Is that a Wendy’s?

Huh. I guess I overreacted. “Swine Flu,” they said, and I just assumed the worst. Really screwed the pooch on that one. Frankly, I only came out of the bunker to scavenge; I didn’t expect to see another human in my wildest dreams. But while you’re here: do you know where I could find a Blockbuster? I could really go for some Lost DVDs. I can’t wait to see how they wrap it up.

But wow! It’s so great to see another person. And one with all their teeth at that! I could just hug you. Just hug you so tight that your calcium-infused bones would buckle.

Well, as a fellow survivor, I guess we have to forge a permanent, stoic bond. Wait, everyone’s fine? Wow. No kidding. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy. It’s good that people who were less prepared — say those without the drills, the emergency survival caches, the guns and the oils necessary for the proper maintenance of said guns — are still alive.

It’s great that the world survived the apocalypse I meticulously prepared for.

It’s such a relief to see everyone’s just fine and dandy. I had this crazy worry that I’d have to live a stark and purpose-driven life in the ruins of the world. But it looks like the insurance firm I used to work at is still in business.

Just so we’re clear, the rule of law is still followed and enforced? Yeah?

Okay, cool. Just checking.

Man, has the sun always been this bright? It feels like it might be swelling to explode with only the slimmest margins of warning, leaving the masses to their Gods and the prepared to their futures. While that would be terrible, I’m sure—

No? Just May? I guess we’re still using the “before times” calendar. Well, there goes “Dwaynegust.”

Still, I’m sure things have changed in the years since I was gone. Maybe people have drifted away from outdated concepts like monogamy and — just spitballing here — it’s now perfectly normal for a man to have relations with his wife’s cousin, even retroactively.

Speaking of: this gut of mine isn’t a sexual turn-on now that the nuclear apocalypse has rendered most of the population gaunt, skeletal beings? No, of course not. Sorry. I’ll put my shirt back on.

Are the major religions still intact? Any buzz about Ehm’Rahk, the King of Ghouls and myself, his one true shaman of flesh? No? Okay, cool. Forget I mentioned it. Although if I could borrow just a little bit of your skin—

Whoa, whoa! Are you calling the police? What a relief. I had this crazy worry that the police would become a brutal, dystopian force that leveraged their monopoly on justifiable force to persecute the weak and preserve the powerful. Paranoia, I guess. But good luck calling them on your iPod.

No kidding. Well, I can’t wait to see what the Zune guys developed. Always bet on Microsoft, that’s what I say.

And here come the sirens. Ah well. We can sort this out easily enough. After all, I can only assume that after such a close brush with the end times today’s society has moved past such petty things as outstanding warrants for a series of mail fraud.

It hasn’t?

I see.

Maybe I wasn’t made for this era after all. Your world scares me, with its non-3D Doritos and its vitamin-ed waters. While I’m sure your strange future has many advantages — I’m guessing you solved that Iraq hiccup quickly enough — I just don’t think I’m prepared for it.

If you need me, I’ll be in my bunker. See you next Dwaynegust.