#2. They Discover Your Special Powers
Let's say you're in a small, fairly conservative community. And let's say you're special, in a really frightening way. Like you have a tail or two asses or something. How will the townspeople react when they discover your secret? Will they celebrate your diversity, and summon their best carpenter to craft an honored perch for you? Or will they try to string your assorted asses up on a pike, to serve as warning to others of your kind?
As Seen In: Highlander
In the early part of Highlander, a young Connor MacLeod goes to war, where he's fairly quickly turned into a Scottish Popsicle, an experience that he somehow doesn't die from.
"Ach! My lungs!"
After recovering his not-dead ass from the battlefield, his clansmen decide that this is a sign of witchcraft, and to be honest, they're probably right to do so. (Taking several feet of steel between the ribs is not something that can just be walked off.) Convinced he's a Manwitch, they threaten to burn him at the stake, and only agree to reduce his sentence to banishment when they realize how long it would take to get the smell of burnt Scotsman out of their town.
A Practical Example:
Nancy: Hurry! The bridge is going to collapse!
-the bridge collapses-
Chad: Damn you, bridge! -turns to watch as the townspeople draw closer- I'll have to jump it.
Nancy: You'll never make it!
Chad: I might! I made varsity in long jump in my senior year. -he backs up a short distance, takes a deep breath and runs for it, just barely clearing the gap-
Villager: He's a witch!
Chad: No, I'm just in shape!
Villager: Burn him! Burn him in the faaaaaaaaace!
#1. They Get a Little Bitey
There are few situations in which it is acceptable for one human being to bite another, outside of the confines of a really healthy marriage. It's just one of those things that people across all cultures seem to have agreed on, which means that when someone violates it, it's pretty much an open admission that they're no longer playing by the rules.
As Seen In: Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead and every other zombie franchise ever
The opening scenes of Zombieland establish the familiar framework of a zombie universe. A zombification disease spreads rapidly throughout civilization, communicated primarily through the means of biting.
"Come back! I want to give you my gift! I swear it's not sexual!"
The rest of Zombieland explores the fallout from this zombie apocalypse, in particular the weighty issues of how survivors will isolate themselves emotionally in such a scenario, and how baseball bats can be applied topically to skulls in such a scenario. But the lesson for us, in our (hopefully) still pre-zombie world, is that if you ever witness anyone biting anyone, you should sprint like hell to the nearest sporting goods store to arm yourself.
A Practical Example:
Nancy: Ow! He bit me, Chad! -she wrestles a villager off of her-
Chad: Oh no! Nancy! They got you!
Nancy! What! No! He just bit me is all.
Chad: You're doomed, Nancy. I can't believe this. You're going to be a zombie. Or a moleman, or whatever these things are.
Chad: You bit her and spread your terrible disease to her and now she's doomed. I won't let this happen to you, Nancy. -he points his shotgun at her-
Villager: No. She was just ... winning the fight is all ... and I kind of panicked. Sorry. We're not zombies. Holy crap. Don't shoot her.
Chad: Then why are you trying to kill us? Talk, damn you! -he points the shotgun at the villager and works the action. It makes a cool noise, and ejects an unspent shell, which clatters to the ground. Everyone turns to watch it roll around in a lazy circle on the floor-
Villager: To rob you.
Chad: -trying to drag the shotgun shell back toward him with his foot- What?
Villager: We're really poor here.
Chad: Is that all? Oh man, that's awful.
Villager: This economy, right?
Chad: This economy. -shakes his head- Look, I think I can help. -tucks shotgun under his arm, withdraws his wallet and starts counting out bills silently- 40 ... 60 ... 80 ... 200. 20. There. 220 dollars. Take it. We weren't gonna spend it wisely anyways.
Villager: Wow. Thanks!
Chad: Come on, Nancy. Let's go.
Nancy: -long appraising look at Chad- You were going to kill me.
Chad: It would have been justifiable, AND I would have regretted it. I think that's enough to end the conversation right there, but we can talk about it later if you wish.
-Chad & Nancy get back in the car and drive off, finally safe, though they do not, curiously, live happily ever after.-
For more from Bucholz, check out 6 Reasons Cross-Dressing Comedies Should Be Retired and 6 Reasons the Comments on This Article Will Be Useless.