Episode 797: Bridge Building

Zombie Cliche Lookout: The Greater Good

Okay, so today’s cliche isn’t unique to the zombie genre, or even fiction in general. No, people coming together for mutual benefit is something that goes way, way back. Back to, well, the beginning of the human race. After all, humans on their own can’t really compete on equal terms with other predators. It’s two things that put us at the top of the food chain: the ability to make and use tools, and our ability to form complex social groups. Sure, there are pack hunters and animals that can make and use tools, but none to the extent of human beings. I’ve seen a monkey use a stick to pull termites out of a nest, but I’ve never seen a jaguar use a radial arm saw for rough carpentry. Honestly, it’s not even fair. We are, after all, the smartest primates. Gorillas are still stronger, but that’s okay

About this Episode:

Okay, so I’ve been hearing the occasional comment on here that people neither like nor trust Henry. It seems like the big reason behind that is because he’s basically just a politician. So, naturally I’m having a hell of a good time building on that. And what better way to make a character seem like an asshole politician than by having him unironically say “coalition” in regards to very small groups of people. You’re welcome, everyone.

Discussion Question: Evasive but Charming?

So Henry is clearly not a fan favorite here, and for pretty good reason. So far, he’s been condescending, threatening, smarmy, and evasive. People don’t tend to like those qualities in others, but some people manage to pull it off and still be pretty charming. Let’s say you’re Henry. How would you change your approach to help build trust with the group?



Typo alert, Mouseover text: “half your as slaves” Half your what? ๐Ÿ˜€

“Jaguar use a radial arm saw for rough carpentry” That’s a metaphor that doesn’t fit! How would a jaguar use anything let alone a radial arm saw? ๐Ÿ˜€ Try again!

If jaguars suddenly become tool users there will be a new top tier social animal on the top of the planet! ๐Ÿ˜€ I just don’t see it happening. They’re certainly not primates, nor even close to that group.


Updated the mouseover. I’m sticking with my bad metaphor though, because at that point the comparison was animals in general, not specifically primates.


It’s not just a bad metaphor to me, it’s more like what would’ve happened if someone banged themselves by running headlong into a rendition of an open window painted on a concrete wall. ๐Ÿ˜€


If Henry really wants to do something unexpected, he could say he and his group are okay with them being friends and staying right where they are. What’s the best thing you could offer someone? Help with zombie problems but allow them to remain where they feel comfortable. Will he dangle that in front of them? I guess we’ll find out eventually.


That’s a damn good point, and something I don’t think I’ve really seen in zombie or post apocalyptic fiction. Hey, we’re friendly, and we want you to know we’re around, but not to push you into anything. We hope we can keep an open line of communication. Okay, see ‘ya.


If you are going with the ‘politician’ Henry, (per your post above,) you can’t have him just mean what he says like that. It has to be the comic text, implying the unstated condition. Be that an exchange of talent, we pick who we want, you have who we give you; or some pooling of rescources. (IE. We’re running low on water, but have too many tinned beans.)


“So far, heโ€™s been condescending, threatening, smarmy, and evasive.”
Yeah, don’t do that if you want to build trust.


Let me try to end Henry’s statement.
“Well, yes. That too… but mostly make lots of babies”.
C’mon, the guy is downright creepy… we all know this is going to turn sour real quick.

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