So this lady knows I work for The Deseret News and specifically for The Mormon Times so when she shows up to talk to me about her emergency preparedness manual, I was surprised that she smelled like a chimney.
My eyes watered and I looked around at my living room wondering how much of the smell would linger. (I had a Relief Society Presidency meeting scheduled there in two days.)
I asked her if she understood the audience she was trying to reach, good Mormon people who would be taken aback by a chain-smoking preparedness expert.
She didn't. In fact, she thanked me for warning her that it could be a problem for her to show up at a food storage fireside or a Relief Society enrichment meeting wearing the evidence of having had a cigarette or two on the way over.
Then I started looking over the manual, a big self-published volume where she recorded every thought she'd had about the future over the past few years.
The advice is not your usual "store wheat and powdered milk" kind of thing.
There's a whole section on making sure you get out all the money you can before 2012, raid your 401k accounts, push your credit card cash advances to the limit, take out a home equity loan, have a garage sale, quit wasting money on car insurance and stash the cash for bad times ahead when the banks won't be open.
Buy a second home in another country with the cash. Or at least, invest in an underground bunker with a deep underground entrance. She recommends 300 feet for starters.
Take all your spare stuff like gold, diamonds and jewelry to a pawn shop and if the world doesn't end as predicted, buy it back later.
She suggests getting your dental work done now because all the dentists will be vaporized or at least not working office hours. Same goes for any surgeries you've been putting off.
"Don't get pregnant" is one piece of her sound advice. (Try telling that to a staunch Mormon audience.)
She quotes a number of reliable sources who predict the end is near including the Mayans, the Hopi Indians, the Chinese, the Hindus, the movies, science fiction novels and The Holy Bible.
She may be right. I'm not arguing her point but some of the information she shares is really strange.
She's listed the kinds of chocolate that will last the best. Now that's key.
She advises against buying a burial plot because no one will be around to bury you.
But do buy a plane or a helicopter if you're able. Learn to fly it and tie it down.
Get a motorcycle for every member of the family and a crossbow instead of a gun to save on the cost of ammunition. If you can't bring yourself to buy a gun or crossbow, stock wasp spray.
The book is hefty and this woman has clearly invested time and energy into it. She means well and during my interview with her, she was plenty enthusiastic. She really believes we're done by Dec. 21, 2012. Global warming, dirty bombs, air pollution or solar flares will kill us all off.
But just in case we're not dead on Dec. 22? She has a sequel already planned out.
2 years ago