Episode 692: Hard Truths

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Smart or Compassionate

One very common theme in zombie stories, and end-of-the-world stories in general, is that survivors will often need to give up their compassion for others in order to survive. Indeed, I’ve read and watched more than a few stories where trying to help others leads directly to disaster, while only looking out for number one helps people to survive.

That said, there are many, many counter examples. The most common of which paints the “smart” character as the bad guy, whose callous decisions ultimately lead to his own demise. When you only look out for yourself, you’ll also be forced to only depend on yourself before too long. And as we have discussed here many times over, you can’t be alert and ready at all times. Sooner or later, you’ll be sick, or hurt, or tired. And then you get eaten by zombies.

About this Episode:

Once more, Sam gets to hang out in the background while Tara and her father continue to hash things out. This is going to be a trend for a few episodes (with an exception or two), while I focus on Tara. When writing this arc, I got really interested in how she and her father would react to the fact that his medicine would be unavailable. Unfortunately, Sam has little to contribute to such a discussion.

Discussion Question: A Case for Compassion

Looking out for yourself might be a good short-term strategy in a zombie survival situation, but I think it’s a dead end, long term. Let’s back up this idea a bit, shall we? Give me a few examples of how helping your common man would ultimately prove to be a great survival strategy. Or, if you happen to disagree, give me some examples to prove me wrong.



Well, there have been no typos for a couple of episodes now, enjoy the roll you’re on, Dave, but watch out for the speed bumps! 😀


I’ll play, though.

“…how she and her father would react…” (they’re both subjects)

As for the question, you’re dead either way (basically). People who risk themselves to help others open themselves up to dying by injury, accident, or slip-up when dealing with the zombies. Those who look out only for themselves increase the likelihood of their short-term survival.

However, those who have successfully built up a community of trusted helpers (especially those with unique skills) increase their long-term survival, provided they make it through the challenges they made for themselves on behalf of others. At that point, the loner is at a disadvantage by comparison.


I thought Tara was Gramps’ grand-duaghter? Or am I mistaken and she just has a really old dad for a father? 😀

Heh, more bio information for characters we might possibly never see again! 😀


As I put it. “She reacts” “her father reacts” so “she and her father react.”

You wouldn’t say “her reacts,” so “her and her father reacts” is incorrect — you can use the same trick to know when “my brother and me” and “my brother and I” are appropriate.


I do have a question for Dave about his zombies: If a zombie is killed, (dead, unmoving, not being a zombie anymore) by whacking it on the head, stopping it from being a zombie, and there isn’t anyone nearby to eat, do your zombies eat zombiefied corpses that won’t be joining them?

Or is it that, once a zombie, they’re not considered food by other zombies if they get killed?

Apologies if this question has already been asked! 😀


No, they won’t eat the corpse of a zombie that’s been re-killed. To be honest, I couldn’t really say why. Perhaps the zombification process ruins the meat.


I get that, but that means they would have to have some residual senses left in their taste buds and noses order to identify a corpse, zombie or not. Otherwise I would have surmised that anything goes. 😀


Stated before I am a volunteer firefighter. Supposedly I am showing compassion for my fellow people but given the number of times I have been cursed out and near run over by drivers. Told I am *&^#$%^ by people because I would not let them drive over our water hoses. Gone to assist people with medical problems on Christmas Day that turn out to be whiny babies who are mad the hospital kicked them out when they thought they should stay in a few more days and many more wonderful examples of showing compassion gets you kicked in the teeth I can honestly say it is the best long term zed apocalypse training I have ever been through.

I am in better shape than most people my age (50+), I know my immediate area and the people in it very well (quick name the street behind your dwelling), have skills that you can not legally practice otherwise, access to equipment and knowledge of its use that many do not have (I laughed my butt off when Eugene turned the water cannon on the zeds in Walking Dead knowing how impossible it really was) but most importantly I have acquired vast experience dealing with people in horrible situations and getting them to work toward a solution.
So go out and volunteer with your local fire department or its auxiliary or if you live in a paid department area find out how you can support them.


Heh…people call you a jerk for not letting them drive over your hoses. When I was an EMT, we had a guy on the fire dept who did the following:

They get to a fire to find that someone had illegally parked in front of the hydrant they needed to use, so the guy busted out his rear side windows and ran the hose through them to the hydrant.

The guy who owned the car, needless to day, was displeased. He wanted to know why the fireman damaged his car when he could have run the hose over or under or around. The fireman said he shouldn’t have parked there, and that over, under, and around weren’t really possible given where the car was in relation to the hydrant. The man says if he’ll take the hose out, he’ll move the car because he was leaving anyway. The fireman says he can’t disconnect the hose they’re using in the middle of a fire, so he’s not going anywhere with the car until they’re done.

So the man went to one of the cops on the scene and complained about the fire department. The cop tells him he shouldn’t have parked there and then writes him a ticket for blocking a fire hydrant.

I suspect it will be the last time he blocks one.


I rather doubt he’s going to have much luck explaining that one to his Insurance company, either! 😀 Well you parked on a hydrant, you gotta pay for the repairs too buddy! 😀


An interesting thing to consider about the help self vs. help others discussion is whether or not said individual knows how to survive in general.

Studies were done involving groups verse individual in survival situations. Those that knew how to survive held an 85% chance of surviving on their own verse some 70% to those who didn’t. But, should such individuals work together, the rates chance to 75% chance. So if I knew how to survive before, my rates GO DOWN if I’m force to protect those that don’t what to do.

Many have made the argument that eventually the zombies would get them, but man kind has learned how to deal with man-eating animals and thrive in those environments as well. So having someone to talk to is nice, but not necessary for my own well-being.

Some food for thought.

Comments are closed.