ADVICE FOR THE ONCOMING HORDE: SURVIVING AS A ZOMBIE

While many books exist to get you into what remains of the minds of zombies, most practical guides are made for Preppers. That’s just discrimination, people. Luckily, there’s a handful of intrepid authors who can help you survive in the new Undead World.

eaters1. The Brain Eater’s Bible: Sound Advice for the Newly Reanimated Zombie, by Pat Kilbane and J.D. McGhoul

Have you read Max Brooks’s best-selling and infamous “The Zombie Survival Guide”? Did it leave you unsatisfied because of your actual chances of survival? Here’s what Barnes & Noble.com says of the book: “Your body is numb and your memory is foggy.  Someone tried to give you medical attention, but you repaid their kindness by savagely killing them and eating their brains.  You are a zombie my friend, just like me.  Though most zombies are slow and stupid, the fact that you are reading this tells me that you are different.  Some of us are.  Welcome to the PACE virus apocalypse.

zen2. The Zen of Zombie: Better Living Through the Undead (Zen of Zombie Series), by Scott Kenemore

This post-Z self-help book is described by one reader: “This book discussed the 24 habits of highly effective zombies (which are the only kind there is), which include such genuine gems as this: be adaptable, be your own boss, remember its just stuff, and digging a grave? You’ve got it made!”

newlyundead3. So Now You’re a Zombie: A Handbook for the Newly Undead, by John Austin
Amazon.com says of this practical self-help guide and intro to being Undead: “Being undead can be disorienting. Your arms and other appendages tend to rot and fall off. It’s difficult to communicate with a vocabulary limited to moans and gurgles. And that smell! (Yes, it’s you.) But most of all, you must constantly find and ingest human brains. Braaaains!!!
What’s a zombie to do?
Thankfully, zombiologist John Austin details everything you need to know, as a newly undead soul, to hunt, fight, and feed on the living. As the first handbook written specifically for the undead, So Now You’re a Zombie explains how you ended up in this predicament, the stages of zombification, and what you need to survive in this zombiphobic world.”

cookbook4. The Zombie Cookbook, from Damnation Books

This mix of short stories, recipes, and poetry will get you in the mood for upcoming Plague. Quotes, per Damnation’s website:

  • Eating half now and half for breakfast shouldn’t ruin the diet.
  • That explains the overly seasoned dinners.
    • Eating humans is hazardous to my health.

zeo5. Z.E.O.: How to Get A(Head) in Business (Zen of Zombie Series), by Scott Kenemore
Another in the Zen of Zombie series, this book will help you not only survive as the undead, but become the “Head” of your horde!

POETRY APOCALYPSE: BOOKS OF ZOMBIE POEMS

For the more sophisticated member of the undead horde, there’s several books of poetry about zombies to help prepare yourself for rising from the grave.

jack1. Jack and Jill Went Up to Kill: A Book of Zombie Nursery Rhymes, by Michael P. Spradlin and Jeff Weigel

For those parents who want to make sure their children are prepared to become members of the shambling undead, this book of nursery rhymes will catch their ear … and maybe the ears of some Preppers, too!

christmas2. It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Zombies! A Book of Zombie Christmas Carols, by Michael P. Spradlin

Do you love holidays? You may already be part of a horde of shoppers and celebrators, especially around Christmas. Get into the spirit with this book of songs to rouse the smallest of hearts.

haiku3. Zombie Haiku: Good Poetry for Your … Brains, and Dawn of Zombie Haiku, by Ryan Mecum

Both books are from the perspective of the walking dead, in haiku format, documented in journal format.

DIG DEEPER IN THE MIND: MORE ZOMBIE NOVELS

Still looking for more Undead points of view? There’s lots of novels being written from the zombies’ perspective, suggesting more and more people are beginning to realize that they’ll be part of the horde, not the survivors, after the Zombiepocalypse occurs.

brains1. Brains: A Zombie Memoir, by Robin Becker

Amazon.com’s description says: “Subtitled “A Zombie Memoir,” Brains looks at America’s favorite walking-dead flesh-eaters from an audaciously original and deliciously gruesome new perspective. Debut author Robin Becker blazes new ground with this story of former college professor-cum-sentient zombie Jack Barnes, who recounts the tale of the resistance he organized in the wake of the recent zombie apocalypse. World War Z; Shaun of the Dead; Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies… Becker tops them all with Brains—a witty, tasty treat for anyone who every spent a midnight glued to a classic George A. Romero zombie epic!”

This novel received 4 out of 5 stars, so it’s popular with the horde!

breathers2. Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament, by S.G. Browne

Goodreads.com says of the book: “Meet Andy Warner, a recently deceased everyman and newly minted zombie. Resented by his parents, abandoned by his friends, and reviled by a society that no longer considers him human, Andy is having a bit of trouble adjusting to his new existence. But all that changes when he goes to an Undead Anonymous meeting and finds kindred souls in Rita, an impossibly sexy recent suicide with a taste for the formaldehyde in cosmetic products, and Jerry, a twenty-one-year-old car-crash victim with an exposed brain and a penchant for Renaissance pornography. When the group meets a rogue zombie who teaches them the joys of human flesh, things start to get messy, and Andy embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will take him from his casket to the SPCA to a media-driven class-action lawsuit on behalf of the rights of zombies everywhere.”

The book clocks not quite a full 4 out of 5 stars, but one reviewer left a nice poem about the book:

“zombies need love too
we deserve equality
frat boys taste yummy”

lifeless3. The Lifeless: A Zombie Novel, by Lorne Dixon

Amazon.com says of the book: “A school full of kids. A mysterious yellow rain. High school will never be the same. They are outcasts and misfits, teenagers lost on the path to adulthood, living day-to-day inside a high school culture of taunts, humiliation, and isolation. They are the misunderstood, the neglected, and the abused. They are . . . The Lifeless. For them, every school day is a nightmare. But on Monday, October 2nd, they will discover the true meaning of terror. Classes are cut short by news of explosions in the city across the river, part of a series of horrific terrorist attacks that paralyze the nation. But that is only the beginning: amber clouds fill the sky, burning rain pelts down, and the surviving students of Verlaine High learn that their tormentors have mutated into something far worse-reanimated corpses with a primordial instinct for murder. It’s time to stand up to the in-crowd . . . or be consumed by it.”

This book, too, received just shy of 4 out of 5 stars, but most reviewers love the book. The two 1-star reviews suggest that the book is not that creative, but the horde overwhelmingly enjoyed the book.

GET IN MY HEAD: ZOMBIE NOVELS

So many are preparing to survive as humans through the Zombiepocalypse that we often forget how easy it is to catch a disease, trip and fall, or be caught by surprise. Most of us will be zombies when The Big Z finally happens, so it’s important to prepare for that eventuality.

Fortunately, some writers had the foresight to get us into the minds of the Zombie, so to speak. Here’s a list of novels written from the Undead point of view.

trash1. My Life as a White Trash Zombie, by Diana Rowland

The description on Barnes & Noble.com says: “Teenage delinquent Angel Crawford lives with her redneck father in the swamps of southern Louisiana. She’s a high school dropout, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and has a police record a mile long. But when she’s made into a zombie after a car crash, her addictions disappear, except for her all-consuming need to stay “alive”…”

The book received 4.5 out of 5 stars on the site. Reviews from readers say the book is “Unconventional and Entertaining,” “Excellent new series!” and that they “Really hope there’s a second.”  Only one reviewer gave the book 1 star, but provided no text in their review.

warm2. Warm Bodies, by Isaac Marion

Popularized with a movie version, this book tells a delightful story of romance from the point of view of the undead in love. Per Barns & Noble.com: “R is a young man with an existential crisis—he is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. His ability to connect with the outside world is limited to a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing.

After experiencing a teenage boy’s memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and stragely sweet relationship with the victim’s human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His choice to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.

Scary, funny, and surprisingly poignant, Warm Bodies explores what happens when the cold heart of a zombie is tempted by the warmth of human love.”

The book has an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars as well, with 405 5-star reviews! Now that’s a horde!

memoirs3. Memoirs of the Walking Dead: A Story from the Zombie’s Point of View, by Jason McKinney

According to Amazon.com’s description: “Boy and cat lead dull lives. Boy goes to club, gets sick and dies. His cat dies too. That sucks. Boy and cat wake up dead. Zombie boy meets zombie girl. Zombie cat likes zombie girl. Zombies break up and boy joins the Army. Now unlife is even more interesting. Meet Paul Rierson. He’s a zombie; though don’t let that fool you—Paul’s got a pretty big heart considering he doesn’t have a working one. And though he’s new to the whole un-dead experience, there’s no doubt he’s a pretty thoughtful guy. Sure he craves the taste of living flesh, and there’s that whole being hunted on a daily basis thing—zombie-life is no walk in the park—but when Paul meets Tracey Dobbs, a fellow newbie to the un-dead life, he’s smitten. He also comes to realize that in matters of life and death, perhaps being alive is not all it’s cracked up to be. Oh, and one more thing—dead people rule!”

Customers on Amazon gave this book 4 out of 5 stars, saying the book was a fun read and well-told both sides of the Zombie story.

Abandoned mall for sale. Is it really a good place to hide from zombies?

Hiding in an abandoned mall?  Get used to looking at this while you starve to death.
Hiding in an abandoned mall? Get used to looking at this while you starve to death.

I’ve been getting sent this article about an abandoned mall in St. Louis.  I’ve already written about other structures that were up for sale that may be ideal for surviving the apocalypse (a prison and an underground train station), so I guess that’s why people are sending me the story about the mall.

For the love of god, all of you.  What possessed you to think an abandoned mall would be a good base of operations?

For every possible structure there are pros and cons.  What is the pro that makes everybody think of a mall?  Supplies, right?  There is food, sporting goods, a firearms store if you’re lucky, etc.  So before we get into any other considerations, because the mall is abandoned you’ve already lost the biggest pro of making a dash for a mall.

However, all the negatives are still in place.  Any place that wants to sell you something wants you to be able to see inside which means lots of glass on the outside, and glass ranks between hope and a strong breeze in its ability to keep intruders out.  Yeah, there are those rickety gates you can pull down which might deter a thief who worries about getting seen if he spends too much time trying to break in.  But when you’re up against zombies, which can beat on it and throw themselves into it constantly, it will eventually come loose.  What’s more, if you’re on the other side, where are you going to run once you’re blocked in at your only exit?

It does have one advantage though!  People will be interested in a place with resources (which is why malls and grocery stores are so appealing).  Without any resources there, you at least won’t have to interact with the human element much.

Forget the abandoned mall.  There will be plenty of abandoned buildings that will serve you much better.

 

How To Become a Zombie in the Apocalypse

Graveyard

It’s finally happened, it’s finally here – the Zombie Apocalypse.

Theoretically.

Sorry, I know you got excited, but bear with me. It’s not literally here yet, but you can test your preparedness for becoming a zombie in the soon-to-explode Zombie Apocalypse in a variety of ways.

Lots of articles have been written to help preppers get ready for the upcoming apocalypse, but it will truly be all for naught. Regardless of how prepared you think you are, zombies will eventually be able to overcome even the most well-stocked prepper.

Fortunately, you can use these articles to make sure you become a zombie as fast as possible. If you don’t catch the plague in the first wave, here’s a few tips to help you become a zombie.

1. Sit on your butt all day

The first wave of people to be bitten or eaten will be those that are out of shape. If you practice any sort of aerobic exercise or weight lifting, stop right now. Pick up that bag of Cheetos, get a Netflix subscription, and find yourself as deeply involved in the intricacies of the Star Trek canon as humanly possible. Alternatively, you could mainline McDonalds and spend all day trying to make the zombie POV option in Left 4 Dead 2 work. If you are already stuck at a desk job, then have no fear, because you are well on your way.

Can an Xbox kill a zombie? Let’s get real – nope.

2. Develop an Addiction

Smoking cigarettes and drinking are the obvious choices, but Colorado and Washington state have both recently legalized marijuana. Electric cigarettes are becoming more available and less expensive. A “home crafting/brewing” movement has inspired many to learn to make their own alcohol – at first blush, one might think this hobby makes one a better survivor, but in reality, it just makes alcoholism that much easier.

Some medical studies have shown that carbs, particularly sugar like high fructose corn syrup, are addictive. If you don’t feel like taking up smoking or drinking, you could always indulge in a few extra Krispy Kremes every day.

Peeeeeeeeeeeerfect
Peeeeeeeeeeeerfect

3. Alienate Your Friends

This goes hand-in-hand with “sit on your butt,” but it is an important point to remember. Without a community to worry about your safety, then you won’t be at risk of a rescue. Make sure to get into fights on the Internet as often as possible. Ask your friends to go out for drinks, then stick them with the check. Delete every person you know from Facebook, and follow only famous internet cats. You’ll still be amused, and you will still have the illusion of human interaction through forum arguments and Tumblr updates, but when the end actually comes, no one will be willing to fight with you. You will quickly become a zombie’s meal.

everybody-youve-ever-known-is-dead

4. Check your progress regularly

The online test, “How To Prepare For A Zombie Apocalypse” can give you updates about how well you’re doing becoming zombie fodder. You can also check back at the Shit Zombies Say Blog for updates on how to best prepare for the impending apocalypse.

UC Irvine offering a course in zombie survival – for free!

BandageOk, so the CDC isn’t going to help you to prepare (at least not yet), and there’s only so much that I can do to prepare you.  If humanity is to survive the inevitable, experts somewhere are going to have to step up to fill the void.  Finally, that has happened.

The course will deal not only with how to keep your physical body alive and in decent shape in the wake of disaster, but also how to keep your mind sharp in conditions that can cause insanity or panic.  The course will touch on:

  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs—is survival just about being alive?
  • Social order and structures—from the farm and the prison to Woodbury
  • Social identity, roles, and stereotyping—as shown through leaders like Rick and the Governor
  • The role of public health in society—from the CDC to local community organizations
  • The spread of infectious disease and population modeling—swarm!
  • The role of energy and momentum in damage control—how can you best protect yourself?
  • Nutrition in a post-apocalyptic world—are squirrels really good for you?
  • Managing stress in disaster situations—what’s the long-term effect of always sleeping with one eye open?

Preparing costs time though (laziness or other commitments, it turns out, are the biggest impediment to preparedness).  This is about what you’ll be in for as far as a time commitment, and what you can plan to get out of your investment of time:

We recommend that you plan on spending about two (2) to four (4) hours per week on this course, though we believe the course is compelling enough you’ll want to spend more time.

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe how infectious diseases—like a zombie epidemic—spread and are managed
  • Apply various models of society and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to existing and emerging societies as a means for understanding human behavior
  • Analyze existing social roles and stereotypes as they exist today and in an emerging world
  • Debate the role of public health organizations in society
  • Describe how mathematical equations for population dynamics can be used to study disease spread and interventions
  • Apply concepts of energy and momentum appropriately when analyzing collisions and other activities that either inflict or prevent damage
  • Summarize multiple methods for managing stress in disaster situations

The course will be taught by experts on social sciences, astronomy, public health, and mathematics.  The course is being taught online, so there’s no excuse for not signing up.  There’s an optional textbook: The Walking Dead and Philosophy: Zombie Apocalypse Now.  Admittedly I’ve not read it, but I will fix that just as soon as I get back from the hardware store.  I’ve recently moved in with my fiancee and need to zombie-proof the house.

Preppers Will Dig Their Own Grave: Zombie Defense Against Shovels

bazooka

When you become a zombie, defending yourself against arrogant preppers will not be that hard. Many of these idiots will go for chainsaws, katanas, and shotguns, without being trained at all in their proper use. It won’t take long to make a meal of these morons, although I might warn you about empty calories. (rimshot)

There will be hold-outs, though. These preppers will know how to use guns, distinguish poisonous and edible plants, and will have no problem raiding defunct Lowe’s and Home Depot’s to get the right supplies. These preppers will be hard-earned meals for your zombie horde, but it is still possible.

One of the tools that a good prepper will go after is a shovel. Most people in these pre-Zombiepocalypse days prefer lighter shovels, for snow or automobile emergencies. These shovels look like this:

snow

They have a broad, flat-ish head, but a small handle so the tool easily fits into the trunk of your car. But, as this video demonstrates, these shovels are not made from very tough materials.

The second part of the video, though, is a worry. Your rotting flesh is very susceptible to blows from tougher shovels, or improvised weapons. A larger, heavier shovel with a steel blade is durable, useful, and could be sharpened to create a slicing weapon with incredible reach.

monkspadeThis is not the first time anyone would have thought of this type of weapon, either, so the information is out there. Shaolin Spades or Monk’s Spades were, according to legend, developed by monks that carried spades or shovels with them when traveling. The shovel became a great multipurpose tool – defend yourself against bandits, then bury their bodies when you were through. Over time, the shovel became a more stylized weapon.

There’s also zombie-specific shovels already on sale. Tactical shovels can dig holes, chop wood, and slice through your delicate brain tissue.

You have some options, however. If you happen to be one of the smarter members of your horde, you can watch the preppers and wait until their shovels are destroyed through regular wear and tear. All materials degrade eventually. When they head over to raid the hardware store, you can take them out while they have to use crappier weapons. You can also hang back and wait for other members of your horde to take the preppers out – shovels are still melee weapons, meaning that the prepper has to be within a certain range to actually land a blow. This puts them in immediate physical danger, no matter how good their martial arts or melee weapon.

So there you have it. Take down the dumb preppers first, then the preppers with plastic “emergency” shovels, and by that point, the truly prepared preppers should have worn through one round of good shovel, making them easier targets when they head into town for supplies.

World’s first zombie survival store opens.

How nice would it be if you didn’t have to run between hardware stores, sporting outlets, and grocery stores to find everything you will need to survive when the outbreak finally occurs?  It seems that may be a reality now with the opening of the world’s first zombie survival store in Las Vegas.

Let’s take a peek at some of their products to see if they are the sweet ambrosia they purport to be.  First up is the 3 day, 2 people grab ‘n go kit for $47:

Grab_n_go_3p_2d_large
3 day two people. 6 water pouches, 2 – 2400 calorie food bars, first aid kit, 2 – rain ponchos, 2 – solar blankets, super bright survival flare, 2 – light sticks, hand crank flashlight, hand sanitizer, and tissue pack.

Oh hell to the yes.  This isn’t everything you need to survive, but it’s a damn good start.  You may be wondering why you’d want water pouches and not just a canteen.  Well, you’ll also want a canteen…but only when you know the water you’re drinking is pure.  Having water set aside and sealed will hold you over until you find a reliable water source.  I give the grab ‘n go kits a gold star for sure.

Next up is the Israeli gas mask for $45:

Gas_Mask_large
Issued by Israeli government to protect citizens of Israel from terrorist attacks. This item is regarded as the benchmark gas mask for civilian protection. NATO Approved. Never used. Intended for use during the EVACUATION from a contaminated area. Will filter out All Nuclear, Biological (Anthrax and Small Pox) and Chemical Agents. Comes with NBC filter (lasts up to 8 hours depending on level of contamination) Made of soft rubber and fits snuggly and comfortably protecting the face, eyes and respiratory system.

Seems good on the surface, and will certainly perform the task for which it is intended, but I’m going to say it will likely be unnecessary.  Gas masks work on filters.  They’re designed to either give you enough time to get away from the source of the gas or for brief excursions from a base where more filters are available.  They are not designed to protect a person indefinitely, which is likely what you will need.  If the virus is airborne, you need to hole up somewhere and keep it sanitized and on lock down.

In a zombie overrun scenario one of the things with which you will have to content, that many people don’t even think about, is the stench.  The stench of decaying flesh from one body is enough to make most people vomit.  Add into that the stench of millions of corpses loosing their bowels (as well as the fact that there are millions of corpses, not just one) and the odor may be so repugnant as to make you pass out.  A gas mask would be good for dealing with that, but it would come at a price: gas masks severely obscure vision.

A better solution would be a handkerchief worn over the nose and mouth with a sweet smelling cologne or something drizzled onto it.  Cheaper and you’ll be able to see just fine.

I give the Israeli gas mask a silver star.

Zombies Do It Raw

raw-beef

Do you plan to become a zombie, but have a hard time with raw meat? There’s a delicious and classic way to get used to the texture and flavor – steak tartare.

Urban legend contends that steak tartare was invented by the Tatar or Tartar people, a group native Eastern Europe and Russia. The tribe spent so much time fighting and traveling on horseback that they didn’t have time to chop up their meat; instead, they put slabs of meat beneath their saddles for easier transit. The combination of spices in the current version were supposedly spices used to cover the flavor of rancid meat and horse sweat.

However, this legend is only urban myth, as it turns out. Steak tartare was invented in the 19th century in France, and served at posh French restaurants with the name steack a l’Americaine. Initially, the dish had tartar sauce or horseradish on the side, and was not served with a raw egg yolk. The name was eventually changed to, simply, steack tartare, which simply means “with tartar sauce.”

Although you could chop up a piece of steak and eat it, the combination of Worchestershire sauce, pepper, onions, and capers makes steak tartare delicious and rich. It’s a great way to get your palate used to the texture and flavor of raw meat, before you become a member of the human-eating undead. Additionally, while most steak tartare recipes call for beef, you can also make it with horse meat, thereby reinacting that scene from the first season of “The Walking Dead.”

"Get the pepper grinder!"
“Get the pepper grinder!”

Here’s a few recipes:

Emeril Lagasse’s Steak Tartare:

Ingredients:
Assorted fresh greens
12 ounces beef tenderloin or sirloin
Worcestershire sauce
Hot pepper sauce
Salt
Black Pepper
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup minced red onion
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
2 eggs
4 slices of white bread, crusts removed, brushed with olive oil and lightly toasted
Extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Garnish 2 plates with the fresh greens.

Place the beef on a cutting board and finely chop with a very sharp knife. Season to taste with Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, salt and black pepper. Shape the meat into 2 patties of equal size and center each on a plate of fresh greens.

Around each meat patty arrange half of the capers, Dijon mustard, red onion and parsley. Carefully break the 2 eggs, reserving the yolk and half of each shell. Place the yolks in their eggshell cups, then sit an egg cup in the center of each patty. Serve the steak tartare with toast points, olive oil, and hot pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauces on the side.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/steak-tartare-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

steaktartarClassic Steak Tartare

INGREDIENTS

3 medium oil-packed anchovy fillets (optional, adjust salt if added), rinsed and minced

2 teaspoons brined capers, drained and rinsed

3 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 large egg yolks

10 ounces USDA prime beef tenderloin, cut into small dice, covered, and refrigerated

2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley leaves

4 teaspoons olive oil

3 dashes hot sauce (such as Tabasco)

4 dashes Worcestershire sauce

3/4 teaspoon crushed chile flakes (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine anchovies (if using), capers, and mustard in a nonreactive bowl. Using a fork or the back of a spoon, mash ingredients until evenly combined; mix in egg yolks.

Use a rubber spatula to fold remaining ingredients into mustard mixture until thoroughly combined. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately with toast points or french fries.

http://www.chow.com/recipes/10983-classic-steak-tartare