We are two days from the start of the third season of The Walking Dead. This makes me happy. First, I love TWD. Second, I believe it to be a realistic portrayal of a zombie apocalypse, assuming there is–or could be– such a thing.
Athletic, fleet-footed zombies as seen in the remake of Dawn of the Dead just aren’t believable. Face it–if zombies are just cannibalistic versions of Ray Lewis, the human race doesn’t stand a chance. Shuffling zombies lacking overt aggression are more realistic.
As I write this, it is October of 2012–the year of the Great Mayan Apocalypse. You know the story. The Mayans (whoever the hell they were) made a calendar which ran hundreds of years into the future. It abruptly stopped at December 21, 2012. Buzzer sounds. Game over.
Of course, this doom-saying ignores other possibilities. The guy who made the calendar may have just gotten tired. Maybe he was a lazy-ass. Could it be just a practical joke? One thing is for sure: He didn’t predict the end of the Mayans’ own civilization. Seems like that would have been a top priority. In any event, I’m willing to believe it’s going to happen. Maybe not on December 21, but soon.
Why do I believe this? My entire life I’ve been hearing that the end is nigh. Churches are big into that. When I was a kid, we were sure the Russians were going to blow us up. People say the President will do us in. The Mayans might have been on to something.
A couple of years ago, a preacher predicted the end of the world on May 21 (coincidentally, this was the day before my son’s 16th birthday. Had it come to fruition, I would have saved a lot on car insurance). That didn’t happen, evidently because the soothsayer in question misread the signs. Oh well, it’s easy to see how that could happen.
If preachers and Mayans can predict the end of the world, so can I. So, here goes. The world is going to end and sooner rather than later. Here’s what’s going to happen: Zombies. They’re going to be everywhere.
Yes, I’m willing to embrace the end of the world. Why? It’s not because I’m particularly religious. In fact, the Rapture, Tribulation, etc., sound awful to me. I’m totally unprepared. A Zombie Apocalypse, though, is do-able. Like a lot of folks, zombies fascinate me, and I’ve watched lots of zombie movies. I think I could deal with it.
I suspect that the zombies might not eat our brains (or any other part of us). I’ve never quite understood why they do that, unless it’s just because they are undead and generally effed up to the extreme. I suppose it’s because shuffling, stumbling, rotting corpses are gross but not really scary unless they eat you, too. Think about it. If they just staggered around in a glassy-eyed daze, it would be like a Grateful Dead concert. Disturbing? Maybe. Terrifying? Probably not. I guess we better stick with the eating thing.
Let’s be clear about one thing. This won’t be a religious deal. The zombies aren’t Christians, although I concede they are “born again.” Those of us left to battle them aren’t part of the great unwashed. We’re just non-zombies. Somewhere in the Bible it says we won’t know when the end is coming. So, it’s a bit heretical to predict the end in that context. And I’m no heretic, as far you know.
I know what you’re thinking: Hasn’t the zombie thing been done to death (so to speak)? Well, yes it has. But, it’s my prediction, and I want zombies.
How do we get zombies? There are many ways, of course. Secret government experiments, uncontrollable viruses, aliens, Bigfoot and many others. My zombies will just appear. No explanation. One day there will be no zombies. The next, we’ll be slap eat up with them.
Some people will be glad to see the zombies. After all, if a close friend or relative dies and then comes back, you’d be happy–right up until he or she tried to eat your head. It won’t take long to figure out that we’re in heaps of trouble.
Pity the winner of the Presidential election. How would you like to address the nation and tell everyone that we’ve got zombies everywhere? If Obama is re-elected, he’ll urge tolerance of the zombies. The good news is that they won’t need food stamps because of, you know, the brain-eating deal. If Romney wins, he’ll declare the zombies to be a scourge on society–possibly part of the 47% which will rapidly become the 99%.
Of course, some of us won’t become zombies. Me, for example. Why not? I don’t know. There’s always some sort of immunity to zombification. In my nightmare scenario, it works the same way. I’ll be immune just because it’s my story.
Even though this is my prediction and I WANT zombies, here are some things about zombies that bother me or that I don’t understand:
- Zombies eat a lot. Two or three of them can eat a whole adult human. What about their–you know–bathroom needs? I guess they just unload in their clothes. In my mind, that makes them even worse.
- Do they breathe? They make noises. I’m not doctor, but I think that requires some air. If they do breathe, why?
- Do they sleep? I don’t think so, but I did see one movie where they did. Standing up, like horses or cows.
- I guess they don’t procreate, which is a good thing on several levels.
- Why do you have to destroy their brains to kill them? Their brains aren’t really doing a whole hell of a lot.
- Do they ever “die” of natural causes? Usually, they seem to be rotting away. At some point, they’d just cease to exist.
These are just a few issues I have, but I’ll work around those for my End Times. Here is an outline of how the end will come:
- One day, we wake up and zombies are just roaming around. It happens overnight. Everyone who dies just gets back up. No one crawls or digs out of their graves, though.
- At first, it’s just weird. No one knows if they’re dead or just in some catatonic state.
- Whatever regenerates them is contagious–like the flu only worse. If you catch it, you die, too. Then you pop back.
- Pretty quickly, we know it’s a bad beat all the way around. The first clue is that the zombies are trying to eat people.
- Within days, the zombies are everywhere. It becomes clear that they have to eat or they’ll just decay like a corpse. It’s a matter of survival. If they eat you, you’ll be back, too–assuming there’s enough left of you to do much.
- It still requires a head shot to kill them.
- Everyone who dies is subject to coming back. BUT, you come back as a zombie in the same shape you were in when you died. For example, if your spine is severed when you come back, then you’re a paralyzed zombie.
- The CDC can’t do much. Because it’s spreading so fast, there’s no time for research. Everyone is eat up.
- Maybe 1% of the population is immune. In the U.S., that means there are maybe 30 million healthy people versus 270 million starving zombies.
- Because there are so few survivors, there is no scarcity of resources. Survivors aren’t becoming cannibals or savages. In fact, there is enough canned food alone in the country to feed everyone for years.
- The good news is that the zombies DO have a scarcity of food. They eventually rot away if they don’t eat. This makes them more aggressive, but also levels the playing field for the rest of us. The bad news is that they don’t “starve” like the living. It takes much, much longer for them to deteriorate.
- I’ll just ignore the bathroom thing. The idea of zombies deucing in their drawers is too much even for me.
After a few years, the survivors get the upper hand. The numbers of the zombies dwindle. Finally, there are just pockets of stragglers–dangerous as Hell but easy to pick off. Remember–the few number of survivors also means that there is PLENTY of ammo to go around.
Since the zombie disease is indiscriminate, the people left are just a hodge podge of society. We’re not really capable of rebuilding the world. For example, we don’t know how to pump oil, much less refine it. We’re not farmers, although we have to be to some extent. There is no money. No government. No medicine to speak of. We’re prone to all manner of disease ourselves. We’re back to hunting and gathering to some extent. It sucks.
Wait a second, this was supposed to be the END of the world. But my scenario isn’t really the end, is it? We’ve been terrorized by zombies, but we survived. That’s not the END. Damn. This is tougher than I thought. I gotta think about this for a few minutes.
Okay. AFTER the zombies die down to manageable number, the rest of us do our best to rebuild society. THEN, the Rapture comes. Scratch that. That won’t get rid of everybody.
Try this. Just when things start looking up, some dipshit accidentally sets off a huge nuclear bomb that he thinks is space ship. Nuclear winter comes. We all die. Nope. I don’t like that. It takes too long.
The zombies are dropping like flies. Things are getting a bit better. BOOM! An asteroid hits the Earth. Since none of the survivors know how to keep track of such things, we don’t see it coming.
THE END. Literally.