You see the reports on the news. The dead have risen. You look outside and see the undead roaming the streets.
“I’m ready for this,” you say.
You’ve rehearsed your zombie survival plan. You have your weapons. You know the rules.
Across the street, you see a terrified neighbor and decide this will be your first opportunity to be a hero. Your neighbor is super hot and there are only a few zombies in the street. Killing them will be a breeze. You’ll be able to save a neighbor and get your first kill. All in all, a good start to the ZA, you think.
Deciding you shouldn’t attract more with gunfire, you get a melee weapon. Probably a long knife or a maybe a spear.
You step onto your porch. The first zombie shambles toward you. With the confidence that comes with proper preparation, you quickly stab the zombie in the head, making sure it goes in far enough to hit the brain.
You kick the zombie out of the way and start down your porch steps.
That’s when you first notice something’s wrong.
The zombie is still coming after you.
Confused and more than a little worried, you look at the wound on its head.
Straight through the brain.
“What the hell,” you say. “I got you in the brain! Why are you still walking towards me!?”
The zombie quickly grabs your arm and takes a bite.
“NO FAIR!” you scream. “I STABBED YOU IN THE HEAD! I WAS FOLLOWING THE RULES!”
As the zombie takes a big bite from your neck, you understand everything.
All your planning.
All your preparations.
All your drills.
All of it was based on movies and TV shows written by fiction writers.
A shot to the head will kill a zombie?
Yeah, in The Walking Dead and Night of the Living Dead.
You know why?
To give the characters a chance to survive.
It’s a plot device.
You based your entire survival plan on a plot device.
If zombies actually rose up, the prepared people would very likely be the first to die because they’d make assumptions based on rules established by movies.
Sure, shooting it in the head might kill it. Then again, it might not.
Maybe a zombie is reanimated by a tiny portion of the brain that’s almost impossible to hit. Maybe shooting it in the heart will kill it. Maybe they’ll be fast, maybe they’ll be slow. Maybe they’ll be incredibly smart.
Hell, maybe they won’t be into eating flesh. The “prepared” people will immediately go on a killing spree, but as far we know, the zombies might be all, “Why you shooting at me, bro? I like corn nuggets, not flesh.”
And what’s worse, a zombie outbreak might not mean a zombie apocalypse. All the Ready-Freddies might go on a head-shot rampage only to find out two days and several shot family members later that the condition was temporary. Or totally curable.
I guess my point is this… if a “zombie apocalypse” really happens, it’s highly unlikely the real event will obey rules established in B-movies. Basing survival plans on plot devices might not be the best way to prepare.
The people who watch zombie movies are going to be at a disadvantage because they’ll have to unlearn what they think they know.
The people most likely to survive will the ones who don’t know crap about zombies. It’ll be a new thing to them, so they won’t be confused by preconceived notions.
So have fun with your survival plan. I’ll be over at your Uncle Zeke’s house, hiding in the bunker he created when he was preparing for the Russians to attack back in the 60s.