the walking dead

What the Walking Dead Taught Me & Why We’re All Still Doomed

***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:

  1. Find a samurai sword, chop off the arms of two zombies, then chain them up and let them escort you around the apocalypse.
  2. Cover yourself in the rotting insides of the undead so you can blend in while looking for an escape vehicle.
  3. Have unmatchable skills with a crossbow and make a necklace of the ears of all the zombies you killed.
  4. 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.
  5. Have zero defensive skills and pretend to know where to find a cure for the undead.
  6. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Cry because you know they are doomed
  3. Pace around a bit wondering what you’re going to do, even though you already know
  4. 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
  5. Hold them in your arms and expect them not to turn into a zombie
  6. Watch them turn into a zombie
  7. Be annoyingly shocked
  8. Aim for the brain
  9. 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:

  1. Lock your loved ones up in your barn like a zombie Jack-in-the-Box waiting to explode.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  1. You try to kill your pre-apocalypse bestie because he’s not actually dead and you no longer get to bang his wife.
  2. You start keeping the heads of people you’ve murdered in aquariums.
  3. You hang signs up next to a railroad, inviting people to live with you and then eat everyone that shows up.
  4. 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!

Classic Love Scenes I Couldn’t Be Part Of

When I was little, love to me was like the locked room of my grandparents’ house. I always knew one day I’d have to break down the door with savage curiosity, but until then I’d just sit in the living room watching Growing Pains and eating cottage cheese.

As I grew up, I watched a number of romantic movies that taught me what love was “supposed” to look like. (They also tried to convince me that every couple that falls in love is essentially perfect and blemishless, but I was eventually able to call BS on that.)

Sometimes as I watched the movies, I transported myself into the character of the female lead; I wanted to see how it felt to be told by someone that I completed them or that our story still wasn’t over. And most of the time, when the lines worked, I understood my character’s choice to ride off into the sunset. Other times however, I couldn’t even begin to relate.

Here are some examples of those times:

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Movie: Pearl Harbor

Scene: Danny (Josh Hartnett) takes Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale) for a private flight.

pearl-harbor

Romantic right? They’re own private flight. They’re all cozy and Danny is hot and Evelyn is hot but also slightly scared and excited. Everything is going great and I’m there, I’m in the scene, I’m the goddess that is Kate Beckinsale, and I make one simple request: “DON’T FLIP THE DAMN PLANE.” (Minor paraphrasing, of course.) But what does Danny do? You guessed it. He flips the damn plane.  And I get it, I really do, you little rascal.  As we flip, the fear I feel will supposedly morph into adrenaline and then evolve into excitement and hunger, resulting in our ultimate baby making back in the hanger. But for me, if I was Evelyn, the whole “no flip” thing would not be a suggestion. “DO NOT”, I would say, “DO NOT DO A BARREL ROLL WITH THIS DAMN PLANE. It’s nothing against your piloting shenanigans, I just have extremely bad motion sickness and I WILL vomit all over this sexy red dress. Then chances are, we don’t make a baby and Ben Affleck doesn’t get to tell you you’re going to be a father right before you die. It will all be bad. Just land the plane and we’ll grab a milkshake.

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Movie: Titanic

Scene: Jack (Leo DiCaprio) saves Rose (Kate Winslet) from jumping off the boat.

titanic

I’m not great in heels; I accepted this fact a long time ago. In addition, 90% of my wardrobe is leggings and T-shirts, so getting into the character of an elegant British woman who wears long gowns and kitten heels is already a bit of a stretch, but I’ll work with it. There I am, walking towards the back of the Titanic, ready to jump off the edge into nothingness. Unlike Kate’s stride, mine is a bit like a baby deer and my ankle rolls a few times, but I’m so desperate to get away from my shithead fiancé and controlling mother, I ignore my shoes and keep walking. As I gimp, I’m unaware of my subconscious hope that Leo shows up, but as I take my suicidal stance, he appears.  Before I see him however, a 4th and final ankle roll sends me tumbling into the water.  Leo considers diving in after me. He pictures us swimming to an undiscovered shore and starting a life together, thriving Blue Lagoon style. We’d forgo clothing and he’d draw me like one of his Amazon girls, and we would name our first child Iceberg, an ill-advised ode to the frigid jump that brought us together. He pictures all of this whilst I’m in mid-fall, then realizes that although I had a lot of potential to be the love of his life, he could surely find someone in New York with much less baggage. He then steps away from the edge, goes back downstairs and kicks that Italian guy’s ass at poker.

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Movie: Love Actually

Scene: Mark (Andrew Lincoln) confesses his love for Juliet (Keira Knightley) via doorstep sign montage.

love-actually

The thing with this scene is not that it wouldn’t work for me, it’s that—unlike the movie—it actually would. Yes, yes, I know that I, Juliet, “we”, are already committed to another man, and in my own life I would never dream of doing such a thing. But wearing Juliet’s shoes, I would step off that porch and run away with sign-guy. It would be scandalous and completely out of character and I’d probably drown in guilt. But then, when the apocalypse set in and zombies ate all of my friends, I’d realize that I clearly made the right choice, because as it turns out, sign guy is a badass. Though I’d probably end up leaving him for Darryl. What? It’s the apocalypse and my second husband is severely unstable! Give me a break!

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Movie: Love and Basketball

Scene: Monica (Sonaa Lathan) challenges Quincy (Omar Epps) to a one on one game to win his heart.love-and-basketball

This one is doomed pretty early due to the fact that I have almost zero basketball skills. There is a crack in the cement of my parent’s backyard that I can shoot layups from all day without missing, but I wouldn’t exactly define myself as someone who’s “got game.” I’m the person that dives in front of the ball when it’s being “checked” because I think it’s the first pass I’ve ever had a shot at blocking. The display I’d put on in a one on one game would never provoke Quincy to offer up double or nothing. He’d probably just shake my hand and pat himself on the back for dumping me in college. Now, there is a strong argument that could be made regarding the likely hood of this game ever happening due to the aforementioned lack of skill. This proposal would work far better if I wanted to break up with someone. Example:  if I was dating David Beckham and I was just sick of his perfect body and delicious accent, I might challenge him to a series of penalty kicks for his heart. If I win, I keep it, but if I SOMEHOW manage to blow it, we break up.  See? I would be setting myself up for failure.  So proposing a game of basketball to WIN the love of my life?! No, that would not be my best idea, but there’s no need to get technical….foul! Basketball pun? Right? AM I RIGHT?! #slamdunk. I’ll stop.

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The main lesson I’ve learned from both love in movies and love in real life is that it never looks the same. I think we all have our own path to follow and it doesn’t always include Lloyd Dobler standing outside our window with a boom box…although I hope mine does.

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