Episode 309: Overtaxed

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Strained System

When things start getting bad at the beginning of the zombie apocalypse, we’re going to feel it in a lot of exciting ways. One of the first is likely to be a disruption in services. Phones not working, power at reduced capacity, or out altogether. Services like garbage pickup or pizza delivery? Forget about it.

Most likely it will start small: a few more dropped calls than usual, the occasional brownout or a few very brief blackouts. But things will get rolling pretty quickly after that, and then we’ll all get to enjoy a nice, relaxing agrarian lifestyle. Except that nineteenth century way of life will also include zombies, which should make things interesting.

About this Episode:

So if the power is browning out, how come Sam’s computer didn’t shut off? Well, like a lot of people who are afraid of losing their work due to a sudden power loss, ol’ Sam has invested in a UPS (un-interruptable power supply). It’s basically just a big box of batteries that keep your computer – or whatever you have plugged into it – for a few minutes after power goes down. It won’t run long, but long enough to save your work and safely shut down.

Discussion Question: Are Zombies Afraid of Fire?

I was re-watching the original Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead recently, and I thought it was interesting that the zombies in both seemed to be afraid of fire (or even the flare that Fran waves around at one zombie). This is kind of interesting, because generally the zombies are more or less oblivious of anything that doesn’t look or sound like food to them. It’s also interesting in that in most other stories, fire isn’t a deterrent at all.

So what do you think, are zombies afraid of fire? If so, why?

45 thoughts on “Episode 309: Overtaxed”

  1. Regarding the discussion question, two shows are referenced by “it”, possibly a typo or maybe you need to use “them” instead of “it”. 😀

    That, or restructure the sentence so it makes more sense.

    Concerning them being afraid of it, perhaps their zombification has some form of reaction to fire that’s similar to senses most living things have and therefore the zombies avoid it because of the reaction it generates.

    I haven’t seen the shows in question, although I suspect it’s some kind of primitive instinct generated by the zombification process the shows use.

    • Oops. that’s what happens when I start talking about one movie, then go in an edit it to talk about two.

  2. Zombies afraid of fire…. don’t think so. They have no reasoning powers. They might move around a fire like any other obstacle (car etc) to get to prey but I dont see them being afraid of fire…

    • I don’t think being afraid of fire suggests reasoning. I can be purely instinctual.

  3. No zombies can’t be afraid of fire they’re not that intelligent.

    • neither are horses, they’re afraid of fire, it’s a powerful animal instinct that we defeat through intellect. zombies being stupid should make them more afraid of fire then us not less.

      • Yep, again, I’d consider it instinctual.

      • Much like the animal instinct to flinch away from a blow? Somehow they failed to get that one…

        Also, horses are a damn sight more intelligent than any “normal” zombie per the movies. (Let’s exclude that one Japanese movie where the zombies talk, fly, and use kung fu. ;D)

        • i meant stupid in comparison to us, it’s true that in the animal world horses are one of the more intelligent ones.

        • i meant stupid in comparison to us, it’s true that in the animal world horses are one of the more intelligent ones.

  4. dave i’m going to be camping in sub-zero weather, so ill be back tomorrow to talk about it, cya.

    • Have fun; I’ve never done winter camping before.

      • oh and to add on, before i go, just an hour ago my power went out. so its sort of a quincidence, (however you spell that)

        • “coincidence”.
          Just trying to help; that’s a tough word to spell.

  5. Depends upon YOUR mythos. Some zombies can work doorknobs and climb ladders. It really depends upon how hard you want to make life for your characters.

    • Oh most definitely.

      I’ve never liked the zombies with too many mechanical skills (opening doors, climbing ladders, etc).

      • In my world zombies watch Jersey Shore, say “Just sayin’…”, and vote Democrat.

        • Those zombies are scared of fire too! As well as logical reasoning and rational understanding.

        • Is the Jersey Shores still a thing? I thought it got retired for some other, insultingly stupid thing.

        • Really Bo, does everything you say have to involve bashing Democrats? Are you really one of those people that turns even the simplest of questions into a political debate? One of those people who think the simplest of things should damn and entire political party? I know this isn’t a place for a political debate, and I’m not going to say anymore, I just think you should proof-read what you write, and ask the simple question of “do I really want to start a fight on here?”

        • No good can come of discussing money, politics, or religion.

        • Or illegal activities and ways to prepare bacon.

        • I bake my bacon.

          Thug life.

        • Damn hippy thugs! With your baking techniques.

        • “Is the Jersey Shores still a thing? I thought it got retired for some other, insultingly stupid thing.”

          I don’t see why we should stop bashing Jersey Shore…

        • If I had written that my zombies eat casseroles made with cream of mushroom soup, watch Fox News, and vote Republican, would that have been less insulting to your delicate Huffington Post-reading sensibilities, DerricDemocrat, hmm?

          I’m a pretty die hard Libertarian. I’ll get around to insulting the GOP eventually. In the meantime. I stand by what I wrote. If you want to see real-life zombies, look no further than Obama’s legions.

        • In the Night of the Living Dead, they know how to open car doors. Or at least the first one we see does.

      • Dave to zombie, “OK the prey is on the other side of the closed door and you have to make like you’re opening it.”

        Zombie’s reaction: *busts door into splinters with bare hands*

        Thought bubble above Dave: “OK it’s open now what do I get him to do next?” 😀

        Zombie actors would be quite literal and really dumb, as above, real zombies would probably just walk right through the door unless it’s strong enough to stop them! 😉

        • …Which would be most doors. I don’t see zombies being that good with closed doors, kicking one in requires more coordination than I credit them with, and pounding on it with your hands is way less effective.

  6. So I can see only an advertisement for Ex-Heroes, and not the comic. Was this intentional or am I the seer of a glitch?

    • Not quite sure how that happened, but it’s fixed now.

  7. The best part is how they just don’t seem to care for the EXCRUTIATINGLY FOREBODING BROWN-OUT!

    • Maybe because Sam’s a geek and brownouts are hard on his system, UPS aside?

      • Yeah, brownouts can be very damaging. It’s not just lost work you need to worry about. If systems aren’t on a UPS and surge protector they can be damaged by the low voltage and by power surges. If the brownouts continue, it can cause problems with cooling systems, which is a major problem in a server room.

        I work at a small web development company, and we lost power once. The server room got super hot in about twenty minutes without cooling. It was a race to get everything shut down before we had any damage.

        • I lost the alternator in my car last week, while my cell phone was plugged in to what folks used to call the cigarette lighter. The dash lights started flickering. The car radio started making funny noises. Then the car died.

          Yeah, it fried my cell phone.

        • Ouch!

          I have a car charger, but I always try to avoid using it. I don’t know if those things are still bad for the battery or not.

        • I don’t think the charger killed the alternator. I think the dying alternator caused a power surge that fried the phone.

  8. Zombies don’t fear (fire)… and they don’t seem to have some sort of reservation-mechanism so instinct isn’t an issue.
    Worst case if you make a wall of fire against a horde of zombies chasing you… you will end up with a horde of burning zombies chasing you… brrrrr

  9. IMO Zombies don’t fear (fire)… and they don’t seem to have some sort of reservation-mechanism so instinct isn’t an issue.
    Worst case if you make a wall of fire against a horde of zombies chasing you… you will end up with a horde of burning zombies chasing you… brrrrr

  10. Zombies instinct is just that and most likely residual of the livings past. Such use of Doors, Standing back up, BUT! The fire thing is a fatal flaw. The dead don’t budge when you shoot them or raise a sword up to chop it in half so why should it fear fire? Neanderthal instinct? (primal)

  11. In the movies referenced, the zombies are shown to flinch and pull away from fire, sometimes covering their faces. Then again, those zombies are also shown to be able to use basic weapons like rocks and sticks, they were being reanimated via cosmic radiation as opposed to viral infection.
    The simplest explanation is Romero wasn’t making a zombie movie at all; he’s said in several interviews that his creatures were meant to be ghouls (several characters including the news media in the movies repeatedly use the term “ghoul”). It was the viewing public that started calling them zombies.
    It’s my opinion that, given the vast differences between modern zombie mythos’s and Romero’s original works, we should go back to calling the creatures from the original Living Dead movies “ghouls” and everything afterwards “zombies” since there were too many clear differences between the two concepts.

    • OK, that’s a pretty dumb idea. So what Romero didn’t call them zombies? A lot of other creators didn’t either, are we supposed to say they aren’t zombies either, and have a dozen different names for the different varieties? A lot of them go much further from the “typical” zombie (if there is such a thing) than Romero did.

      (And a quick tip, viral infection is not one of the defining characteristics of a zombie)

  12. How do the dead tell the living apart from each other?
    Thermal vision. Seeing in infrared, fire blinds them by being too “bright”.
    At least, that’s one type of zombie.
    Custom zombies are maybe the best part of “All flesh must be eaten” the pen and paper RPG.

  13. um in the comic you put Brownout…. ??????

    • I sure did.