Zombies and the Coming Apocalypse

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.

©thetrivialtroll.wordpress.com 2012

Try Not to Worry

I tried to follow Alfred E. Newman’s advice–without much luck.

“What–Me Worry?” So says Alfred E. Newman, MAD Magazine’s iconic cover boy.  As a kid I read this as “whatmeworry” not “What?  Me Worry?” as intended.  I loved MAD, by the way.  Nothing thrilled my more than when Dad would pick up a copy for me at the store.  Secretly, Dad loved it, too.  But this post isn’t about MAD, although that would be cool.

I wanted to live by Alfred’s wise words, but I was always a worrier.  Here’s some crappy advice:  Try not to worry.  That just makes me worry about why I can’t not worry.

I was a born worrier.  Maybe it’s because my Mom fell through the back porch when she was 8 months pregnant with me.  I might have started worrying about what the hell was going on out there.  I was born on August 11, 1962 at 6:20 a.m.  I’m sure I worried about being born so earlier in the day. Would coming out this early disrupt my schedule?  It was Summer, too.  Would I be too hot in this new world?  How hard would it be to make friends?

I worried about stuff when I was a kid.  I even worried about other kids.  When I was about 6 or 7, a kid named Dennis Martin disappeared in the Great Smoky Mountains.  He was my age.  He just walked away from the campground and never came back.  I worried about Dennis.  Where was he?  What happened to him?  Would that happen to me?  Every now and then–some 40+ years later–I check the Internet to see if they ever found him.  Nope.  Still missing.

I grew up at Ground Zero for the War on Poverty.  Social workers would come to school and give kids coats.  I worried about the kids who didn’t have coats.  My uncle was a social worker.  He was the “Shoe Man.”  He would come in the class rooms and kids would stick their feet up in the air to show they needed shoes.  Personally, I never saw this, but he talked about it.  He talked, and I worried.

I’ve worried about my health.  Germs, disease, accidents.  Let’s be honest:  A lot of bad crap can happen with your health.  If you live long enough, it will happen, unless you get killed in an accident.  Geez.  Think about all the diseases and accidents that can happen.   This doesn’t even count the chances of running afoul of a serial killer, mass murderer, terrorist or random nut case.  I read a court case about a guy who got killed when one of his co-workers goosed him with a high-pressure air hose.  Blew out his colon.  What are the odds?  Who knows? But I stay the hell away from high-pressure air hoses.

I’ve worried about sports, mostly sports played by other people and over which I have no influence.  I’ve lost sleep over such things–before and after the event.  I’ve worried about whether people would think less of me because I cheered for a team that lost a big game.  Then, I worried about why I would worry about something like that.

I’ve worried about money, even though I’ve been fortunate enough to never have had any serious money problems.  That never stopped me from worrying about it.  Will I have enough to send my kids to college?  To retire?  What if I lose my job?  What if I can’t work?  These questions are all fertile worrying ground.

The good news is that as I’ve aged, I worry less.  I’d like to say that this is because I’m mature or just wiser.  The real reason is that there are fewer things to worry about, because I’ve experienced most of the things I’ve worried about.  That doesn’t stop people from trying to get me to worry about stuff. Nevertheless, it’s obvious–even to a worrier–that most of it isn’t worth the effort.  What it comes down to is “What if…?”  For some reason, I rarely think “What if…everything turns out GREAT?!?”  Fortunately, there are a growing number of things for which “What if…?” just doesn’t matter to me.

With that in mind, here are some things I won’t be worrying about:

  • The Mayan Apocalypse:  Some Mayan made a calendar that stretched out for hundreds of years and just stops on December 21, 2012.  That’s supposed to be the end of the world or so some say.  This discounts the possibility that the guy who made the calendar just got tired and quit or maybe someone killed him or he died of syphilis or something.  If the world ends on the 21st, so be it.  Really, what can I do about it?  It’s the first day of Winter, and Winter sucks.  Plus, Snookie is supposed to have her baby on the 21st of December.  If that’s the end, it’s well-timed.
  • End Times:  This, of course, is related to the Mayans but different.  If the end is near, I can’t stop it.  Every generation thinks the end is near.  One of them will be right.  Maybe it’s us.  If it is–and it’s a God thing–what I am supposed to do about it?  Just roll with it.
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup:  This is supposed to be bad stuff, some sort of deadly poison.  I don’t care.  I’m certain that everything I’ve eaten with high fructose corn syrup in it has been good.  I like it.  Period.
  • Brain Chips:  I’ve had a bunch of emails telling me that Obamacare has a sneaky provision in it requiring everyone to have a tracking chip placed under their hides in March of 2013.  It’s also called a “slave chip.”  This is disconcerting, of course.  It’s also not true, but that doesn’t matter.  I’m willing to assume it’s true. Here’s what the government would find out about me.  I wake up, go to work, go to the gym, go home.  That’s it.
  • Gay People:  There are gay people.  Always have been.  Always will be.  They don’t bother me.  They don’t try to recruit me.  They don’t try to make my gay.  I’m not worried about them getting married or having jobs or being out of the closet or being gay.  No worries here.
  • Tim Tebow:  Hey, Tebow is a nice young man.  Or he seems to be.  By NFL standards, he’s not a very good quarterback, but a lot of my religious friends disagree. They think God makes him play well.  (Somehow, they don’t realize that Tebow’s fellow Gator and Heisman Trophy winner and equally religious and all-round good guy  Danny Wuerffel wasn’t a good quarterback, either).  I think he can be a good player–just not a good quarterback.  I don’t worship Satan, either.  I’m not going to be concerned about Tebow.  If he does well, great.  If not, fine too.  I wish ESPN would quit worrying about him.
  • The Royal Family:  If want to obsess over the lives of ugly, inbred people, I’ll watch Toddlers & Tiaras.  Maybe I should worry about the fact that I occasionally watch Toddlers & Tiaras.  By “occasionally,” I mean “regularly.”
  • Robert Pattinson:  Like most people, I was traumatized to learn that Kristen Stewart (“K-Stew”) cheated on hunkilicious Robert Pattinson.  It took awhile, but I’m over it.  My intuition tells me he’ll be okay.  He might even be able to find a new girlfriend.  I’ll just keep my fingers crossed and no worry about it.  It’ll be tough, but I can do it.  Maybe.
  • Mercury:  I’m talking about the element, not the planet.  No one has urged me to worry about the planet (yet).  The element, however, is all kinds of worrisome.  Deadly.  And everywhere.  In our water, our food, the air.  There’s no escaping it.  I suppose I should read up on it to find out what it’s doing to me.  My high school chemistry teacher had a big plastic jug full of mercury in our classroom.  We’d dump some of it on a table and blow on it to watch it roll around.  We’d even put it in the palms of our hands and play with it.  Now, if a drop of mercury is exposed, the entire school is evacuated and raided by HazMat teams.  I’ve already been exposed to a lot of mercury.  Too late to start worrying about it now.
  • Getting Older:  A lot of people worry about this.  Seems like I would, too, but I don’t.  I like getting older.  It means I’m still here.  I’ve known way too many people who stopped getting older way too soon.  If I get a letter from AARP, it just reminds me that I’ve survived.  I like that.  Another thing is that I’ve progressively gotten older since birth.  I’m used to it.  If you don’t want to get older, you really want to die.  I don’t want to die.  Of course, the older you get, the closer you are to death.  Worrying about death is different from worrying about age.  Plus, I don’t think most of us worry so much about death as about how we die.  Slow, painful death or loathsome disease are what we worry about.  I better stop now, I’m getting concerned.
  • Global Warming:  I’m sure this makes me a horrible person, but it’s just how it is. I love the coal industry and just don’t cotton to crusades to put it out of business.  That’s what the Global Warming is all about.  Second is that I’m just a wee bit too selfish to live by candlelight and ride a bicycle everywhere I go.  I like electricity and the internal combustion engine.  Global warming is the cloth diaper of this generation.  When my first son was born, people said we should use cloth diapers to save the environment and keep our landfills from overflowing with Pampers.  These people either: (1) Never had a baby; or (2) Are just plain odd and don’t mind having piles of cotton cloth soaked with human filth.  Global warming works the same way.  I’m sure there are people who live off the grid, as they say.  I just don’t know any of them.  I’m certainly not going to be one of them.  And I don’t worry about it.  Maybe I’ll wake up one day on the beach in Lexington, Kentucky, fighting off polar bears.  Now, THAT is something I’ll worry about it when it happens.

There you have it.  A small list of things which won’t be on my mind. I’m going to add one more thing to the list every month or so.  Eventually, I’ll run out of things to worry about it.

For now, I’m not worry-free.  I still have plenty of things that are fret-worthy.  I worry about my children, which I guess most people do (I mean worry about their own kids, not mine).  And not just about their safety and futures.  What if they do something stupid?  Doesn’t that make me a bad parent?  Worse yet, won’t people think I’m a bad parent?  I also occasionally think I’m more important than I really am and worry about my job, becoming convinced that every thing I do is a referendum on my worth as a human being.  I still worry about sports for no rational reason.

I also worry that I blog too much.  Maybe it’s a sign of mental illness.  That’s worrisome.

I’d like to be one of those people who say “Everything will be okay.”  Actually, I am one of those people.  What I mean is I’d like to be one of those people who say that and mean it.  What I really mean is “Everything will be.”  And it will.

©thetrivialtroll.wordpress.com 2012