Depending on what manner undead ramblers take – whether ambling shambler or speedy tri-deathlete – you’ll need to adjust your particular style to the moment of zen.
No matter the scenario, some constants will hold true.
Because it’s counterproductive to identify with the dead – lest you end up one of them before your time – developing a critical distance from the object of one’s affliction will smooth the rough edges around delivering blunt force trauma to a targeted skull.
To begin, your pre-apocalyptic personal philosophy may require retooling. Today, you might be a soy-almond-milk-mate-cha-latte swilling hipster, yet in a few short hours your commitment to creative gender neutral multicultural pacifism may be shown the road. Nothing says existential deconstruction like a set of ragged teeth clamping tight into your favorite tattoo, so better get with the program and decide exactly what kind of killer you aspire to be, or already are.
Because it’s counterproductive to identify with the dead – lest you end up one of them before your time – developing a critical distance from the object of one’s affliction will smooth the rough edges around delivering blunt force trauma to a targeted skull. Consider Hamlet. “Alas, poor Yorick, etc.,” may be a thoughtful speech, but if you surrender to first-person analysis, you’ll end up like said melancholy Dane with your demise at hand and a verb in your mouth. Best not to over-intellectualize: he may have been a fellow of infinite jest, your job is to get the last laugh and send him on his way.
There may be other methods of knocking off a ravenous ghoul than a Louisville slugger or tire iron, but you just can’t count on post-modern industrialism keeping up with supply and demand of bullets of a certain or any caliber, crossbow quarrels or hunting quivers, much less gas for your SUV hybrid or Molotov cocktail. The manufacturing sector will face wildcat strikes when hourly staff succumbs to the zombie plague: instead of meeting their quotas, workers will be permanently out for lunch. Expect problems in delivery to your neighborhood gun shop and 99-cent store – the shelves will be wiped clean. In the days and weeks following the downfall, you might be able to survive temporarily based on whatever personal armory you’ve acquired post haste, still, it’s just a matter of time before old noggin’s knocking on the screen door. Rather than attend your own post mortem, plan ahead.
To kill zombies, there’s no substitute for a good swift crack to the cranium
Don’t be obvious about it. Since we can’t predict the end of the world as we know it, amassing assault rifles and a personal ammo dump may just blow up in your face. What with competition from terrorist cells, racist whackos, religious weirdos, and gun nuts everywhere, your accumulation of fire power could attract the attention of the ATF faster than cordite does a bomb-sniffing dog. So, whether fallback or weapon of choice, be prepared to swing with the best of them.
There is some debate as to what particular area of the deceased’s brain you need to punch in or out – is it the neo-cortex, the mammal brain, the reptile complex? A generalist approach to the application of force cuts through the rhetoric: to kill zombies, there’s no substitute for a good swift crack to the cranium. There is small margin for error: every hit should be a home run.
Some assert that if you cut off a reanimated corpse’s head, that puts an end to it. Whatever passes for cognition in a zombie’s response mechanism may persist decapitatus, and you don’t want a bowling ball with teeth rolling around the hallway, snapping at your heels or scaring the cats. A trip to Madame Guillotine may do the due, however, to be sure, smash that sucker flat. Remember, your goal is the total discombobulation of unnatural perambulatory phenomena. There are those who maintain corporal punishment is passé, cruel and unusual, yet the occurrence of a mindless chomping horde warrants a smackdown.
Once the zombification of our most immediate reality occurs, you’ll have no problem putting in the 10,000 hours of practice needed to master a martial art or creative pursuit.
In the time remaining before the monsters come to Main Street, find, design, or buy your preferred shillelagh. It should be long enough for you to stay out of arm’s reach, stout to withstand a good beating, and nimble to the touch. Form follows function: neo-classical or baroque ornamental, a cudgel calls for personal expression.
Practice makes perfect. Once the zombification of our most immediate reality occurs, you’ll have no problem putting in the 10,000 hours of practice needed to master a martial art or creative pursuit. Until then, consider a weight-lifting regime to build upper body strength. Softball, baseball, cricket, lacrosse, and hockey can serve as adequate covers for your real intent, since abusing watermelons and honey dews with a 2×4 or 9-iron may attract the neighbors’ attention. If you must crack heads, take up rugby or boxing, and keep your dental insurance up to date.
Written by Craig Thompson