Reasons Why There Will Never Be a Zombie Apocalypse
The enduring popularity of zombie stories goes to show how important it is for people to continuously explore the 2 – 3 variations of how we will react when the world is overtaken by the living dead. These can be any combination, in no particular order, of the following:
2) Oh dears!
3) Dear me!
This is probably worth examining about 6000 – 12 000 more times at least.
Here’s the thing, though – there will never actually be a zombie apocalypse. And not simply because there’s no such thing as zombies. There are much better reasons than that.
1) We Would All Know What To Do
The thing about zombie movies is, no one in them has ever seen a zombie movie. Sometimes, characters don’t even know what to call zombies. Like at the beginning of the Walking Dead, everyone is like, ‘What are these reanimated corpses wanting to eat our brains? What’s a good name for something like that, eh? I know, how about “walkers”? Got a nice ring to it, yah? I mean they do walk around a fair bit, don’t they?’
ZOMBIES, you idiots! Those are ZOMBIES.
Luckily us nonfictional people have experienced enough zombie stuff to know what to do should we ever actually meet a zombie, like smash its head in. We have also absorbed a whole bunch of other guidelines, such as:
– Don’t approach someone who has their back to you, and reach out, and touch them on the shoulder, you moron.
– Don’t conceal a zombie inflicted wound while hanging out with your best friends and loved ones, you moron.
– Even if the zombie is your mum, don’t fuck about.
Thanks to this assimilated knowledge, there would be no period of everyone running about whining that they don’t know what’s going on, which is when zombies often get a leg over. Instead, as soon as ANYONE sees even ONE zombie, they will simply tell everyone else. ‘Hey, be careful, you guys,’ they will say, ‘there are zombies now, apparently.’ And we’ll all be like, ‘Well, good thing we know how to deal with those shambling simpletons, eh?’
2) We Will Not Conveniently Skip Past the Outbreak Stage
Does it seem common that zombie stories start some time after the outbreak has already happened? Like in 28 Days Later, when the main character wakes up in a hospital bed with no idea what has been going down. Or in the Walking Dead, when the main character wakes up in a hospital bed with no idea what has been going down. Or in Resident Evil, when the main character wakes up somewhere that is not quite a hospital bed, yet – similarly to the previous examples – she has little to no idea about what has indeed been going, as they say, down.
What could be the reason for this? Could it be that it is simply too hard to explain how the world has become totally overrun with zombies?
Often characters remark (later) about where the outbreak hit real bad. They might mention the airport, or a rock concert. It is easy to imagine that a crowded place with limited escape routes would be an excellent place for zombies to attack – but really, this is not the case.
Zombies want to eat you. If they catch you, they stop and eat you for a bit. Hence there will never be an outbreak in a crowded area because the zombies will be distracted by the sweet flesh of whomever they are fortunate enough to have killed. There will be plenty of time, after the initial kills, to walk around casually and cave their heads in with a guard pole.
An exception might be the fast moving and fast infecting zombies of 28 Days Later, even though I used that movie as an example to support my point earlier, when it suited me. But really, the zombies in 28 Days Later are not very traditional, and therefore we will not be treating them seriously.
3) Zombies Cannot Get Through Strong Doors
Houses are designed to keep out people. People are smart, and can climb stuff, and pick locks. Zombies cannot do these things. The only way zombies get through strong doors is when they achieve critical mass, and that will never happen. Why? Because the moment there are even a few zombies out on the street, EVERYONE’S first instinct will be to go into their houses and shut the doors. We would do this WELL BEFORE the zombies EVER reached a critical mass. Conversations like this would not occur:
John: Hey Steve, there sure are a few zombies about on these streets today, eh?
Steve: There sure are!
John: Maybe we should go into our houses and lock the doors?
Steve: No, no. I’ll only go inside once the zombies reach a critical mass!
Once in our houses we will climb onto our balconies and roofs and chuck pot plants down on the zombies’ heads. There will be streets and streets of us, all calling to each other with helpful, zombie killing encouragement. We can stand at our locked grill doors and poke chopsticks into their eyeballs all day long, because we are not mindlessly controlled by plot points needing to drive a story forward. We can just all camp out and do this for however long is necessary.
4) Zombies Are Stupid
Yes, I know, this is kind of the point of zombies. They’re stupid, they flock (note to self: not sure if flock is really the right word), and they pour in from all directions and overwhelm with sheer numbers and unceasing-ness. Even if we put aside the fact that it would never actually get to that stage (see points 1,2 and 3), even if it did, zombies will be easy enough to deal with. Here are some easy ways to deal with zombies:
– Get on a boat in the harbour, blare your horns and wave and shout a lot. The zombies will all pile off of wharves into the harbour, where they will either be trapped, swept away, or simply become a lot more manageable.
– Dangle a screaming child off a cliff. The zombies will hear her and pile over the cliff trying to get her, only to smash apart on the rocks below. When all the zombies are dead, hoist up the child, pat her on the head, and tell her everything is going to be all right.
– You could also use a recording of a screaming child if a real one is not available.
– Cover a large area with gasoline and get a screaming child or a recording of one, yada yada yada, etc.
5) Zombie Stories Are Aspirational
Sometimes I write kid’s books (as you can see from the point above, I have an excellent affinity with children), so I know that publishers like a kid’s book to be aspirational – in other words, the kid reading it can imagine themselves taking part in the story, or aspiring to be like the characters.
Similarly, if you are a fan of the zombie genre, you probably enjoy imagining what YOU would be like in the zombie apocalypse. After all:
– You get to be a hero
– You get to save your family
– You get to hunt and fight
– The world is simple again
Ah, is there not something in our spirits that yearns for a more primal existence, of hunting and scavenging and avoiding zombies? A world with no phones or parking fines or politicians and greedy corporations hell bent on ruining everything? A world unburdened by rules and regulations, of life under government control and law, invisible bars closing in on our very BRAINS? The zombie apocalypse is a great levelling out of all and sundry, an equaliser beyond measure.
Zombie stories are children’s stories for adults. And just like there isn’t any chance of meeting a friendly talking bear, the sad fact is that you will never get to play around in the zombie apocalypse, however much you would like too. Even if there are ever zombies, somebody will step in and deal with them before anything really fun happens.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!