I wrote this in 2009, but five years later it is still true. Disclaimer: Despite my fear, Zombieland is one of my favorite movies. I can watch it and Shaun of the Dead without nightmares, but nothing else. Just think about the opening scenes of the Dawn of the Dead remake and I’ll end up awake in bed listening for unusual noises.
I am terrified of zombies.
When I wake up in the morning before anyone else or the dreadful alarm clock, I play out horrible scenarios in my head of what I might do in the event of an impromptu zombie invasion. Here is how a typical scenario goes: I wake up early on Sunday morning* before the rest of my family and walk over to the window to peak out the blinds and see what is going on outside. Oddly enough, coming down the road I see a figure that seems to be stumbling along. As he gets close I see he is covered in blood, wearing torn clothes, and pretty much has that typical zombie look. I’m just about to yell at my husband to come look at this when an army of fast-moving crazed zombies rounds the intersection up the road and overtakes the poor lonely slow-moving zombie.
Now, this is usually when I try to think about something else. Because here is the thing–what do you do? Do you try to get to safety or stay in your home and try to survive waiting for the Army? Do you kill yourself to avoid the fate? Do you just give in to the zombies? All of those situations have a downside. Let’s play these out, shall we.
1) You fight to survive. This has three possibly outcomes really. First, you survive. The Army saves you and all is well. This is the best-case scenario, but it might not work out that way. What? You think zombies have only invaded your town? Not [censored] likely. It is probably a worldwide epidemic. Do we have a chance against the zombies? Maybe, but are you willing to chance it? So you go through all that effort to survive – life is hard, loved ones die, etc – then you get eaten anyway. End of story. Or there is what I think is the worse outcome of this scenario – you survive, but the Army doesn’t come. What do you do now as a lone person/family left in a sea of zombies? Now you have to plan all over again and are confronted with the same choices. There isn’t a happy ending.
2) You kill yourself to avoid your inevitable fate as a zombie? Well, if the zombies take over, you end up having made a good decision. But what if they don’t? What if right behind the zombies is a band of rouge zombie hunters coming to rescue you and take you to the zombie-free zone? Then you are just the dolt who offed their whole family for no reason. The neighbors, in their new zombie-free digs, will talk about you with pity.
3) You give in to the zombies. This plays out largely like situation two – do you want to be the guy who ends up as a zombie when he would have been fine if he could have waited for five more minutes? No, I didn’t think so. On the other side of things, you don’t know what it is like to be a zombie. Perhaps you end up conscious inside of your zombie-self, realizing all of the horrible things you are doing. You just don’t know what it is like in zombie land; do you really want to chance it?
In the end, it isn’t really zombies that scare me. It is the story behind the zombies. I’m horrified by the epidemic – the sudden change in the world where you breathe the wrong air in the morning and end up hunting brains by nightfall. I would imagine that brains don’t even taste that good. Funny texture and all, you know?
*Zombie invasions always happen on Sunday because everything is quiet and still early in the morning in my neighborhood.