Dear Republican Grandparents,
The Earth is dying. Hey, just like you! That’s fun. Even though you’re trying to destroy it, you still have something in common with our planet, the only planet within our reach that is habitable for human beings. In case you forgot. Because it sort of seems like you’ve forgotten that if we ruin this planet we don’t have anywhere else to go and we’ll all just die in very unpleasant ways. You’ll be dead before it gets that bad, though, so you don’t have to care.
Here’s the thing: your grandkids will still be here, that is, if they survive going to school in the United States. If your dear sweet grandbabies don’t hate you for fucking them over by continually voting for climate-change-denying pawns of the oil-and-gas industry, they will soon enough. I mean, you say you love them but you’re also dooming them to a world that’s hotter, less stable, and completely fucking terrifying. You can’t really blame them for hating you. All you can do is try to buy back their love.
When your grandkids are your age, they’ll be dealing with desertification, coastal flooding, scarce resources, species loss, climate refugees, mega-hurricanes, and super-wild fires. And cannibalism. You know it’s all gonna lead to cannibalism. What do you want them to remember when they think of you sixty years from now, as they’re hunched in their hideouts, hoping to evade the gang of roving, literally bloodthirsty marauders who have invaded their territory? How your denial and cowardice in the face of human-caused, catastrophic climate change led them to this hell fate? Or that dope-ass electric self-balancing scooter? That’s what I thought. Christmas is coming, you selfish, planet-ruining shitheels. Cash in your savings and gift it up.
Nothing says “Sorry about my role in turning your future into a post-apocalyptic horror movie” like 65,000 liters worth of clean, purified, bottled water, which should be enough to last one adorable grandkid for sixty years, after which point dying of thirst will honestly be the best thing that could happen to them. Speaking of the merciful deaths of your cherished grandchildren, you might as well throw in a couple cyanide capsules. Can’t forget the stocking stuffers!
Obviously, the kiddoes will need rations. Five-gallon buckets filled with MREs are functional but not very exciting. The little munchkins will be grateful to you in a couple decades when everyone else is eating crickets and the fire-roasted flesh of their fallen comrades, but if you want some immediate love just fill one of the buckets with Skittles.
A PS4 Pro will buy you a few extra years of resentment-free adoration, and if you throw in a bunch of apocalypse-themed games you can assuage your guilt by telling yourself you’re preparing your darlings for their nightmare future.
Speaking of preparing for the apocalypse, a survival skills summer camp, regardless of the cost, is probably the very least you can do. Make sure you find one that includes emergency first aid, orienteering, martial arts, rock-climbing, shoe-making, firearms training, blacksmithing, hunting and trapping, insect farming, electric-motor repair, advanced hand-to-hand combat, and sewing.
If you’re looking for a good gag gift, try a chemistry set. Get it? It’s funny because you don’t even believe in science!
A skateboard will make you popular. You’ll be the cool grandparents. No need to spring for safety gear, either. You obviously don’t give a shit what happens to your grandbabies, so a helmet would just be confusing.
I hate to sound alarmist, but as the ice caps melt, all the ancient viruses, germs, and bacteria that have been trapped in the ice for centuries are being released into our world, and we all know that probably means zombies. So swords. Not guns. Guns are loud and they need a ton of maintenance and they’re not very useful if you run out of bullets. Swords. They’re elegant, quiet, and effective. And if you’re worried the kids’ll poke their eyes out, get some fucking eye patches. It’s probably best if they poke an eye out. No one’s going to fuck with the eye-patch kid holding a big-ass sword.
Remember the remote-controlled roaring dinosaur with the eyes that glowed red? It was super cool. It’s also super broken. Sort of like the way your relationship with the grandkids is about to be! So this year get something more durable, like a baseball bat. It will give the kids so much pleasure while they’re young and will come in handy as they get older and the world gets more dystopian and zombie-plagued. Wood has that rustic, old-fashioned appeal and is easier to modify, for instance by fitting it out with protruding nails or barbed wire, but a metal bat is likely to be more enduring. Why not get both?
Finally, consider the gift that keeps on giving (the ability to sustain life on Earth): vote for people who don’t have their heads up their asses but are instead committed to taking immediate action—such as increasing regulations on pollution, holding large-scale polluters accountable, enacting and enforcing carbon taxes, keeping fossil fuels in the ground, and passing a Green New Deal—to help humans, including your special, precious grandchildren, avoid the direst, scariest effects of climate change.
Your grandchildren will thank you and love you. But also don’t forget that self-balancing scooter I mentioned earlier.