5 People You Want to Be When the Zombie Apocalypse Hits

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I have an overactive imagination and a penchant for post-apocalyptic scenarios. This means I think about zombies a lot. I used to muse that the little town where we lived in Kansas was an excellent place to ride out zombies because of the spring-fed creek north of town, pretty much NOTHING for miles around but cows and crops, and several warehouses in town owned by hoarders that were full of farm equipment suitable for decapitating the undead. I also figured out that it would be a relatively simple process to surround the town with an eight-foot barbed wire fence and that the pizza place in town was ideally placed to serve as a zombie watchtower.

(Hmm. Maybe this kind of thing was why they thought I was weird.)

As I was driving home from a shopping trip on a long winding road through the woods I contemplated how my current home would either be the best or the worst place to live when the zombies awaken. After all, I live on a military post surrounded by woods. There are tanks, helicopters, and soldiers at the ready, but escaping zombies that have breached the perimeter involves driving on rural highways inevitably clogged with cars or hiking through alligator-infested woods.

(Yep, definitely the reason they thought I was weird.)

Anyway, in my continued musing, I considered where and who I would most like to be when the apocalypse hits and came up with these top five. Enjoy!

5 People You Want to Be When the Zombie Apocalypse Hits

5. A researcher at one of the polar ice caps

Why: As long as you have access to a large boat or sea plane, odds are good you will have adequate provisions to hold out for quite a while. The zombies will freeze solid at night allowing for easy brain destruction in the morning.

How it could go wrong: It’s -100 outside. On second thought, I’d rather be a zombie.

4. An off-shore oil rig worker

Why: If you’re with a good company, you probably have all the comforts of home plus a spa and recreation space. Zombies can’t swim last time I checked. You’re set for life.

How it could go wrong: It’s an oil rig full of lonely men who are getting bored. Odds are good that you’ll blow up.

3. A rural USPS letter carrier

Why: They know all the back roads that won’t be blocked by traffic jams and people running away from the zombies, and if they are nice and talk to people, they probably know which ranchers and farmers have their own water well, food supplies, and decently defensible abodes.

How it could go wrong: The USPS is probably where the zombie apocalypse will start.

2. One of those park rangers that work on the fire lookout towers in the middle of nowhere

Why: No one around. Plenty of provisions and water. You’ll spot the zombies miles away.

How it could go wrong: Being the last man on earth is depressing. See I Am Legend, Planet of the Apes, Oblivion, Day of the Triffids 

1. One of the Duck Dynasty clan

Why: Miss Kay can make anything taste good, and they own miles of private swamp land they can disappear into. Am I the only one who believes Uncle Si would set down his sweet tea with a gleam in his eye and turn into a zombie-killing machine, hollering non sequiturs and bad puns as he mows down the undead? The rest of the family can just send him outside while they eat sweet potato pie and squirrel dumplings.

How it could go wrong: Zombie Uncle Si.

 

Who would you want to be when the zombies come for us all?

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What I’m Reading: World War Z

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World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

“That book is way more awesome than any book by that title has a right to be.”- my friend Daniel, on World War Z

Daniel is right. This book is truly amazing. I don’t throw around terms like  addictive, compelling, and emotional. World War Z is all three.

WWZ was inspired by The Good War by Studs Terkel, which is a collection of personal accounts from World War II. The novel reads like a non-fiction book, set up as a series of interviews with major and minor players in the conflict. It begins with the doctor who identified the first infection in China and discusses the radical changes that resulted from the various outbreaks throughout the world. Brooks details the experiences of government officials tasked with containing the problem, ordinary citizens who simply tried to escape, and profiteers who got rich off of fear and desperation. Brooks explores warfare and tactics, political issues, survival methods, and social upheaval. And yes, it’s about zombies. And yes, it is amazing.

Far from the typical zombie story, Brooks has crafted a biting social and political commentary that will make you cringe and laugh by turns. China refuses to acknowledge the plague, bleeding thousands of infected refugees from it’s borders. Americans remain steadfastly apathetic, putting faith in a fake vaccine until the problem is too big to be ignored. Israel locks its borders and shoots anything that moves outside the wall. Most of all, Brooks uses the novel to explore the concept of pure war, or war for its own sake. Whereas most wars end when one side meets their objective (i.e. empire-building, political revolution, unseating a dictator, etc.), a pure war will never end. Pure war is destruction and death without an objective.  Brooks illustrates this concept chapter by chapter with the inexorable moan of zombies.

Though I highly recommend WWZ, I must do so with several qualifiers.

Make no mistake: this is a horror novel. War is ugly, especially against mindless monsters who exist purely to consume and destroy. Brooks does not skip over the worst bits of human nature (and zombie nature). One section of the story dealing with those who tried to escape the zombies above the snowline in Canada turned my stomach. I almost couldn’t make it through the chapter. There’s also quite a bit of language, but it depends on which interview you are reading  (mercenaries and profiteers are the worst). In Brooks’ defense, I never felt that any of the language or violence was for shock value. The gory details are precisely what gives this novel it’s realism and emotional impact.

I loved World War Z, despite that I was sure I wouldn’t. Brooks has converted me to a fan of the zombie genre. It is not for the faint of heart, but those who can stomach it will come out on the other side amazed that it was just a novel.