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Friday, 8 April 2016

What would you do in a Zombie apocalypse?

Last night I had the most intense of dreams, the likes of which I haven't had for quite some time. To be frank, I blame the fact that this week was also the week of the season finale of The Walking Dead, though in truth the dream was frightening not just because of the Zombies, Negan et al - no it was also frightening for another reason. 

The dream began with myself and a couple of others in a Spaceship (of course it did) as we slowly descended back to Earth. The ship resembled on of those old school Flash Gordon type depictions of a space capsule, inside it was all metallic silver and contained hundreds of flashing lights - none of which actually seemed to serve a purpose. I can't remember who the others were with me in the dream, but as events transpired that doesn't really matter as they didn't 'stay around too long'. As the ship descended it became clear that we were over some small town and we were about to land in one of the main streets - the problem was that there were hundreds of Zombies all over the bloody place!

Naturally, as it was my dream, I immediately took charge and grabbed my pump-action shotgun (I wonder what Sigmund Freud would say that symbology?) and told the others that as soon as we landed we would have to fight our way through the hoards in order to reach my house where we would have access to any number of tasty weapons to help us devise a safety plan.

And so fight our way through the Zombie hoard we did. Well, I did, because my fellow humans quickly became Zombie fodder as I heroically and skilfully dispatched one creature after another as I made the way to my house. Believe me, I don't usually have such intense, frightening and exciting dreams, but up to this point this one was a doozy! 

I knew that as soon as I got to my house I would be safe - but then disaster! The door to my house was already open and it was completely bare! I turned around in the hallway, empty shotgun in my hand (shut up, Sigmund!) to face the Zombie hoard with nothing else to use to save me.........and there the dream ended.

One day I'll be as cool as these two.... but not today.
I don't know about you, but there was a time when I was getting a little impatient for the Zombie apocalypse to start. It's all the fault of The Walking Dead, and not just the TV programme. I discovered the Graphic novels a couple of years after they first appeared back in the dim and distant days of 2003. Yes, yes I know......once again I was quite ineptly behind the times, which certainly wasn't the first or last time that I would be. To be precise it was the summer of 2006 in which I first discovered the stunning artwork and storytelling that depicted a world where an unknown apocalyptic event has transformed the majority of the human population into slobbering, rotting flesh-eating zombies.

You have to remember, that this was a time when the contemporary horror scene was yet to find itself surrounded by a collection of shiny sparkling vampires, shuffling lumbering zombies or towns full of impossibly good-looking people in search of blood that is true. No, in those far more innocent times the comic book adventures of Kentucky Deputy sheriff Rick Grimes, a man who is wounded in his police role and emerges from a short coma to see his world now infested with undead, was for me a hugely enjoyable trip into gory zombie fantasy land. This story of Rick, his family and small group of fellow survivor who spend each day trying to adapt and simply survive in this crazy new world, was simply intoxicating. As you can tell, the effect that it's had on me may not be entirely healthy.

So when the apocalypse finally comes here in Scotland, It isn't that I want to see the near total decimation of the human race happen - though there are a good few number of people on my personal dislike list who I sincerely hope get their come-uppance by getting their face eaten off by a zombie..... very slowly and very painfully. 

No, it's simply that once the inevitable apocalypse does happen, I've always been pretty sure that not only will I survive it but I would also no doubt be taking a leading role in gathering the remnants of humanity together. Yes indeed, though I could never quite decide if I would be the charismatic and forceful leader who pulls a ragtag collection of individuals together with his ingenuity and forceful character (not to mention rugged good looks), or whether I might be the distant yet charismatic loner that helps bind the group together with his sense of purpose and charm (and rugged good looks).

I want one of these outside my house....
The one thing that was certain in my fevered little mind is that I would be suitably heroic. It was inevitable.

However, nowadays I'm not so sure that that would be the case and in part it's the dream that finally confirmed it. No I wouldn't be the hero leading his group to safety (or in the TWD season finale, to a battering from Lucille). In truth I think that I would be that lonesome figure (probably on his sweet way to becoming as mad as a box of Frogs), holed up in his house with food, water and enough stuff in my house to satisfy any sort of Zombie apocalypse security plan

So the morning after the dream I began thinking of how best I would I manage if it all actually happened today and I had to defend my home from the Zombies  - well it keeps me off the streets if nothings else. So hopefully without falling into the trap of producing a Macauley Culkin Home Alone scenario, here's some of the things my feverish little mind came up with......

The first thing I wondered was whether, seeing as though I don't have a fire engine with usable water hose outside my house, my current security alarm would provide a suitable first line of defence. Now before the local burglars in my area start thinking that my alarm system is in need of replacement, it isn't. I had it checked over by professionals some time ago and they concluded that it was perfect for burglar and general safety protection. However they seemed reluctant for some reason to confirm whether my security system was any use in protecting me from zombie home invasion - apparently the zombie apocalypse is not covered in the paperwork agreement. Who knew?

So I immediately decided on two possible plans of action. My first task was to see whether an upgrade to my home security system was an option, however I soon became bored of working through the number of online options. The best seemed to be a site called Simplisafe.com which has an package option that even includes some professional type people coming to your home when required.

Last minute security plan - Living room defence

It all looked great, but I decided for now to go with the second plan of action; namely to think about hiding myself away with just the things that I currently have lying about my house. It is these that I would use to heroically defend myself and my loved ones from those dastardly flesh eaters.

There is however just one small problem with this second option, I'm just not very good at that self sufficient stuff. Robinson Crusoe, Castaway - two stories where a stranded individual builds all sorts of life-saving contraptions using little more than a few stick and stone tools to leave him almost entirely self sufficient. No not me, I'd probably be dead within a week, either from starvation after eating the wrong type of fruit or after my very badly built treehouse had collapsed on its first night to break my neck.

Thankfully the area of Scotland where I live is known for it's Granite stone, in fact I live 45 miles north of 'The Granite City', otherwise known as Aberdeen. As a consequence my house, being an old house made of granite is as solid as a, er, rock. I'm pretty sure that if you had told the early house builders that when they decided to use granite as a building source a handy side effect was that it would also be well on the way to being Zombie proof, well frankly they would have looked at you with a blank stare. Well, OK, so it may not be 100% zombie proof, but at least it would give me a chance to put into action my 5-step security plan to survive the apocalypse.



Step 1 - Credit card to buy stuff

After years of studying zombie apocalypse law it seems clear to me that in the event of a full on type outbreak of Zombieism society would have maybe a week before everything we know and love collapsed. You know, general law & order, the emergency services, the Internet & Burger King would soon disappear into a chasm of social panic. All that would be left would be having to make life of death decisions such as choosing whose group of insane psychopathic human survivors you were going to take up with.

Well not for me matey, because as I mentioned I would be taking refuge in my home and never ever leaving. So, I reckon I have a week before all goes to crap, not just because it's the estimated length of time before the fabric of society begins to crumble but also it's about how long I anticipate that my house would hold out against the Zombies. So how would I best use this time? Well my cunning plan would be to credit the crap out of my credit card and buy as much stuff from those well known online stores, Simplisafe security systems, weapons, food etc etc etc - after all, there's apparently nothing but nothing these days that you can't buy online.

I know that not all of it would get through -  for a start the poor postman may struggle against the increasing zombie hoards.... but in a few days I reckon I could order enough provisions to fill my three upstairs rooms. It's not as if I would have to worry about not being able to pay off my card bill. Genius.


Last minute security plan - Kitchen defence
Step 2 -  Defend the living room

A week has gone by, the granite walls and thick wooden door have held steady for a while, but now the pesky zombies are inside. Once again I have to rely on my knowledge of zombie lore. The way to be sure of despatching one back to the grave is to give them something big, sharp or heavy to the brain. Luckily I have a cunning plan here too because, not only is my house old, so too is the heating system - in other words I have a coal fire heater. It's all so straightforward ......heat the fire up........stick some of this coal handling appliances in the fire........ and when they're hot enough take the red hot fire appliances (wearing protective gloves of course) and poke the hell out of zombie heads!

This should keep me going for a day or so, especially as I'm an avid reader and so have enough books in the room the heat that baby up good and proper!


Step 3 - Defend the kitchen

Naturally the protection of the first room wouldn't last forever....so the next line of defence is the kitchen - or as I like to call it, the zombie death room. Honestly, if the health and safety brigade were to some day bring in legislation to guard against unsafe implements then our kitchens would be practically empty! I'm sure that I'm not alone, but in mine I have knives of all sizes and sharpness, forks, fruit veg peelers, cheese graters, blow torch (to caramelise), meat cleaver, corkscrews, lobster cracker, egg slicer, meat grinder, nutcracker, food blender......to name but just a few.

Seriously, it's enough to fill any killer's pleasure kill room and there's more than enough in there to make sure the flesh eating intruders get a good thorough bashing to the head.


Step 4 - Lure them to the garden shed

In a month or so I will have lived in my home for exactly 10 years. The one thing that still hasn't changed from when I moved in is the design of my garden. The chap who lived here before me built a nice narrow long garden with pretty flower beds bordering a very narrow path all the way down to the bottom...... in other words, a perfect zombie killing area!! Once again, like the kitchen, the common all garden has enough implements of death to satisfy all levels of bloodthirsty endeavour......spades, hammers, pitchforks, axes......... and more!

Last minute security plan - Garden defence
It's simple, lure the zombies along the kill path, bash their brains in with my variety of garden tools until we get to the bottom of the garden and eventually to the shed. "Why the shed?" - I hear you ask....... because in the shed is the daddy of all zombie defence weapons - my trusty chainsaw!! The buggers will have no chance. The only fly in that particular ointment is my inept accident prone ability to hurt myself when I'm just doing ordinary zombie free gardening. It's debatable what would go first, the head of a zombie or  a hand of mine.


Step 5 - Go back in the house, hide upstairs.

After that, surviving the apocalypse gets even easier as I wait things out for a few years on my own and go steadily as mad as a box of frogs until the likes of Rick and Daryl have sorted out the mess.

It's almost too easy.......



This article can also be found via the 5D website www.5d-blog.com. There you can find a veritable feast of blog articles, news items, pictures and other mouth-watering salutations to the gods of the geeks and the nerds. We have now inherited the earth you know.




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