Episode 268: Every Group Has One

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: The Village Asshole

Every zombie story, and really most horror stories in general, tend to have a character who is just a complete jerk for no good reason. Often, this character thinks he’s better than the rest of the survivors, or is too concerned with his own safety to worry at all about the safety of the rest of the group.

The trouble with these characters is that they often have some sort of power over the group. Perhaps they’re the only ones with the map to the safe house, or the only person who knows anything about emergency medicine (remember I said “often”; Ted doesn’t really seem to have much to offer here). Regardless, they are sadly indispensable, otherwise the rest of the group probably would have left them to their own devices ages ago.

About this Episode:

I know I’ve pointed this out before, but I really love the expression on Ted’s face. I think it just perfectly sums up the character: arrogant but kind of stupid.

Of course, at the same time he does make some pretty decent arguments, even if they are incredibly cold.

Also, the van’s lack of interior windows, especially in the front seats, is bothering my now.

Other News:

As a Halloween bonus, I’ve put together a new page on the site: Zombies: An Illustrated History. This brief guide to the history of zombie features several LEGO® MOCs by our very own Greg (Yatkuu). Check it out.

Discussion Question: Biggest Scare

Since this is Halloween, I figured we might as well have a Halloween related discussion question, so here it is: what is the most scared you have ever been, and why?

I’ll share mine. In my senior year of college, I got a terrible job as a night security guard. The hours and pay were terrible, but I could do my homework at work, and I need the money for an engagement ring. And booze.

At any rate, my normal gig was babysitting an impound lot. Nothing too exciting there, but every now and then I got put onto other, more exciting jobs. One in particular ended up being very memorable: the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Most of the job was just sitting on ass, checking the cameras and getting caught up on my homework, but at the top of every hour I was responsible for making a round through the museum.

East enough, right? Not so much. You see, the museum was completely dark, and I only had a two-cell mag light with a very, very dim bulb. I didn’t at all know the layout of the place, having only ever been there once, during the day, three year prior. So I had to bumble my way through, which wouldn’t be so bad, except I was also responsible for hitting a dozen or so checkpoints so that the boss could see that rounds were being made.

There was also another little problem: the place was absolutely terrifying. I say this as a grown ass man, that dark museum was easy the most terrifying places I have ever been in my life. Mannequins and skeletons were everywhere shrouded in the shadows. There were weird noises. Some of the displays were motion-activated, and would suddenly spring to life if you wandered to close. And, every now and then, the flashlight would just sort of stop working, and I would have to shake it, or take the batteries out and fiddle around with the spring to make sure they were pressed up against the terminals.

It was a hell of a long night.

Coincidentally, the museum was running an exhibit on scrimshaw at the time. Fascinating stuff.

24 thoughts on “Episode 268: Every Group Has One”

  1. I wonder what Ted’s actually done to prove himself indispensable? he may well be indispensable while he’s alive, but I’ll bet some of his colleagues will call him out on it! 😀

    • He may have some hidden skill or just own a boat to get everyone out to a safe island, like that dude in the new Dawn of the Dead.

      • Yeah, that worked out well

        • It did so long as you stop the movie before the credits.

  2. I should say the most scared I’ve been was when a guy tried to hold me up at gunpoint last year (I work graveyard shift at a hotel), but that turned out to be more funny than scary when the idiot got his gun stuck in his jacket pocket, which gave me enough time to duck into the employee restroom and call the cops.
    But alas, the time that I was most scared was several years ago. Back then I lived in a tiny hick town called Browns Valley – typical backwoods community, the nearest neighbor was half a mile away, dirt road, etc.
    I don’t know what possessed me to do it, but I decided to play Resident Evil 2 at night there, by myself, for the first time. And when I say “for the first time” I mean I’d never played a Resident Evil game ever before then; I was a Resi Evil virgin up til that night.
    Anyway, as I was playing, I heard a noise from the back of the house. I should point out that the house had a hallway down the middle that went from the living room all the way to the bedrooms at the other end, so you could literally look across the entire house from the living room.
    So yea, I head a noise from the back of the house, but since I often heard noises, I didn’t really pay it any mind and went back to the game. Until the noise sounded again, which got my attention. I looked down the hall and said, “Hello?” I was sure I was alone, but I couldn’t help it.
    When I didn’t hear anything else, I shrugged and went back to playing until I heard the same noise a third time. Thanks to the game, I’m already feeling paranoid by this point, so I duck into the kitchen (which is just off the living room) to arm myself (pitifully with a claw hammer and a knife… how cliche…) and made my way to find out what’s making noise.
    Halfway down the hall there’s a little alcove for the washer and dryer and just as I passed that, a plastic shopping bag rolled off some clothes there and scared the living bejeesus out of me.
    It was at that point I said, “screw the game” and turned it off without even bothering to save.

    • Hilarious! The robbed at gunpoint taking a back seat to a scary PS1 game!

      Great story, Darg.

    • A knife? You grabbed a knife to go check on a noise? Paranoid much? I mean next you’ll be grabbing a sword or mace. Come on, who would do something like… Never mind. ;D

      (This joking will make more sense if you have been reading the quotes I’ve posted previously and know that I presently have like thirty assorted melee weapons, including swords, knives, daggers, a mace, warhammers, etc. The most recent time I did something like the above with one was when I came home to find the kitchen light on and couldn’t remember leaving it on. I thusly prowled around with my German Artillery Saber (my “real” sword, the one that’s over a 100 years old and is genuine military issue) and big honkin’ Maglite for a few minutes until I was sure it was just me and my cat present.)

      • If anything is going to intimidate a burglar, it’s an unhinged looking home owners running around with a saber.

  3. Hmm. The most scared I’ve ever been without being in actual danger would be the time I watched “The Shining” (for the first time) in a neighbor’s house, at night, while cat-sitting. It was dark, unfamiliar, and little creatures kept moving around in the corners of my peripheral vision… brrr.

    The most scared I’ve ever been, truly, would probably be after my car accident, when the neurologist told me that my concussion had scrambled my short-term memory (a condition which is “often permanent”), but I was really lucky, because if I’d taken the hit to the head 2″ forward of where I did, I’d have been killed instantly. This wasn’t so much a panic scare as a sense of deep, existential dread.

    I got better.

    • “I got better.” Glad to hear that.

      I really like this trend of two stories: the stupid scared versus legitimately scared thing is awesome.

      • Dave, Clint E. was wearring a sarratto, not a poncho.

        • I have no idea what that is, and google isn’t much help. What’s the difference?

        • beats me, all that matters is that i survive at least a month in the apocolipse. which might not happen, i cant even ride 2 blocks on my bike without tirring out. maybe i should visit this comic less.

        • But you corrected me… I’m quite confused.

  4. Scared….

    Like Dave, I’ve done work as a Security Officer. One of my main posts was a for a Chicken Processing Plant. Meaning that live chickens are brought in by the truck loads and 10,000’s of thousands of chickens are killed in a single day. As Security, I got hit with the night shifts and often on the weekends when no one else is around and it’s just you.

    Next to the employee parking lot was a lot of trees and back road. They weren’t supposed to, but people would dump stuff off here and it was one of the local places that drug dealers liked to sit and deal. It’s off property. This side road is also where the Co. would park it’s empty trucks and Security would have to go check on those.

    So extremely nerve-wracking was the time I went to make the check, hairs rise on the back of my neck as it’s so obvious there’s a deal going and I fudged going down to walk, just turned back to walk the rest of the parking lot and check cars. But I’d shined my flashlight down that way and a few minutes later here’s this car come driving down this lane and driving slowly past me as they gauging how much of a threat I am for having seen their deal going on. So you do one of those things of put out an aura of not worth the time as I casually looked at them and made more of a point that I wasn’t concerned and checking over my own lot.

    The other scary is just in general having to walk rounds inside the darkened Processing Plant knowing that there may be offal and blood not completely washed or cleaned up from the chicken slaughter.

    • Yeah, that sounds super creepy, Fox.

    • …and there I was thinking this was going to be a story about a haunted chicken-processing plant.

      …y’know… poultrygeists…

      I’ll be quiet now.

      • Like this one: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0462485/ ?

  5. happy halloween everyone!

    • Yes indeed. One of the better holidays.

    • Happy Halloween! (Said with a LOT of phlegm on the h’s)

      • Hah

  6. *Wakes up* Whaa… How long has it been? Don’t worry, I am alive, I’ve just been too busy to comment lately. So I guess I’ll just give you the updates to my boring life. 1. I watched the first season plus one of the Walking Dead. It’s interesting, but I think it’s still based too much around human than zombies. Speaking of the Walking Dead…

    2. I’ve been absolutely addicted to the game. Personally, I prefer the game to the show, because I enjoy getting to make Lee whoever I want him to be. The game has gotten a lot more emotion out of me than the show has, which is another reason I like the game.

    3. Last but not least, I’ve been working on concept art for a weeping-angels game, but I don’t know where to start with actually creating the game. If anyone can help, it’d be much appreciated.

    And as for the question, I’ve had a lot of scares. As a girl I know puts it, I have a “fetish” for survival horror. I just can’t get enough of it. My first play-through of Slender might be one of my biggest scares. However, I just went through Hurricane Sandy which was quite a scare, and once my neighborhood was all nervous because there had been several break-ins recently. That’s all for now, hopefully I’ll be commenting more.

  7. I can’t fault his reasoning, but I would still go to look. Of course, by this point I’d have armed myself with something pretty decent, and I’d definitely have a torch. I always carry two small torches on me and I have a 4-cell maglite if I can get home. We don’t get power outages that often, but often enough.