April 9, 2009 Volume CXXV Issue 9

The economy may be lean, but you don’t have to be, too

By JACKSON SILVANIK
Survival Guru
Two squirrels compete for food, not aware that the winner will soon be eaten.

Two squirrels compete for food, not aware that the winner will soon be eaten.

Has the recent financial crunch caused you to tighten your belt, watch your pennies and stockpile food and water? You aren’t alone. With the national economy headed down the toilet and the world financial situation on the brink of disaster, it may be time to think about the worst-case scenario.

Students are impoverished, colleges are closing, jobs are disappearing, and the Shamwow! doesn’t work as well as advertised. Money is scarce, and food is scarcer. It looks like we might all starve to death anyways. But one man has it all figured out. Meet Friedman R. Kahn: Urban Hunter. This is a man who roams asphalt safaris, rummages fearlessly through back-alley trashcans and side-street shrubbery. He hasn’t had a job in almost two years, can barely afford to keep the electricity on in his home, but the man weighs a powerful 285 lbs.

They may look cute, but they aren’t afraid to use their vicious little claws.

They may look cute, but they aren’t afraid to use their vicious little claws.

We’re not talking flab and goo here; Kahn is built like a tank. A huge, flannel-wearing, beardsporting, rodent-hunting tank. How on earth has Kahn kept his stomach (and meat locker) full on an essentially non-existent income? He has become a master of his domain. He sees in himself much of the same spirit that flourished in the pioneers and trailblazers that colonized this land. Only now, the landscape has changed. “Used to be, a man could walk around with a shotgun and just about blow up anything he wanted, like a big ole bison or somethin’,” he declares. “Now people think they’ve gotta go to the store and buy all their food. Let someone else do the hard stuff. Well, I’ll tell you this: there is plenty of food to be had for free with a little skill, some stealthiness, and a blowgun.”

You see, most cities and urban areas prohibit hunting inside their boundaries. Hunting with firearms, that is. Kahn uses a handcrafted blowgun to stalk his prey. One look inside Kahn’s freezer is almost too much for this writer. It more closely resembles a taxidermy warehouse than a place for storing food. “Well now, I haven’t got around to skinning all of it, you see,” he explains. Kahn hunts a variety of creatures, mostly of the rodent variety. “I just go after what is around,” he says. “There are plenty of squirrels. Sometimes I get an opossum, maybe a raccoon. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten anyone’s pet or anything.”

The small furry animal sporting what appears to be a green collar says otherwise. Still, the man is surviving. In a time of financial hardship, people will have to make sacrifices. Apparently, mother nature will too. Perhaps President Crouch saw the writing on the wall years ago, when he imported dozens of squirrels to live on the campus grounds, growing fat and content over the years, learning to trust people instead of fear them.

The crisis is very real. As Kahn shows, there are always solutions, some right under your nose. The other day a squirrel was seen quietly eating a discarded banana, looking suspiciously around, afraid a competing squirrel might try to steal it. Keep your eyes on the fat ones and sharpen your blowgun darts.

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