The other night I was having a drink at Cliffy’s Pub with my friends Nick, Ashton and Gareth when the conversation got onto the zombie Apocalypse, as it does, and whether we would be prepared for it. In all honesty, I raised the topic because of a dream I had had a few nights before. In the dream I had woken up to find that the whole world had turned into Zombie hell, much the same way as it does in Night of the Living Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Resident Evil (without Milla Jovovich and the whole Corporate conspiracy thing) and 28 Days Later.
Because of this dream, over the days following, I found myself thinking “What would I do if this dream became a reality and I really did wake up one morning to find the world in the grips of zombification?”
I considered a couple of different options such as:
Locking myself in my house and going into stealth mode.
This can result in loneliness and usually ends in death by zombie anyway.
Getting into my good ol’ Olive (car) (her name is Olive) and driving and driving and driving and driving. This results in needing to stop for petrol. It also means having to find supplies in “abandoned” stores and so on which usually results in death by zombie as well. Zombieland favoured the driving around option.
I even considered the idea of just running into the zombies and getting it over and done with. It is, after all, the inevitable result of any action or non-action.
I have a bit of info about African witchcraft and raising zombies as slaves to do evil biddings and stuff like that. I even did my Drama Honours research paper on Supernatural representation in ipi Zombie and Macbeth. The zombies I refer to have nothing to do with individuals of whatever persuasion, raising the dead to do their bidding. I base my knowledge purely in the classic Hollywood representation of these misunderstood creatures. Therefore, to assess where “non-survivors” go wrong we should consider what they do. I have covered 2 “fails” already (driving a lot and staying at home). Another popular bad-approach is the hero-style zombie-slayer. The person who goes bat-shit-crazy-zombie-killer. This person is usually a bit of a gun-toting maniac to begin with and the opportunity for maximum destruction without fear of lawful penalties tends to push them just far enough over the edge to forget everything sensible their mother tried to teach them when they were a child. They usually end up looking a bit like this:
They are usually insufferable characters who you kind of wish would get eaten and then inevitably end up dead too. Actually I’m being a bit harsh, they usually end up with a 50/50 chance. They will either survive because they have launched a freaking nuclear warhead into the middle of the zombie-zone or they will be the one who gets bitten and hides it until someone notices the fact that the flesh is falling off their face. And then chaos ensues when they infect 5 other people who all then have to die. Thank you Rambo wannabe’s for spoiling it for everyone.
We also know, thanks to Hollywood, that the staple diet of zombies is Brains. Why? Who freaking knows.
Maybe it’s because it looks like Cauliflower? You know what? I’m not even going to try and explain this one. I will look it up on Wikipedia and get back to you.
One thing is understood through all of this: You have to survive longer than the zombies. All the zombies have to be dead and gone before people can consider living safely. The question is: how does one survive long enough? I decided that the perfect thing to do, if one has the resources, would be to hide underground. Literally. If one was paranoid enough (which I may very well become), one could build an underground bunker, kind of like in Blast from the Past when they have 30 years worth of supplies. This is quite hectic. I’m kind of hoping for a couple of months at most. The faster the zombies convert the living (both human and animal alike) the faster their food source will be depleted.
This may not be the most optimistic view but it’s a thought…
Ultimately, the only way to outlast the zombies is to be out of their reach so that they can’t eat me.
See how happy the sun is? It fully supports beating the zombies. So the underground bunker is a great idea because they can’t see you there, however, the chances of having a handy bunker in the back garden are pretty much nil. The chances of having a giant tree house full of stuff is also pretty much a big fat no too.
Apart from actively planning for the zombie apocalypse, neither of these options is really helpful. But it was a nice thought all the same. The conversation around the drinks with my friends turned into contingency planning. We had discussed the ideals and now we had to come up with a strategy, A-Team style. So we pooled a couple of ideas:
Plan 1: The Mall
I had the fabulous idea that the mall would be a great place to hole up and fend off the zombies.
1: It has everything one could possibly need to survive. At least a couple years worth of canned goods and bottled water, camping gear, houseware, clothes, stuff to use as weapons.
2: There must be a shower in there somewhere, worst comes to worst we could just build one from all the stuff at Game and the camping shops.
3: The main doors have massive security grates.
4: There is a lot of space so survivors can come aplenty.
5: Our Mall, while being quite large, is quite a lot smaller than most other malls AND is all on one level, making it a lot easier to defend.
6: It is an intersection away from several car dealerships and a petrol station.
These are all very handy. Downfalls however are that it is still a large space with many back access doors. So we would probably have to blockade one specific shop, like Pick ‘n Pay, and then stockpile it with stuff from other shops. This is risky but could be done. It is not ideal but it’s what I had.
So plan number 2 that got presented by Ashton was to hole up at Makro. Makro is a very good option, probably better that the mall. Why?
1: Makro is a wholesaler and most of their stock is pre-packaged in large quantities making it much easier to stock up on stuff if we need to run.
2: It is smaller than the mall but still exceptionally big and it has less windows and entrances making it MUCH easier to defend.
3: It has many of the same benefits of the mall but in a smaller, more concentrated and more manageable area.
4: It’s in a less populated area and not in the CBD meaning a better chance of fewer zombies.
5: All camping, food, living necessities.
The only thing I don’t like about Makro is how far away it is from the Highway, alternative transportation and fuel. However, this can be countered by good planning.
Plan 3 kind of rounds back to something from earlier: the driving and driving and driving option. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think it draws a lot of attention to be the only fast moving object, more than likely drawing much attention BUT the idea of continually moving has it’s merits. Firstly, always ALWAYS choose a massive truck for the following reasons:
1: It can carry large amounts of supplies at once so if you DO get stuck somewhere you’ll be sorted for a while at least.
2: Actually fill it with supplies, try Makro (see plan 2).
3: Keeping moving means that the zombies can’t catch up. However, it also means driving towards other zombies. Be smart.
4: It is, in essence, a GIGANTIC weapon. And you can play music in it. And see the country. Hell, take a road trip, it won’t actually cost you any money, you can just loot along the way!
The problem with trucking is that you can not outrun the zombies because there will be others in different cities and if you run out of petrol or break down it causes issues. you could probably just hop out and take another from all the abandoned cars on the highways (thank you cinema-land for assuming that there will be so many cars lying around) but then you have to move all your supplies.
The four of us discussed these options at length, I think up to 2 hours worth of the evening was devoted to this brainstorming session. And then we had it. I don’t remember who said it, but it was brilliant.
A BOAT!!! How could we not have thought of it before? We could take a couple of trucks, load them up with stuff from Makro and then drive them down to the harbour and load them up onto a freighter! LOADS of space, and all we would have to do is go far enough off shore for the zombies to not get us. We couldn’t run out of fuel because we could anchor out there and only come in if necessary to get more supplies! And we would be able to watch what was happening on shore and see how bad the zombie apocalypse was. We made a rule, everyone has and is responsible for their own ablutions bucket. Everyone’s a grown up and chips in. We even went so far as considering the option of using one Shore trip to bring back earth and fertilizer and start planting crops on the deck.
With our contingency plan all sorted and our list of stuff to bring along mostly thought out, I have not dreamt of the zombie apocalypse again. The cosmos has done it’s work and I am READY.