The other night, I made the mistake of watching a show about zombies on the History Channel. I thought it was about the origin of the zombie myth in Africa and Haiti and it’s evolution to the stuff of which my worst nightmares are quite literally made, but it was more about war and tactics for zombie survival.
At this point, I’d say that I’m better prepared to recognize and prepare for the zombie apocalypse than a lot of people. By “a lot of people,” I mean people with whom I am not close friends, because all of my close friends know what the fuck I’m talking about when I mention zombies. When I say “a lot of people,” I’m talking about more casual friends, friendly acquaintances, and co-workers, all of whom look at me like I’m a lunatic when I mention zombies. And it’s not like I talk about them all the time. I don’t. I’m a perfectly normal person with a functioning sense of tact. But there are some situations that call for zombie apocalypse talk, such as watching the news in the breakroom or wondering about the reason for an alarm in the building when no fire drill was scheduled and it’s not that 4-month summer-ish period when we lived in constant fear of being sucked out of the building by a tornado. And like I said, everyone looks at me like I’m insane. I guess they do this to make me feel weird about what I’m saying, like the insecurity will shut me up because they have nothing to contribute to the conversation. Bitch, please. If you think a little mild embarrassment will shut me up, you obviously don’t know me very well. And I’m not asking you to contribute to the conversation. I don’t need you to know about this stuff like I do, I just need to know that I might survive a little longer, or at least won’t shit my pants when it finally becomes clear that we are not dealing with a mild outbreak of bird flu.
I still don’t think that I have a very good chance of surviving the zombie apocalypse, by the way. Let’s face it, most of us will not. Don’t believe anyone who says that zombie references in pop culture have prepared us for an infestation. They’re lying. When the zombie apocalypse goes down, everything will go to shit.
It has nothing to do with survival skills. I mean, I guess some hardcore survivalists (Eagle Scouts, hermit recluses, white separatists) do possess a skill set that will probably serve them a bit better than most, but when it comes to regular people who aren’t shitting in the woods in the middle of nowhere, we’re pretty much sunk. Depending on the nature of the outbreak and the number of the infected, an urban area like St. Louis could be overrun within days. I know we have the Zombie Squad and I do appreciate their efforts, but really, everyone needs to come to terms with the possibility that they will not be plucked from the rooftops by a military helicopter after waiting out the siege in an armored vehicle with unlimited air, water, and ammunition. The History Channel show explained exactly what I already knew; imagine an outbreak that begins in a country like China, where there are too many people and too much space and the government hides information not just from the rest of the world, but from its own people (read World War Z, seriously, it will change your life). Then imagine a disaster like Hurricane Katrina, and make yourself remember all those bodies abandoned in the middle of the street, and the looting and desperation that took hold when the government quite literally up and left town, and, once it reluctantly came back, continued to deny any wrongdoing or total fucking destruction for months. The reality is that the zombie outbreak will not be televised. It will be covered up by the government, then it will overrun the government, and then it will come for us.
Can you tell that I’m a little stressed out? I shouldn’t be. I’ve always known this would happen. Years ago, I took a hard look at my life – living on the second floor on a main street, across from one cemetery and adjacent to another, sleeping late and hardly ever watching the news – and realized that I was not long for the world in the event of the zombie apocalypse. And I was mostly okay with it. One night I shared my concerns with some close friends at a bar, and we spent the next 3 hours devising a plan that would enable more of us to survive. It’s a good plan and there are no other people with whom I would rather ride out the crisis, but I don’t think we can hold out forever. And this is why, if things ever get really desperate, I have my escape plan. My escape plan is heroin.
If the zombie apocalypse gets so bad that escape and survival is an impossibility…if it is so widespread and so extreme and the world will be either overrun by the dead or nuked into nothing by a very guilty (and self-destructive) government, I see nothing wrong with opting out. Nothing. People opt out even in the movies, and sometimes – like Randy Quaid in Independence Day before everyone knew he was a nutjob – they are heroes. I’m not saving the world with my escape plan, but at least I’ll save everyone the trouble of dealing with the zombie in the room.
When the first signs of the zombie apocalypse appear, I’m going to buy some heroin. I’m going to keep that heroin to the best of my ability (excluding irresistible/necessary-to-survival bartering opportunities, but even then I hope to get some back and maybe that will involve shameful sexual favors, I don’t know), and when things get completely, irrevocably bad, I’m going to take it all. I’m going to OD myself into a coma, and then I’m going to die, and then if anyone I know is still alive, they are more than welcome to guilt-free shoot me in the head and dump my body out of the survival hatch at the top of the house. I will sign a contract about it if I have to.