planning

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

DRINK YOUR BRAINS

Delicious Brains Platter

If you’re not interested in eating brains prior to becoming a zombie, you may be able to find an acceptable substitute – alcohol!

There’s a disturbing but awesome shot called the Bloody Brains Shooter, and there’s a couple of different recipes for it.

Variation One:

1 1/4 oz. strawberry vodka

1/8 oz. Rose’s lime juice

3/4 oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream

Splash of grenadine

brainsChill vodka for better smoothness. Add vodka and lime juice to a shaker, shake and strain into a shot glass. Using a straw, dip some Bailey’s Irish Cream into the shot. Once you submerge the straw into the Bailey’s put your finger on top of the straw to hold the Bailey’s in the straw. Dip the straw tip into the vodka and slowly release your top finger. The Bailey’s will curdle a little bit due to the lime juice and you should be able to make strands of Bailey’s.

Repeat the straw/Bailey’s process to build a “brain” in the shot glass. Add a splash of grenadine to the concoction to add the ‘blood’ to the mix. Down the hatch as a shot.

Variation Two:

In shot glass, pour peach schnapps 3/4 of the way; pour irish cream on top (do not layer let it pour straight), add three drops of grenadine – the result looks like a Bloody Brain!

Here’s a video showing off the process:

Prepare for The Zombiepocalypse on the Bus

The Zombie Apocalypse hasn’t happened yet (we think), but you can experience it in a variety of ways through the magic of your smart phone!

Sit in a park, ride the bus, lay around at home, and become a tech zombie before a biological zombie. It’s great!

Of course, there are classic zombie-centric games for mobiles out there already, like Plants vs. Zombies, and Zombies, Run! But what about games for those of us who plan to become part of the horde after the Big Zed?

Here’s a few free downloadable selections for your brain-craving pleasure:

zombieslive1. Zombies Live, from Storm8Games

The game, per Google Play, works like this: “On a dark night, in a cold morgue, you arise. Not quite dead, but far less than human, you hunger for knowledge about who you were and how you became this way. But the fiercest hunger in your being is for flesh. And, lucky for you, the morgue attendants are coming to check on you.

Start as a lowly zombie, freshly undead and turn yourself into the most powerful crypt lord by bringing in other zombies into your horde and wreaking havoc throughout the city in Zombies Live™.”

The game has 6,395 5-Star reviews, so most people seem to like it. “Like other games by Storm8, this game is an addictive way to pass time,” says one reviewer. Another says, “Great game especially considering its free. Not overbearing with ads. Lots of active players! A must have.” There’s a smattering of bad reviews, mostly complaining about upcharges or the company’s banning policies, but overall, for a game in which you actually become a zombie, it’s a screaming good time!

zombieace2. Zombie Ace, from Hothead Games

The entire point of Zombie Ace, hidden behind its adorable animations, is to spread the plague to unsuspecting Preppers. “These undead pilots guarantee fast service to 14 destinations across the United States of America. When you need to infect the next city fast, trust a Zombie Ace to get you there!”

According to the description on Google Play, the game’s objectives are:

“* Infect the zombie plague across 14 U.S.A. cities
* Choose from 5 different Zombie Ace pilots
* Upgrade your plane with better wings, faster engines and more fuel
* Battle with enemy Jet Fighters, Attack Choppers, Bombers, and Tanks
* Test your skills flying through Lightning Storms or avoiding attacks from Giant Killer Robots and other hazards!
* Complete 100 missions to rank up and earn rewards
* Play Brain Scratcher tickets to win more prizes between flights”

This free game also has almost entirely 5-Star reviews – 5,037, to be exact. One review said, “… Definitely an amazing game. Great fun. After thr recent update its become really stable. Good use of spare time.”

The negative reviews complain about social networking issues, but is that really a surprise with a zombie game? If you’re a zombie without a horde, how far can you really get?

zombiebooth3. ZombieBooth, from MotionPortrait, Inc

Alright, it’s not technically a game, but it’s still a helluva lotta fun. Do you want to know what you’ll look like after rising from the grave and rotting in the open air? Now you’ll know! Always wanted to know what friends and family, even your pug, will look like after the Z-pocalypse? You can find out when they share photos, so you can join up with their horde later!

Per Google Play, here’s some of the app’s features:

“CUSTOMIZABLE 3D ZOMBIES!
– ZombieBooth makes any 2D portrait fully 3D
– Create a huge collection of 3D, animated zombies from photos of you and your friends
– Choose from several zombie variations to pinpoint your undead doppelgänger

YOUR ZOMBIES COME ALIVE
– Zombies will blink, scowl, and breath!
– Hear them growl and frenzy
– They’ll even try to ravage your finger if you get too close!

ZOMBIFY YOUR FRIENDS!
– Capture portraits to zombify on any camera equipped Android
– Share zombie images via Email”

This app has 41,699 5-Star reviews. With a horde that size, how can you go wrong?

All three of these applications are free for download, so there’s no reason not to give them a whirl, and experience the zombie un-lifestyle first-hand.

You’re Not Bruce Campbell: Zombie Defense Against Chainsaws

army_of_darkness

The series Evil Dead shows our beefy, cheesy hero Ash up against hordes of zombies with a chainsaw slung across one arm, and a shotgun wrapped in the other.

While the series is silly and far from scary, Ash as a hero looms large in the minds of Preppers. Everyone wants a chance to yell, “This is my boomstick!” at an awestruck medieval crowd. Or destroy charging zombies with mighty swings of a chainsaw.

We’ll skip the boomstick part for now and focus on the chainsaw. Chainsaws make an appearance in Left 4 Dead 2 as well. So they’re good melee weapons, right?

Bad-ass and in no way dangerous, amirite?
Bad-ass and in no way dangerous, amirite?

Yes, there’s a lot to fear when a Prepper attacks you with a chainsaw. According to a Quora question on self-defense against chainsaw attacks:

Unless you are armed and you manage to draw your weapon and shoot your opponent at least once, they are going to swing the chainsaw in wide enough arcs to contact you. Since this will probably only injure you (unless they strike your neck and you begin to hemorrhage) with the first impact, you have to then attempt to defend yourself while bleeding or injured and this will almost certainly ensure that you are incapacitated or killed.

The defense for a chainsaw is either running away or waiting until your opponent becomes tired (which will likely be soon, as a chainsaw large enough to cause damage will be too heavy for all but the strongest of men to wield for more than a few minutes of wild swings) and then either rushing him and attacking or picking up a nearby stone or bludgeon and then battering your exhausted foe senseless.

Fortunately for your zombified self, chainsaws are actually a terrible self-defense weapon. In fact, according to Examiner.com article Zombie Self-Defense 101, the only upside to chainsaws is that they make you feel like Ash from Evil Dead.

But remember Ash from the first two Evil Dead movies? He cowered in corners all over that haunted house and barely made it out.

Lookin' a little less cool, a little more terrified of your zombie-ness
Lookin’ a little less cool, a little more terrified of your zombie-ness

The only Preppers who are dumb enough to use chainsaws for self-defense and expect to survive are the types to cower in corners of their shelter and wimper as your horde beats down the doors. Chainsaws have terrible range for melee weapons, they run on gas which will quickly disappear after the apocalypse, and they are noisy enough to continue to draw the attention of other zombie hordes for miles around.

The only real thing Preppers could do with chainsaws that would make them potentially useful? Bikes.

Right at waist-level
Right at waist-level

No, not that kind of bike. THIS kind of bike.

And even then, it’s loud and the gas will run out. So don’t worry about Preppers with chainsaws, they’ll probably just hurt themselves.

Extra-Spicy: Zombie Defense Against Mace

zombiespray

When you become a zombie, it will be very important for you to already have several self-defense tactics under your belt. Preppers will have a variety of melee weapons, as well as guns, for at least the first few years, so you’ll need to train up now to be able to duck and cover without thinking later.

An interesting potential weapon will be mace – pepper spray, which many women carry for self-defense anyway, and bear mace, which is an incredibly strong, foam form of mace designed specifically to protect hikers or wilderness explorers from angry bears.

bearmace Mace is actually a great weapon for Preppers, because it acts as a deterrent while doing no lasting damage. This means that if a Prepper gets stuck in a horde, (s)he can carve a way out while minimizing the potential of self-inflicted damage. Bear mace also has great range – its designed to deter bears, after all.

From a self-defense standpoint, there really isn’t any great advice for defending yourself against pepper spray or bear mace attacks. You can keep a gas mask strapped to your face starting right now, so that you have it in place after becoming a zombie, but gas masks are heavy. You could train yourself to drop and roll quickly now, so you instinctively do so when confronted with a bear mace-laden Prepper, but dropping to the ground could, depending on your state of decomposition, take out chunks of skin or break bones. You could just hope that some of your juicy rotting flesh washes the spray away.

SONY DSC But wait, fellow zombies! You are not automatically vulnerable to pepper spray or bear mace. Here’s one of the greatest things about being undead: you no longer feel pain.

Sure, losing a limb sucks, and having your head blown off is a game-ender. But your nerve endings probably won’t function anymore, and the connections between your limbs and your brain are breaking down.

Per Zweapons.com: “Bear mace is not effective in temporarily blinding zombies either. Zombies are not dependent on a functioning circulatory system, and typically the blood of the undead congeals to the point where it more closely resembles a gel than a fluid. Since bear mace relies on irritating the blood vessels providing oxygen to the eyeballs, it has absolutely zero effect on a zombie’s ability to search for prey.”

So there you have it, zombiehorde. Pepper spray? It’s the perfect zombie condiment.

zombie_eat_flesh

Zombies at the Exit: Scientists try to save us from ourselves

Zombies exitI love science.  Science teaches us all kinds of cool things about the universe we live in and how it works, but it also tells us terrifying things about how we ourselves work.  As it turns out, humans can be a little dumb when they turn off their higher thinking and just react to situations.

A pair of scientists from the University of Essex in the UK, Nikolai W. F. Bode and Edward A. Codling, have done a study and developed a computer simulation of human behavior if asked to leave a building full of zombies.  Under low stress conditions, humans picked the most rational, least busy door — but if people were acting under duress, they would leave the way they were most familiar with, regardless of the number of zombies at the door.

In other words, people walk right into the jaws of death and leave alternative exits alone if they are allowed to get panicked. The simulation was part of an event called ZombieLab, which the Science Museum put on last winter.

According to Research Digest, this tracks with observations from actual emergencies.  In 1973, the Lowenbrauskeller building in Munich was evacuated and two people were killed in a crush at the main exit — despite the fact that there were 8 other exits in the building.

Which leads me to two conclusions — 1, if all the zombies are exiting the building there must be something truly terrifying causing them to flee and, 2, pause before you run and try to make a good plan, even if you think it’s costing you a second or two.  This is why on airplanes they tell you to locate the nearest exit when you get on the plane.  If you go on instinct when you’re in a high pressure situation, you’re just going to try to go back out the way you came in, and that could cost you your life.