Episode 364: Task Master

Zombie Cliche Lookout: You’re Boss Down There, I’m Boss Up Here

When it comes to scary, dangerous situations – zombie related and otherwise – the last thing you want is a bunch of people panicking and have no idea what to do. So what’s a leader to do? Start giving orders, of course. Keep people busy. Give them tasks to accomplish. Tasks that are simple enough to do without a lot of thought, but not so easy that they have a lot of extra time and mental capacity to start freaking out about what’s going on. In a word: distract people with busy work. And if the busy work can help out the situation in one way or another, that’s better still.

The best example I can think of for this isn’t from a zombie movie, it’s from the HBO miniseries Generation Kill. Throughout the course of the show, the marines were constantly complaining about, and getting in trouble over, the ridiculous “grooming standard”. From an outsider looking in, the notion of keeping a clean-shaven face in a combat zone seems to be a complete waste of time and resources, but by the end of the show, you learn that the commanders used this to give the men something to focus on other than the horrors of war. And the best part was that the audience is tricked into it right along with the marines.

I’m also pretty sure I’ve used this example before.

About this Episode:

I’m closing out this arc this week, after an episode or two more. After that, we’ll be checking in with some different characters for a bit. Which means I’d better start building.

Discussion Question: Losing Yourself in Work

What’s something that you can completely lose yourself in? I’m not talking about something recreational, like playing a video game or catch-and-release fishing. I mean something that’s like work, but that isn’t terribly strenuous.

For me, I think it would be washing dishes. I’m generally the person who cleans the kitchen after dinner, and it’s something I can just sort of do on cruise control. I’m focused on very simple mechanical things, and before I know it, a half-hour has passed, and the work is done. It’s almost like magic.

So when the zombies show up, I guess I’ll be breaking out the Dawn and running some hot water.


just a guy

fixing my broken computer i just cant get it to work but its kinda interesting to look into it


This is one that I sometimes find relaxing, and sometimes frustrating. It generally depends on the mood I’m in at the moment.

Silver Fox

It’s gotta be cleaning or maintenance of any sort. I’ll hit a zone and it’s getting done. Folding towels, sorting and organizing things. Like my books or LEGO collection.


Cleaning is a good one. I’m totally the same way. I never get the “folding laundry zen” thing though. I don’t know why, but I’ve never liked folding clothes.


i like sitting down, drawing, mostly houses for minecraft, but thats okay even if i wont have minecraft, i just like drawing buildings, usually while listening to music and drinking soda, i’ve spent 2 hours doing that.


I’ve always wished I could draw. I’m just terrible at it. Nurture that skill, man.

Foolish Lego

Hah, I’d have to say organizing files on my computer… making back-ups and stuff like that… and making to do lists… I can lose myself completely in that from time to time 🙂

Wanted to ask you: you write that you’d better start building; don’t you have a (small) buffer of comics?


I like organizing things as well. It’s relaxing.

I generally have a buffer, yes. However, I’m super busy at the moment, and I burned through my buffer. So lately I’ve been doing them the week of. It sucks. I need to rebuild my buffer.

Foolish Lego

Ah okay… I’m planning to start my own web-comic in August. Your work is a great inspiration 🙂 So I was kind of shocked to read this. I’m already working on a buffer; but it’s a lot of work… more work than I thought. I’m very impressed with how you are doing! 🙂


That’s awesome, good luck to you.

It is a lot of work, but it’s fun work.

Sir Marius

Well, if I need to unwind, I go work on the sci-fi novel I’m trying to finish. I get writer’s block easily, but sitting there trying to think of characters and plot points through a headache is oddly relaxing. I even have some of the characters in LEGO form. 😀


Mowing the lawn… Speaking of which, I have that on the menu for today.


Mowing the lawn is a great one, unless it’s swelteringly hot, of course.


Ah yes but if it is swelteringly hot, then the enjoyment is finishing the job and coming inside for a cold refreshing drink!


The trouble is, their truck is outside with all those zombies.


They haven’t unloaded it then? How long have they been here?


well WilliamJS thats a good question lets ask the youngest person here. Me? aww. Well lets see, the tooters were around in episode 30, now its episode 364, so i’d say its been about 10-18 days since our S- Team left off so… lets go with a week, its been a week since the tooters have arrived, and probibly 3 days before Dennis got killed, the yogscast arrived and killed the looters, so i’d say that unless their asses werent drunk enough to move, they probibly got most of their supplies inside in a safe pla


Maintenance and DIY type things around the house would be mine.

It’s winter down here at the moment, so not so much lawn mowing but we having a bit of a cold snap, so splitting wood for the fire is my current relaxing chore. Can think about a lot of things, and get things sorted in my head when doing manual labour, and when a DIY project comes off as planned it is very rewarding.

And Barb… doing pretty much what I would do in this scenario (as commented in last comic). *thumbs up*


I wish I was more mechanically inclined. As I am not, I tend to get frustrated with most DIY projects. I guess I just need to do more of them to boost my comfort level.

just a guy

Im great a diy’er i can make a lot of improvised weapons.

(but i perfer a nailgun most of all)

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