Episode 193: What!?

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Zombie Cliché Lookout: What!?

There is a fundamental difference between seeing something absolutely crazy with your own eyes, and hearing about it second hand. It’s hard to deny something that you personally witnessed, no matter how insane it looks. But when you hear about the exact same events from other people, it’s a lot easier to dismiss.

In zombie stories, there is often an initial sense of disbelief about what’s going on, how serious it is, and how widespread the issue is. People have to adjust quickly; those that don’t tend to get eaten. But even once we’ve all accepted the fact that the dead are getting back up and eating the living, we’ll just find other crazy stuff to boggle our minds. Take, for instance, hearing that your buddy was kidnapped by a bunch of people in hazmat suit that were just shooting the hell out of everything in sight. I don’t care how much you trust the person who told you this; you’re going to have some misgivings.

About this Episode:

I really like using Cafe Corner as a backdrop, but the limited size of my lightbox, coupled with the weird angle I have to shoot this at is frustrating at times. I’d really like to getting a cleaner angle on Karen’s face when she’s speaking, but anything close than what I have and it looks like she’s standing in a stark white expanse.

Discussion Question: Work/School Attack

I know a lot of you have preparations at home, and detailed plans for how you’ll react when the zombies show up, but what happens if they get here while you’re at work or school? How far do you have to make it home, and what sort of obstacles do you have (working on the 30th floor, for instance)? What about your family? Can they get home, and what do you do if they can’t?

75 thoughts on “Episode 193: What!?”

  1. I’m homeschooled……….HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA SUCKERS!!!

    • same here, and my dad is the it guy at a smoker(jerky factory) and his “office” is right next to an exit

      • It must be awesome to work at a jerky factory. I’d do a lot of quality testing.

        • not really, you don’t get any free jerky, just a large discount.

        • You know, if your dad’s jerky factory ever needs product reviews by an overweight guy with a beard who makes a zombie comic out of LEGO, I’m just an email away.

      • ok I will tell you if they do. I just hope yo u don’t give any to your zombies(this jerky is known to make zombies smart enough to drive and use guns).

        • Oh yeah. I don’t share jerky, especially with zombies.

  2. The correct question should be “Which?”, shouldn’t it? I’m guessing that if there’s a notable hermit out of town plus a prison nearby with its own bus that there must be a few people who’ve banded together in some fashion. Beyond quilters, obviously.

    • Never underestimate quilters.

  3. That poor zombie in the background must be wondering how he can get to the food right nearby! 😀

    After Murphy gets over the ‘what’, he’s going to have to go face the ‘where’! 😀

    • Yeah, that poor zed is just getting teased.

      • Real corpse-teases, these heroes.

        • Indeed they are, Lich.

  4. I’m practicing each day some killing moves with my stapler. I also have a great advantage over my co-workers as I am a member of the “FIT” – Fire Intervention Team – so I get to have a red helmet (I feel invincible when I put that on) and I am also much more aware of the building configuration.

    • I’m kind of jealous of the red helmet. I was our department fire marshal at one point (I might still be), and I never even got a badge.

      • Be careful what you wish for, I totally look like a Village People in there.

      • You know what? I think Fire Intervention people should carry a gun – people would at least respect us a bit more. Each time we make these evac drills there is always a jerk or 2 that is giving me the “I’m in the middle of a critical TC, so I can’t go outside play with you guys” – I bet that with a .44 at my belt they would run like rabbits!

        • The fire intervention people should be allowed to pistol whip someone every now and then. For morale.

        • Exactly! “You don’t want to evacuate? I’l shoot you in the knee, that’ll teach you”.. and I’ll get to carry you outside.. damned.

        • Just point the gun at some passersby and make them drag the guy outside.

        • Nothing like good old team work.

        • We had a lockdown drill in my school today. I usually end up whiling the quiet time with the class talking about the roots in Columbine for such activities in schools, and how I wrote my last exams before teacher college on the day of the Columbine shootings.

          I next took inventory of who’s packing what in terms of phones, since we also collect those from the students. I put mine in the tray first, so that they won’t assume I’m in league with the bears armed with shotguns (my standard descriptor of the hypothetical threat). (Six Apples, five Blackberries, a pair of Samsungs, and sundry others. One apiece of the first two were mine, since I even put in my iPod.)

        • You have “lockdown drills” at school? I have never heard of that… from the reference to Columbine I can somehow figure out what this is about but could you elaborate a bit on the purpose of these exercises and how they work? Is it common in US schools (I’m just guessing you’re in the US)?

        • Mr. Barrister hails from Canada.

          I used to work in a school district here in the US, and lockdown drills happened a couple times a year. If I recall correctly, once in the fall and once in the spring.

          I was even working during two real lockdowns. Wasn’t a hell of a lot of fun.

        • My son’s school has lockdown drills too. They actually went into lockdown last year when a guy tried to rob a store in broad daylight and was being chased by the cops. No one in – no one out. Parents can’t even get kids until the lockdown is over.

          I forgot about those.

        • Three levels to lockdowns – local (something in the community… aliens land at the hockey rink), campus (something on the school grounds but not in the school… zombie fur trappers?), and interior (threat in the school… chemically-mutated science faculty?). No one in or out until clear–even with a fire drill unless countermanded by the officials or an obvious fire in your area. Lights out, all out of sight of windows.

          As my examples should indicate, I’m in Canada, yes. There are a couple nationwide every now and again, but it’s good to be prepared. And it kills time! I’ve never been in a real lockdown, though.

  5. Surprise, in a zombocalypse, is a rather bad thing. It’s only natural and as the existence of zombies and the bad things people will do occur, a considerable amount of surprise will considerably delay your acceptance, which you will need to survive.

    What I would do if at school when it started is something I’ve got plenty bored enough to think about. The place is reasonably large and had a big gap in the middle (it was previously two rather large schools but when the system changed and there was no grammar/comprehensive split anymore, they just decided they were one place now to avoid any real effort other than administrative) so it would really depend on which side I was on. If on the smaller side, I would probably go for a door or window and, if I saw anyone reasonable, try to convince them to follow me. If close enough, I could try for some of the resistant materials classrooms and steal some kind of saw or hammer (there is a sledgehammer in one of them for some reason, although I doubt I could hit that high with it.) but from that half of the school the only escape routes would be a road into suburban area or a huge field, then more huge fields or light woodland, eventually leading into more suburban area. The other, larger, side of the school would represent different problems and possibilities. For one, there isn’t really much I could take as an improvised weapon. Escape opportunity wise, I would have to get down to the ground floor as the upper would be too large a drop (on the smaller side the ground floor is bigger than the upper, so it would be a matter of climbing out onto the window and lowering down from a low point, probably into some undergrowth, as the roofs are absurdly low, but on the larger side it would be a two-story drop) but there are more doors to get out through. From there, it would be a matter of road into suburban area, or slightly thicker woodland than suburban area. I (and almost every other kid in the area, for that matter) knows the bizarre combination transition of woodland and suburban streets well, so as long as it wasn’t too overrun myself and most people I know would be able to get home employing stealth. The same applies to my mother and one of my two sisters (the other of which is at university, so I have no idea what they’d do), although my mother might try to use her car, which is parked immediately outside her classroom and would result in other possibilities I haven’t really considered. My father’s a doctor and works in the city centre, which would probably end up hopelessly overrun so I honestly I wouldn’t have much hope for him, although I would be sad (naturally, although I would have to eventually get over it) and it wouldn’t end up well, as he’s the best one for monitoring my hearing problems (which leave me generally with about half hearing and gets worse without treatment, part of what would be one of my largest disadvantages in a zombocalypse). So ultimately I’d probably be down on some family members and have to escape from a suburban area.

    • Wow, you really do get bored in school.

      • Let me guess, you have all the exits tattooed on your chest?

      • That was my first thought, too, Dave.

      • I have little respect for the education system.

        • I was the same way in high school. Got really indignant about it (I also went to one of the lowest rated high schools in the state). I came around a lot in college. Really had a good experience there.

        • My opinions on the topic of the education system oscillate erratically. University, on the other hand, rocks… if you’ve got decent profs, thought-provoking colleagues, and an inquisitive, critical bent.

          Or if you like inebriation and have an endless tab with a liquor-supply firm.

  6. Looks like we will be getting a new official Zombie fig this year after all…


      • Zombeh Cabbeh!

        • It seems his real name is Renfield, but he’s always Zombeh Cabbeh to me.

    • Oh man, that’s awesome. Rumor has it there’s also a separate zombie set, although I haven’t seen photos of that

      • Ye Olde-time LEGO Zombie!

        • A Victorian-era zombie flick could be really cool.

        • Unlikely in the wake of P&P&Z, no?

          Unless it was a Steampunk zombie film…

        • The kids do love their steampunk.

  7. I live really near to a small wood, and the road through it it is probably the best way out of the (even smaller) suburban area I live in. But not before raiding the local shops. Now at school, however, there are two good weapons sources-the caretaker’s room and the sports shed I could probably arm oneself, raid the aforementioned shops and get home and probably eat a pie for some reason, hopefully before a single zed was in a mile of the place.

    • Not a bad plan (although we shouldn’t discuss looting). I’m hoping to move to a more rural area this year.

      • well dave, without looting than everyone would die(stores would start only accepting cash) and than people wouldn’t have much supplies. Looting is an essential part of survival, even if it is “illegal.” Although with looting you should always expect there to be the bare minimum.

  8. a school attack, eh…?
    Weeeelll…first of all, I’d make sure to get my closest friends to escape with me. We’d take the least populated path. Unfortunately the geography of our school is not favourable in such an invasion, but still. My group would proceed to make weapons from whatever we can and make our way downstairs and out onto the field. From there we can make our way to the front gate, smashing up some zombie heads, and then proceed to the nearest shop to raid some supplies. From there we head to the outskirts of town and camp, then begin a process of finding our homes on a location basis.

    • Your school has a gate around it? That’s kind of awesome. Private school?

      • no, I meant the front gate. It’s a public school. THere’s a field linking to the motoroway behind it, but in a zombie invasion that’s probably the worst place to go. There’s also a primary school close by, so I guess we could snatch a few younger kids to use as bait, and the local leisure center is next door so we could use it as a base of operations and gym to get ourselves in a fit state.

        • Oh, oh I see. I was envisioning a fancy boarding school.

  9. I know all the back roads, and I’ve already kinda talked about this with some of my friends. If anything my plan is rather open: It can hold up to 3 friends, or it can be done solo.

    But of course it depends on where I am at the time of this attack. Because during the morning I go to a Vo-Tech, and during the afternoon I go to normal highschool. My Vo-Tech is on the outskirts of another small town. I’ve already planned out a few things I would do. I know where I could quickly grab a rather off the wall tool to use as a defensive weapon, and head for the woods. I’m really good at navigating the back country so I’ll be okay with that.. And I’ll get myself to the train track. If the train track is being occupied at all I’ll find another way, but if not I’ll take it all the way to the town where my highschool is.. I’ll then enter town and hope it’s not taken over yet.. I’d then take a back path up until I got to the lane of cemetery plots. I would then cross the cemetery plots until I found this old path in the tree line that I would use to shortly get to a back road. I would use the back road up to the point where I could crawl through a barbed wire fence (By this time I’m far from society) and I would use the forest yet again to get near home. By time I got out of the forest I would be able to see my home and the small community I live in– In full. And from then I would get home and prep for a leave- Yet again.. Taking the back roads.

    • Conveniently, each one of my classes are just right beside exits… Even at my highschool.

    • I kept reading Vo Tech as Va Tech. That doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but there it is.

      • At least you read it man! 😀

  10. So, I’ve thought about this both at work (mostly while mindlessly cleaning things), and at school, even at home. At work, the main obstacle with the place is that it is right off of a main road (roughly mile and half from my house which is on a main road) which could lead to easy traffic snarls and random acts of car crashing. That and usually those are the places the outbreaks seem to just run rampant. Now my work place is all windows for the most part, so it’s human under glass goin on. Escape then would be vital and dangerous, but there are a lot of back street routes I could take, so it’d be down mostly to being suspicious of everything and just keeping eyes open, hoping that the chaos hides my inability to be stealthy.
    School though is a 30-45 min drive to my house, so I have to hope to reach my family by phone, tell them to be safe and keep inside (as well as hope my son, who is at school when I am, manages to stay safe somehow) while I try to fight through whatever shit storm I have to make it throgh to get to my family.

    • Coming from Wayne? Man, best of luck.

      I wouldn’t fare much better. I work at Ford and Southfield in Dearborn.

  11. My biggest concern would be getting to my son’s school and then home. My ex lives and works closer to the school than I do so I know he would end up with his father but not being able to get to them would drive me nuts. I really would not want to spend the ZA with my ex but, unless he died, I’m not sure how we’d get around it.

    I bet there will be a lot of that when things go crazy. I liked that the movie 2012 had that situation.

    • Spending the ZA with your ex… Angelina, I think you have a great story embryo there!

      • Sorry, I meant Angie!

      • I’m wacky about that… I know! lol

        I was thinking the same thing when I re-read what I wrote. Perhaps I should start playing around with that.

        • That is a damn interesting idea for a short story.

  12. I’d probably bite it trying to get to my daughter at her school (it’s over on the Seaplane Base) if a ZA did happen. That’s probably where I’d have problems with wanting to round up family members while there was a chance.

    • Yeah, trying to get to various family members would be where I’d get killed as well.

    • I bet there’ll be a pile of bodies waiting to become zombies around schools all over the place! lol

  13. Oh yeah! Well I have some badass teachers who are strong and police are always at my school. Plus sense our high school and junior high are right next to each other I can save my brother. Plus I remember a few days ago an 8th grader, who’s my size, was gonna hit me and I threw him into a wall and dislocated his shoulder.

    • You beat up an 8th grader?

      • Jeff Foxworthy has to pull adults off fifth graders all the time.

      • Yeah I did.

  14. I have two questions for Dave:

    1. Would a mentally unstable person crazy enough to try to bite a zombie and then run off before they got bitten become infected?

    2. If mentally unstable people do get bitten and turn – assuming they’re not the kind of mentally unstable person that would try to bite a zombie – does the zombie retain any of the former person’s mental instability?

    • 1. I depends on the story and how the infection spreads. I’d said he’d probably get infected.
      2. Nope. Zombies are just zombies.

      • unless they are from the book “The Rising”

      • @Dave: I wonder how zombie infection in your webcomic would handle vampires and werewolves? There was a funny Ghostbusters episode in the cartoon format from long ago where there was a town full of werewolves and vampires who were always biting each other and turning their enemy into their own kind! 😀

        The vampires in that episode must have been the kind that turn those they bite into their own kind, I’m not sure what the term for that is offhand though! 😀

        • Hah. No vampires or werewolves here.

          That sounds like a pretty cool idea in that Ghostbusters cartoon.

  15. I’d probably get zombified, because I’m too lazy to run away 😛

    • Hah

  16. I don’t really see what’s so weird about taking out zombies, isn’t that exactly what everyone else has been doing? The kidnapping would look a bit off from a distance, but like I said at the time, for all those guys knew he’d been ditched and was about to become zombie chow.
    …From some of the past comments I’ve seen here, a disturbing number of readers would have done just that, left the poor bugger to fend for himself.