Tuesday, May 25, 2010

10 Reasons Why the “24” Finale Provides Useful Survival Tips

1. Don’t get an office with a view of the city.

  Although you might enjoy getting up close and personal with smog, and pigeons who apparently consume a lot of fiber, it’s really not a good idea to have one or more office walls composed of plate glass. This allows very bitter men with high-powered rifles to both torment you with rude wireless calls as well as potentially take your life in a non-pleasing manner.

  Instead, you should arrange for your office to be securely located somewhere in the interior of the building or, better yet, in a bunker far below the surface of the earth. This is especially important if your daily activities include killing innocent people and/or lying to the President. People don’t take these things lightly, and there could be retribution.

  On a related note, if you stupidly took the glass-walled office anyway, and you have just survived a narrow brush with death by rifle-fire, you should immediately vacate the office as soon as possible. Don’t stand there and breathe heavily, mopping your sweaty face with a fine-linen handkerchief that you probably stole from one of your victims. Run like the wind and fill out some change-of-address cards.

2. Don’t get a job transporting lying government workers in fancy limos.

  Despite the fact that you are just innocently steering the vehicle and not an actual participant in the deadly cover-up, your life will be considered expendable if enraged people show up with guns and ugly masks, especially if you do something careless like ask one of the thugs why they are being so pushy. You will be mowed down and left to bleed, with no one even bothering to check on you because your name was not in the opening credits and your survival is not critical.

  If times are tough, and the chauffer gig is the only thing you can find, you should at least take preventative measures to ensure your safety. If hooligans approach the vehicle with the apparent intent of foul play, always remember that guests should be treated cordially. Let them do what they want, offer hors d’oeuvres, and discreetly point out exactly where they can find their victim. It doesn’t matter if your passenger might take this as a sign of rudeness. Since he will be dead within 15 seconds, you will most likely not get a tip, and perhaps the still-living hoodlums might need a ride somewhere. Hey, you gotta pay the light bill somehow.

3. Don’t trust the Russians.

Yes, we’re supposed to be all politically correct these days, leaving the Cold War behind us and such, but things aren’t working out as planned. Somebody somewhere didn’t get a memo and the Russians, despite whatever they are calling their country this week, are still mean people with violent tendencies and surnames that have too many consonants. They will kill people you love, especially if you’ve just had sex, and they will feel no remorse whatsoever. Delete them from your Facebook friends immediately.

4. Don’t work as an assistant for busy political figures.

  While you might get to experience a few exciting moments, such as random gunfire at Starbuck’s or running through old subway tunnels while people yell into walkie-talkies, most of your time will be fairly boring. You have to take calls from people with strange accents, and then go interrupt your employer while she’s playing bridge with the Sultan of Brunei. You have to get her a glass of water when she needs to take tranquilizers after threatening foreign heads of state. And you have to look at her with sad disappointment when she violates two-thirds of the Constitution with one aggressive conversation.

5. Stay away from vending machines.

  It’s not just the threat of a sugar coma that you have to worry about with these things. Apparently they also serve as tracking devices, capturing your scurrying image and then broadcasting it to the laptop of horny CTU workers named after dead folk singers. (Let’s not dwell on how Arlo managed to find that one fleeting snapshot of Jack, accomplished in roughly 37 seconds, despite the fact that all known frequencies have been jammed in the entire city. Never dig very deep when it comes to “24” logic. Madness lies in that direction.)

6. Be aware that your ears can be considered snacks by certain members of society.

  This should be fairly understandable. No further detail is necessary.

7. Don’t go near any of the United Nations buildings.

  Apparently they are not very safe, judging by the sheer number of unpleasant things which took place in or near these structures this season. No wonder we don’t have more peace treaties signed in the world. The delegates are too scared to show up, what with all the breaking and entering and dying and poor room service. And the Russians. Stay at the Holiday Inn instead, where death is not surprising and the press won’t bother you.

8. Learn how to drive a drone.

  These are magnificent flying devices which allow you to gather intel about anyone in the city, regardless of what they are doing, where they are doing it, or how many protective measures they’ve taken to stop you from seeing any of this. Oh, and these things can shoot missiles as well. (Which sort of begs the question: If they can do all this, why do we even need CTU? But I digress.) This is not your grandpa’s Hindenburg.

9. Learn how to sew.

  You never know when you might suffer a serious injury that requires your skills with a needle and thread, although in a pinch you can always use weaponry to make other people stitch you up. In any case, once the sewing is done, you will instantly feel better and stop bleeding immediately, allowing you to continue with the head-butting and the single-handed decimation of an entire police force using only a crouton and some dental floss.

10. If you want to end a series on a perfect note, have Jack Bauer on a giant video screen, tenderly saying goodbye to Chloe.

  Perfect, right?

  (And you’re lying if you say you didn’t cry.)

  End trans.

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