Everyone has a plan for surviving the zombie apocalypse. The only sensible one is to make for water, hijack a boat and spend the rest of your life on a small island in either the Bahamas or French Polynesia. But, what if the unthinkable happens and your plan FAILS? What if you’re the token guy who gets eaten mainly to show how plucky and heroic the real heroes are? Or, if you’ve been the type who likes to go all paramilitary and start establishing a new world order with nothing but your shotgun and a pair of steel balls, the type who gets eaten to reinforce that, hey, it’s a bad situation, but there’s no need to go all crazy, and gets his just comeuppance.
How can you make sure that your life… well, death… as a zombie is successful, productive, and most importantly, long? Here are two very important points for gearing up for the apocalypse when, you know, failure is a pretty big possibility.
1. Attempt to retain as much cognitive ability as possible. There’s slow zombies, fast zombies – but they’re almost all dumb as bricks. Every now and then you’ll see zombies retain some mental acuity, however. Day of the Dead. Land of the Dead. Warm Bodies. There’s evidence there that smart zombies, while rare, do exist. And you can be one of them. Here’s how:
Fuck brain training. 20 straight hours playing sudoku isn’t going to do a thing for you when your synapses are firing at like two electrons per second. The best you can do is try to approximate the conditions you will be working under. Drink. A Lot. Don’t get cute with Absinthe or drugs that will give you hallucinations or anything like that. Drink cheap beer and maybe smoke some weed. Watch ten hours of reality television. If by hour seven, you can still remember where you put your car keys, you’re doing well. Then try to accomplish simple tasks that, as a zombie, you might need. Practice catching small dogs. Forget cats, they’re too quick for you and dogs are dumb enough probably to let you wrap your dead, stinking arms around them before realizing that sometimes unquestioning loyalty is not a good survival trait. Oh, and open doors. A ton of them. Nothing worse than spending eternity locked in the small closet you barricaded yourself in once you were bitten because you don’t have the mental ability to realize that the only thing between you and a glorious life as an extra on the Walking Dead is a stupid doorknob.
2. Train your muscles. This is a bit of a gray area… if you’re a strong person alive, does that make you a strong person dead? For reference, I turn to Peter Clines’s Ex-Heroes, where superheroes bitten retain their powers, including superstrength. That sets a strong enough precedent that doing a few exercises to prepare for life as a Walker might not be time wasted. But, you can’t just go Arnold Schwarzenegger on this. Being that size requires too many calories to maintain and after a few months of slim pickings you’re likely to be worse off that that guy you’re shuffling next to who spent his last days watching Lost reruns on the couch with a bag of Doritos nd a Mountain Dew.
So, what do I mean? For one, your jaw muscles. You’re going to need to be able to bite through living sinew and tissue and do it in such a way that even if your victim squirms and hits you on the head with, say, a cricket bat, you’ll have the mandibular fortitude to hang on to that fucker. Remember, he only becomes a zombie if he gets away. Otherwise, he just becomes lunch and you live (live?) to bite another day.
Here’s what you do. Should be obvious. Jerky. Old, stale beef jerky. You should live off that shit for like, a good two months. Then, once the diarrhea stops, start up again. Probably a month in between sessions. Once you can bite the tongue off a brand new boot without flinching, you’re ready.
Another tip – try breaking through doors without punching or kicking. All you have is shoulder pushes and desperate scratching. Might be a good idea to get a few reps in there.
If you do those two things, I’m confident you’ll have a head start on (un)life, but I think there’s more to this. Stay tuned for more Plan B tips! Or maybe you have some tips of your own? Share them in the comments!