Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Inevitable Zombie Holocaust

Sometimes when I’m home alone late at night, I’ll hear a strange noise outside and the first thing that’ll pop into my head is “Zombies!”

Then, of course, I remember that Zombies aren’t real…but then I remember that that’s what all those people in the movies think, just before getting their throat ripped out by an undead ex-loved one.

Let’s face it, a Zombie Holocaust is going to happen.

Genetically modified crops, biological and chemical warfare and all those damn space-probes bringing back who knows what from who knows where. I’m surprised we’re not up to our necks in shambling brain-eaters already.

Now, zombies don’t scare me. A lifetime of bad B-movies has given me all the knowledge I need to at least be the last one standing. However, if you’ve neglected your ‘zombie training’, you’re royally screwed.

Therefore, I’ve decided it’s my place…nay, my responsibility… to tell you everything you need to know to survive the impending Zombie Apocolypse. Here we go:

1) Arming yourself.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the movies, it’s keep it simple. When you start taping TNT to radio controlled cars or making home-made rocket launchers from fireworks and plumbing fixtures…all you’re going to do is blow yourself up. Those slits you put in the sides of your van to poke chainsaws through to remove the zombie’s legs sound good until you hit that first bump, fall over and cut your own arm off.

Everyone knows that the only way to kill a zombie is to destroy their heads. Therefore, I recommend the following ‘Survival Armament’:

  • 12 Gauge Shotgun and as many shells as you can get your hands on (preferably semi-auto with a collapsible stock).
  • At least two 9mm handguns as a backup for when your shotgun inevitably jams or runs out of ammo at the most inopportune moment possible
  • Baseball bat in case your shotgun and pistols get lost or jam.

Basically, there’s nothing like a shotgun for removing zombie heads. Multiple pistols save time reloading and a baseball bat is handy in a pinch when you’re out of ammo.

The one type of weapon you want to avoid is anything to do with flame. Molotov Cocktails, Super-soakers filled with gasoline etc. The reason for this is simple. You have to destroy their heads! Think about getting cornered by a group of brain-hungry undead. Now imagine the same situation, but imagine that they’re on fire. Setting a zombie on fire will eventually kill them…but the key word is ‘eventually’. They don’t run around going “OMGWTF PANCAKES!!!” like you or I would if we were suddenly immolated. They won’t even notice until enough of their muscle has burned away that they can’t move.

Like I said, simple is better.

2) Travel

You’re definitely going to want to get out of your home and travel elsewhere (for reasons that will be explained later).

The first (and most counter intuitive) idea here is that foot travel is plausible and sometimes preferable.

Zombies are slow creatures. If you’re in an area that isn’t completely overrun yet, you won’t even have to jog to get away. Just walk calmly around them. The only big thing to avoid is stopping for a rest and leaning against a window or flimsy wood wall. Doing so will guarantee an undetected zombie will punch through that window or wall and grab you. Best case, you’ll need a new set of underwear and lose a lot of leadership credibility when you squeal like a little girl. Worst case you get bitten and go on the all-brain diet.

If you do decide on motorized transport you want the biggest, most rugged vehicle (with a full tank of gas) available. A 4x4 truck is a good idea. You want a vehicle that can run into a thick crowd of zombies or travel across rough terrain and not tip over, get stuck or stall.

Also, If you’re driving to your destination and see a horde of zombies ahead, turn the car around and find a different route. Don’t try and drive straight through them. In fact, if you can’t go forward or go back, abandon the vehicle and escape on foot. Trying to ‘mow them down’ will only get you stuck…and then you’re dead. You’ve gone from mobile survivor to ‘Handy Nutritious Brain in a Can’.

Finally, if you happen to accidentally run someone down, or see a bloodstained, panicked survivor jump into the middle of the road trying to flag you down, under no circumstances stop. The guy you accidentally ran down might still be human, but chances are he’s one of them and going to spring to life and bite you when you check on him. This is about survival, even if he’s still human, all he’s going to do is use your resources and slow you down.

Anyone who wants to join your group should be evaluated by how useful they’re going to be. If they can shoot, have a radio, some knowledge you need or some other useful talent, bite-check them and let them join. If not, leave them behind.

Secondly, the blood soaked, panicked survivor might not have been bitten, but picking up a survivor on the side of the road means one of three things:

1) They’ve been bitten and will hide it from you, meaning they’ll turn the instant you barricade yourself into a small area.

2) They’re going to accidentally attract the zombies attention/unlock the doors/forget the truck keys at some point in the future.

3) They’re actually the ‘star’, which means you’re just a ‘supporting character’…which cuts your survivability in half in a single stroke. Refusing any interaction (and that includes acknowledging their existence) keeps your star status and keeps your survivability chances at above 50%.

Nb : Rule three goes double if the stranded survivor is a half naked female, and triple if any of her clothes have a college insignia on them. If you are a half naked, female college student, you may pick up anyone you wish…apart from another half naked female college student.

3) ‘Holing Up’

There is only one way to survive a zombie holocaust, and that’s to find a safe place, barricade yourself in and wait for the Army to arrive. I’ll be honest, chances are the Army are going to nuke your town to ‘solve’ the problem, but waiting for rescue gives you the best chance of survival. Over 50% of the people who adopt the sit and wait approach survive (or at least survive the longest), those attempting ‘self rescue’ have an over 90% mortality rate.

Basically, the Zombies might only have taken over your town, but they also might have taken over the whole world. Staying put is your best bet.

Well, if staying put gives you the best chance of survival, why the section on travel?

Basically, you stay put…but choosing where to hole up can be the difference between surviving and joining the Zombie horde.

Here’s the deal. Zombies are only dangerous in large numbers, and even then they’re only dangerous if they have you cornered. If you round a corner and find yourself face to face with a hundred thousand Zombies…safety is just a light jog back in the direction you came.

Therefore, the absolute last thing you’re going to want to do is stay in your home. Hiding in your attic or basement is just plain suicide. You’re essentially cornering yourself when you have no need to. So where should you go?

Simple answer : Walmart

Walmart was almost designed as a Zombie apocalypse bunker. You have a few month’s supply of food, guns and ammo, changes of clothes, security cameras, generators for when the power goes out...along with heavy metal shutters to lock yourself in. Plus, they also have a cavernous interior with multiple exits. While this makes it more difficult to secure, you also have all kinds of alarms to set and you’d have to try really hard to get cornered. They come in the front, you get out the back.

Plus, there’s always a Walmart within a few miles of where anyone lives.

Miscellaneous Hints:

All it takes to get infected is a single bite. If you get bitten, save your friends the trouble and blow your own head off.

Never take anyone’s word for it that they haven’t been bitten. Pulling down their sweater a little to expose their neck proves nothing. If they want to stay with you, they have to get naked and let you inspect every inch of their body. If there’s any doubt, lock them up in a very secure location for a couple of days.

Forget sentimentality. If someone turns, they’re no longer the person you know, and just another zombie. Grabbing them and trying to get them to recognize you is guaranteed to get you bitten.

As in all horror scenarios, ‘doing the nasty’ with another survivor is signing your own death warrant.

Keep the religious nuts happy. They’re the ones that lose it, call the Holocaust ‘Judgement Day’, open the doors or try to take on 10,000 zombies armed only with a Bible. Regardless of your own beliefs, ask them to pray for the group and put them in charge of a non-critical task. It keeps them out of the way and stops them turning on you. Under no circumstances arm them.

In every Zombie movie there is a battle for leadership of the group, usually ending in a death. When the leadership challenger insists that going for help is the best course of action, agree with them, walk behind them up to the front door…and as soon as they go through it, lock it behind them.

You’re going to spend a lot of time surrounded by extremely scared, jumpy and armed people. Give everyone a refresher course on gun safety…making sure the location of their weapon’s safety is high on the agenda.

You will definitely run into someone who will refuse to take a weapon. They’ll usually give a speech on how they ‘don’t like guns’ as, for some reason, they think carrying a gun is somehow more dangerous that the Zombie Horde outside the doors. These people are useful as bait when you need to sacrifice someone in order to get away.

Don’t rely on mechanical or electronic devices, including your weapons. In a Zombie Holocaust, everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Always have a backup… and a backup for your backup.

In any group of survivors it’s a certainty that at least one-third are going to die. As such, you’re better off with strangers than friends and family. If you’re a couple, one of you is guaranteed to die. Your best bet is to split up, over 60% of couples that get split up reunite at the end. 99% of couples who stick together find themselves in a situation where one has to sacrifice themselves for the other.

Finally…bring pie. The reason for this is simple. No one has ever said “Crap, all we have is pie!” Everything is better with pie, and that includes zombie holocausts.


OzzyC said...

everything's better with pie... classic.

Dauragon said...

Hahaha, This totally made my day.

I must add though, that a Machete is far better than a baseball bat for severing zombie heads. However, depending on where you are, they can be hard to get a hold of.

Paulius said...

Pie...nuff said

Dauragon :

Classic rookie mistake. You take down a zombie by destroying the brain. Which is easier? 1 swift smack over the head, or trying to behead them with a single, clean stroke.

Plus, take a zombie's head, and you still have a fully functional head that can bite (See: Evil Dead)

Sunny said...

Scary, isn't it, that he has it all planned...Plans A-E. Once you reach Plan F.....well, you're just "F"d anyway.

I'm so proud of him.
But I don't much like the idea of a couple splitting up- I mean if I split up and went with another group- or led my own, being a busty Blonde, wouldn't that put ME automaticly at the top of the list to be offed?
Well, then again....maybe not...Milla Jovovich came out of it pretty good and I shoot just as well as she does.
Eh- I'd still rather be in the group with the Zombie Expert Paulius.

amanda said...

Um well thanks for this advice, but I believe in ghosts more than zombies, however I do see how Zombies could REALLY exist haha with all the medication and shit it's gotta morph us some how...

yeah so thanks for the advice, but you scared the crap out of me now... :( If Zombies come, I won't follow your directions, I'll just bring em straight to SC to the Zombie expert.

Marie said...

depends on the KIND of pie...and ALWAYS run upstairs to get away :)

Dauragon said...

Well played sir....... :D