Written by: Matt Seyer
“When I first saw everything intact and functional, I must admit I was pretty surprised,” the survivalist tells me. “Don’t get me wrong, the societal chaos that we’ve brought upon ourselves will happen soon enough. I was just surprised that it was taking so long,” he adds before disappearing back into his bunker.
It’s been a few months since New York passed the Marriage Equality Act, which legalized same-sex marriage in that state. Ever since the MEA passed, there have been reports of widespread disappearances in New York. In many cases, whole families have gone missing. This befuddled investigators until recently, when they discovered that nearly all of these people were actually in hiding. The missing folks, now more aptly referred to as survivalists, calmly explained that they were riding out the storm that was bound to occur when gay marriage was legalized. New York police said that this was all they could get out of the survivalists before their wide eyes disappeared behind meter-thick steel doors.
This explanation has puzzled nearly every rational person who has heard it. Lately, survivalists have begun to come out in droves. Granted, the majority of them, like the anonymous one mentioned above, are simply poking their heads out to check the temperature before returning to their secure underground shelters. Others were genuinely shocked to discover that New York wasn’t literally on fire. I spent a day grabbing quick comments from some of them.
“When I heard they legalized ‘gay marriage’,” said one, deliberately making the two-fingered quote sign as he spoke, “I broke down and wept. The terrorists had finally won. After I regained control of my emotions, I made my way to my retrofitted bomb shelter, and that’s where I’m staying until someone tells me the law is overturned. Or, you know, until the next Call of Duty comes out.”
“Just wait, soon locusts and frogs will pour over the state,” said another. “It’s only a matter of time before we receive divine punishment for this travesty. It’ll be worse than the divine punishment we got for eating shrimp and for working on the Sabbath.”
“Have they begun marrying people and pigs?” asked a third, with every indication of being serious. “Trust me, it’ll happen eventually. That’s what you get for letting two consenting adults of the same sex enter a legal agreement: friggin’ pandemonium.”
“Hold up, you mean the stock market didn’t crash?” asked a confused fourth. “I thought for sure that this law would lead to a global financial meltdown. Huh, what do you know?”
“I keep looking through my periscope to see if pigs start flying,” said a fifth. “No luck yet, but my mother always said this law would pass ‘when pigs fly.’ So I’ll just keep checking. By the way, who won the World Series?”
“It’s been pretty rough,” said a haggard sixth. “Angry Birds and Tiny Wings are starting to get a little old. But I’d much rather hang out here where the gays can’t infect me with their gayness.”
“My only comfort is that the sacred institution of marriage is still safe elsewhere,” said a relieved seventh. “Kim Kardashian’s marriage is a perfect example of how precious marriage really is.”
One survivalist even invited me to see the inside of his shelter. It was a sturdy setup, with lots of sandbags and canned food items. On every wall there was a large poster; white, with black quotation marks at the top and bottom. I asked what these posters were.
“They’re my favorite quotes from Jesus about gay marriage and homosexuality,” he replied matter-of-factly. “This one is great for its common sense,” he said, pointing to one of the completely blank posters. “But this one here is a real gem. It’s the whole reason I’m here,” he adds, gesturing toward another completely blank poster on the opposite wall.
Oddly enough, not all of the survivalists I encountered were reacting to the MEA. Some were old-timers who’d been in hiding since 1967. One described for me her decision to go underground:
“I said to them back then, I said, ‘This will lead to legalized bestiality! It’ll corrupt the sacred institution of marriage! It’s unnatural! You can’t have a normal family with it!’ And everyone thought I was crazy for thinking what I think about blacks and whites getting married. Just look at the country now! I told you so!”
I went home that day confused, disoriented, and anxious. What if these people were right? What if people started spontaneously combusting in the streets of New York City? What if I picked up the New York Times to see the headline, “Man-Giraffe Marriage Legalized?” What if New York society truly was on the brink of oblivion? Then Conan came on, and the rabid crazies I met that day quickly slipped from my thoughts. Meanwhile, New York continued to chug along, undeterred.