Adventures in Google: DeafGeoff appears in book ‘The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane’

Yours truly appears on page 12 of the new book 'The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane' by Kelly Harms. Well, sort of.

Yours truly appears on page 12 of the new book ‘The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane’ by Kelly Harms. Well, sort of.

What happens when you Google yourself? It’s a fun exercise that does little to reveal what people are saying about you (unless you’re Kim Kardashian) but sometimes you find other people with the same name or nickname as you — in real life or in fiction.

Geoff “DeafGeoff” Herbert is a former radio guy turned entertainment reporter for The Post-Standard and syracuse.com. I also work as a DJ, motivational speaker and dabble in writing independently. But if you search for my name on the Internet, you’ll also find a British politician named Geoff Herbert, an IMDb page for a Geoff Herbert who worked as a rigging key grip for The Hunger Games, and a “Deaf Geoff” Garbage Pail Kids trading card. There also was a “Deaf Jeff” in Arliss Howard’s 1988 movie Plain Clothes and a late ’80s rapper named Def Jef, who found better success as a producer for artists like Nas, 2 Pac, Snoop Dogg and Shaq.

Now there’s a “Deaf Geoff” in a new book called “The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane” by Kelly Harms. Published in summer 2013, it’s the debut novel from a Madison, Wisconsin, resident who previously worked as an editor and agent. A Google preview of the story’s first 30 pages reveals one of the “Girls” is living with her boyfriend Geoff, who’s a bit of a drunk slob who watches TV too loudly because he’s losing his hearing playing in a band. His favorite TV show is “South Park” and he’s painted as a jerk who Nean is waiting to leave as soon as she wins a contest for a house in New England.

As much as I got a kick out of seeing my nickname in print, I doubt I’ll buy/read the book as it seems to be targeted towards the same readers of “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” or “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.” I also doubt I can relate to my namesake character, who likely won’t make it to the final chapter, as I was born mostly deaf, I rarely drink and I would watch reruns of “Seinfeld” over “South Park” any day.

But still, it’s fun to occasionally Google yourself and see what comes up. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found when searching for your name?

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The power of social media: How one tweet to 1,500 followers can quickly spread to 7 million people

Tweet by @DeafGeoff

One tweet by @DeafGeoff, sent to 1,532 followers, was retweeted 4091 times and viewed by as many as seven million Twitter users.

April 20th is a day filled with lots of negative history — Adolf Hitler was born on the date in 1889; 19 men, women, and children died in the Ludlow Massacre during a 1914 Colorado coal-miners’ strike; Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed 13 (mostly students) and injured 24 more before committing suicide at Columbine High School in 1999; and two years ago BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 and starting an oil spill lasting six months.

The only “holiday” that exists on 4/20 is an informal celebration of marijuana. The significance of 420 to pot-smokers is filled with myths about its origin (FYI, 420 is not a police code used for the drug) but most believe it started with California teenagers who met at 4:20 p.m. to find weed. Today, thousands of cannabis enthusiasts use April 20th to celebrate, smoke and (sometimes) hold political events calling for the legalization of non-medicinal marijuana.

With all of the above in mind on Friday, April 20, 2012, at 6:29 a.m. EST, I tweeted “I judge anyone who tweets ‘Happy 420’ today. It’s Hitler’s birthday and the anniversary of the Columbine shootings.” At the time, I had 1,532 followers on Twitter and slightly fewer Facebook friends.

When I posted it, “Happy 420” may have been trending, but the rest of the topics on Twitter were a hodgepodge of hashtags, news and Justin Bieber (though “Hitler’s birthday” and “Columbine” trended hours later). But my brief complaint about the glorification of a day that’s filled with tragedy, somehow, went viral. 24 hours later, my post was retweeted 4,091 times, copy/pasted by several hundred more, and responded to — angrily — by many who disagreed with me.

I assume the retweets mean those people agreed with me, and it was also favorited by 100+ users and I picked up about 85 new Twitter followers over the course of the day, too. I compared 20 at random, saw their numbers of followers and calculated they had an average of 1,724 followers each. (One person in the sample had 30,400 followers.) 1,724 times 4,091 is more than seven million, which means that my one tweet sent had been seen by as many as 7 million people in just one day, across several countries.

It’s an amazing example of how a small audience can quickly grow on the Internet thanks to the power of social media. Working in radio for a decade, one thing I learned is that more fans means more people who hate you. A musician with five million fans always has way more enemies than an independent filmmaker with five hundred fans, and that’s just a simple fact of life — you’re never going to please everyone.

Here’s a sample of some of the responses I received to my tweet:

  • “It’s not Hitler’s birthday” Yes, it is.
  • “All the more reason to toke up.” I’m sure that’s comforting to Jewish families with friends and relatives persecuted in the Holocaust, or to the parents of 12 children in Littleton, Colorado.
  • “Every day is filled with tragedy.” Yes, it is, but I would never say “Happy 8/6” because it sounds like you’re celebrating the day Hiroshima was bombed. I’ll wish someone a “Merry Christmas” because that’s an actual holiday, whereas “420” is not — it’s just a date, filled with more tragedy than most dates.
  • “Happy 420! LOL” Cute.
  • “4/20 is the day my ex proposed to me.”
  • “It’s Bob Marley’s birthday.” No, it’s not. Robert Nesta Marley was born Feb. 6, 1945 and died May 11, 1981.
  • “I wish you could hear yourself” and other disparaging remarks about my hearing loss were made, since my Twitter handle is @deafgeoff and I’m 90% deaf.
  • “Only God can judge me.” So can a court justice, Randy Jackson on “American Idol,” and anyone who’s ever had an opinion.
  • “It’s Earth Day” No, it’s not. Earth Day is April 22.
  • “Your dumb.” “Your retarded.” No response necessary.
  • I also got called “buzz kill,” “bitch,” “idiot,” “stupid,” “dumbass,” “Debbie Downer,” “amature” (I assume they meant “immature”) and a “morose maaffacka.”
  • “It’s my birthday.” It’s also the birthday of George Takei, Carmen Electra, Luther Vandross, Crispin Glover and Joey “Whoa!” Lawrence. I’m not arguing that people born on 4/20 shouldn’t celebrate their birth — if you say “Happy birthday Mr. Sulu!” I would never object. But “Happy 420” is an inappropriate sentiment because it means you’re celebrating the date itself, not an actual holiday.
  • “#UR2OLD4TWITTER” The average age of a Twitter user is 39 — I’m 28 years old. And that has nothing to do with anything.

I didn’t respond to these messages on Twitter, partly because they were coming in faster than I could, but mostly because there was no point in arguing with strangers who disagreed with me even if only to correct their grammar (or facts). I’m not begrudging people who partake in recreational drugs, either. I may have been overly harsh when I said “I judge,” but I just want real events to be respected, and not ignored at the expense of stoner glorification.

Titanic 100th anniversary: If the Titanic sank today, how would the news break on social media?

Titanic's Passengers All Rescued -- The Syracuse Herald

100 years ago, the Syracuse Herald and many other newspapers around the world mistakenly printed reports that all the RMS Titanic's passengers had been saved. In reality, 1,514 people died when the 'unsinkable' ship hit an iceberg and there were far less lifeboats than could hold its 2,223 passengers.

“Breaking News” and “Newsflash” are almost completely outdated terms in the world of social media, yet “old media” like newspapers, television and radio stations, still use them. They’ll even use the term when someone else has broken the news and it’s all over Twitter and Facebook, hours earlier. Sometimes it’s a result of which sources have the better credibility or a bigger audience — if the Pleasantville Daily News “breaks” something to its 98 followers, then it’s fair to say CNN is actually breaking the news to most people when they pick up the story.

Ultimately, though, the desire to be FIRST! in breaking a story is no longer just a traditional media problem. Even Joe Schmo can “break” a story to his 254 Tumblr subscribers if he posts it early enough, which is why news breaks today on the Internet in confusing yet fascinating ways.

On the 100th anniversary of the RMS Titanic’s sinking, I wonder how the news on April 15, 1912, would have been covered on social media.

Here’s a few possible tweets that could’ve occurred:

  • @FanOfSeaStuff: “Just heard over the radio that the Titanic hit something.”
  • @RoseDawson: “I could not be any happier than where I am right now.” (Sent using the ship’s wi-fi before the rising water took it out.)
  • @NewsGuy04121912: “Reports coming in that the Titanic has hit something — could be an iceberg or a whale — but all passengers are okay.”
  • @KateWinsletFan: “Don’t believe the reports the Titanic hit anything. Just look: RT @RoseDawson I could not be any happier than where I am right now.”
  • @CNNBRK: “BREAKING NEWS: RMS Titanic has hit a large object, believed to be an iceberg, and is taking on water.” (retweeted 1087 times)
  • @DudeNamedDude: “I heard from @NewsGuy0412912 that a whale hit the Titanic. Bet he’s looking to make a nice snack out of some passengers.”
  • @FoxNews: “NEWSFLASH: The ‘unsinkable’ ship RMS Titanic is sinking on the Atlantic; passengers being taken to lifeboats.”
  • @NYTimes: “White Star Line confirms the Titanic ocean liner has been hit by an iceberg and boats are headed to rescue its passengers.”
  • @HersheyChocoholic: “Tweeps, don’t worry about the Titanic — @FoxNews says passengers are being taken to lifeboats.”
  • @TMZ: “Inside sources tell us someone yelled ‘women and children first!’ as the Titanic began rescuing passengers.”
  • @ReporterGuy: “Coast Guard reporting Titanic ship is slowly sinking as passengers fill the lifeboats.”
  • @MotionPictureGirl: “Someday this’ll be a movie, and they’ll probably make the Titanic sinking WAAAY more dramatic with cheesy music.”

Eventually, the true story would emerge, but as the news breaks there’s all sorts of conflicting opinions and reactions that confuse the world wide web. Even before social media, inaccurate reports happened all the time. The Syracuse Herald newspaper first ran a front page headline that said “Titanic’s Passengers All Rescued” with a dramatic telling of how they were all taken to lifeboats.

Apparently, what happened was: A wireless message went out stating ‘All Titanic’s Passengers Safe.’ A week later it was discovered that this message had been wrongly received in the confusion of messages flashing through the air. In reality the message should have read ‘Are All Titanic’s Passengers Safe?'” Can you imagine THAT going viral on social media? Reporters would lose their jobs and Mashable readers would lose their minds (because Mashable would’ve written a story about it, too, in an effort to get SEO traffic even though they claim they focus only on web/technology news).

While many of us (including Titanic director James Cameron) are shocked that some audiences are just now finding out that Titanic was real and not just a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio, can you imagine if the Titanic sank today how it would be covered on social media? Ponder that the next time you see “Breaking News” somewhere on the Internet, and think before you tweet.

Social media #fail: How AARP’s Notorious B.I.G. tweets lost sight of their audience

The Notorious AARP

Social media fail: The Notorious AARP

March 9, 2012, was the 15th anniversary of Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace’s death. “R.I.P. Notorious B.I.G.” was a trending topic throughout most of the day as fans mourned the loss of one of rap music’s most loved artists in the ’90s and the voice of hip-hop gems like “Hypnotize,” “Mo Money Mo Problems” and “Juicy.”

Some brands choose to capitalize on social media trends by joining the conversation and attempt to draw some attention. That’s not necessarily a bad idea, but it’s so easy to do it in the wrong way (See: Kenneth Cole) and anger thousands of customers.

AARP, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, touts itself as “leading a revolution in the way people view & live life after 50.” In other words, they’re an organization that helps retired people — older people, mostly senior citizens. (Seriously, in this economy, how many retired people do you know between the ages of 50 and 65?)

Yesterday, AARP joined the conversation with #NotoriousAARP tweets and requests for fans (plus artists like Jay-Z, MC Hammer, Justin Timberlake and Snoop Dogg) to submit ideas for #AARPrapsongs. “We miss you, Biggie,” their official account posted Friday morning, sparking a conversation that was dubious at best.

“That tweet makes me forgive you for being on your mailing list for the past decade, although I’m under 40,” @macvitula responded. @NickReisman added, “Clearly this is designed to make my father feel less old when getting membership offers.”

As one blog pointed out, it sounded like someone’s grandson was running the association’s official Twitter account instead of their target older audience (who may or may not still be having trouble with webcams). That’s when social media is making a mistake — know your brand’s voice and, perhaps more importantly, know your audience.

Notorious B.I.G. would have turned 40 this year. Even if the AARP really has a significant number of members that are in their early 50s, a 50-year-old still would have been 34 when the single “Big Poppa” earned the rapper his first Grammy nomination in 1996 — already out of the age demographic of MTV and radio stations that would have played his songs.

Luckily, AARP hasn’t seemed to spark much of a furor — yet. Most of their members may still be figuring out this “Facebook thing” and haven’t even heard about what’s going on Twitter. And in case you were wondering, their Facebook page has zero mentions of Biggie. All they posted yesterday was pictures of a puppy contest called “Mutt Madness” and a link for members to get 10% off from exercise equipment from Smooth Fitness, which bears repeating my other point: keep your social media voice consistent.

By the way, for those hoping for a light at the end of the tunnel, @AARP still thinks their audience is a twentysomething (or even thirtysomething) hipster. “Working on a Storify curating the top #SXSW news, ideas and info for 50+… Tweet us if you hear something cool,” their Twitter account posted on Saturday morning.

Want to feel old? Here are 18 things that are older than this year’s college freshmen

Ah, college. The freshmen that are beginning college this week are, for the most part, 18 or 19 years old which means they were born in 1992 or 1993. (We’ll overlook the Doogie Howser-esque young prodigies for the purposes of this article.) For the class of 2015, LBJ means LeBron James; women have always been on the Supreme Court; Andre the Giant and River Phoenix have always been dead; they’ve never touched a TV dial; and Ferris Bueller is old enough to be their dad.

Want to feel even older? Here are 18 things older than this year’s college freshmen:

1. The Nirvana baby.
Nirvana Baby Spencer Elden
Spencer Elden, who appeared naked on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind, was born February 7, 1991.

2. The world wide web.
Tim Berners-Lee published the world’s first website on August 6, 1991.

3. MTV’s “The Real World.”
The Video Music Awards (or VMAs) have been around since ’84 but in 1992 Bunim-Murray started reality television with a simple show about “what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.” Season 26 starts in September. (It’s my theory that everyone under 40 has one season that they strongly identify with from their youth — mine is 1998’s “The Real World Seattle” with Irene and the famous slap heard ’round the world.)

4. Mariah Carey’s entire career.
Her debut album came out June 12, 1990. She had eight #1 songs by the end of 1993.

5. Pac-Man, Mario, Mega Man, Link (“Zelda”) and Sonic the Hedgehog.
Video games Pacman, Mega Man, Super Mario Bros, Zelda, SonicPac-Man may have been the first major video game icon when it debuted in 1980 until that plucky plumber known as Mario arrived as Donkey Kong’s rival in 1981. Then Link appeared in “The Legend of Zelda” in 1986, Mega Man sprung into action in 1987, and Sonic first appeared on Sega in 1991.

6. Reebok Pump inflatable shoes and L.A. Lights’ light-up sneakers.
Reebok Pumps and L.A. Lights light-up sneakersThe craze of getting “pumped up” before a basketball game started in 1989, and kids have been wearing those cool light-up sneakers since 1992.

7. “Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?”
Do it Rockapella! This geography show and accompanying theme song both debuted in 1991. (Those of us who watched it will snicker now to realize that the host’s name was Greg Gethard. Tee-hee.)

8. Non-Communist Russia.
Unless they’re studying history, the class of 2015 has little to no knowledge of the fact that Russia used to be known as the U.S.S.R. and was the foremost Communist power in the world until it dissolved in 1991.

9. Pamela Anderson’s ginormous boobs.
Pamela AndersonShe later had them removed (and got them again in 2004), but “Baywatch” lifeguard CJ Parker first got breast implants in 1990, going from a 34C to a 36DD.

10. Barney.
Barney the purple dinosaurBarney the purple dinosaur was created in 1987 and debuted on PBS in “Barney & Friends” in 1992.

11. Mark Wahlberg’s non-acting career.
When today’s college freshmen were born, he was known as Marky Mark, modeled for Calvin Klein and had a #1 rap hit with “Good Vibrations.” His first movie role was in 1993’s The Substitute.

12. Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks.
These NBA and NHL expansion teams were all added between 1988 and 1992. The Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies joined the MLB in 1993.

13. Beauty & The Beast, The Little Mermaid, The Brave Little Toaster and Aladdin.
Disney's Beauty & The Beast, The Little Mermaid, The Brave Little Toaster, and AladdinThese four Disney movies came out between 1987 and 1992. The first Pixar movie, Toy Story, changed animated films forever when it came out in 1995 when today’s freshmen were just 2 or 3 years old.

14. The Silence of the Lambs.
Sir Anthony Hopkins starred as Hannibal Lecter for the first time in 1991. He won an Oscar despite only appearing on screen for 16 minutes, the shortest ever for a Best Actor winner.

15. Hello Kitty.
Hello KittyThe cute Japanese bobtail cat with no mouth is even older than you might realize. She first appeared in the U.S. in 1976 and now is the face of more than 12,000 products worldwide and has earned Sanrio billions of dollars.

16. Jonathan Lipnicki.
Jonathan LipnickiThe cute “the human head weighs 8 pounds” kid from Jerry Maguire was born October 22, 1990. He was adorable when he was 6, but his cuteness (and his career) faded as he got older.

17. “Blossom,” “Doug,” “Rugrats,” “Clarissa Explains It All,” “Ren & Stimpy,” and “The Jerry Springer Show.”
Blossom, Clarissa, Jerry Springer, Rugrats, Doug and Ren & StimpyAll of these premiered in 1991. Yes, Jerry Springer has been interviewing Nazi midgets with clown fetishes on TV for 20 years, and Mayim Bialik and Melissa Joan Hart are both now 35. “Whoa!”

18. Otto the Orange.
Otto the OrangeSyracuse University, back when their sports teams were still called Orangemen and Orangewomen, did not make Otto the official mascot until 1995. However, according to the SU website, the cheerleading squad first picked the name Otto for “The Orange” in 1990.

Speaking of Syracuse (my alma mater), Michael Jordan’s daughter Jasmine is a freshman at SU this year. Yes, MJ’s youngest child is in college and she was born two years AFTER Syracuse basketball great Derrick Coleman won the NBA Rookie of the Year award in 1991. How old do you feel now?

The incredible true story of how I became a zombie in the post-Rapture apocalypse — and then saved by Chuck Norris

In the 24 hours following the May 21, 2011 Rapture, my Twitter bio looked like this. Weird, huh?

Brace yourself, kids, I have an amazing story to tell you.

May 21, 2011 — the Rapture swept the world at 6:00 pm local time. Most people were still around the next day, asking what the big hype was all about. Some believers thought it was another test from Rock Me Sexy Jesus, but who knows? As one person pointed out, though, maybe the Rapture really did happen but so few people qualified that no one noticed.

Either way, the world didn’t end. But I had a strange 24 hours, personally. Late Saturday night, one my neighbors bit me. I felt a little feverish and did what anyone else with a potential cold would do — I laid down. I don’t remember anything after that, but this appeared on my Twitter page:

A few hours after the supposed Rapture, I lost all ability to type/spell actual words.

My name had been changed to @undeadgeoff and my profile said I was a zombie! Wh-what?

    The crazy tweets, the only evidence of what had happened to me, told a scary story:

  • @undeadgeoff: RAAAAAARRRRRGGGHHHH!!!
  • @undeadgeoff: Mmmmmmm…. @mellokittie looks yummy. [CHOMP]
  • @sopranosinger: @undeadgeoff are you a zombie now?! Lol hope all is well :)
  • @undeadgeoff: BRAAIINS!! [bites @Mitch_M]
  • @Mitch_M: @undeadgeoff Dag, that ain’t pretty! lol
  • @andCKsays: According to this: http://t.co/UrgTDuK I should lob off @undeadgeoff’s head with a chainsaw. So, consider it done.
  • @undeadgeoff: [flees @andCKsays’ house at a slow, staggering pace]
  • @undeadgeoff: Grrggllle… Brrrrreakfast! [bites @MissBrittz]
  • @AlexBrewer53: If you are not following @undeadgeoff, you need too. Deaf Geoff as his post-rapture self
  • @undeadgeoff: #survivalsunday = snackfest for @undeadgeoff
  • @undeadgeoff: [stumble, stumble] Still hungryyy…
  • @undeadgeoff: Mmm, @veronicaripson’s arm looks tasty. Nom nom nom nom nom….
  • @undeadgeoff: Grrrrrowwl… @MinaSayWhat, play some “Zombie Nation” on Sirius for my post-rapture tweeps!
  • @undeadgeoff: .@Jason_Smith78 is having trouble finding ground beef at @wegmans, but I know where to get fresh meat… on the run…
  • @JoshShear: OK, going to bring the netbook outside. And probably something to keep @undeadgeoff distracted so I can work in peace.
  • @mellokittie: @JoshShear if we just keep him fed or put him in a deep empty pool @undeadgeoff should be ok.
  • @undeadgeoff: Unless @viiag loaned you his copy of Jenna Jameson’s ‘Zombie Strippers,’ there’s little @mellokittie & @JoshShear can do to distract me…
  • @JBBusch: @undeadgeoff your list on the blog is hilarious but your picture makes me want to run faster on my jog today.
  • @jasonsdisaster: This is HILARIOUS: RT @undeadgeoff If you’re reading this, then you’ve survived. Here’s what you need to do now… http://wp.me/p14AP2-ch
  • @undeadgeoff: [sniffs @SunnyinSyracuse’s hair] hnmmph… [sprinkles cinnamon] oOoOOooh… [CHOMP] Delicious! #YummyinSyracuse
  • @MBuchwalter: @undeadgeoff so, your default picture makes me uncomfortable #justsayin #thoughtyoushouldknow #stillLoveyou
  • @undeadgeoff: Grrrrr… I can’t find a napkin to wipe my freshly-fed face… RT @MBuchwalter: so, your default picture makes me uncomfortable #justsayin
  • @undeadgeoff: Thinking about having some Maryland lacrosse players for my zombie lunch. #redshirts = #bloodfest
  • @PJASchultz: DO IT RT @undeadgeoff: Thinking about having some Maryland lacrosse players for my zombie lunch. #redshirts = #bloodfest
  • @undeadgeoff: LUNCHTIME! [bites Curtis Holmes’ arm off at the elbow] Mmmmm…. [chomp chomp slurppp] #zombierevenge for #SU
  • @undeadgeoff: BRAAAIINNNSS! [decapitates Grant Catalino] YUM! [chew chew BURP chew chew] #zombierevenge for #SU
  • @FaccendaT: @mellokittie @JoshShear How could you guys let @undeadgeoff escape! all you had to do was show him that crappy porno! now its going tospread
  • @mellokittie: @Faccendat well @undeadgeoff tried to eat me- thank goodness he’s got that wonky leg. I could outrun him.
  • @undeadgeoff: I’m hungryyy again… [spots Chuck Norris] Hmm? [smacks lips] [staggers towards him]
  • @undeadgeoff: Heyyy Chuck! Grrwwwrr — fwop, twang, BANG! — Accckkkk! OW. Wh-Whaa? [groan] [thud]
  • @deafgeoff: [cough cough] … Where am I?
  • @deafgeoff: Wow. Apparently, I was undead the past 24 hours… Chuck Norris shot me with an ED-12 dart, dosing me with the anti-zombie cure.
  • @deafgeoff: Thank YOU, Chuck Norris. It’s been a weird day… How’s everybody else doing?

How bizarre. Thank Godzilla for Chuck Norris.

Anyone else have an unusual post-Rapture experience? Just to prepare yourself, in case you’re about to have something similar happen, you might want to review the 10 steps to take after you survive the apocalypse. Seriously.

If you’re reading this, then you’ve survived. Here’s what you need to do now…

If you're completely lost on what to do in the post-apocalyptic world, simply consult the rules of Zombieland.

Yesterday, May 21st, 2011, was the beginning of the end. Earthquakes, the Rapture, the second coming of Rock Me Sexy Jesus, dogs and cats living together, Hannah Montana as president, zombie strippers and mass mayhem.

So if you’re reading this, congratulations: You survived.

Here’s what you need to do now…

1) Watch (or re-watch) “28 Days Later,” “Diary of the Dead,” “Shaun of the Dead” and “Night of the Living Dead.” Consult the Rules of Zombieland. This will prepare you for any looters/zombies that may attempt to harm you.

2) Stock up on Mountain Dew and Pop-Tarts. They’ll last longer than anything else, and you can survive for years on their artificial nutrients (which are better than actual nutrients).

3) Either find a flashlight or download the flashlight app on your iPhone. This’ll come in handy for telling scary stories to the other survivors, especially if you shine it under your chin and alternate between a creepy whisper and a raspy scream while speaking.

4) Go to my apartment. Turn on my computer and find my folder of personal pictures and videos marked “ILoveKitties.” DELETE IT. (You’ll need my password, which is FerngullyRulez.)

5) Pick out a really cool, but comfortable, outfit. Add a pair of sunglasses. This may be your attire for the rest of your everloving life, so make it a good one. You can borrow one of my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shirts if you want.

6) Choose a form of transportation. You can start with a car or a dune buggy, but they’ll run out of gas, so have a backup ready: roller skates, shoes with those little Wheelies underneath them. (Avoid scooters: you’ll be killed by 10 tons of Alanis Morrissette-like irony if you attempt to escape the Rapture on a Raptor Scooter.) If the apocalypse looks more like Waterworld or 2012, find something seaworthy.

7) Pack lots of underwear and toilet paper.

8) Decide what the future generation’s Bible is going to be. I recommend Chuck Klosterman’s Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, but whatever floats your boat. This will be the new story of the beginning of civilization.

9) Repopulate the planet. Have lots of sex. Name the kids cool things like “Megatron,” “Frankenstein” and “Buzz Lightyear.” None of those wimpy-sounding names like “Josiah” or “Francine.” (“Ron Burgundy” is okay, but let’s not go overboard.)

10) Depending on how it all goes down, come up with a new list of commandments. Warn future generations of what will happen if they try and revitalize Facebook.

Good luck, and Godzillaspeed.