Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

White Zombie

As you know, I've survived a number of zombie outbreaks, some of which were not even caused by my own unholy attempts to play God. So naturally, people ask, "Robyn? How have you managed to live through so many zombie apocalii?"

To which I answer, "It's actually 'zombie apocalypses'. You're thinking of the irregular plural for second declension Latin nouns ending in -us, whereas apocalypse, from the Latin apocalypsis, is actually an undeclined regular plural with a standard -s suffix."

It may sound like nitpicking, but proper grammar doesn't go out the window just because the world is ending. We need to have standards, or we're no better than the zombies. That's lesson one.

Here are some more handy tips, which you can use to survive your next brush with zombies:

Before the Apocalypse

Emergency Zombie Evacuation Plan
Zombie icon CC Juan Escutia
Perhaps the most important factor in surviving a zombie apocalypse is preparedness. You'll never survive if you’re rushing to the Piggly Wiggly at the last minute to stock up on bottled water and ammo, so keep an emergency zombie kit in the house or in your car. It should contain: water, Mylar blanket, first aid kit, cash, waterproof matches, a flashlight, extra batteries, a poncho, a bottle of chlorine bleach, a hand-cranked radio, a can opener, plenty of guns, and a chainsaw. Oh and, if your can opener breaks? Don’t try to open cans with the chainsaw. I learned that one the hard way.

Plan to leave large cities at the first sign of zombies. Don’t wait for the CDC to declare a zombie emergency, because by then it'll be gridlock on the highways, and the military will be shooting anyone breaching the quarantine zone. Many future snack packs see one or two zombies shambling around outside the pub and think, "Oh, the apocalypse is just getting started. I still have time to collect a few things and Tivo Law and Order."

Wrong! You’d be shocked at how fast the zombie plague can spread. Many is the poor fool who ignored obvious warning signs and woke up the next morning having their foot gnawed by the neighbor kids. Leave as soon as you see a zombie, hear about a mysterious illness on the news, or notice doctors walking around in bio-hazard suits and asking to, "just check your temperature."

Infection Control

Zombie Personal Protective Equipment Infection
Use the same Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and follow the same safety precautions as doctors and nurses who work with infectious samples:

•    Don’t touch anything with your bare hands until it’s been sterilized with a solution of 10% chlorine bleach. This includes surfaces inside your shelter! You have no idea what went on in there while you were out looting Twinkies and heroin.

•   Wear latex or nitrile gloves whenever you touch unsterilized objects. People might laugh at you for being OCD, but will they be laughing when they catch the zombie plague off an infected doorknob? No, they won't. They'll be too busy moaning, because zombies are nature's whiners.

•    Protect your mouth, nose, and eyes! Wear protective glasses and cover your face whenever you expect zombie splatter. Also be sure to wrap up any cuts or scrapes, no matter how minor. Get zombie juice in an open wound, and you might as start practicing your shamble.

•    Discard anything that comes into contact with zombie goo, or at least sterilize it if it's absolutely vital to your survival, such as your last gun or vibrator. (Hey, during a zombie apocalypse, you have to be able to unwind.)

•    Do not have sexual intercourse with a zombie. Seriously. This should be obvious, and yet it keeps coming up. You know who you are, you sick fucks.

•    In fact, stop having sexual intercourse altogether, because zombies seem to have sex-seeking radar. Believe me, they always go straight for the sluts.

How To Dress When Zombies Are Coming Over

Believe it or not, what you wear is more important than what weapon you carry. Your apparel choices determine how easily a zombie can drag you to the ground, whether it can bite you, and whether a bite penetrates your sweet, sweet flesh.

First off, try to loot a set of chainmail gloves from a butcher shop. With your hands protected against bites, you can more easily hold zombies at bay. Also, haven't you wanted a pair of chainmail gloves ever since you saw them on Shark Week? Well, the apocalypse is a chance to make such dreams into reality.

Wear a sturdy leather jacket and pants when outside your fortified shelter. It'll offer you some protection against bites, not to mention that you'll look pretty badass.

Use duct tape to attach rawhide strips to critical “bite zones” on your person, such as the shoulders, arms, and neck. Don’t attach them too tightly! You want the strips to slough off when a zombie bites into them, like a lizard losing its tail. Then you can wriggle away without much trouble, while the zombie gnaws futilely on the leather. Making a “woob woob woob” sound while you make good your escape is not required, but is highly encouraged.

Along the same line, if a zombie grabs you by the sleeve, you want that sleeve to come off with a hard tug or two. The alternative is being dragged to the ground and eaten. So loosen the stitching on your outdoor clothes, until they’re ready to come apart with minimal effort.

Alternatively, you can just shop at Target.

Choosing a Gun

Best Zombie Gun

When choosing a gun for the zombie apocalypse, you want to ask one critical question: Why choose?

Guns are plentiful, unless you're living in one of those weird, namby-pamby countries that isn't America. So you’ll want a good hunting rifle for taking out zombies at long range, a light semi-automatic pistol for close-in work, and a shotgun with a skeet choke for in between. Practice with your weapons as you can, but don’t linger on the practice range. Zombies must be some kind of hippies or something, because they'll wandering over when they hear shots, and then proceed to lambast and eat you.

Make sure to keep some extra ammunition here and there about your person, where you can grab it without much fuss. If you can strap it over a likely bite zone, that's even better, since it'll offer you extra protection.

And make sure you choose the right ammunition! Use only double-aught or larger buckshot for the shotgun. Don't make the mistake Dick Cheney made, when he was attacked by a zombie and tried to take it down with ineffective bird shot. (Sure, the Liberal Media said he shot a person, but you and me? We know the truth.)

Take as much extra ammo as you can carry in a backpack, in case you get cornered in an alley or have to clear out a mall. Still, don’t hesitate to drop that heavy pack if you're making a run for it, and the zombies are close on your heels. You can always get more ammunition, but you can't replace your intestines.

If you acquire explosives, grenades, or Molotov cocktails, use them for home defense only. Don’t bother taking them with you when you're outside your fortified shelter. Remember, the weapons you carry with you are meant to save your ass in an emergency, not to rack up your kills and earn you bragging rights (because you can just lie about that stuff.) A grenade hurled from the roof of your shelter can work wonders against a horde of zombies trying to force open your carefully sterilized front door, but a grenade is worse than useless on the run.

Unless, of course, you want to get some quick fishing in.

Choosing Your Companions

Walking Dead with Companion Cube

You may think there's strength in numbers, and you’ll probably be tempted to form a caravan with the first living people you run across. But before you join up with that motorcycle gang or that ragged band of unlikely survivors from all walks of life, consider who you're dealing with. What are these people like? What skills do they offer? How smart are they? How close are they to snapping? How likely are they to take stupid risks? How appetizing do they look?

As scary as it may be to wander the wastelands alone, the last thing you want is to be stuck with a reckless group of delicious thrill seekers on the cusp of sanity.

So watch for the warning signs noted above, ask questions before joining up, consider a probationary trial period, and never be afraid to slip away in the middle of the night if things aren't working out.

Above all, avoid rugged-yet-flawed survivor types. That scruffy cop might look like he can protect you, but trust me, everyone near that motherfucker is gonna get eaten by zombies sooner or later. It's just a matter of time. Unless, of course, you are also an attractive, no-nonsense type who gave up on ever finding love again. In that case, hook up with the scruffy protector as soon as possible and, after some initial complications, your mutual safety is all but assured.


So now you'll survive the zombie apocalypse, but if you want to EXTRA SURVIVE it, you'll have to read How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse, Part 2!

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