a clothes shopping list. Shoes are important. Ladies, this is especially important for you to hear: if you can’t yomp ten miles through the mud, your shoes are not fit for purpose. Likewise clothing. If you cannot sleep rough in it, find some that is. We’ll list army surplus depots, and how to find traditional, hard-wearing tweeds and wools in places like your parent’s attic. Then basic repair techniques so you can enjoy their protective properties for years to come.

There will be a whole section on the virtues of gaffer tape. It can hold a sole on a shoe or seal a wound in an emergency. Until you have learned to render your own animal or vegetable-based glues, we’ll layout construction of your own secret cache for these and other such emergency provisions, where to locate it, and who to tell about it.

Finally, emotional fitness should not be neglected. You may have to… do things… which would otherwise be unthinkable. Remember, civil unrest often pits families and friends against each other. We’ll be using roleplay to help you through this.

The exercises will prepare you for the day when you may have to pretend you never shot Uncle Jimmy in the back… [pause for gasps and angry denial]… by using the skill called ‘partitioning’. By the end, you’ll be able to become emotionally distant with your loved ones, get a faraway look in your eyes, then rapidly change the subject with ease.

If this sounds alarming, remember, you came to us. You’ve got that drive to survive. History has shown us a blueprint on how these things usually work out, and many experts have predicted a catastrophe. Only the foolish would not prepare.

You’ll note we haven’t mentioned those who might suffer from the lack of food, supplies of insulin, cancer treatments and the like. But it’s about survival of the fittest. Those young or hardy enough to survive, will. Then, when things have recovered, we shall forget. We shall wipe the suffering from the historical record. We shall gain false confidence and a rosy memory of the past, so it can all happen again. And again. And again.

So, who is ready to Get Fit for Brexit?