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Lazlo Strangolov's Bunker Walkthrough Part IV

Cooped up underground, it would be horribly easy for me to become out of shape. With no exercise, but a steady supply of provisions from the outside world, you would think I have piled on so much weight that I could not squeeze through the hatch.

So let me confirm one thing: you will not need bolt cutters and a winch to free me from my confines. I am in fine physical shape, even if my hair has turned white with worry for the future of our world. I would not go so far as to say that I am ‘buff’. I prefer to think of myself as ‘prepared’ for the moment in the near future when a great calamity befalls the globe and civilisation crumbles. Then, once the dust has settled and it is safe for me to surface, I will look back upon my time in the final chamber on this tour, and be thankful for pumping all that iron.

The Survivor’s Gymnasium is adjacent to my sleeping quarters. It contains a wall of free weights, a running (away) machine that squeaks from overuse, and a bench thingy. I have never been sure how to use the latter. Generally, I find it comes in useful when I’ve exhausted myself and need a lie down. The gym is also wired up to a sound system. I tend to work out to Vagner’s 'March of the Valkyries' or anything upbeat by David Hasselhoff.

Here in the gym, I prepare for the worst. Life as we know it is about to be changed by an imminent and terrible event – contained in code within the pages of my novel, Feather & Bone – and everyone should be prepared. If we are forced to trap sparrows and hunt badgers for food, it is important to be in good shape. Should we find ourselves fleeing from packs of feral dogs, drawn from the forests by hunger, I do not wish to be the first to run out of breath. As for our clothing, if we are reduced to wearing animal skins then I want to look like a warrior – not a wimp.

Let me finish this tour by saying there is still time to switch off the telly, peel yourself from the sofa, brush the biscuit crumbs from your top and get into shape. Survival of the channel surfers is kind of unlikely, so let’s start working those bodies!

I’ll see you on the flip side.


  • 29/04/2009

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