***Warning: Implied spoilers****
I am an avid fan of The Walking Dead, which has surprised me on more than one occasion. You’d think that someone who can’t watch a single horror movie would avoid a show centered around the undead constantly slurping up the intestines of their loved ones, but I tune in every week.
In doing so, I’ve learned a few things that I will definitely take with me, should a zombie apocalypse commence during my lifetime.
1) Be creative
If there’s one thing that The Walking Dead has taught me over and over again it’s that there is no “right” way to survive. (They are moral ways, of course, but we’ll get more into that later.) First off, don’t put yourself in a box; really explore the world of survival. The apocalypse is like a video game set on super hard that you never actually win, but constantly forces you to find new survival techniques. Here are some options:
- Find a samurai sword, chop off the arms of two zombies, then chain them up and let them escort you around the apocalypse.
- Cover yourself in the rotting insides of the undead so you can blend in while looking for an escape vehicle.
- Have unmatchable skills with a crossbow and make a necklace of the ears of all the zombies you killed.
- Pretend to be the timid, sweet, housewife your husband used to abuse, but secretly wield guns like Clint Eastwood and kill people without a second thought.
- Have zero defensive skills and pretend to know where to find a cure for the undead.
- Inexplicably remain a good and decent human being, always remembering your pizza man roots**
(** Yet to be totally confirmed as a viable option. Please stay tuned for updates)
2) Choose your friends wisely, seriously.
An unfortunate lesson from TWD is the human tendency to morph into a complete and total savage when the world is ending. One minute you’re slipping your mailman a holiday gift card, thanking him for his hard year of work, the next you’re knee deep in the apocalypse and the two of you are fighting over which leg of the UPS man you want to eat first. Things get real out there, which is why you want to make sure you’re not ignoring all the signs pre-apocalypse. If you’ve ever been stranded with a “friend” in the middle of nowhere and they made jokes about cannibalism as an option for survival, you should probably terminate that friendship immediately. Especially since you just remembered that they wrote an essay in college called “Apocalypse Chow: Who to Eat First When the World Ends”, and they once asked you how fast you could run while scared…
3) How to kill a zombie
If there’s one thing that infuriates me to no end while I watch The Walking Dead’s newer seasons, it’s the people who have no freaking idea how to kill a zombie. THE BRAIN, DAMNIT. Aim. For. The. BRAIN. I’ve heard myself yell things at television like, “if you honestly think stabbing that zombie in the arm is going to save you, you deserve to be eaten!” and “Could you be more of an idiot right now? Take that tree branch and stab that bitch through the eye!” It’s alarming really, but also valid. I don’t have time for people to make bad choices; my friends’ lives are on the line! Pull yourself together, aim for the head, and don’t waste bullets, you might need them living humans try to kill you later.
4) What to do when your loved ones get bit
There have been a variety of ways this was showcased, most of which were something like this:
- Note where the bite is. If it’s on an extremity, just grab the nearest machete, cut that shit off and move on. If it’s essentially anywhere else, please proceed to step two.
- Cry because you know they are doomed
- Pace around a bit wondering what you’re going to do, even though you already know
- Be selfish and make them continue to travel with you, even though you know they’re dying and would just like to lie down and continue to do so
- Hold them in your arms and expect them not to turn into a zombie
- Watch them turn into a zombie
- Be annoyingly shocked
- Aim for the brain
- Become a colder human being.
5) What NOT to do when your loved ones get bit
I get it. Death is impossibly hard to deal with, especially when you’re alone in the wilderness with no hope and you have to eat a defenseless turtle (JSS), but sooner or later you have to realize that this is the apocalypse and life is 100000 times more unfair than it was before. You can’t change what has already happened; you just have to accept it. Here are just a few ways you shouldn’t attempt to do that:
- Lock your loved ones up in your barn like a zombie Jack-in-the-Box waiting to explode.
- Put a bag over your zombie daughter’s head so she can’t bite you while you hug her. Then lock her in a closet and go on with your day like nothing happened.
- Internalize the pain, blame your father, then eat a gallon of pudding and throw up.
6) Signs that you might have become a psychopath/a complete and total a-hole.
- You try to kill your pre-apocalypse bestie because he’s not actually dead and you no longer get to bang his wife.
- You start keeping the heads of people you’ve murdered in aquariums.
- You hang signs up next to a railroad, inviting people to live with you and then eat everyone that shows up.
- You watch your best friend die and then blame it on the nicest guy ever, then try to lure that guy into the woods and kill him, then end up maybe killing him after he forgave you, leaving everyone wishing you never actually existed, or hoping that somehow only you died and not the nicest guy ever, because if the nicest guy ever died it will be the saddest thing ever and I’ll forever hate you and your stupid name and every line you ever spoke and okay things are getting out of hand I need move on.
While the last 5 seasons of The Walking Dead have obviously proven to be extremely educational, I worry that, should a zombie apocalypse arrive, we’re still ultimately screwed. With all the costumes and mazes and exhibits dedicated to the show, how would we ever know that the real thing arrived? Maybe there are actual zombies roaming the streets, or maybe it’s just a really convincing flash mob. Who could tell the difference? Remember that guy a couple years ago who ate that other guy’s face? They blamed it on bath salts, but I think we know better….WHERE YOU AT DARRYL?! WE NEED YOU!