Episode 257: A Running Start

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Time to Think

As we discussed, one of the scariest things about zombies is that utter single-mindedness. They live to feed, and there is nothing else that will distract them from that (save perhaps an easier meal). That means things that will hamstring you, such as the need to sleep, use the bathroom, or simply resting physically exerting yourself, will never hold up a zombie. They don’t sleep, or stop. They simply pursue and devour.

This is one of those things that tends to get people into trouble. Yeah, you can fight off a zombie here and there, and outrun a few when you need to. But at some point, you need to recharge, and that’s when the zeds really thrive. In order to keep going you have to let your guard down, but the zombies never, ever take a break.

About this Episode:

For some reason I’m really amused by the idea of just putting your head down and charging through a reasonably sized horde of zombies, knocking them all over in your wake. I realize Clark has already done this once, but I figured that it worked quite well as a means for buying time.

Discussion Question: Handicapping Your Zombie Survival Odds

As most of you know, I recently had a daughter (well, but wife handled the actual “having the baby” part of the operation, but still). Babies are cute and fun and all, but they have a lot of side-effects on your life, the biggest one for me is lack of sleep. After dealing with quite a bit of lost sleep I started to realize how much it affected me, from my mood on down to my ability to solve problems or perform mechanical tasks. And, being me, I naturally put this realization into the context of the zombie apocalypse: given a lack of sleep and proper nutrition, exactly how well equipped would I be to survive the zombie horde?

So the question is, what sort of things that are beyond your control can so see being potential handicaps on your ability to survive the zombie apocalypse? Things like stress, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, or anything else that could affect your general readiness.

72 thoughts on “Episode 257: A Running Start”

  1. famous last words…

    • You got that right.

  2. I’m still wondering what happened to part 5 of the guest webcomic? I thought we were due for the last part on Friday, but it’s now Monday and still no guest strip? Dave, something go wrong in the upload queue or something? 😀

    • He had some things come up. He’s hoping to do the last episode this Friday.

      • I can patiently wait.

        • Glad to hear it. I’m certainly interested to see where it goes next.

      • Ah, that’s cool, then! 😀 If it’s still coming I’m happy to wait! 😀

        • Glad to hear it, Brickvoid.

  3. On the zombie being able to keep going forever, I don’t think that’s a very realistic model. Let me explain: all organisms need some sort of sustenance to keep them going. For zombies it’d be whatever they find appealing in people they catch and devour. I think a more realistic model would be that a zed which is low on food would be like any person low on food, they will move slower than one that has recently eaten. I have no idea why zombie authors mostly portray zombies as being some kind of unstoppable force that doesn’t obey the laws of our universe, the whole energy/mass conversion ratio has got to figure in somewhere even for zombles.

    • My read on that is that it’s one of the factors that make zombies uncanny and scary. No, it’s not realistic in the slightest, so if they don’t obey the laws of nature in that respect, what else can they do?

    • I don’t assume that zombies are alive, or organic, in the sense that they have active metabolic processes. I mean, the whole point of zombies in the traditional sense, is that they’re dead. They don’t need to eat. They don’t need to breathe. They don’t grow, reproduce (sexually anyway), or repair their own cells. They are the undead.

      Now, if you subscribe to virus, or “rage” zombies, that’s a different animal; and as I recall, in 28 Days Later, the original batch of zombies did indeed starve to death. I would not count on that, though. If we go by the traditional Romero Mythos, zombies are undead, risen fresh from the grave.

      And they don’t need to eat.

      • Good distinction here, Bo. That’s one of the things that made 28 Days Later stand out. Even at the end of the first film, the rage zombies were too weak from hunger to do much but lie around and starve.

  4. My I.B.S. would definitely hamper my ability to survive a zombie apocalypse; it can give me near-debilitating cramps and flares up when I don’t get enough fiber or get stressed (they’re especially bad when I get really stressed).
    Given the general level of stress during the zombie apocalypse, and the likelihood of living on a low-fiber diet much of the time, my bowels are probably going to kill me.
    Now I have to go rethink my entire zombie plan. Thanks a lot…

    • Oh man, IBS would be brutal.

    • Hay Darg, I hate to seem insensitive to a difficult and potential debilitating medical problem but I gotta ask. Are you for real on this on or are you just spoofing Zombieland on us?

      • My wife’s aunt has Crohn’s disease; so I can definitely relate. These kids of digestive disorders like IBS, dumping syndrome, Crohn’s, and a host of others, are much more common than you think. I feel for anyone plagued with such.

    • I have trouble with anything too processed, fatty, or less-than-fresh for food – leading to troubles like this, natch. I’d imagine that quality greengrocers would be rarer…

      • Yeah, that whole “eat what you can find” thing would play hell will a lot of people’s digestion.

    • You know what has a lot of fiber? pine needles.

  5. I’ve been getting by on 4 & 1/2 hours of sleep a night for the last fifteen or sixteen years or so with no real negative side effects. I know this isn’t normal and would never recommend it. When I go to sleep my internal alarm just wakes me up 4 or 5 hours later. I think its just how I’m wired.

    The food would get me. My metabolism just burns through calories like fire through a cotton field. Whatever I eat is gone almost immediately.

    I love that Clark being the fit outdoorsy kinda guy can just bullrush right through. I’d never try that myself.

    • Man, I really don’t know how you guys can manage with so little sleep. I know a handful of people like that and I’m always just amazed. If I don’t get six to eight, I’m in rough shape after a couple of nights.

      • i understand about the lack of sleep i love kids but sometimes they can be a little pain

        • Yup. But, you love ’em anyhow.

          I’ve been pushing it for too little sleep for years. I really need to slow down and use my time better.
          …wait, is this using my time well?

        • Ha, that’s a good question Lich!
          Don’t worry you can’t possibly have too much of Bricks of the Dead, didn’t you read the fine prints?
          BotD, Indicated to recover smiling and good mood… and to learn how to survive the hordes of the undead”.

        • I have to agree with Greg, any time spent here is time well spent, Lich.

        • Why doesnt Doyle ever visit this site?

        • I couldn’t speak for Chris, but I know he’s a very busy guy.

        • ive got a question for my webcomic, what the hell is an avatar?

        • In this context, I would say the avatar is the comic author’s character in the comic.

        • Wasn’t dissing, merely chiding myself to get to sleep. Like I’m doing now!

          *takes hint from self*

        • Sleep is good too.

      • i guess your right, 8 strips a week might tire me out as well, im planning on challenging that with having 9 strips a week

        • 8 a week is a lot. 9 a week even more. Good luck.

        • i might change that to 4

  6. Easy, my rotten eyesight. I am just a hair shy of legally blind without my glasses. Ive learned a lot of ways to compensate over the years, and being an outdoor kind of guy I have learned to always have a spare pair or two of specs handy and own own several “sports” glasses. But any way you slice it, bad eyesight is a huge weakness. If I get woken up suddenly and have to move quickly I have to stop and grab my glasses. If I move from a warm area to a cold one or even if I exert myself too hard on a cold day they will fog up. I have trained to shoot reasonably well at close range without them, both in daylight and in darkness. But that was shooting center of mass, not head shots which are required for dispatching zombies.

    • I can definitely sympathize with the terrible eyes. I’m in the same boat, although not nearly as bad.

  7. I love my own daughter. The handicaps at first would be that in trying to be an altruistic nut, I’m not leaving family and parents behind. I love my Mom, but she’s getting up their in age and is slower.

    I’ve got bad knees, so I never know when I’ll over stress them and they go out. And my daughter if she panicked and froze up, that could be a problem.

    • It’s amazing what a liability being a decent human being would be in the right circumstances, isn’t it?

  8. A family would slow me down, but I refuse to see that as an impediment. That is, it might be an impairment to out-and-out survivability, but they also give me a reason to fight, and to win.

    Folks can survive on bad food, for a while. Millions of Americans do it every day. Clean water will be a bigger concern, short-term. My biggest survival issue are my in-laws, who both need continued pharmacotherapy to survive, plus my sister-in-law who is Type I DM. That requires some hard-core decision making. What do you do with folks that need heart medication, or insulin, or even antidepressants?

    I recommend that those folks acquire as much of their meds as possible. Many times you can refill a monthly scrip about ten days early. Do it, and save the extras. Doing that for three months gets you about a month of extra meds. If you must refrigerate them (e.g. insulin) get your backup power now, both inverters and batteries as well as solar or a generator. Get it set up on a circuit that you can act independently from the rest of your house, in case you need to cut off the rest of the power.

    Folks that are drug-dependent won’t do well in a full-blown EOTWAWKI situation; but you can get them through a prolonged Katrina-type event.

    • Awesome points, as always Bo. I really like the distinction that your family, while they might slow you down, are also one of the things that drives you.

      Meds would be huge. I can’t see someone like an insulin-dependent diabetic lasting too awful long. But even people on less life-or-death meds would be in a tight spot pretty quickly.

  9. Mine’s fat.. Which is going to not be a problem with in the year and a half.. Completely cut all white sugars (non-fruit based sugars) out of my diet. I usually go on 5 mile walks, but recently with me doing some work, and my friend practically living with me.. I have to entertain him and the work I’ve been doing has been destroying my day light hours (which I don’t mind, manual work is great for the health at such a young age, especially if you know that your legs are much stronger than your back.) So I haven’t gotten to walk as much, and I’ve been doing jumping jacks like crazy.. Which stretches out your sides, and it will hurt like crazy. So yeah that’s pretty much my only handicap, and it’s a fading issue.

    • Sounds like a damn find plan of attack Calicade.

      I need to lose weight too, but being chained to a desk for nine or so hours a day make that a challenge, as does my lack of self-discipline.

      • Pssh, I’m chained to multiple desks for 8 or so hours a day. Yeah the self-discipline is a problem, how about getting a partner to start exercising? Your wife perhaps? I always hear that having some one to start getting fit with you is very very helpful.

        • Yeah, that’s the plan. We’re going to join the Y next month and start going a few days a week. I’m looking forward to it.

        • Awesome then! Have you considered a diet? Turning down just about all sugars (except fruit mind you) has kinda been awesome.. Of course my body has tortured me for my complete cold turkey of any sweets, but after a bit you start feeling rather healthy and out going.

        • Yeah, I’m trying to slow-roll into a diet by gradually cutting back on sugars and possibly carbs. In the past I haven’t done terribly well jumping into it, so I figured if I sort of gradually remove things I might have better luck.

        • I’d cut the fruit sugars, too, if you can stand it. Investigate the New American Plate, I think it’s called. Basically, when you fill a dinner plate, fully have of it should be fresh vegetables, and less than a quarter of it protein. If you can do that, and increase your activity, the pounds will come off.

        • If that’s what I must do to destroy this fat.

        • What it really takes is taking less calories in than you consume each day, over time. 😉

  10. what if clark has on some sort of medications, kinds like the coach on Left 4 Dead 2, then you would REALLY be skrewed

    • What medicine was Coach on? For some reason I don’t recall that at all.

      • he had diabeties or something…

        • Oh, I didn’t realize that. I never got too into those games though.

        • I was obssesed with that game before i found this site

        • It’s pretty cool, just a little too fast-paced for my taste. I like to take my time, explore, and sneak up on the bad guys. L4D is too damn quick.

  11. But hey, i almost got my webcomic up and running

    • Awesome, what’s it about?

      • The Hunger Games

        • Right on. That was a cool concept.

        • thanks, but im also planning on making another when my “Outside enviormet” goes to winter in a few weeks, its called “Futurconomy!”

        • So your comics are going to be more one-offs than running series?

        • im barley in Jr. High, ive got plenty of free time, i dont to work anything out

        • Fair enough.

        • you cant do my enviorment in the snow though

    • so like i said, the comic will probibly be blank for 3 monthes

  12. oh by the way, i almost got my 1st page up, but it says that i need an avatar, whats that?

    • No idea. What are you using to host the comic?

      • www.comicfury.com but i dont think that i matters, im posting the 1sst episode tomorrow

      • Yeah, this I GOTTA see…

        • just you wait… just you wait…

  13. you messin with me

  14. he’s called bumhole12