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A Bad Investment

Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, created a sixty-second segment called the Turner Doomsday Videowhich was to broadcast worldwide once the “end of the world was confirmed.” The video features a military band playing “Nearer My God,” the same song allegedly played as the Titanic went down.

The video gives me chills every time I watch it, but it also fills me with a sort of excitement. I can’t explain it, I guess I’ve always wanted to watch the world burn. It’s this unexplainable obsession with the impending collapse of mankind that prompted me to make my worst investment to date.

My dad was a successful real estate investor and had accumulated tens of millions of dollars throughout his career. He died last year, leaving me and my two brothers several million dollars each.

His final request was that we use the money wisely—to invest it or start a business. I’m not close with my brothers at this point, so I don’t know what they did with their money, but for me, I took Dad’s words to heart.

I’ve flailed through life, to put it mildly. Three failed engagements, a failed bachelor’s degree, a failed career as a real estate agent. If it wasn’t for my dad giving me property management gigs here and there, who knows where I’d be today. In short, I was determined to do something meaningful with my inheritance.

I didn’t have a strategy, per se, just a general plan to capitalize on the coming collapse. I thought about food storage, guns, shelters, gold, you name it. I eventually found my calling in life at a random estate sale in backwoods Appalachia: gas masks.


The estate had a collection of thousands upon thousands of gas masks from seemingly every era. Some had been used. Others, refurbished. Most of them were outdated, sure, but otherwise workable. So, I bought them.

Attending estate sales, especially in rural areas, became a weekly occurrence for me. While not as fruitful as the first estate sale, they still provided me with another few hundred gas masks. After a few weeks of this, I decided to go big. I found an abandoned nuclear plant in Japan and arranged to buy 50,000 unused gas masks. 

I became somewhat of a gas mask connoisseur in the meantime and began developing opinions on product design. This led me to manufacturing my own top-of-the-line gas mask named after my father: The Winston XD.

After months of buying and manufacturing gas masks, I started a website and opened the doors. Fast forward a few months, and sales have not been great. I’ve sold some, but not enough to make a dent in my massive inventory. At last count, the warehouse attached to my compound holds 300,000 gas masks.

The world will end at some point. There will be mass hysteria, famine, war. They will come running to me. 

Now let’s see how much sarin gas my remaining inheritance will buy.

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