Were we to take a poll of the general population as to the top three most important zombie survival traits, they’d probably be 1: an ability to resist panic, 2: general survival proficiency (DVRing Bear Grylls doesn’t count), and 3: an ability and willingness to defend oneself. I’m not going to write about why I don’t fit any of these categories, because one need only size me up for a moment to realize that this is approximately how the first thirty seconds of my zombie experience would go:
OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD THAT BRO JUST ATE A BRAIN. He like straight up gnoshed on that other dude’s skull and slurped brains right out of his fucking gourd. Ok, Sisneros, this is it. This is what years of consuming popular culture has prepared you for. That there is a zombie, and where there’s a zombie there’s probably a bajillion more. I mean, you could be the last human on earth for all you freaking know! OH MY GOD WAIT THEN WHO’S GOING TO CUT MY BANGS. Shit. Shit shit. Nope, this isn’t going like I planned at all! Can I still use my debit card at the grocery store? Will self-checkout still be available if all the cashiers are zombies now? OH MY CHRIST HE’S COMING TOWARD ME. Ok, act natural. Doo dee doo! Don’t mind me, Mr. Zombie! I’m just chilling here, being chill, chillin’ like a villain! Heh! Heh heh! Hehheeeeehfuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck he’s gonna eat my brain, isn’t he. Ok, weapon weapon weapon. A rake? Will that work? Can I rake a zombie to death? Can zombies even die? I mean, a reanimated state implies the resurgence of life but depending on what’s caused this particular outbreak it could be a virus, or some crazy voodoo shit, or… [ZOMBIE approaches KATIE, reaches out a bloody, flesh-droopy arm] noooo don’t touch me don’t touch me don’t touch me don’t touch me eeeeeeeeeew! [ZOMBIE bites into KATIE’s neck] OK FINE I GIVE UP JESUS. [KATIE lies down and succumbs to the sweet release of death/reanimation].
My point is, I’m about as survival savvy as a wet washcloth, and mere moments ago I watched a mouse scamper through my living room and I’m still too paralyzed on the couch to even sprint across the dining room furniture to acquire my anxiety meds. And as for my ability to defend myself, well…you know how George Michael Bluth reacts whenever someone throws a ball at him? GMB and I have a lot in common. No, unfortunately for me, there are a slew of other less obvious reasons why I’m a total goner at the first sign of a zombie outbreak.
I’m clumsy as shit
If I’m in your zombie survival group and we’re sprinting away from a gaggle of zombies (this is the proper nomenclature; only maternal aunts and high school speech competitors group in “hordes”), you can go ahead and place all your bets on “two minutes.” That is, if you’re betting on how long it takes for me to trip over my own feet and tumble, limbs splayed in a variety of spectacular angles, to the ground. Two minutes, tops. We could be sprinting through the lush flat plains of western Nebraska and I’d still find something to trip over. “Naw, it’s ok! You guys go on ahead!” I would yell at you even though it’s abundantly clear you had absolutely no intention of waiting for me. And then I’d swat awkwardly at the zombie looming over me like he’s a swarm of bees until he drives his bony forearm into my abdomen and devours my entrails. For every thirty seconds that I am upright and not injured, the laws of physics are losing a bet with the universe.
I sunburn, like, really easily
I’ve written about this before, so let me just sum up by saying that if the zombies don’t get me first, third degree burns will. We’ll likely be leading a nomadic existence by necessity. And unless I’m lucky enough to have the zombie outbreak start in October and thus stave off the inevitable until May or so, you can count on ol’ Katie “Best Not Look Directly at Her Skin” Sisneros to redden, blister, shrivel up, and then just blow away like dust in the wind. Our survival team would rendezvous outside after our first decent grocery store raid, and much to all y’all’s dismay, I’ve got a cart full of SPF 50 and some beef jerky (impulse buy).
GROUP LEADER: KATIE. WATER. CANNED GOODS. MEDICINES. You couldn’t have gotten any of that?!
KATIE: *slathering sunblock on her nose and shoulders* Look guys, this milky whiteness ain’t gonna protect itself.
Although I may fight you, deep down I’ll understand when you all collectively decide it’s best just to put one between my eyes.
I have no sense of direction
My physics teacher in high school once suggested, with a mild tone of exasperation in her voice, that I might be directionally dyslexic. I’m not actually convinced that’s a thing, but either way it’s absolutely 100% true that if I had only 30 seconds to tell you right now which way north was or I’d die instantly, you’d better get my mom up on speed dial because you’re gonna be breaking some bad news. It was easy when I lived in Lincoln, Nebraska because the interstate (THE interstate, the only one) ran west/east, and I knew which way Iowa was (East, as it turns out). So if I physically stopped what I was doing and cleared my mind of all other thoughts, I could figure out north in a solid 10 seconds, but ONLY if I was within a two mile radius of downtown, otherwise I lost my bearings entirely.
Point is, if our zomboid choppin’ crew is trying to get somewhere in particular, like Fort Knox or Alcatraz or the CDC headquarters in Atlanta, rest assured I will have no fucking clue which way to point myself. This translates also to having a terrible sense of my general surroundings, which is why I still use GPS to get to bars in downtown St. Paul that I’ve been to, oh, a dozen times. Everyone in my life knows better than to task me with navigation, because they know I’d end up making a dick of myself and getting us lost, dead, raped, or all three. If you told me to walk to Texas and then pointed me due north, I’d probably get to central Manitoba before I realized you were yanking my chain.
I have a dog
And I probably like him more than most of you. Henry Balthazar Joseph Sisneros the 1st, Esquire’s safety is paramount. Yes, that’s dumb. No, I don’t care.