6 Sensible Things You Should Never Do in a Zombie Outbreak

If you have any kind of active fantasy life, you've got at least a vague idea of what you're going to do when society turns into zombies. Maybe you've picked a favorite weapon or a defendable location. People argue about the best zombie survival plans like it's a religion, and it sort of is, because unless something extremely unlikely happens, we will have wasted billions of hours on pointless speculation and planning.

This is not an article to debunk survival methods. I've read The Zombie Survival Guide, and if you like your chances of looting a karate shop and cutting down a horde of corpses with a 15-pound monk's spade, I'm happy that your stupidity will finally yield a spectacular death. After all, we're talking about a make-believe world, so you might as well be Jackie Chan in it. And Jackie, this article is here to make sure you have the greatest post-apocalypse you can have. That doesn't necessarily mean survival. We're not here to simply scrape by the zombie apocalypse -- we're here to kick it in the ass. It's why the American language contains the word "awesomest" and not the word "alivest."

When it's you against a world of undead, you should probably get some help, right? You'll need a few partners to kill the zombies behind you or to guard the entrances while you scrounge for canned stew. You need a rotating watch so the rest can sleep, and someone has to watch over suppl- holy shit, look what just happened. I started talking about group survival, and one sentence later I'm already fussing about food rations and scheduling. Do you really want to spend the apocalypse checking your day planner?

Nothing screws up a wasteland of shambling monsters like a group of human survivors. Every person who joins your rabble takes your exciting tale of action horror one step closer to psychological melodrama. The Walking Dead is almost entirely about human men flossing their teeth with one another's tongues. What happens is that when people form fruit loop society microcosms, they start to realize that they have to hang on to the only thing they have left: their humanity. You know why? Because when someone sits around thinking about crap like this too long, their thoughts fold in on themselves until their entire brain becomes a vagina.

Let's see if that's true by dealing with a common zombie situation. Say a female survivor is bitten. Of course, you can't shoot your friend in the head, no matter how psychopathic you think you'll be once civilization ends. So soon you're in a heated argument with your own soul and the other survivors about how to get rid of this zombie time bomb. And if I know zombie fiction, she's about to interrupt to say she's pregnant, just so you all know you're about to execute the very concept of hope itself. This kind of drama will repeat every single time someone steals a box of cookies or gets overtaken by a horde and left for dead. A few well-intentioned survivors can turn even the nicest apocalypse into a Dove Body Mist commercial.

You know who doesn't have to deal with that shit? The feral maniac living in the sewer and becoming one with the night. Basically, when the end of the world arrives, you have two choices: Spend it as Tarzan or spend it as Meryl Streep.

Society is collapsing, so you'd better get a gun quickly, right? Let's assume for a second you know how to use one well enough to aim at a reeking flood of corpses and shoot the parts that are faces. Now you're stuck with a couple of problems: Your noisy gun is calling more things than you kill, and given the nature of this zombie-horde problem, you will always have more enemies than bullets. But maybe you should stop fussing over all these tiny details. You're planning a zombie apocalypse, not the perfect wedding. Let's go get a gun.

Let's not assume you get to the gun store before everyone else -- that's impossible. The main reason a person opens a gun store is because they've been waiting their whole life for exactly this event. They've had a shotgun pointed at the entryway since the first report of flesh-eating maniacs. You're not going to catch them sleeping. According to recent illegal-immigration statistics, the vigilance of American gun owners is second only to the craftiness of any Mexican of any age ever.

If you can convince the gun store owner to let you in, congratulations: You're now white and in a well-fortified building with a massive stock of weapons and ammunition. That reminds me, I should call my parents. Back to what I was saying, you now have two choices: let more people in (see entry #6), or watch strangers pound on the locked door and curse you as zombies tear their legs off. And since no one has the luxury of personal moral codes anymore, it occurs to you that you're going to have to start shooting these noisy, panicked visitors before they figure out how to break in. Speaking of shooting, can you name all the ways a Beretta is less reliable than a Glock? Because a gun store owner can and will, from now until the end of time. I hope you're happy, because while everyone else is out bashing the skulls of the undead, discussing the availability of .445 ammo is how you're spending the end of times.

Even if you're in an unfair apocalypse starring fast zombies, the one advantage you'll always have over the undead is your cleverness. Don't be tempted to use it, though. Don't launch fireworks to distract them. Don't train a dog to deliver your groceries. And if you form an elaborate plan to cover yourself in corpse juice to disguise yourself as a zombie, your last words are probably going to be "It's working! It's worAARRRGGHHHHH!!! Always remember that I died a stupid, smelly dipshit!"

Zombies are an unyielding force of nature, so you don't fight them with cute. You fight them with balls. And even if you discover that the undead can't see the color pink or that rock 'n' roll makes them dance, do you really want to get through Armageddon by exploiting a zombie manufacturing error? There's a reason that in a time when boats existed, Noah was the only one who survived the flood. It's because no one makes it to the end of a story by outsmarting the narrator. If you ever see that happening, you're watching an M. Night Shyamalan movie, and that sucks, because if I'd known you were a little bitch, I wouldn't have started talking about zombies with you.

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