See what I did there? WINK!
The other day as my wife and I were getting ready to start our days we were talking about matters of the heart, and our conversation naturally broached the subject of zombies. There’s a little more to it than that, but ultimately that’s where we landed, so just go with it. She had mentioned reading my post on parenthood and enjoyed my comparison to the undead and how I tied it all together. That led to a discussion on the impending zombie apocalypse…oh yes, it’s coming folks.
She was just as skeptical as all of you are, but I quickly made my case. I mentioned an article posted by the CDC giving steps to prepare for a zombie uprising. Yes, the real Centers for Disease Control. I informed her how much attention it had gotten in the first week of it being posted. I also filled her in on May being Zombie Awareness Month.
Because I love her, that led to a quick crash course on zombie history and survival. Starting with her skepticism, I immediately targeted the difference between the potential reality of zombies and the fantasy of vampires. She was oblivious to any difference until I explained that zombies are created from disease while vampires are “superhumans” in a sense. There are no shape-shifting zombies compared to vampires transforming into bats. Zombies aren’t mysteriously affected by garlic, holy water, daylight, or crosses. Zombies cannot fly, as vampires are often depicted as being able to do…hell, they can’t even really swim or run (<- depending on who you ask). And there is no “head-honcho” zombie that once killed will release a magical hold over all of the rest of the zombies. The zombie infection courses through your veins, raising your body temperature until you essentially bake to death. After a period of death, the disease re-animates your brain, but only with one basic instinct…to feed. One of these sounds a little more like a real possibility. (Note: I did not say likely possibility, merely a real potential.) Vampires are outlandish. Zombies are out there…kind of.
With a newfound understanding of fantasy, superstition, and myth versus possibility and modern science, we moved on to basic survival information and tactics. First up: location. Cities are places to avoid during the zombie apocalypse. Zombies don’t travel, so you want to avoid places where masses of people are located because ultimately, that is where masses of zombies will be located. Next: supplies. Stocking up on supplies is vital to your vitality – non-perishable food items, water, batteries and gasoline are all key.
On a related note: weapons. You have to be able to defend yourself, so a weapons supply is imperative. Stock up on handguns (good for mobility), shotguns (for close-quarters combat), rifles (for long-distance targets), bow/crossbow (for stealth attacks), and obviously ammunition. And more ammunition. You will also want a blunt-force weapon or two. Ammo will eventually run out…it’s inevitable. It is necessary to have a back-up plan such as an ax, machete, or baseball bat (preferably aluminum since wood would break too easily). The catch here is you have to remember that you are dealing with a disease. Get carried away with an ax and you’ll have blowback spraying in your face full of infected blood, then all of your hard work at self-defense would all be a waste – wear goggles, close your mouth, and cover all open wounds…if you know what’s good for you! Then aim for the head; the brain must be destroyed in order to shut down a zombie for good. Lopping off limbs might be a good stress-reliever and make for some entertaining undead flailing, but it doesn’t really get you anywhere…it’s just a waste of time and energy. Aiming for the heart is pointless. Their hearts do not function. There is no blood pumping through their veins. Also along these lines, zombies have no emotional attachment. When I tell you that their heart is dead, I mean it in every sense. You can’t reason with a zombie or try to convince a zombie not to attack you because maybe it was once your best friend. It’s not anymore. Notice how I say “it” instead of “him” or “her;” it’s important not to humanize the undead in case you find yourself in this particular situation. Your loved one is gone…no matter what it looks like.
There is some good news that comes into play here though…it’s not ALL doom and gloom! Because a zombie’s heart doesn’t function, they are in a constant state of decay. They can only pursue for so long until their flesh and muscle tissue can no longer hold up. Eventually, there simply won’t be any zombies left – it all just depends on how long you can hold out and survive.
Finally, just remember not to bring attention to yourself. Don’t think you can fake your way through a pack of stumbling, mumbling dead-heads…they know the difference. Avoid them like the plague. Literally. Set up camp away from urban areas and don’t broadcast your location. Keep campfires to a low flame so the light doesn’t attract unwanted attention. Don’t waste batteries by cranking up electronics to listen to The Cranberries. (“Zombie” anyone??) If a stray limps across your whereabouts, refrain from opening fire like it’s D-Day – you’ll only announce your position to any others that may happen to be nearby. Zombies don’t communicate per se, but they do have a droning moan that carries and can act as a “call” of sorts for other zombies.
With all of that said, it may come to a point where you will have to make the decision to bail and leave everything behind. Just remember, it’s a matter of survival at this point. A bag full of clothes will do you no good. While a picture album is a nice thought, it’s only one more thing to weigh you down. Fill your pockets with bullets, your belt with guns, bag with food and water, and get the hell outta Dodge.
I am proud to say that I think my wife has a very basic, general understanding of how to take care of herself in my absence, but let’s hope that is never an issue.
She did present me with a tough question though that I will now forward on to you: Would zombies attack vampires (conceding their existence)? My initial reaction was , “Yes they would. The lively movement and smell of blood would inevitably attract the zombies.” But that thought only lasted long enough to finish my sentence before I came to the realization that vampires are undead also…in their own way. So then would they form some kind of mindless alliance against humans? I highly doubt that too. Zombies are incapable of cognitive thought processes, so therefore have no allegiances to anyone or anything other than their insatiable need to feed. And Vampires need humans to harvest more blood. Ultimately I have a strong inkling that they could co-exist almost peacefully…at least until the food supply ran dry.
That lead to the debate of battle. If it did come down to vampires verses zombies, who would have the upper hand?
- Vampires have advanced thinking capabilities – can formulate and execute a plan. The downside of that, is that they also have emotions – they can get bored, lonely, depressed, etc. Zombies are thoughtless drones and won’t stop coming until they get to their prey or find another suitable victim.
- Vampires are typically portrayed in close-quarter, hand-to-hand combat – the absolute worst way to take on a horde of zombies. Vampires also are generally thought of as loners, whereas zombies come in packs. Although, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of vampires adapting to the situation; as already stated, they have superior thought processes.
- I firmly believe that infections would offset each other and be inconsequential to the conversation. Vampires can’t turn a zombie because their blood is all dried up, and while vampires are more likely to get infected (logistically and scientifically speaking of course), I just don’t see it working that way. As I’ve already stated, they are already in a state of being undead, so I don’t think “the heat” would affect them in the same manner it would a human.
- Another potential downfall for vampires is their aversion to the sun – they would be incapable of fighting in certain conditions, and as we’ve already learned, zombies don’t give up.
- However, the hope for vampires relies on the decomposition of zombies. With the lack of flowing blood, zombie tissue does not regenerate and is in a constant state of decomposition – it would only be a matter of time before their bodies can no longer function and the brain is rendered harmless.
It doesn’t look good for vampires. Or humans. Zombies are a relentless bunch of killing machines. Steer clear at all costs and don’t willingly engage unless you have a death wish. If you take nothing else from this post, just remember this one thing: Always save one bullet for yourself. You’re welcome.
Below are some links of interest in case you hesitated to click on the links earlier in the post. Do your research now, or don’t live to regret it later:
Zombie Research Society – Indispensible resources for zombie information
Find out your chances of survival during the zombie apocalypse – Take the quiz
(Note: This is all intended to be tongue-in-cheek and taken light-heartedly. Until you notice an undeniable craving for brains.)
Thank you, that is all.