Episode 195: One Last Thing

Photo of author



Zombie Cliché Lookout: One Last Thing

It’s not just an awesome Columbo catch phrase, it’s a reason to keep characters in dangerous situations way longer than they should. Unlike Unfinished Business, one last thing tends to be something quick. Going back to grab an important item, checking to ensure your shotgun booby-trap is armed and ready to go, or – of course – stopping an extra second to put a round through a former loved one’s cranium. Nothing that takes long than a couple of minutes.

Because these are all such quick missions, they tend to suggest an unearned sense of safety. Horror writers love this, because it’s creates an opportunity to pull the rug out on the audience. Surely running back inside to grab a treasured family heirloom is safe, right? More often than not, it’s anything but. Of course horror writers also love another, related trope: the fake-out. Better still, stringing a long a half-dozen or so fake-outs to lull you into a sense of security before giving it to you with both barrels.

Horror writers can be assholes.

Discussion Question: Hide Quick!

You’re by yourself walking and hear zombies close by and they are about to round the corner. You have enough time to secure yourself in one of three options to attempt to hide. You are hearing that there is so many you will certainly be overwhelmed so fighting is not an option. What do you pick and why?

A burned out bus with busted out windows. The tires are melted so it’s low to the ground.

An easily climbed and tall tree but it’s the winter so there is no leaves. Zombies rarely look up, but if they spot you they’ll never leave.

Under a pile of rotting, leaking and maggot ridden downed zombies that have been shot in the head. The walking zombies will not notice you unless you move. You also must consider transfer of infection which is still unknown.

102 thoughts on “Episode 195: One Last Thing”

  1. Ooooo tough one! I’m gonna have to go with the dead zombie corpses and have the possibility of being infected instead of being seen and surely being infected and/or eaten.

    • Either way your dead buddy.

      • They always do that in the movies, but it just seems like a good way to get infected to me.

  2. Happy 2 year anniversary! This is the longest comic page ever! For the topic question does the bus’ door close?

    • Nope…the bus door is stuck open. You’re basically at risk in en exposed burned out shell.

      But….due to the charred smell darkened interior you might be hidden from the zombies senses.

      • I have to say, I think the bus is the best of some severely limited options. You’re on the ground, and can get surrounded, but you at least have some cover. You’re also out of sight, and your smell should be adequately masked. Burned cars have extremely strong smells.

        Of course, you’d have to keep from coughing while inside.

    • Thanks guy!

  3. Well in walking dead during the zombie caravan moving along the highway the darel and the black guy hid under some corpses and it seemed to work for them

    • But still, gross.

    • BTW I think the “black guy” is named T-dog.

      • His name is T-dog btw does anyone else agree with me that hes possibly going to be the next one to die (possibly)?

        • Yeah, I think chances are good that he’s the next named character to get offed.

  4. By the way how’d the newfound survivors avoid that band of crooks a while back

    • Good question. Hopefully they’ll live long enough to let us know.

      • Maybe they won’t live long enough, but Dave could still let us know, in a post-narrative sense! 😀

        • We’ll see about that.

  5. Hooray! Ambulance! 😀

    • Everyone loves an ambulance.

  6. I hope he remembers that gunshot will attract a horde of zombies they heard an episode or two ago, plus some extra! 😀

    The burned out bus might be an option because it doesn’t sound like the person running from the zombies has a weapon, so therefore they’d want to search it for any usable tools or pieces of metal that could be used as a weapon.

    The tree, meh to that, I’m not really a tree climber anyway, it’d be annoying to get stuck halfway up while a horde of zombies bite through my spine!

    Meh also to the pile of rotting zombie corpses unless there’s some way to hide under them without touching them or anything leaking from them.

    None of these sound like very plausible options and I’d prefer running away to somewhere else, but the bus certainly is the most plausible because of the possibility of getting a weapon that would take out plenty of zombies before having to be discarded.

    • Yeah, climbing a tree is probably a bad idea for me too.

    • Well there could be a zombie or half(lol)in that bus under a seat

      • Indeed there could. I keep thinking of the bus zombies on the last season of The Walking Dead.

  7. lol, so the next time you are going to ask us if we rather have the pest or the cholera? I’d pick the bus for the lack of a better choice but looks like I’m a goner in any case.

    • Hah. Question sponsored by Zombie Mutts, by the way.

      • lol, not surprised, this cornelian dilemma has ZM written all over it. Just like in the Devil’s advocate I reply “I choose free will” and shoot myself in the head!
        Here is a hint for next one: “you get to choose between an horrible but quick death all alone or a slow agony surrounded by friends and family”.

        • 🙂

        • Yeah, this made me smile too.

  8. It’s nice that Murphy is having a last thought for Bob, the poor guy has been going sit-ups for three weeks now in the hope of taking a bite..
    I personally love these details where a man turned in a situation he can no longer escape because of his new condition. The hanged zed in TWD, people strapped in their cars… that’s an interesting discussion topic btw – the situations you should absolutely avoid before turning as a Zombie (maybe I’m phrasing it wrong but I guess you see what I mean).

    • I remember one where I guy is in a cherry picker. Electrician or a firefighter. Something like that. At any rate, they’re dangling by the safety belt, trapped 20 feet in the air until they rot.

      • You know, if they’re not hemmed in by tall buildings or aren’t stuck around trees growing towards them, there’s always the chance the cherry picker could get blown over by a strong wind gust! 😀

        I do wonder, though, if zombies would eventually die if all the blood and fluids in their dead body rushed to their head? I imagine it’d be about the same as drowning?

        • Hah, interesting line of thought. I don’t know if that would “drown” them, per se. I’ve always thought that zombies can’t drown; they could just sort of walk/float at the bottom of a lake until they found their way out or decayed completely.

        • My thinking was that they need air, like us, unless you’d care to cite specific examples from movies where they explicitly made zombies from drowned victims.

          Maybe not for breathing but certainly to maintain some sort of zombie life in them, IE drowning will eventually kill them somehow.

        • I know in The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z, the zombies could just walk at the bottom of bodies of water. And in Land of the Dead the horde just walked across the bottom of the river to get to the city (one of the best parts of that terrible movie).

  9. Well damn, force myself up a tree isn’t going to work, that kind of athletics is just beyond me a bit. Hide under corpses, enjoy some maggot/zombie stew to the face just seems like instant contagion to me. If I have to cover my mouth when I sneeze or cough to help prevent disease transmission, and those are fluids and such…not happening.
    Leaves me with a shelled bus. Can you reach the top of it? If so it may be easier to climb to the roof and lay down, preventing zombies from seeing you a bit more, and if noticed it’ld give you a better running space to try and launch yourself over the horde if neccessary.

    • Don’t forget a key aspect….since the tires are melted the bus is lower to the ground so there’s the possibility of being reached of a zombie manages to climb over another.

      • Don’t really see too much worry there over all, not unless they form a hum…zombie pyramid cheerleader thing, the lack of real co-ordination in most situations kind of leaves me feeling a little secure.

    • One last thing you need to know… while you are hesitating between these 3 no-win situations ZM is watching you from the safety of his balcony…
      4th choice… do you beg for mercy?

      • Ah, so he’s got a govner thing going here….I feel helpless in my newfound terror filled rage.

        • Knowing you’re helpless is the first step in embracing my salvation.

        • Hmm.. As a ZM… The horde of zombies encroach your position while attempting to climb a-top the bus.. They pull you down and the first thing they begin trying to rip and tear off your feet… Make an escapist check to survive 😐

    • Laying flat on the roof is a damn good idea.

  10. I like the story device of one small last thing. It can end a scene nicely if it’s safe, and is a nice reminder of the condition if it isn’t.

    The hiding is a difficult thing. The tree doesn’t seem wise, and I wouldn’t be able to climb the thing myself regardless, and unless I just so happened to be wearing disposable protective clothing, the infection risk of the corpse pile would be too much, leaving the bus. If I’m aloud to think outside the box and have the time, maybe drag the corpses near the bus to mask my scent, using an implement so as not to touch them.

    • No time to do that.

    • Nice thinking here though.

  11. I’d take my chances with the bus. It’s off the ground, I can hide/duck down low and if they do come in, I can have a better chance of fighting them off one at time. And if the back of the bus hasn’t been blocked, if the zombies are flooding one entrance and don’t knock it over, I’ve a back door to get through.

    • Will the backdoor still open due to the fire? That’s another risk factor involved.

      • I had a similar thought on the backdoor. Modern buses have loads of different ways to escape them, but after a fire how many would still work?

        • since most of them are mechanical probably all of them.

        • They’re mechanical, but most that I’ve seen have rubber gaskets or other weatherproofing around them. I would imagine that would melt and seal the damn things shut.

        • a good strong heave should open them. I’ve opened a few things that were melted shut before and hit hard enough and they pop open.

        • Very true.

        • All part of taking chances with the bus. Zombies tend to think linearly and are likely to swarm the perceived opening as that’s where the others are going and it’d make it possible to try another exit.

        • Well said, Fox.

  12. if the tree is near other trees and they are near enough for me to pull a squirrel then the trees

    if I can get on the roof of the bus then the bus

    depending on the close I am wearing then the corpse pile

    over all the bus appears to be the best bet.

    • I love the idea of “pulling a squirrel”.

      • I have done it a few times. My advice is don’t jump on a weak branch. The ground hurts little bit.

    • Interesting…I was wondering if someone would chose something like this. Very risky but if you were light enough…..

      • Us heavy fellows tend to stay close to the ground.

        • I’m a heavy fellow. And can still climb a tree. Yes it is risky but it looks like a no good choice scenario, so what the hell it will be fun.

        • Oh I could probably climb a tree. But not quickly, and the chances of me falling, or making enough noise to be seen would be quite high.

  13. I personally would choose the bus, I have actually seen a lot of burned out vehicles and there is quite often a lot of singed upholstery and fluff to hide in, unless absolutely everything was burned (like with a Molotov cocktail thrown through a window). BTW what kind of surroundings, is it a city, a suburb, or some rural area?(because that would greatly change my choice.

    • Good point. The extent of the damage could vary considerably.

  14. Dave, I think we need an actual scene where all three options are presented to us. You figure you can do something up, let us know! 😀

    • Mutts came up with the question. Mutts?

      • You know, I really should dig out the LEGO collection. But there is one thing, if I did it and sent it to Dave, would he mind if I didn’t host it anywhere to prevent spoilers, would that be okay? I might have to order some zed heads and torsos anyone know good part ID’s to use, maybe I have some lying around already! 😀

        Also where would I send it if sending it into Dave? 😀

        • You could email it to [email protected]

          As far as zombie heads go, there are quite a few good options out there. Harry Potter Troll heads were how I got the comic started.

        • I can’t believe I did not know about this troll head, just ordered one on BL!

        • It’s a pretty great zombie head. I sort of prefer the lighter-skinned heads that are available now, since they tend to look better in the comic, but I still use the HP Troll head a lot.

    • hah….next time I come up with a question I will. Thats an awesome idea. Only issue is I am horribly slow at builds.

      • Hrm, how would I build your minifig, zombiemutts? I’d like a parts list according to how BrickLink references them, if you’ve got it available. 😉

        I don’t know where your gas mask comes from but if it’s a custom part, please give me the site where I would buy it from.

        • If anyone wants to know where I got my gasmasks shoot me an email. I’d post the direct link but I don’t want to deprive Dave out of any possible sponsorships.

          [email protected]

  15. My answer would be to crawl under a pile of downed zombies.

    I don’t trust myself to not sneeze or lie still long enough in either the bus or tree situation.

    Every scenario has a high mortality factor so I’ll take my chances with infection. If I felt I was turning at least I could take myself out and go out on my terms.

    • Blaze of glory!

  16. If that’s a high enough caliber shoot the ambulance.

    • Yeah, he’d definitely want to be wary of over-penetration.

      • If it is a jhp it would be more likely to make his head explode and maybe ping off the ambulance, if it gets that far. Now if he is using FMJ it is a whole other story. I doubt he is using jhp seeing as how he is a police officer.

        • I don’t know what sort of ammo most cops carry. I suspect it’d be hallow points for stopping power. From what I remember of the gun course I took a year or two ago, those don’t really over-penetrate too much.

        • From what I understand, cops tend to carry hollowpoints. When you typically operate around civilians, overpenetration is a real problem and stopping power is more important than armour penetration. Soldiers are the other way around.
          …And then of course you have the fun over here, where I believe it’s illegal to own hollowpoints, and illegal to hunt deer with FMJs. I’m not a hunter, but I still think that’s damn stupid.

  17. It would have to be the bus for me. Depending on how fierce the fire was then most of the windows would have blown out…..so if bus gets surrounded, its “pick a window, I’m leaving” time.
    Also there may have been occupants on the bus during the fire so the smell would mask your own odour from the zeds (bit grim but it beats lying at the bottom of a pile of festering corpses, in my opinion anyway)

    By the way….very interesting conversation topic!

    • But if the windows didn’t get blow out, it’s likely they’d be completely blacked, making you almost invisible.

  18. Hey i got a question (btw im new to commenting here and i truly love this series!) anyways you know when that guy got his leg stuck to that stick on the fence would u A) Shoot him to get him out of his missery. B) leave him as bait and leave safe and sound. or C) save him but then later use him as bait cuz hes just slowing u down. or D) other if u choose D plz say what other thing u would do. And yes this is a very long comment.

    • Thanks LegoMan! Glad you found my comic.

      in that situation, I’d like to say that I’d try to save the guy. But odds are I’d tear ass out of there as fast as I could.

    • I have zero medical skills so I’d probably have to put him out of his misery. But I’m not sure it I could do that so I’d probably really save him and use him as bait later. lol

      • IKR!

      • Time to brush up on that first aid, Angie.

  19. If u would choose any person from the walking dead who would u pick and why? (BTW i truly just love the bricks of the dead series!).

    • If I had to pick it’d be Daryl. The guy’s a survivor. He can hunt and live off the land, and he could probably help keep me alive.

      • I was thinking Daryl too for survival but I’d want companionship too and he isn’t exactly warm and fuzzy. I’d take Rick – he would risk his life to keep me safe and he is friendly enough. Maybe Andrea but she seems to be kind of snotty right now.

  20. The bus, for sure. If you’re quiet and stay low, nobody, living or otherwise, would know you were there.

    • Unless you made noise.

  21. I’d take the bus, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a zombie-child is on there in the back waiting to surprise me.

    • That’s a terrifying image. Nicely done.

  22. For the topic question I would climb the tree as I can kick any approaching zombies and throw branches and stuff.

    • Branch versus Zombie: The Ultimate Showdown

      • not nearly as epic as Karate ape vs. Jackie Chan

  23. ok so i read all 84+ comments and it seems that the bus is in the lead. I’m leading towards the pile of dead walkers myself. As long as I had on jeans and a decent shirt I think I’d be ok. Gotta keep it out of the mouth and eyes so keep them shut or face away from the horde.

    • Always carry a bandana. That way you can cover your face, or at least your mouth.

  24. Goodness, what’s this? A six-panel layout? I really hope you aren’t one-upping me to keep me in my place, with BotD updating three times a week now as well. (When my comic is on hiatus, to boot!) 😉

    Good lord, I’m painfully behind on BotD. I think it’s time for a good Binge of the Dead.

    • Yeah, I’ll occasionally throw in a six-panel episode. Everyone loves extra!

      So when is Zombie Outbrick coming back? I know you’ve been working on your buffer.

      • Yeah, extra’s always good.

        Hah, yeah, “working.” Right. I have been working steadily, but with very little progress, so I’m planning to buckle down on ZO in the next week or so. I’m going to announce Guest Strip Week 2 for next week, most likely (I still have several left over). By the week after next, I should have enough of a buffer to get things started up again.

        • Excellent. Looking forward to the big comeback.

  25. RE: Hide Quick!
    First things first, if I had any choice in the matter, I wouldn’t go anywhere alone, and wouldn’t head into an infected area except as part of a squad looking to clear it, so the scenario described is one I’d avoid like the plague.
    I’m a strong believer that a zombie I take out now is one I don’t need to worry about later, so I’d be strongly inclined to get on top of the bus or up the tree if I thought I could, and then pick off the horde one by one from out of their reach. I don’t care if they don’t leave, I want them to get close enough for me to hit.
    If that isn’t an option for some reason, say it’s a difficult tree (I’m not much of a climber), I’d go for the bus as a hiding place.