Episode 313: Missing Work

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Home Sick

When you’re in the beginning of a zombie story and there seem to be a lot of people home sick, then it might be a good time to grab some guns and spam and head for the hills. Of course, few characters ever do this, barring perhaps a “crazy survivalist gun nut”, because then there wouldn’t be much of a story. What happens to all those sick people at the beginning? If they’re lucky, then they simply die. If they’re not so lucky, they turn into zombies, eat their families, and become a public nuisance.

About this Episode:

I’ve talked a lot in the past that I think zombie stories tend to get into trouble whenever they try to explain the reason – scientifically – for the zombie outbreak. There are a few exceptions where it works, but by and large it’s rough going. Bricks of the Dead sort of avoided that be starting a week or so into the outbreak. We got a little flashback to an infected patient at the hospital, but otherwise nothing.

I’m not going to get into the cause for the outbreak in these flashbacks, however, I do want to play around a bit with how it manages to spread. The bites and scratches are a good disease vector and all, but for a sudden global pandemic that brings down civilization as we know it, things have to be pretty big.

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Discussion Question: The Zombie Outbreak

When reading/watching zombie stories, do you generally like hearing the origin stories, even if they’re completely unbelivable? Obviously I don’t, but I know a lot of people who do. In fact, some people actually get upset if there’s never some sort of explanation offered, even if finding the reason for the outbreak isn’t the point of the story. So what does everyone here think?

19 thoughts on “Episode 313: Missing Work”

  1. Do I get upset if the background story isn’t available? Not really. Does it help to understand how shit got real? It does. So yeah I do enjoy them, but they are not a must for me. It is rather pleasing though to see how the first idiot dies, though. Diabolical self talking here…

    • “It is rather pleasing though to see how the first idiot dies, though.”

      Hah, indeed.

  2. The more unrealistic and unbelievable the first death and subsequent zombification are, the better it fits into the science fiction category, undead, section. 😉 But that’s IMHO. Maybe the first zombification came from something that sounds very realistic and very possible. What will Dave’s explanation be? 😀

    The short of it is that I’d have to read it first and see if it sounds like it’s made of solid stuff or is as vaporous as the rarefied gases around the planetoid Pluto. 😀

    Also, yes, I definitely would like to see how the first zombie came undead in Dave’s storyline, doesn’t matter if it’s unbelievable or not. 🙂

    • My favorite cause of zombies is the original: the supernatural. As in The Night of the Living Dead, I love the thought of corpses clawing their way out of the ground.

      “When there is no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth. “

      • I don’t mind the supernatural stuff; at least it’s not trying to use bad science to justify things.

    • Yeah, I think everything needs to be evaluated on a case-by-case basic. Sometimes stuff works, even when it really shouldn’t.

  3. Hm, I guess I have grown used to films leaving me with questions unanswered. But in all honesty, if I’m not bursting anyone bubble, no matter how you explain a “zombie rising”. The way I figure it no matter how it starts it wouldn’t seem real because it is an unreal situation. Comet, Aliens, Radiation, Chemicals or any other outside additives to a dead body is just that adding to the dead unanimated body. Only explanation I could except is End days even know I’m not a religious man and I still would look for some other reason. Now that is just in my opinion. I think it is wiser to not tell why because you can’t win the “why” question in some debates(with some people).

    • AT work trying to write. redo 2nd sentence:
      But in all honesty, if I’m not bursting anyone bubble, no matter how you explain a “zombie rising” you will never be able to make everyone happy with your own version.

      • I’d definitely agree with that. People just have different things that bother them, so you’re always going to lose some people, no matter what.

  4. How does the boss deal with this problem? Do you think he believes his corporate branch is going under and he didn’t get the memo? Why would all of his “sick” employees not be in contact with him? Can’t tell if the boss is sad because the death or thinking of a possibly lost retirement fund?

    • At midlevel, management does not care about people in that sense. He’s not worried about the end of the world. He’s thinking about the bottom line. Think The Office. Who cares why everyone stayed home and didn’t call in, it doesn’t change the fact that everyone stayed home and didn’t call in.

      • As a midlevel manager myself, I say work’em until they drop!

  5. I like my survival movies told strictly from the survivors’ perspectives. I like seeing what they see, and knowing what they know. In a real-life end of the world event you might not know what’s going on. The background and origin won’t make you any less dead when the balloon does go up. Without telephone and internet the survivors will have to rely upon word of mouth, and the stories of other survivors.

    Think about these elements in both TWD and Zombieland: “We’re trying to get up to [X City].. We heard it’s safe”

    “You can’t get to [X City]. It was full of survivors; but the zombies got in and wiped the place out.”


    That hasn’t gotten old, to me, yet. I like the interplay of the characters, and the uncertainty. It will become more relevant as people interact in person less and less. Without a laptop and an Iphone, how many people would hit a social wall? I imagine it would be like going through withdrawal for a lot of people.

    • I agree with this 100%. Having people work with limited or just completely incorrect knowledge about the situation is an integral part of the genre, and I love it.

  6. Hey Dave is Burt’s face from the Minifig Series 9?
    The Roman or Egyption guy?

    • I have the Roman guy and the face is similar, but not the one showed here. My guess is that its from the Egyptian dude.

      • This guy – the boss – is the Roman Emperor. I don’t remember where Burt’s face is from, but I had two or three of them.

  7. Hay Dave, do you know if Brickforge still stock those awesome riot helmets and armour vests we saw a while back? (Without the POLICE or SWAT printing)

    • Looks like their out of stock on a lot of the shields: http://www.brickforge.com/store/home.php?cat=285

      But they have the helmet in a few colors: