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Someone get me a Daryl-Pony

March 29, 2014

Since it’s still amusing me, and I was asked, here’s my

Quick Guide To Living In the Post-Zombie Apocalypse:

I wrote it in response to a discussion about how the PZA survivors on the show aren’t doing *anything* that lends itself towards re-building a functioning human society.  (Yes, I know that’s not the *point* of the show.  I’m just talking about their actions within the story.  And of *course* I know I’m not the first person to point this out.)

Having been a Walking Dead watcher for all of three weeks now, I still can’t get away from the fact that zombies really aren’t much more dangerous than the natural predators that early American settlers faced—wolves and bears are a lot smarter and harder to escape from, and snakes are harder to avoid.  I will grant that the survivors need some time to re-orient to a post-society society . . . but then life should be able to establish some variety of near normal.

It wouldn’t be all that different from frontier living, actually. A series of small, well-fortified towns (well, stockades, probably, for years 0-10), and killing every zombie you can with a long, long pole . . . and establishing new health & hygiene standards (no sleeping without firmly closed doors, for example—what if Grandpappy has a heart attack at 3am?).

Exception:  Australia

Australia Pretty much everything can kill you - Australia Pretty much everything can kill you  Deadly Australia

Zombie survivors in Australia are F*CKED.

 

Now, it has been pointed out to me that 2-3 zombies may be easier to deal with than a bear or a wolf, but tens/hundreds/thousands of zombies are a lot harder to deal with.  Zombies also have opposable thumbs, hide in houses, and require a specific strike to the brain.  I’m not saying that they’re not a major threat to humans, and yes, a new reality of life in the PZA is that every year, hundreds WILL die from surprise zombie encounters.

Image

This is the face of a woman who would travel escape with her own publicity materials.

 

But I also think that they’re not *quite* the apex predators TWD seems to want them to be, and survivors can pretty quickly adopt strategies that mediate these risks.

Scenario 1. Meeting a Zombie In The Woods

I grew up in *very* rural North Georgia, and as a PZA survivor I’d follow the same tricks my canny ole mountain granny taught me to use to avoid snakes (namely:  cover up any easy-to-reach chompable bits with long pants and boots). If I’m out on a “wilderness” supply run to the local TJ Maxx, you can betcher beehive I’m wearing long sleeves (reinforced at vulnerable areas), and damn sure buttoning my neck flap all the way up (Queen Elizabeth would be jealous). Any survivor worth his humanity needs to grab a decent outfit and a roll of tape and make themselves a zombie-proof suit.

Also, craft weaponry that’d work at close and medium quarters. Bayonettes were devastating on the battlefield for a good long time (ohhh, were they devastating).  Let’s bring them back! Grab a pole, a pointy thing, and your leftover tape, and you’ve got yourself a homemade arms-length Zombie Beatin’ Stick (patent pending).

Your goal here, obviously, is to survive any surprise or come-from-behind attacks when you’re Staring Aimlessly Into The Distance, Experiencing A Moment of Emotional Conflict, or Have Your Ankle Stuck In Something.  Fending off the initial bite (or having it not penetrate because of duct tape) allows you to apply the pointy part to any opportune squishy parts and get away human.

 

Scenario 2. Zombie Herd Onna Farm

When we weren’t beset by snakes in Georgia, we were being hounded by tornadoes, and that’s what’s going to get us through the next scenario. If you choose to farm away from the safety of the stockades, you’ll mostly be growing crops (I do not advise trying to keep a large herd of livestock in the immediate PZA, unless you’re bloody stupid).  This will mean long hours in the field, your trusty Beatin’ Stick (patent pending) close to hand.  You’re likely to be pretty far from the family homestead when those walkers break through the treeline, rampaging through the farm like a wildebeest stampede.  No need to panic, though–you’ll have spent a few days building strategically placed zombie cellars. Keep ’em stocked with emergency food and water, and take cover at the first hint of Ye Olde Herde of Hundreds. The herd will move on, and you’ll come up like Dorothy Outta Oz to check out how your prize rutabagas fared.

 

Scenario 3. Zombie Herd Onna Road

Has been done on the show with some semblence of competency. Hide from them, run from them, and for goodness sake–carry some sort of projectile flash-bang to draw them away from your position.  Roman candles would be ideal, if you come across them when you’re at TJ Maxx. To deal with any stragglers, see Scenario 1.

Scenario 4. Zombie Herd Attacks The Town

Moats and drawbridges.

Granted, a big enough zombie herd will keep coming through a moat, but that’s why you station pikesmen on the city side of the moat. Get the swimmers when they’re trying to come slithering up the steep walls of the moat.  If you’re really overwhelmed, assign pikesmen in pairs:  One to do the long strikes, and one with a short blade to dispatch the ankle-biters.  During lulls in the action, assign nicknames to everyone.  Write action comedies about pikesmen units and the zany antics wingmen get up to in the Stockade Tavern, singing old Righteous Brothers songs to unfamiliar ladies.  Try to fill the void left in your life by a world without fighter pilots.

Ahem.

It’s not about going back to life as it was, of course. If you figure major population centers are going to have pretty close to a 100% conversion rate at TZA-Day Zero, you’ve got a solid couple years where you’re going to have to just be killing as many as humanly possible. That new conversion rate is going to drop off VERY sharply, though, as the survivors get better at not getting killed. Then you can start taking out the herds. Let’s say that takes 5 years, for the most part. So, at TZA+5, you’re at a place where your biggest conversion points are easily containable: accidents and natural deaths. Even if a whole +5 or +10 town comes down with . . . [insert nasty decimating virus here] . . . neighboring towns put on their zombie suits and send a cleanup squadron out.

 

Finally, I found this online today, and now I want a Daryl-Pony.

 

 

 

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