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Rusticated II, or, Bacon Futures

July 7th, 2010 by the_lifer

The season of guests visiting Wellington has only just begun. Across town, Winona and Will are similarly gobsmacked by their own out-of-town visitor.

Owen was at university with Will. He is currently in Winona and Will’s living room, in a striped shirt and braces, his bowler hat placed carefully on a table. Twelve years after graduation, he too is one of those software programmers whose brilliance enables them to work from whatever location they choose. Owen’s spot of choice is a start-up free-range pig farm twenty minutes outside of Oamaru. In his bizarre blend of technology and Victorian back-to-the-land, he has plenty of company there.

Owen, and his many country cousins, from steampunk sophisticates to “sharp fullas” are the product of a unique equation. Subtract whatever sartorial trappings they do or don’t have. Add up the Kiwi Male’s Desire to Hide in the Shed + Disturbing and Genuine Science = Survivalists. The more civic-minded ones join local disaster recovery crews. When it comes to their sheds and collections, good luck getting them to even think about clearing away some of their mad junk – it will be irreplaceable after Peak Oil causes The Infrastructure to crash.

As they chat over their cups of tea, some of Owen’s prognostications do seem extreme, sitting in a flat with electricity in urbane Wellington. Still, neither Winona nor Will are out to offend. Because what if he’s right? Generously, Owen has offered to let them come work on his farm after the Peak Oil Infrastructure Crash Disaster. “Bacon is going to be the currency of the future,” he assures them, “and I intend to be prepared. I can already source all the ingredients for a BLT on my land or within ten kilometers.”

Will can’t resist. “Even the mayo?”

“Walnut oil and we’ve already got plenty of eggs. Add some garlic from the raised garden beds and you’ve got aioli.”

“What about avocados? For BLATs? Too cold for them where you are, isn’t it?”

Owen’s smile curls his mustache. “We will trade with Maori tribes on the North Island.”

“Oh. I’m glad that’s sorted, then.”

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4 responses so far ↓

  • Is Owen an expat American? Because the only people I’ve heard refer to occupancy of NZ’s islands as ‘ON the X island’ are expats. Kiwis say “IN the X island.”

  • Yet more linguistic subtleties to slip me up! Let me know if I’m guilty of any more…

  • just delightful. have you any online resources for NZ steampunk? The Survivalist / disaster – recovery crew observation reminds me of Tamara and Steven’s blog.

  • Stephen’s not the only one who inspired this! ;D Wellington steampunk is a little disorganized, but I am reliably informed that there will be some steampunk club nights coming up soon.