Zombie Cliche Lookout: Zombie Disposal
I don’t care how bad a survival situation you find yourself in, nobody wants to be surrounded by a bunch of butchered zombie corpses. Not only is it super gross and smelly, but it can also have a number of real consequences, especially when it comes to negatively impacting morale, and the potential as a disease vector. Long story short, you should avoid just leaving piles of bodies lying around, at least not where you eat and sleep.
This naturally begs the question: just what are you supposed to do with the bodies? I mean, if you’re a zombie survival badass, the bodies are probably stacking up like cordwood. You’ve got a couple obvious approaches: bury them, pile them somewhere remote, or burn them. In the vast, vast majority of zombie fiction I’ve seen, burning them seems to be the default choice. I assume that is for two reasons: first, it’s the easier of the three; and second, it just looks cool.
About this Episode:
I’m wrapping up this little story arc pretty quick; this episode is here to show that our survivors are going to be burning the zombies. That way, when we check back with them later on, we shouldn’t expect to see a pile of bodies anymore. I’m doing this primarily because I’ll likely forget otherwise. I’m probably not going to show the bonfire though. We all know where this is going.
Discussion Question: Multicultural Zombie Response
This time, we get another question from BrickVoid, the commenter who catches most of my various typos. Here it goes: We mostly tend to forget that other cultures and societies are out there, cultures or societies that would react differently to attacks on people within their culture or society. So, here’s the question: How do you expect zombie attacks would be handled by different cultures or societies?
Only one typo, and it’s as easy as adding a ‘s’ to the end of this sentence:
I assume that is for two reason
Done! One typo ain’t bad.
I had been wondering if Dave was going to touch on the practice of burial rites on disposal of the zombie corpses. I’d expect that we’d come back to a small unrecognizable pile of ashes, once Dave returns to this arc sometime in the future, and one of the group will be finishing up the recital of some burial or disposal rites. 😀
Anyway, I’m hoping Monday brings in a new scene with some of our other zombie apocalypse survivors from one of the other story arcs getting time to shine! 😀
Well, I still want to touch on Stewart and Brent before we part ways with this group, so it won’t be Monday.
Speaking of which, though, I wonder what everyone wants to see: Sam, or (the remains of) the News Team?
Regarding touching on Stewart and Brent: I figure it will be an excellent test of Stewart’s character. He’s probably watching Brent proceed through the stages of infection before he turns and becomes a zombie after death. He’s still going to have to remember his zombie training, though. once dead, whack poor ‘ol Brent in the head sop he doesn’t come back as a zombie would be preferable to letting him turn into a zombie and put the entire group at risk. 😀
Very good points. I wonder how the young man will fare.
Hey reply chaining got fixed! 😀
Also, I still wonder on the subject of funeral rites: Some of the group will no doubt point out that these zombies were people before they went around biting people, aren’t we going to lay their poor souls to rest? Or are your characters so shallow they’re going to write off being a zombie as a mistaken evil? 😀 I certainly think someone in the group could figure out what becoming a zombie means, and figure out that the formerly live people probably wouldn’t have done that had they been around to control themselves after death. 😀 That would make a really good discussion question, too! 😉
Well hot damn! The only change I’ve made around here is removing the forum. I wonder if that’s what did it. At any rate, I’m damn glad it’s fixed. I was getting really frustrated with it.
That’s a really good point, BV. I’ll have to find a way to work that into the story.
The thing with the forums is this: You’ve still got the BCN forum link to your comic, right? You should set up a thread or maybe a sub-forum on that site, if you find people still want to use a forum for whatever reason. I don’t often visit the BCN but from the few times i have visited, it does appear to get quite a bit of use. 😉
I agree that cremation would be the optimal disposal system. Sooner or later, survivors will need to return to the land for food. Soil, water sources, parasites, scavengers, et al, would be contaminated to such an extreme that we would be dealing with a constellation of Eco-disasters and not “just”the zees.
If course, no solution in the zeepoc is with our lethal consequences.
1. Cremation takes huge effort and resources. Gathering combustable material, stacking the cadavers, means to ignite, etc. it will be exhausting work.
2. Psychologically, it will take time to become inured to the gruesome spectacle! Bad enough watching your child die, come back to “life,” survive being eaten, and having to dispatch, and now, get to see the incineration. Yeah, that would mess me up. Not to mention our old friend Denial: “There couldda been something we could do to save her! Why did you have to kill her!?”
3. There’s the Attraction Factor. Effort to start and continue the pyrrhic wotk will be noisy, smelly, smoky and full of movement. All these may attract other zees in the vicinity, attract scavenging and predatory animals, and, signal one’s location to bands if human marauders.
4. Then, there’s the threat if conflagration. That is, you stand a good chance if starting a catastrophic urban or forest fire; not only endangering yourself, but destroying potential, limited resources. In addition, a long-term consequence of a great fire is that it allows for greater mobility and transit to next generation of zees.
Speaking of cross-cultural issues, certain traditions are against mutilation, dismemberment or cremation of cadavers; considered Desecration. So, some heavy duty rethinking of “proper disposal” will have to take place.
If my theory of reverting to a fiefdom system is correct, I suspect that a Disposal Caste will emerge, and they will institutionalize this gruesome work. “Bring out yer dead!”
Holy crap, Luis, excellent response! You’ve touched on a lot of interesting issues here. I especially like the idea of a “Disposal Caste”; that sounds like a setup for an excellent short story.
I’m guessing that to make the work more palatable, this new system would move away from the Fire equals Hell metaphors to Fire as Purification element. Which many cultures have advocated anyway.
*knock!* *knock!* “Yes?” “Excuse me, sir? Have you been Burned Again?”
Oh god, those guys sound worse than the normal religious recruiters I get at my house.
Hi Dave & other fans, thought I’d break the news on this website that the next CMF Series is Halloween-themed, and features THREE Lego Zombie minifigures!
sp00ky, amirite m9s XDDDDD
Thank you, sir! I’m going to do a quick write-up on this.
On a side note, could you start stacking up the bodies as a sort of make-shift perimeter fence?
Grossest fence ever.