Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Zombies

©Nancy E. Banks
          I was raised in an apocalyptic religion (unofficial motto for 180-plus years and counting: "Apocalypse soon*"), so my first reaction to things like warnings of impending zombie apocalypse is not, alas, to giggle hysterically and reflect that that some people obviously have waaaaay too much time on their hands, but instead to go into a defensive crouch, review my Emergency Escape Plan**, and fret that I have neither an apocalypse-proof basement nor a several years' supply of wheat kernels***.

          And so, I read the advice given by the Kansas Anti Zombie Militia about zombie apocalypse survival not as the rather lame attempt at humor that it obviously is, but rather as…lord help me…actual survival tips.

          "K," I said to my long-suffering husband, "we need protective clothing that both resists being bitten by zombies (for that is how they spread their nefarious virus) and that covers our skin, so that we don't risk contact with contaminated zombie blood."

          K rolled his eyes.

          "Do we have enough blunt objects around the house to kill zombies with?" I asked him after reading further. "The Kansas Anti Zombie Militia recommends metal bats or collapsible batons. Or could we just use shovels? We've got several of those."

          K rolled his eyes, louder this time.

          "They advise against trying to take on more than one or two zombies at a time," I informed him. "Also they say that you should work together and travel in groups, rather than alone. And you can use firearms."

          "Nancy," K said, taking me by the shoulders and jiggling me slightly. "You're not in church. The zombie apocalypse isn't real. Please get a grip; you're starting to worry the dogs."

          "Do you think the zombie virus can jump the species barrier?" I said, starting to get worried myself. "Because, zombie dogs. That would be unfortunate."

          "Nancy." I blinked. K was using his dog-training voice. "There are no zombies. There is no apocalypse. You don't have to build a wheelbarrow or store ungodly amounts of wheat."

          "I don't?"

          "No apocalypse?"

          "No zombies, either."

          "And no wheat?"

          "None at all."

          You have no idea what an enormous relief it was to hear the bit about the wheat.

*Where "soon" is understood to mean, simultaneously, "next Friday at 1:47 p.m." and "you know…soon—possibly as geological time is measured."

**Which hasn't been updated since I turned my back on the religion of my youth, and so involves building an oversized wheelbarrow to contain my meager few possessions and pushing it to…Missouri. Okay—got at least part of that covered, since I now live in Missouri. Must I still build the wheelbarrow?

***I was never clear on why wheat kernels were so important to apocalypse survival. You'd think bottled water, MREs, and a really good first-aid kit with basic medical manual would be much more important, but who am I to question the wisdom of the wheat-obsessed religion of my youth.

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