Wasteland Weekend 2014: A Day in the Life of a Wastelander

You think you know what the apocalypse is like? It's cold, dry, desolate, and a helluva good time.

Posted by Xander Pakzad


First thing's first: work. We like to get our communal duties out of the way early to leave the rest of the day for raiding, hunting, and entertainment.

I work for the Wasteland Communication Corporation. We might be exaggerating with the name—I don't think most corporations held their offices together with spare tendons and duct tape—but we take pride in what we do.

On 88.3 FM, I spin records from a variety of recording artists: the best of yesterday and what's left of today. Our camp wakes up to the soothing tones of Billie Holiday and Cole Porter. We save the heavier stuff for later in the day, to keep everyone's energy up through the night.

After the little work we do, we break for a quick round of croquet. Everyone on the losing team loses a finger. Just kidding, we stopped playing like that after too many thumbs were lost and productivity went down.

At this point, our stomachs are growling like mutants, so we load up on pastries. Or the next best thing, whatever we have on hand. We like our meals straight out of the bottle.


Shortly after high noon, we please the Gods of the sun with a battle. Of course we're not savages, we don't kill each other. It's more of a friendly game of football, but instead of a ball, we use a dog skull. And instead of tackling, we beat each other senseless with giant bats, whips, and flails.

After a tense day, I decide to unwind with a little gambling at the Last Chance Casino. A few of my fellow tribe members pooled our bottlecaps together, and we ended out on top. Tomorrow we'll celebrate with a little shopping spree at Bartertown. I could use a "new" coat for the coming fall. One thing you don't see in these photos: the desert wasteland is a lot colder than you'd think, especially at night.

Next, I'm off to hunt some bounty in the Rust Devils' bounty hunting game. Yeah, it's just a game here in the camp, a sort of practice for the real thing. There is strictly no murder allowed within the gates of the wasteland, so we settle our fights with good ole' rock-paper-scissors. And no, you can't use actual scissors. I already tried that.


Wastelanders across camp ran to the gates at the sound of Lord Humungus himself. He arrived with two poor souls on hand, ready for sacrifice. Fortunately for them, his generosity won out today and he let them go, but not without scaring them half to death and drawing quite the crowd. He does this a lot. I think he just likes showing off his stupid outfit. (Don't tell him I said that.)

As soon as the sun is halfway down the sky, Atomic Cafe opens for business. They're nice enough to run off of donations, and the Wastelanders are nice enough to oblige. This courtesy extends beyond the cafe. If you need anything here in the wasteland, there's someone nearby who will help you out. Just make sure you pay it forward or else that bounty hunting could get a little too real.

By now, the sun is almost hidden behind the dusty horizon, and the tired tribes are preparing for the night's rest.

PSYCHE. It's the end of the world. We have no job, no school. We get up early for nothing. When the darkness comes, that's when the day really starts.


Supper is provided by our friendly camp neighbors. Tonight's feast is my favorite kind. I like to call it "yesterday's petting zoo": a pig's head, two goats' heads, two sheeps' heads, one cow's heart, a huge salmon, and buckets of chicken. Top it off with some cheesy polenta and quinoa pilaf, and we've enough energy to last through dawn. The meal is presented with a blessing from Sckitzo, member of Legio I - Canis Ferrous. We eat on the sand, crowded around campfires and flares.

With guts full and flasks in hand, we make our way to the stage for live entertainment. One of my favorite bands still left on the planet is here tonight: Many of Odd Nature.

Finally, we light up the night with our best fire performers. The flames swing right in front of my face. It's even more thrilling knowing they could let go at any moment. And tonight a couple of them did, but that's the risk I take sitting in the front row. I wear all my scars with honor, even the ones I get as an audience member.

The rest of the night was is too hazy to remember, and that's probably a good thing. It was a blur of fire pit dancing, booze, and making a ton of new friends. If you're ever lucky enough to visit the wasteland, let us know! Tweet us @DweebCast and let's share apocalypse stories.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

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