Episode 738: Dirty Work

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Zombies are Pretty Gross

For people like us who love the zombie genre, it’s easy to forget just how utterly disgusting it would be to have to actually deal with the walking dead. I mean, honestly, these are corpses that are walking around, eating people. They’re going to be decomposing in front of our very eyes. Just imagine the actual details of that. Imagine the textures and the liquids that would periodically leak out of them. Imagine the smells.

Or, you know what? Maybe don’t. Because that’s gross.

About this Episode:

I really wish LEGO gave us more options for clipping pieces on minifigs. I would especially love a few nice, low profile belt options. Because I don’t have anything like that, I have only three options for dealing with items in my characters hands: I can have them disappear entirely (I’ve used this a few times), show the character setting down the item (ditto), or simply have them keep it in their hand (I usually do this). The latter is perhaps the most natural, but it’s also a bit awkward in that is prohibits the person from using that hand. That said, a character in the world of Bricks of the Dead shouldn’t put down their weapon and risk potentially losing it, so they have little choice.

Discussion Question: Zombies and Decay

The zombie cliche lookout led me to an interesting thought: how would the zombification process inhibit normal bodily decay? One has to assume that it would, at a minimum, slow it down. Otherwise the solution to the zombie outbreak would be to simply batten down the hatches and wait things out for a few days. It wouldn’t take long before the zombies’ muscle tissues decayed to the point that they could no longer stand or move.

Bearing that in mind, how far should this extend? Should zombies simply dry out but not rot? Rot incredibly slowly? Only lose certain types of tissue?

14 thoughts on “Episode 738: Dirty Work”

  1. Typo alerts: “Just imagine that actual details of that.” Change first “that” to “the”. 😀

    “Imagines the smells.” imagines–>imagine 😉

    “simply batton down” batton–>batten 😀

    Good thing there’s not too many typos! 😀

    • Also, there appears to be no mouseover text. I suggest “Also, these pockets are the dirtiest pockets I’ve ever come across, bar none.” 😀 Barb, being a nurse, has probably seen lots of things in patients’ pockets, and probably rather dirty ones at that, too! 😀

      • Hah, I’m using it.

    • Fixed all, thanks.

  2. I would imagine zombies have some kind of preservative, like that used in long-life milk products, to make it last longer on the shelves. Whether this is a naturally ingested preservative, or some kind of special nutrient that causes them to feed on people to get it is unfortunately unknowable, as biologists sent to gather field samples never came back! 😀

    • This also brings up an interesting point: Zombies have some difficult things they would have to avoid if they really wanted to survive for any length of time in a zombie apocalypse:

      Tornadoes, monsoons, cyclones, earthquakes, lightning strikes, and similar natural disasters: Anything that is a natural disaster that has lots of flying objects inside of it hurtling around at high speed or is naturally destructive in it’s nature, like earthquakes and thunderstorms, spells certain doom for a zombie as they’re likely to be ground to a zombiefied pulpy mess or destroyed with no chance of a viable zombie coming out of it.

      Animal attacks would also be something to be wary of, unless the zombies are of a type that simply infects anything that tries to eat it. Bears would be a particularly tough problem, as bears are naturally tough, heavy-duty predators, it takes a lot to bring down a grizzly bear to the point where a zombie would be a threat to it.

      That being said, maybe a real zombie apocalypse would have very strong zombies with characteristics that came forth from whatever created them in the first place. I would expect that at a minimum, unnatural or extraordinary biological circumstances would be playing a role, however.

      • Very interesting points. One thing that I’ve seen addressed in a few zombie stories is the idea that animals naturally avoid the zombies. This not only removes the threat from predation, but it might also explain the lack of decay if it also micro-fauna that break down dead tissue.

        • Beware of the zombie-ducks, these are the worst.

  3. I’m also wondering where Barb is going to search the legless zombie for items that might be in his pockets. Presumably his legs are still out there somewhere, no idea where though, and the original comics these prisoners became zombiefied in gave very few clues up. 😀

    It’ll be very interesting, too, to see if Clark simply hotwires the truck or something equally last-minute! 😀

    • Perhaps his legs were removed right below the pockets?

  4. Many things can happen to a body, some places study that such as: https://mosaicscience.com/story/what-happens-after-you-die

    Synopsis: a body undergoes a process like a wine going bad and releases all the water, then other chemicals that attract insects.

    Usually most zed movies blame the base of brain where “only the basics” of humanistic behaviors and movement come from, or they blame a second power maybe a fungus, like Ophiocordyceps (thanks google) which overtakes the host.

    Although a zed dipped in the fibers of keratin
    (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keratin) would be a very tough opponent and might have great hair too!

    Bedsides in the twd, z-nation and most other related tropes all sorts of “mercy proofed” zeds brought down by whatever. The only zeds that I’ve seen not been taken down were the bedazzled blasted z-nation guard kittens, but that was, because no one had a strong enough weapon.

    • Wow, interesting read! I need to start watching Z Nation again. I gave up halfway through the first season because my wife hated it.

  5. Sorry about the lost post, wifi loss.

    Z nation, is a love or hate show. Hope you don’t hate the show for what they did to make it a few episodes longer. It makes for great concepts.

    Still I’d like to hear your thoughts on keratin soaked or necromancy raised embalmed post-human walking horror.

  6. Well, since they already broke the most important rule of nature (once dead you’re gone) I’d say you can feel free to play with zombies “preservation” as your story needs it.

    I myself would put a 1 year expiration date… Which, I guess, is already pretty long considering how rotten they already are!