The Fat Kid Comes To The Rescue
I have been learning about Florida lately. I used to think of the Sunshine State as a big swamp populated by geezers, gators, and people too stupid to fill out a ballot properly or count a hanging chad without consulting CSI:Miami. Oh, and Mickey Mouse lives there, too.
But a few weeks ago, I learned of a group of progressive-thinking students at the University of Florida. Their efforts to prepare the masses to cope, survive, and even thrive after a disaster changed my whole perception of the state. I am talking, of course, about the U of F's Zombie Survival Plan. It was a very thorough document, dispelling such misconceptions as using garlic and sunlight to combat zombies (those only work against vampires. If you thought it was soooo obvious that garlic would not thwart a zombie, remember that these were people who had trouble filling out a ballot). It gave me hope for the younger generation. "These guys get it," I thought to myself as I pored over the plan. "Everybody should read this."
Then it was gone. Vanished.
Apparently, the powers-that-be at the university - probably under pressure from The Umbrella Corporation - pulled the document from the school's website.
Never fear, gentle reader, for The Fat Kid has seen, like, a jillion zombie movies and can use what he has observed in these flicks to offer you insight into planning your survival after the undead rise and civilization falls.
Rule #1: You should find a group of misfits to align yourself with. The group should include a crazy redneck who's (obviously) well-armed and likes to shoot at anything that moves, hootin' and hollerin' while he launches projectiles from his over-sized pickup truck. It should also include an athletic woman with a mysterious past. At first you discount her as the first one to go, but as the movie, errrr, time goes by, she'll emerge as a real badass. Also essential is the lone wolf dude, who invariably will be in constant conflict with the badass chick, until they profess their love for one another (usually right before one of them is abducted by the zombies and the carried off and - inexplicably - left uneaten and still alive when your group mounts a rescue). The sleazy lawyer/businessman guy with a shirt and tie, who always wants to be in charge when he's clearly incapable of being in charge is also a must. He will be the first one eaten. The fat dude who has never fired a gun before in his life but probably can figure out how to bypass any security system is a nice accessory to have. He usually provides comic relief, and you aren't really sure if he will make it to the end. Of course, the group will have more members, but they will all be zombie fodder and won't make it to the final stand.
Rule #2: Forget armored vehicles - your group must travel in a school bus or similar, impossible to defend vehicle. This provides an opportunity for some "Oh no, we're surrounded by zombies!" action scenes, as well as a convenient way to reduce the size of your group by having the zombie fodder people eaten when the bus gets ambushed.
Rule #3: When you encounter zombies wanting to eat you, shoot a hundred bullets into their torsos and then yell to your companions "They're still coming!" Whatever you do, do not aim for the head. That would be way too easy.
Rule #4: When it's dark, everyone is asleep, and you hear a noise outside, make sure you don't wake anybody up and alert them. Instead go outside by yourself, unarmed, carrying only a flashlight, and call out "Is anyone there?" while you wander further and further from safety. It's probably just the wind.
Rule #5: When you encounter another group of humans, check to see if any or all of them fit into the categories listed in rule #1 and can be plugged into your group. If they don't - or if your group already has the proper slots filled - then this new group is most likely a motorcycle gang who likes to attack and torture other humans. Avoid them if you can, which (of course) you can't, so you'll have to fight them. After you defeat them, you'll find something of value that is the key to your survival.
Rule #6: One of your group will engage in hand to hand combat with a zombie and get injured. He will hide the injury and deny that anything is wrong. But over the next few days he will get sick and start the process of zombification. Do what they do in all the movies and pretend not to notice. Simply ask him "Are you feeling OK?" He will reply that he is, but then at a key moment will start to attack you. At that point, act surprised and shoot him. By this time, you'll have figured out to aim for the head.
Rule #7: By the time you make a last stand, your group will have dwindled in number to just a handful. The sleazy lawyer/businessman will be long gone, as will the crazy redneck. Most of the zombie fodder will also be gone, but there will be a few left (including the fat dude) to make the last stand more interesting. Instead of going to an armored, defensible facility, head to the nearest shopping mall, roadside motel, or deep-in-the-woods cabin. Whatever you do, make sure that the only thing standing between you and a horde of flesh-starved zombies is a bunch of wooden planks and nails, as these are easily torn off as the army of the undead pour into your fortress. One of the fodder people will stand too close to the door as it is compromised and will be immediately grabbed by a hundred hands. Let him go. It will buy you time to head out the back door secret escape - usually into an air duct or down into the sewer, where you will be pursued by only one or two zombies, which you will easily dispatch. Forget asking yourself why the hungry horde did not try to enter through this back way and instead opted for the front door. All that matters is that you escape out this back way.
Rule #8: Civilization is over. Make the most of it.