Alexandra Duncan

Science Fiction. Fantasy. Feminism.


Like most right-thinking people, I spend my idle moments at work and in line at the grocery store thinking about how I would survive the zombie apocalypse. I'm sure many of us are thinking about this now, in the aftermath of the Miami Face-Eater (Although, to be clear, I don't honestly think he was a zombie, just a manifestation of our country's underfunded mental health care system.)

Of course, exactly what I did during the zombie apocalypse would depend on the type of zombie apocalypse. Fast or slow zombies? Undead rising from the grave a la Night of the Living Dead or living people turned into contagious, flesh-eating monsters?  Do we still have a government or electricity? But, in any case, here are the basic elements of my plan:

1) Wear boots.
I really want these boots.
Really good boots that cover your ankles and that you can run in, preferably made of leather. That way, when zombies reach out from beneath the undercarriage of your car and try to chomp your ankles, all they get is a mouthful of shoe. Plus, boots are good for kicking. The running part should be self-explanatory.

2) Let Jeremy drive.
I am a neurotically cautious driver. (My grandmother approves of my top speed and driving technique.) And while I think this is probably a good thing in the real world, it would be exceptionally bad to have a scaredy cat like me behind the wheel in the event of zombies. My husband Jeremy, on the other hand, is a much more. . . spontaneous driver. Sometimes he likes to go fast "just for fun," i.e. to terrify me, and he tends to wait until the last moment to switch lanes or execute a turn. I can't emphasize enough how much I hate this in real life, but I have to admit, he's the one I'd want behind the wheel if zombies attacked. Finally, he could apply his evasive driving maneuvers to a noble cause. Which brings me to the next part of my plan. . .

3) Go to Max's house.
I have exactly one friend who owns any firearms and knows how to use them properly, and that is Max. However, Max is a libertarian, so if I want the benefit of his shooty-knowledge, I'd better. . .

4) Have something to contribute to post-apocalyptic society.
I'm never going to be an expert marksman or deerstalker (See here.), I can't start a fire with two sticks, and I doubt my typing speed or knowledge of graphic novels would be particularly useful in the even of a zombie apocalypse. But! I'm not entirely useless. I can sew, make bread from scratch, and sort of grow food. And look how good I am at planning stuff. Plus, I own a awl and a machete! Okay, I co-own the machete with my husband, but the awl is all mine. (If you're wondering why we co-own a machete, it's because of the dreaded Tree of Heaven forest trying to overtake our front porch. It's the only way to combat them.)

Tree of Heaven, aka "The Devil Plant." Photograph by Paul Wray of Iowa State University
So, that's my plan, such as it is. We'd all like to think we would survive a zombie apocalypse, but honestly, I would probably end up being eaten or otherwise kicking it within a week of an outbreak. Chubby asthmatics like myself who depend on prescription drugs and social infrastructure to keep our lungs working would probably be the first to go. I'm okay with that, as long as my face doesn't get eaten.

How will you spend your zombie apocalypse?

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