I don’t believe the world will end this month, as the Mayan calendar dubiously predicts. But Robert Vicino is banking on Armageddon—or some other life-extinction scenario, be it nuclear war, meteorite, solar storms, bacon shortage. The California businessman hawks subterranean bunkers (“Doomsday Profit”), one of which resides in Indiana. The Cold War–esque lairs by Vicino’s Vivos Group come complete with flat-screen TVs and stainless-steel appliances for the low, low price of $50,000 a space.
When you read the story, you’ll notice we didn’t interview anyone who bought a bunk; Vicino did put us in contact with one alleged customer, but that fizzled when the source wanted to remain anonymous. And the secrecy makes sense: Would you admit you’d sunk your savings in a nuke-ready nook?
Me, I’m planning for Christmas just in case. But as I reviewed our “Best of Indy” picks, I realized that if it were the end of the world, if I had just one day to live here, this year’s compendium was a valuable resource for planning my last 24 hours.
For instance, I’d start with a breakfast of B’s Po Boy beignets, perfectly soft and sugary replicas of the ones I first tasted at Cafe du Monde, in New Orleans. An espresso or three and gelato at Lino’s Coffee, the Dallara factory’s new caffe autentico, would follow, because calories? Who cares! Sitting at one of the mod bistro tables, I could close my eyes and pretend to be back on the piazza in Urbino, Italy, where I studied for a summer. Buonissimo. It might be hard then to turn down one of Dallara’s street-legal IndyCar joyrides through Speedway, but at this point, legal, shmeagal. I might as well drive my four-door sedan through a few barriers, onto the IMS track, and floor it. Mankind will be at the brink of extinction; no one would mind if I took a few laps, right?
There’s a countdown clock on the Vivos website, and I watched this fall as it ticked down to the point of reckoning, December 21: 63 days, 13 hours, 59 minutes, 40 seconds … 30 … 20 … The pessimistic timepiece reminded me that our moments are slipping away to some end, and that I shouldn’t wait ’til doomsday to try the best our city has to offer. Except falling on my face at Skyzone trampoline park. I’ll hold off on that.
Amanda Heckert is the editor of Indianapolis Monthly. See her bio here.
This column appeared in the December 2012 issue.