Preparing for the zombie apocalypse
by Barry Kenyon
According to a Michael Jackson website, the world is heading this year for destruction by mindless zombies with one thing on their mind – you! Whilst this may sound disturbingly like the go go dancers of the Walking Street or Boyztown, there are several differences. One is that zombies don’t usually appear in the semi-nude, which is a bit of a relief, another is that they can’t dance very well. Still, on second thoughts, rotten dancing can apply to nightclub employees too. However, the main difference is that your wallet won’t save you if you have an argument with the living dead. They don’t take cash or credit cards.
The idea of Pattaya’s expats and non immigrant visa holders being gobbled up by zombies may seem improbable, but that’s what they said in the 1930s about landing a man on the moon. So best be prepared. Remember that zombies only have very basic instincts such as going to the shopping mall and having something to eat. They rarely retain the ability to say anything sensible and tend to wander around aimlessly in large groups. So far they sound much like Pattaya’s expats and non immigrant visa holders, so let’s move on to more useful stuff.
Nobody really knows how a zombie plague starts. The most likely explanation is that there is some kind of virus, maybe airborne, which you breathe in whilst you are snoring. Another possible explanation is that there is an exchange of bodily fluids, but we don’t want to get into that subject in a family newspaper. Once infected, you die but don’t stay dead for long and spend the rest of your life looking for human brains to eat. If you are lucky, someone will come along with a crowbar and cleave your head in two. This means you can go back to eternal sleep, or whatever.
Two people have been responsible for informing us in detail about zombies. One was George Romero, the film director who started the craze with Night of the Living Dead in 1968 and has been laughing all the way to the bank ever since. Romero lets his zombies do their own thing – some are limping, others are shuffling and most keep their mouths open. In Land of the Dead in 2005 one actually carries a meat cleaver but, to be fair, he was a butcher in real life.
Movie critics have read a lot of symbolism into Romero’s zombies, such as they reflect a society obsessed with consumerism or indicate class conflict between the haves and the have-nots. But this is a pile of tosh. Zombies are killers – that’s it! Remember too that they are becoming more sophisticated. In 1968 they could not say a single word or walk properly but, by 2005, they could mumble to each other and figure out how to smash a fence. That’s progress.
The other guy who told us lots about zombies was Michael Jackson who, in 1983, released the most popular video ever, “Thriller”, in which he physically transforms into a zombie and begins a choreographed dance with the pale undead. Actually the video confirmed what many people had long thought – there was something odd about Jackson – but we must not speak ill of the dead. Or the undead. Unfortunately, “Thriller” did not give us any clues about how to survive a zombie attack, which makes it all the more surprising that Jackson made a lot of money from it.
So what can you do if the zombies strike? Always remember that their head is the vulnerable part. Apart from a crowbar, a baseball bat will do nicely as revealed in the helpful movie Shaun of the Dead in 2004. You could also consider obtaining a gun but remember that you need a difficult-to-obtain firearms permit and could be prosecuted by the Pattaya police before the undead actually start advancing into your neighbourhood. Don’t waste your time with karate chops or obscure Korean martial arts – absolutely pointless against zombies.
The next thing to do is to form a group. You need to be with other normal people like yourself as pockets of survivors are likely to emerge. Looking back on movie history again, possible venues could include an underground cave with a heavy portcullis, the top floor of a condo with the lift disabled, or a supermarket with steel shutters for security rather than glass doors. If you want to venture outside you need to have on hand a working tank with diesel which can operate on multiple terrain. How you would obtain a tank is hard to say, but they are always used in military coups in Thailand so that’s a clue in the right direction for you to work on. In other words, use your brains. Whilst you still have them.