This Saturday, yours truly will get on an airplane and fly nonstop (hopefully) to Mesa, Arizona, for an extended stay with my dad, Ken.
Plans are for me to stay nearly two months, which will allow me time to help him celebrate his 91st birthday on Feb. 3.
This will be the second year in a row that I’ve made this trip, and once again I am looking forward to it.
Now, one of the goals of this column is to help bridge the generation gap, which I am well-equipped to do, as I am smack-dab in the middle of the baby boomer generation. I have twin daughters who are millennials (age 21, soon to be 22). And Dad is part of the Greatest Generation, having served in World War II.
I bring this up because while talking with one daughter, she asked me if I was going to take my “go bag” with me.
“What the heck is a go bag?” I was forced to ask.
“Dad!” she scolded me. “You mean you don’t even know what a go bag is, let alone not even have one?”
Having admitted my guilt, I am now prepared to inform my more senior readers about go bags.
I should say that it depends on who you are talking to when describing a go bag, or bug-out bag, as some people refer to them.
A go bag is a portable kit that normally contains the items one would require to survive for 72 hours or longer when evacuating from a disaster, including, but not limited to, the zombie apocalypse, a make-believe disaster that I refuse to endorse.
Although some kits are designed to last longer periods, the focus is on evacuation rather than long-term survival.
According to the younger generation, a go bag contains money, matches, a non-electric radio, real and false identification cards, a gun if you are so inclined, three days’ worth of food and, well, much, much more.
Water and/or water purification tablets are also a necessity.
These disaster bags have become a big business of their own among the very rich as well as doomsday preppers who believe the end of times is not all that far away.
I have a feeling that a lot of doomsday preppers recently sold their go bags after surviving eight years of President Obama.
Remember all those radical nutcases who thought Obama was part of a big United Nations conspiracy to take over the United States and make us give up our guns as well as big-screen TVs and other items needed to survive his presidency?
I guess now they are thinking that President Trump is also part of a secret plan to sell out our country to the Russians. The madness never ends.
Sure. Conspiracy theories can be fun to talk about, but most of them are not rooted in reality.
According to some of these far-out ideas, by this time Obama was supposed to be named head of the United Nations and unveil a plan to give control of our great country to the one-world government monster that is hidden in the charter of the United Nations.
Laugh if you want, but a lot of people still believe this.
But not me, and maybe someday I will regret making fun of these doomsday preppers, but chances are I won’t be around to live under such a hideous proposition.
In the meantime, be thinking about your own go bag, and please pray for my safe travels to Arizona.
I will say hello to my dad from all of you.
Bob Buttgen is marking the 20th anniversary of this column by making plans to head to Minnesota in early February to watch the Packers play the Patriots in the Super Bowl.