Episode 401: Ready? Okay!

Photo of author



Zombie Cliche Lookout: Break!

There’s an old horror movie cliche about sticking together. When a group of characters split up in a dangerous situation (e.g. a town full of zombies), they can get picked off in smaller groups. Without the benefit of numbers, the monsters have a lot of advantages. This is such a well worn trope that it’s more surprising these days when you see it played straight, rather than characters intelligently discussing it, then opting to stay together.

While this particular trope makes an excellent point, what happens when you have a lot to do in a very short amount of time? What if, for instance, you only have a few minutes to grab supplies and load up before a giant horde of zombies shows up to eat your face? Well then, dividing and conquering might start making a little more sense.

About this Episode:

Well, it looks like their quest for supplies is going to be mostly a failure. Not only do they not have time to really stock up, but they might be bringing zombies home with them. Nice going, guys.

Discussion Question: Quick, Prioritize!

The zombies are closing in, and your barricades aren’t going to hold up. Look around, you’ve got maybe five minutes before escape is impossible. What do you grab from what is immediately around you to help with your survival down the road?

No cheating. If you’re reading this episode in the bathroom (and, by the way, why are you doing that?), make sure you count the time to get into a room that has useful stuff in it.

I’m at the office, about 85 miles away from my home and family (note: I’m writing this on my lunch break, they don’t let me play with my LEGO here, unfortunately). I’d grab my phone, backpack, keys, and Nalgene, and get the hell out of here. If I can make it to my car, I’ll be in better shape since I keep a bunch of crap in my trunk in case I get stranded somewhere.

39 thoughts on “Episode 401: Ready? Okay!”

  1. I would grab anything sharp like a knife or something instead of a gun because if your tryin to make a quick escape u don’t want to have to keep reloading and aiming I would also get some wheels like a car or bike then if it’s possible I would fill a backpack with food water medical supplies and matches or a magnify glass incase I need to start a fire

    • That’s a lot to grab in five minutes, Zach. Especially if you have to hunt down the stuff that’s going into your pack.

      • Yea lol true but if i was in a zombie apocalypse I would always keeps things like that close to me so In case if I did have to escape I could collect them easy… But say I didn’t have that stuff close to me I think the most important thing u could get is something sharp or an object you could beat zombies off with like a baseball bat or somethin

        • Well this assumes that the zombies attack right now. No warning whatsoever. Just, boom, zombies.

  2. I think Inez is going to vehemently disagree with Murphy’s suggestion that they take Lou with them! She probably will have a point, though! 😀

    By the way, Murphy knows what happens if an infected person dies and shouldn’t he remember that now? Of all the things he could remember about his zombie experiences, remembering what he saved Shannon from is one thing he could use to his advantage!

    He can’t be sure that zombie didn’t bite Lou before it was shot dead, and I’m pretty certain Lou was already infected in some way before they met him.

    He’s trying to do the absolute worst possible thing, and he should know better.

    • Excellent thoughts here, BrickVoid. I’d make two comments:

      First, he’s going against Inez, which means he’s trying to win a fight just as much as he’s trying to make good decisions for the group, which can be very dangerous.

      Second, they’re in a bit of a rush, leaving little time for careful consideration. Also dangerous.

    • Hmm, but Lou appears to be at least partially paralysed now. Assuming it’s not temporary, would a paralysed person still be paralysed when zombified? If so… just keep out of arms reach!

      • Very good question, Louise. I would think that it would have to do with the nature of the injury. If the spinal cord is damaged, I’d say that damage would carry over. Of course, I don’t know a lot about spinal injury.

        • Doesn’t the answer really depend upon the impetus for zombie animation in Dave’s world? If they’re plague zombies, I’d say yeah, he’s still paralyzed.

          Care to spill the beans, Dave? Hmmm?

  3. Typo:Discussion question
    “Make sure YOU COULD TAKE THE TIME to …..” 🙂

    BV, sorry about stealing your thunder, buddy! 😀

    “If your reading this episode in the…….useful stuff in it.”
    Good line! 🙂

    • It’s a free webcomic comments zone, so anybody reading the comic is encouraged to send in typos they spot! 😀

      • Yes indeed, much obliged. Many cooks make light labor.

        • Holy Toledo, Dave, if possible, can you delete my top comment? the 2:19am one? Two different comments because of different emails.:(

          Also,about the discussion question:
          I am in my bedroom and I have a cricket bat in the corner( how many of you thought of Shaun of the Dead? :D), I will take that, go to the kitchen, take as much food,some spare clothes, a torch, and two matchboxes.
          Please tell what am I missing out on.

        • Can do.

        • When are we going to get back to Ted’s group? And I am dying(not literally ;D) to know what happened to Sam and his rescuers, kidnappers whatever you want to call them, and Stewart’s group.
          Plus, thnx for deleting the comment.

        • This arc is going to be wrapping up shortly, then we’ll be switching to another group of characters, but I’m not saying who.

          Oh, and my pleasure.

        • The typo STILL isn’t fixed! 🙂

        • Dave, why don’t you use red clay for blood effects?

        • Discusion question, second paragraph, second sentence: Could–>count! 😀

        • Ah, I’m an idiot. Totally forgot to publish the typo fix.

          As far as red clay goes, I just don’t like the look or texture of it.

  4. I’m in my bedroom, but there is plenty of stuff around. I grab: Bag of first aid supplies, mace, a couple of knives, flashlight, backpack to hold this crap when I get a chance to put things away carefully, a jug of water, cellphone, car keys (car’s right out back, so that’s likely my first destination), cellphone charger, and maybe some spare clothes if there is time after I’ve fumbled this stuff to hand.

    On the way out the kitchen I could see about snatching some food, and if I have time to duck into another room I’ll grab my father’s 870 and the box of ammo.

    All of the above is subject to time and ease of carrying. If time’s up and I’m dropping stuff ’cause I can’t carry it all, tough luck, I’ll just have to scram with whatever I don’t drop on the way out.

    • Excellent thoughts here, Bob. Good job considering both timing and the amount you could actually carry.

      • I’m not sure about the cellphone and cellphone charger, but depending on what’s going down there may still be power somewhere I can use. (Maybe some sort of chemical spill forcing me to leave the immediate area type of thing, rather than Red Dawn, World War Z or whatever. You know, a real life event, not the end of the world. ;D)

  5. I’m going in the kitchen grabbing the biggest knives we got, grabbing the bag of spare clothes, baseball bat, cell phone stuff, keys, wallet, and five jars of peanut butter (that PB will last up to two years and it has a good amount of protein to keep my body strong while other are weakening)

    • You keep five jars of peanut butter in your kitchen?

      • You don’t?

        • Best comment all day. Thanks, Bo, for the laugh!

        • I just looked in the pantry. We only have three. 🙁


        • I have two 40oz ones, two full 28oz ones and a half empty 28oz one. That’s not counting my father’s creamy stuff I wouldn’t normally touch. ;D

  6. I guess pulling out the biggest bag/case and loading it with whatever can be used to secure my safety, well being and hunger first. If I had the time I’d go for food, bottled water & medicines first.
    Maybe a crow bar or other tools that would facilitate breaking in somewhere where I can get more clothes etc would be more useful than trying to take clothes. Blankets, tarp etc would be useful but I think I’d sleep in my car and lock in it some remote garage long before camping. Spare gas cans even if empty could be filled later.

    • I’d probably sleep in my car too; that offers a tad more protection than a nylon tent.

  7. I’m home with a sick wife. Hopefully I am where I need to be; but if I have to leave rightthehellNOW! I am packing as many of my short-term boxes as I can get into the car, and going to get the kids from school.

    Let’s see:
    Three Sterlite footlockers with camping gear, water filters/purifiers, ammunition, magazines, etc.
    Loaded backpacks with clothes, extra toiletries, shoes, etc.
    Two unopened cases of MRE’s.
    Gas masks and extra filters.
    Four rifles.
    As many handguns as I can squeeze into the trunk.
    Body armor.
    Loaded ammunition cans.
    Family documents (birth certificates, SS cards, insurance policies, etc.)
    Home cash and silver reserve.

    If there’s room, scrap books, baby pictures, and the like.

  8. Ugh. I’m in trouble if the zombies rise at the moment, I’d argue that I am at the most susceptible I will be in my life. My wife is pregnant, and is now three days overdue, and is at home with my almost three year old daughter, so my mobility is severely hampered among other things. So I really don’t want anything happening if it’s all the same to everyone, because the current situation would be really tricky come apocalypse scenario.

    However, zombies and nature doesn’t care what my current situation is, and I wouldn’t be playing fair on BotD for Dave 🙂

    So, I’m at work on my break. I would head to my office, grab the emergency bug out bag I have there, raid the civil defence cupboard for a few other bits and pieces that will be useful and then heading for my car… I’d be there in less than five minutes. I’d be heading for home to defend the family. If roads are clogged, then I’m jogging/walking home, it’s not too far, and I have appropriate footwear here at work.

    I often ride a bicycle to work, so that would be even better because I have worked out multiple routes home on the bike so I have options.

    Wow, reading this… I am a lot more prepared than I thought I was. This site has been a good influence on me 🙂

  9. Apparently, it’s my lucky day since I’m replying from home.

    Assuming I have a straight shot to the car, I can go through the garage and grab the BOB, mini-BOB, baseball bat plus the shotgun and box of ammo. With 1 extra minute, I can grab my bike to throw in the back. With 3 extra minutes I could grab all 4 bikes (for the family) since the bike rack is still attached from our last ride. I like the idea of having transportation in case we run out of gas.

    If the house is surrounded, it’s trickier. I can’t carry my big BOB and still fight decently so I’d have to sneak into the garage and grab the mini bag there that has just food plus the more-portable baseball bat. My car is parked underneath a bedroom window with a low awning so it’s out the window, onto the awning and onto the poor car’s hood then directly into the car. There’s always more gear/food/water in my car.

    Now, in case anyone thinks this was too easy, it doesn’t change much for me at work. Grab the mini “work” BOB and keys and get myself to the car if possible. This leaves me defenseless (no weapons allowed on campus), but I’d have food.

    This brings up an interesting point. At home, I can grab real weapons while at work I can’t even have a knife in my BOB. Does anyone carry a baseball bat or lead pipe specifically for use as a makeshift weapon? Is there an innocent enough looking item that you could put into a BOB that would be acceptable for a work environment?

    • Hmmm… I don’t have a BOB at home or at work, but I am planning on finally sorting out the stuff I do have into BOBs. (I have most of the stuff you would put in them.)

      The problem is work, as you say. I can do a car BOB, but if I can’t get to my car for some reason I’m in trouble, as we are only allowed a small locker for stuff, and weapons such as handguns are not allowed. (I sometimes carry a lockblade that I believe is legally too long for my area, but nobody pays much attention to what I use to open boxes and cut zip-ties.)

      So, I guess as far as weapons go, I only have what we have in the store. I can always throw random boxes and stuff at people if I am out on the floor, but if I’m back in the lab where I’m supposed to run the photo machines I could grab the hammer we use on poster frames.

    • Oh, and since you asked about carrying makeshift weapons, I did just come back home from a bit of jogging. I jog at night, so I carry a large Maglite for… light of course. (Don’t generally turn it on unless I spot something laying in the road, a dog bursts out of nowhere, a car comes at me and I want to make sure they see me, or something like that. I know where the road is and trust to my decent sense of balance to save me if I trip over something.)

  10. I don’t understand why they need to leave at all.

    Yes, the zombies are coming, but these are zombies. They’ll come and gather in the street, but they are not going to be knocking down doors looking for fresh meat, are they? The characters could simply go into the shop and wait it out. The supplies are there for a long siege, aren’t they?

    Is there something I am missing here?

  11. If I had five minutes this exact moment? Well, since I’m at work – and I work at a hotel with a full morning breakfast – I’d raid the pantry for as much food as I could then barricade myself in an empty upstairs room til help arrived or things calmed down enough to make a break.
    I’d also grab my lunch bag since it has a hell of a lot of things that I use for work that would be useful in the zombie apocalypse.
    Once I was safely in a room, I’d use what was available in the room and whatever I was able to grab to fashion some weapons, tools, etc.

    • Having a zombie outbreak while at work has got to be among the worst case scenarios (like any time is right for an EOTW event).

      What about in the middle of rush hour, at the end of the day, and all of the commuters are packed in, the roads are jammed, and escape is nearly impossible?

      Man, that would SUCK.