Zombie apocalypse: Are you ready? You probably aren’t…

30 Jun

Although I’d love to think I’m ahead on the circle of these things, I’m probably way behind the times with this subject. Still, it’s an interesting one to me.

After shouting a drunken argument for the futility of Zombie survival lists across a crowded table at someone that I barely know, I thought I’d get those thoughts together on page. It was a huge trend at the time, taking over most parts of the mainstream culture. Zombies: what will you do when they come?

I’m not against preparing for the inevitable, no way. The part of this trend that got me thinking was the sheer stubbornness of it all. You had people making lists of their favourite weapons, escape plans, vehicles, places they’d settle and how many buxom blondes they’d save on the dash away from the city regardless of the reality of it all. It all got a little bit delusional to be honest.

I did find it uplifting to see that people weren’t averse to creating plans to save their family and friends in case something horrific happened, but the superficial level of thought put into it was a little disturbing. You’d use a baseball bat to knock the heads off Zombies? well done, well done…you do know that it takes a lot of strength and awareness of your physical abilities to do that, don’t you?

It’s all well and good to proudly declare you’d be knocking them off left, right and centre, but what happens when your first feeble attempt at heroics results in the bat gently bouncing off the zombies head because you either just don’t have the strength to hit any harder or don’t know how to apply bodyweight behind your swing?

As for using a sword, that mainstay of well seasoned zombie hunters, well…I always giggle at the thought of someone bravely running into a group of ferocious brain hungry zombies, ready to do some damage with a glint in their eye, before realising that they can’t get the blade out of the first head they chopped into because they just haven’t got a clue how to handle a weapon like that.

Then comes the hard question, the really hard one. The one that probably didn’t cross anyone’s mind when making these lists and grand schemes of heroics. But before that, there’s a slightly easier one to ask:

What if you won’t be the hero? What if, instead of rampaging through hordes of zombies in an effort to save a doomed stranger, you’d be the one running amok on innocent groups of women and children, doing your best to look out for yourself and yourself only? What if, rather than bravely standing out as a beacon of hope in an otherwise ruined world, you’d be the one bastard raping and pillaging your way through the last remnants of civilisation?!

What if, when faced with the complete destruction of civilised social structures and boundaries, you realise that you’re not as good a person you thought you were?

And the hardest question of them all? the one that none of us could probably contemplate without ending up a gibbering wreck huddled in a corner?


…don’t go huddling into the corner now, please, do as hobbs sez..

…What if you’re just not good enough to survive in the first place? We all like to think of ourselves as the one-in-a-thousand who miraculously survives the zombie apocalypse, but what if we’d end up dead in the first few minutes; foiled by a late night stoner haze that made us think that zombie creeping along the ground was nothing more than a pile of laundry. Or else, even though you’d stocked up on twenty different guns and cases of ammo, you’d be undone within seconds of a zombie getting close to you because, tragically, you were too focused on using a gun to adapt to a changing situation?

I’m being too hard, I know. People made zombie survival lists because it was a fun thing to do, nothing more. Aside from a few, rare, people constructing safehouses and going to bed every night with a survival kit ready beside their bed (I swear; i didn’t keep a kit…okay I kept my shoes close, but that’s just common sense, isn’t it?) no one gave the phenomenon more than a passing glance in the grand scheme of philosophical, moral and ethical debate. They’re just zombies, right? there wasn’t much point in connecting the dots.

But it still got me wondering, because it’s a good basis to jump off from. You’d save your family? cool, what are you gonna do if you’re injured? cool, what would you do if it was a disabling injury, like you can’t walk or run? etc…

These are good questions to ask, to begin with, but the basic ones are the most important. Forget about which grenade attachment you’d put on your rifle, where you’d settle in isolation, what car you’d drive and which bland backup party-member you’d seduce first. Start with the basics: Would I survive in the first place? and then, would I survive as the same person I am? and if you’re really serious about those questions, and the zombie apocalypse, ask yourself how you can make sure of these things.

I’m sure you’ll find It’s not with fancy lists; just a good, old fashioned-back to basics- look at yourself.

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2 Responses to “Zombie apocalypse: Are you ready? You probably aren’t…”

  1. cwcheeks July 23, 2011 at 5:29 am #

    My friends and I like to make these sorts of plans when we’re drinking. The consensus is that, if they can, they’ll somehow, someway, come find me–their resident weapons and survival expert. I find this highly amusing because, despite my survival and weapons knowledge/training, the chances of me outrunning a fast moving 21st century zombie are slim. I’ve got my wits about me and like to think I’ll survive, but I also have some truly klutzish moments and the plain ol’ truth is I just don’t run that bloody fast. So, all the knowledge aside, I’ll be the one being chewed on in the middle of the road and I’m okay with that, as long as someone shoots me in the head before the brain cravings hit.

    • orionscoat July 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

      haha, well said; you’ve got a level head on your shoulders, something that tells me you might have a better chance than you think.

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