Episode 252: Don’t Hit Snooze

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Zombie Cliche Lookup: The Rude Wake-Up Call

It’s really tough to predict just when the global zombie pandemic is going to hit, and – of course – one assumes it won’t hit everyone at the same time. So naturally some people are going to find themselves in compromising situations when the zombies show up. Zombie stories love to use this trope near the beginning as a way of killing off a bunch of non-characters and setting up the chaos to come.

So we’ll see things like people trapped in bathroom stalls of phone booths (remember those?). People unable to drive away because their car suddenly won’t start. People being attacked in their sleep or while stuck in a hospital bed. The initial stages of the zombie apocalypse are little more than a massive bloodbath to separate out the few survivors from those who aren’t lucky or skilled enough to survive.

About this Episode:

Believe it or not, I actually manged to shoot this entire episode inside the tiny little LEGO® tent. It was a challenge, but verisimilitude is very important to me.

No, I’m just kidding. I just used a piece of tan-colored construction paper to simulate the tent here. I think it worked pretty well. I also tried out a new technique for my photography: shooting while tethered to my laptop. I used a software that I’ll be reviewing in a week or so called ControlMyNikon to do all the camera control (other than framing the shot and zooming) directly from my computer. Pretty cool, eh?

I also got rid of Clark’s sunglasses, which have bugged me for a long time. In fact, one of the big reasons for setting this little zombie attack at night was so I could have a good reason for Clark to not be wearing them. Also, night makes things scarier.

Discussion Question: Your Compromising Position

We all have to let down our guard from time to time, and those times will be the worst possible moment for a zombie showing up. Given the choice, what would be your worst-case timing for the zombie apocalypse? While you’re using the bathroom? When you’re sick? Drunk?

125 thoughts on “Episode 252: Don’t Hit Snooze”

  1. Probably sleep or sick. Bathroom might not be a problem since I keep golf clubs there. School, run to PE class and grab a baseball bat, and out of home, well I kinda know karate( cliche BUT true, yellow belt). Another scenario could be a car crash. Maybe the worst possible time is during an airplane flight. How in the heck are you getting out of that problem, huh?

    Other news I have in mind. Anyone a Walking Dead Fan? Well Episode 3 of the game series came out and it is epic, sad, and will make you cry. Won’t reach the status of BoTD but gets close enough!

    • Doug! Dead! Carly! Dead! Only remaining girl in the series! Left for dead!
      Thankfully there is a homeless guy and a wimpy teenager to take their place.

      • So I assume these are all non-comic/TV show characters?

        • These are all characters of the great episodic game, the third episode of which has been long awaited and lots of well loved characters were killed off in it.

    • The one thing I loved about The Walking Dead comic is that anyone can die. No one is safe, not even “main” characters. Just like real life, just because you are the “star” of your own world does not mean that The Writer Upstairs can’t write you out of the story.

      As for the video game, I never played it. I’ve only seen one episode of the TV series, too. I’m not really one for television- too distracting.

      • well ive only seen the first season of the walking dead, but i’d never thought about the ”zombie blood on the clothes” trick, maybe i can try that on my car or something when the zombie apocolipse comes along

        • I think the whole idea with the blood on the clothes is that the zeds think you’re a zed. I’m not sure that would translate to a car.

        • well it could keep them away for a little while, especialy your house, if theres enough dead bodies around it

      • I definitely prefer the comic to the television show, but the show does some things well. Particularly the practical effects and action scenes. Character development is terrible, but they bring the action and the scares.

        • Finally read issue 100. WTF!!!

        • Angelina: Yeah, #100 was a bit Meh! Overly chatty new villain; a death which seemed contrived (kindda: Let’s see, who should we kill next, ’cause it’s expected of us . . .). And dollar to donuts, the villain isn’t THE Villain, jus’ sayin’

        • Thanks for your discretion on the character death here guys. I’m way behind and glad to not be spoiled.

        • Dave – let us know when you’re caught up. I’d really like to dish on this issue.

    • Awesome idea with the zombies attacking after a car crash. That’s got some creepy potential there. It’s make for an outstanding show story.

      • The car always crashes. In any apocalypse move if there is a car, it will crash (The Road Warrior, anyone?) . You even did it with the ambulance. Can’t let the people have any advantage over the zombies. Got to level the playing field.

  2. Well, since they’re zombies they probably won’t give a crap if I’m doing likewise. But they’ll certainly have a lot of crap they’ll want to deal out to me, I figure if a zombie apocalypse becomes reality people can expect a few necessary changes to the way some things they take for granted now will have to work!

    • You got that right. Adapt or perish.

  3. Worst timing? The day after I win the lottery.

    • Reading that made me smile so much.

    • Of course, winning a lottery won’t mean much anyway if the zombie apocalypse becomes a reality, but if you have the guts and determination you can still be happy about it and look on the bright side: Living to kill off hordes of shambling zeds is a lot better than winning the lottery and you may even be one of the few to survive if you work at it and put the lottery winning streak behind you! 😉

      • So basically take that luck and let it ride?

    • well that for sure greg, maybe you can glue the money on to you for camoflouge

      • Interesting notion.

        • indeed, the only other option is burning it, and we all know that fire blows our cover

    • Hah, that would indeed be poor timing.

  4. Worst possible moment for a zombie outbreak? Now, because I am poor. Before I went back to school I had food and water storage. We ate through a good portion of that in the last three years; and it’s going to be a long, slow job building it all back up. I haven’t done as much shooting or physical training as I could have been, either. Luckily I have had time to start running and hitting the PT (“Physical Training”) a bit more since last June.

    What’s the first rule of Zombieland? Cardio. What’s the second rule? The Doubletap (I prefer the Zipper to the Doubletap; but that’s a personal preference. Some prefer the Mozambique).

    Point is, NOW would be the worst possible time for a SHTF event.

    • I think this is probably true for a lot of us. We generally keep a good stockpile by buying up with sales and coupons, but in anticipation of the big move, we’ve been eating into it big time. The zombies show up now, and we’re hosed.

      • I did recently involve myself with a 2-meter radio network, a group of preparedness minded individuals dedicated to providing communications for our neighborhoods should there be an extended power outage; and my new “church job” is as the congregation’s food storage/emergency preparedness “specialist”. That should give me a little more motivation to get my head back in the game.

        • Man, your church sounds a hell of a lot more interesting than mine ever was.

        • I can send a couple of young men in white shirts and on bicycles to come tell you more about it. 😉

        • What a generous offer!

        • No obligation.

          “But wait, there’s more!”

          “Operators are standing by!”

  5. I guess I’m going to have to cut out those afternoon naps in my hammock out back. I sleep sounder out there than I do in my bed. I might as well hang up signs that say zombie buffet!

    Sure is good to be back with Clark. I’ve been wondering about him for awhile. Glad to see he’s still healthy… So far anyway.

    • Yeah, lazy hammock days might be all done.

      Glad to see people remember Clark!

      • Will he be happier this time? Well, it’s not exactly a cuddly time we’re about to play through…

  6. My worst timing would be while I’m at work, since I work front desk graveyard at a hotel. As such, my immediate escape options are severely limited – one door out of the desk area unless I hop the desk itself, which is neither easy nor safe if the lobby has too many zeds.
    On top of that, the hotel isn’t exactly in a great location should a herd descend on it; if I’m going to try to get home to my gf, it’s going to be a rough time for me as there is little in the way of decent cover, defensible areas or even weapons of opportunity between here and there unless I make some significant – and hazardous – side trips along the way.
    So yea, if I’m at work when stuff goes down, I’m pretty much boned.

    • Work would be a tough one for a lot of us. I’m on the forth floor of a fairly sizable office building complex in a major metropolitan area. If things went sideways while I’m at work, well, it would suck.

      • When the balloon does go up, it will be at the worst possible time. Think during rush hour in the middle of the biggest blizzard in fifty years. Then the power goes out.

        Yeah, that’s how I prepare.

    • Does your hotel front door lock automatically? I’ve been to a few that do that at night when there is just 1 person working alone.

      That would be an advantage.

      • Yeah, zombies aren’t good at pressing buzzers. Seems that the graveyard shift would be a good time for a zombie outbreak. Folks are mostly off the street and behind locked doors. Zombies can’t work doorknobs; so folks would be safe, for a while.

  7. worst timing for me while im at school dat would really suck

    • I know there is a massive hoplophobia in schools right now, with school admins afraid of even sharpened pencils; but could you pack a small GHB (that’s a “get home bag”, Dave)? Think a smaller version of a BOB, just big enough to get you home in an emergency? How about two stripped MRE’s, a first aid kit, a flashlight, and a windbreaker, maybe a AM/FM radio receiver (to keep up with news and weather events). All of that should take up no more room than the bottom our outermost pocket of a backpack. Oh, and running shoes. Without weapons, pack your running shoes. 😉

      • bo ill agree that your plan’s ok, but what if you could survive the apocolipse without leaving your house? all you need is some good barricades, and an indoor farm, and your all set to go. (Guns and ammo not included)

        • A Get Home Bag is not the same as a Bugout Bag. A Get Home Bag’s only purpose (and I do mean only purpose) is to get you back home in a SHTF scenario. Whether work or school, it has the minimum supplies to get you where your main cache is, your residence. From there you should be prepared to weather most storms.

          So yes, I agree with you, be home. My advice to legomaster 3700 was to have supplies at school (that even the most stalwart liberal school administrator could not disagree with) for him too to get home. A bottle of water, a stripped MRE or two, a first aid kit, an AM/FM radio receiver, an extra pair of shoes, a sweater, and a windbreaker should get him home again, where hopefully he has tools that the school administrators and teachers won’t let him have.

        • Gotta love zero tolerance.

      • Solid idea on the GHB. My commute time is about to go way up; I need to put one together.

        • With your weather being so erratic (hot days and cold nights, even in the summer) I’d invest in some filament-weight silk long underwear. A complete set will fit in a sandwich bag/ It’s so easy to leave them in your GHB year-around. If you have to walk home from work you may appreciate it.

          That’s the true test of the GHB. Can it get you home from work or school if you have to hoof it. If you normally wear slacks and a shirt and tie to work, add a pair of running shoes or lightweight hikers. Consider a prepaid throwaway cell phone, or better a handheld ham radio (if you can get your wife/girlfriend/shack-up/common-law wife/family/whatever in on the idea).

          It’s easy to go overboard; but the idea here is simple, just enough to get you home. I’d closely consider a good waist pack, like a Mountainsmith, not too heavy, right size; and you can run with it.

        • Man, I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy a burner cell phone…

        • Another thing to consider, experience has shown that SMS still works when the voice network is overloaded. I hate texting like the Black Plague; but I’d sure do it in an emergency. Make sure your prepaid phone has a texting plan.

  8. And secretly Clark is a super hero Zombie Slayer!

    Good episode, simple, slow paced… and it looks to me, excellent use of the sleepy head mini of Series 8.

    • Good eye on the sleep-head mini. That’s such a great expression (two, actually).

      • I have that guy riding in the ambulance you made me buy, teddy bear in hand. 😉

        • Nice! The paramedics where I grew up always had a teddy bear in the ambulances to calm down kids. I thought that was kind of cool.

  9. The worst time for the dead to rise up? Would be now of course, what with my family having a very bad cold, and our van not having power steering, and terrible power breaks.

    • if a zombie apocolypse happened today youed be screwed l3m0nm4n

      • How’d you do better, pray tell?

      • Now that I think about it, I do have a neighbor that has a good view of the entire block from his upstairs, and he is a good shot.

        • You can set a hammock up in the back yard, like Gumbyfingers, and be the bait. 😉

        • Great exchange!

    • Being sick in the zombie apocalypse would be no fun. No power steering? Not ideal, but things could be far worse.

      • at least my family has a plan, we could be like most of the world and just hope that someone will save us.

        • That’s the drum I beat the most: You are on your own. I don’t care if it’s a flooded basement, an ice storm, earthquake, or the zombie apocalypse. No one is coming for you. FEMA is not your friend, and neither is the Red Cross.

          What’s the biggest lie in the world?
          “I’m from the government. I’m here to help.”

          We’re Americans. We take care of our own without .gov “help”.

        • Living around Detroit for the last several years has definitely shown me a lot about the ability of the government to get anything done, let alone help the populace during times of trouble.

        • Call me a cynic; but let me paraphrase Harry Browne:The only thing the government is good at is breaking both of your legs, handing you a pair of crutches and saying, “See if it wasn’t for us, you wouldn’t be able to walk.”

          Get your own house in order, because when TSHTF, you are on your own.

  10. Well Dave I’ll have to say that the worst would be sleeping. I’m a heavy sleeper. When I was young the alarm in my house went of and the cops searched my room. Didn’t wake me up.

    • Holy crap Guy, heavy sleeper doesn’t even begin to cover that. It sounds like you’re comatose.

    • me too the fire department came into my home and took my grandfather away from a cancer and i slept like a baby didnt hear a thing

      • I’m not the only one who is comatose.

        • wat dos dat mean

        • It’s like being in a coma while you sleep.

  11. Way impressed that you were able to shoot inside that tiny tent. Wow! It looks way bigger on the inside. Almost didn’t recognise Clark without the glasses.

    Good job Dave!

    • Hah, it does look bigger on the inside, doesn’t it?

      • It’s a Tardis Tent, by you know Who . . .

        • All my sets are TARDIS sets. I have no sense of scale.

  12. i think that we all know that the tent was a dead give away, but its still good reading the new comic, at least clark took off the glasses

    • “Hey kid, why do you wear sunglasses at night?”

      “Because when you’re cool, the sun shine on you twenty-four hours a day!”

      (For the true B-movie fans)

      • *Sigh* thats kinda… oh whats the right word?

        • If you were a child of the 80’s you’d catch the reference right away.

      • I had to look that one up. Born in 1980 too.

        • That movie is solid. I’d love to find it on DVD in some $5.99 bin somewhere.

        • Darn you old folks… Soon enough I’mma have to feel like an old folk.. Turned 18 on the second. Rather sad.

        • hey calicade, i’m not even as old as you and I still feel old when it comes to television (seriously, my favorite show of all time is hogan’s heroes)

        • I’m like that with music and television, too. It helps that I don’t have cable/satellite.

      • I wear my sunglasses at night
        so I can
        so I can
        Watch you weave then breath your story lines.

        • This is what I immediately thought of, before Bo said “B-Movie”.

        • Interesting, but I don’t do electronica.

  13. My worst-case scenario for the zombie apocalypse would’ve been kind of like the beginning of “28 Days Later”. I was in the hospital in Oklahoma (about 600 miles from home) with a broken collarbone, severe concussion, and a car which had been reduced to scrap metal by a high-speed impact.

    Yep, I’d be screwed. And yes, the broken collarbone was on my primary arm, and badly enough broken that I could see where the tip of the broken bone was pressing against my skin in my shoulder, so I basically couldn’t use that arm.

    • That’s a hard one to beat Steven.

      Also: gross.

    • Could be worse. You could be like Rick Grimes at the beginning of The Walking Dead. IRL, he’d be dead of a hundred different infections from his IV and catheter (in the ICU he’d have a catheter).

      A broken collarbone would suck, certainly. No running, no climbing, no fighting, for sure. I’ve been through my share of hospitalizations and injuries. I understand completely.

      Oh, and on the downside… Oklahoma.

    • Um … ouch!

      Bo – I was thinking the same about Rick. If it just stops working, wouldn’t it just get infected?

      • Even if it works, intravenous lines, central lines, and catheters are tremendous causes of nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections. That’s why nurses are so careful to keep them clean, and change them, but not too often, just enough to prevent infection, but not so often that they introduce infection. It’s a fine line; and hospitals are full of germs on their best days.

      • I’d say “You should see the other guy,” but the other guy in this case was a big white van that my poor sedan basically bounced off of. At least, that’s what they tell me happened (see aforementioned severe concussion).

        Since then, I’ve joked that I might as well take up drinking. See, one of the reasons I don’t drink is that I never wanted to wake up with a splitting headache, throwing up into a wastebasket, with no idea of where I was or how I’d gotten there… then it actually happened, with no alcoholic interference. So now I’ve got no excuse.

        • Glad to see you have a sense of humor about it. I’ve been in that situation too (near crippling car accident). Physical therapy is not fun.

  14. I dont know why people get drunk during the zombie apocolipse, i mean if you want to die, sure

    • It’s not like folk know there is a zombie apocalypse coming (Or even that it’s a real possibility).

      The point is that we all knew when we’re at our most vulnerable. Consider folks that can drive along a familiar route, say from work to home, pull into the driveway and say, “Whoa! How did I get home!”

      Those people are incredibly vulnerable to serious car accidents.

  15. My worst timing? Hmmm I guess when im on the toilet. Not trying to be funny but yeah it would be.

    • Wasn’t there a Zombieland rule about that?

      • heh, yea, rule #3

  16. i like rule #2, double tap, its not like its going to hurt anything

    • it looks like in the upcoming zombie survival mmo “The War Z” double-tapping will be quite important
      ( http://thewarz.com/ )

    • The question is, when facing multiple assailants, do you double-tap each one, or give everyone one before anyone gets two? That is the question.

      With regular, everyday bad guys I prefer to start abut at the wishbone and work up (at least with targets 😉 )

      • Two to the chest, one in the head?

        Double tap in a world where ammunition is limited is a rather bad rule. But a lot of Zombieland’s rules were a bit ridiculous.

        • If your bad guys are zombies, one to the head may be sufficient, assuming penetration or perforation of the cranial vault. Humans, however, can be more resilient. The only adequate answer is to train more, and store more ammunition One thousand rounds per rifle and five hundred rounds per handgun (revolver or pistol) seems like a good start.

          Yes, in a WCS I will still be using the same tactics I am training now, start at the breadbasket and move up until the threat is no longer threatening.

        • Rule #1 dont be a smart ass

        • Calicade, if you have a knife or ax, then that would be a more than suitable double tap in my opinion.

        • Actually my teacher gave me a Gerber axe for my birth day, and I have more than plenty of sturdy knives to use.

        • yeah calicade like buckle up screw dat

  17. It’s hard to say when I’m weakest, or not very alert. I’m a light sleeper, even at school I’m equipped, and the only time I travel is either with friends that are fellow survivalist and gun enthusiast, or with my parents that have a great set of skills.

    Even when I’m sick I’m physically active, perhaps more than I usually should be. Working up a sweat tends to get rid of sicknesses faster than medicine.

    I think my weakest point will be right after eating. I get real lethargic, and for some reason my muscles get really really lazy. It’s like my survivalist instincts shut off and say “It’s time to rest for now”.

    • The parasympathetic nervous system takes over after eating. It absolutely has to take over sometimes, in opposition to the sympathetic nervous system. It’s “feed and breed” or “rest and digest”versus “fight or flight”. Only one of those two can be “on” at any given time. If the sympathetic it too amped up one can have accumulations of cortisol, which is some research indicates can actually lead to obesity and heart problems. It’s a fascinating topic, endocrinology.

      Everyone needs to make a “safe zone” where they can shut down to prevent burnout.

      • Flopping down in the living room recliner and taking off the boots tends to always be a nice time.

        Today I plan on trying out my heavy mesh BOB on a long walk/hike. I’ll most likely be alone, and the area in which I live is so heavily forested and brush filled that I may even have to stick to the roads. (Oklahoma is bad in this manner). I kinda wonder the effects on my body that it would have to consume an MRE on a travel as such? Does one’s body go into “Rest and digest” when they are on the move? Or can it keep on it’s flight or fight reactions.

        PS. I’m not talking about the shitty Wal-mart MRE’s I’m talking about the good ones that are actually rather decent once you get past the dry feeling under your tongue.

        • -THIS- is one of the things I haven’t practiced.

        • Yeah, you’ll digest that MRE, eventually. They have a reputation for *ahem* sticking with you. That’s the problem with stress and MRE’s, the mean time between bowel movements increases.

        • Wasn’t the best first day of testing out my BOB.. I didn’t have my axe secured so I ended up dropping it, and having to go through a large field of grass looking for it. Luckily I came back home to find it having fallen on the gravel.

        • If the hatchet is a mainstay of your bugout gear, as a tool or weapon or both, look into having a sheath made for it that attaches either to your belt or pack. There are two custom Nylon makers I can send you URLs to, and maybe a couple Kydex makers, too. Nylon is cheaper. Kydex is sturdier, and likely has some appeal to AFOL. It’s a thermally-molded polymer that makes fantastic holsters and sheaths. I have enough of it to almost own stock in a factory. If you want, send me a PM through Flickr.

        • Well it does have a sheath to it, it’s just that on the path I was going..It being on my hip would of made the climb down a bit more difficult.

          Problem is that the sheath makes retrieving the axe a bit hard. Shorter arms and a barrel chest aren’t the best mix when retrieving things from the hip!

        • Can you attach it to your pack? That way it’s always with your gear. If you can attach it low to the side of the pack or to a shoulder strap it’s still accessible.

          That’s why 99% of my gear is MOLLE. That way I can put it where I want.

        • Nah, that’s a problem see? I have an old Heavy Mesh from some time during the Korean war or the very beginning of the Vietnam war. Strong, reliable, and water proof. Only problem about it though is it’s inability to slide things onto it.

        • Well, where you stand depends upon where you sit. That is, it’s all about tradeoffs.

        • Yeah, I wouldn’t mind upgrading to more modern equipment, but I tend to work with what I have rather well.

  18. everyone in my family doesnt even trust me while cutting my meat, its hard to say wether i’d surivive or not

    • Why don’t they trust you cutting your meat?

      • Is there a cork on your fork?

        (I love that movie…)

  19. dave whered you get the lego tent and blanket?

    • I got the tent on BrickLink. I think it’s from an Indiana Jones set.

      The blanket is just a cape put on backwards.

  20. …And that would be why it’s a bad idea to go by your self. If I was to fight that gang of zombies, I’d prefer to have a better chokepoint than the tentflap. It can be done, but it could get ugly.

    Are you’re talking about the first one showing up at the beginning? Well that would have to be when I’m sick.
    Bathroom, sleeping, whatever, these are short term things and I’d get plenty of warning when they start to knock on the outside door, and I don’t drink. Sick, though, that’s going to be a problem I can’t get over in a couple of minutes.