Episode 824: Double-Cross?

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Well, Duh

Today’s zombie cliche is a fun one. It’s the idea that, while the heroes understand the problem,  at least to a certain extent, they err by completely underestimating its scale. As with so many of our cliches, this one is not unique to the zombie genre. I’m having a hard time explaining this trope well, so let me simply give an example instead. The hero runs around the corner, and swings his bat in a powerful arc, crushing the skull of the zombie approaching him. He spins around and strikes the other approaching zed with an overhand swing, knocking the creature down but not killing it. He steps forward and brings the bat down over and over again on the zombie’s skull, steadily reducing it to a soup of viscera. Finally, he stops, choking down breath in ragged gasps. Suddenly, he feels the presence of something behind him, and spins around to see a massive horde of the walking dead and they close in around him.

About this Episode:

Typos hunters, prepare to step up your game. I’m writing today’s description while fighting a cold and being extremely tired after a ton of outside work this weekend. I’m pretty beat, which means I’m probably also pretty sloppy with my writing.

Discussion Question: Shotguns

I don’t know why it is, but shotguns and zombies mix constantly in books, movies, games, and – of course, comics. There’s just something magical about blasting a zombie in the face with a twelve gauge, isn’t there? That said, while shotguns are powerful and relatively simple to use, they have a lot of negatives as well. The biggest of which, to my mind anyway, is that the ammo is bulky and reloading most shotguns is pretty time consuming. In fact, I’ve never used a shotgun with a removable magazine.

So the question is, are shotguns worth it in a zombie survival situation, or would you be better served with another kind of firearm?



Good grief, typo alert city here:

“err by complete underestimating” complete–>completely

“not unique the the zombie” 1st the–>to 😀

“strikes the other approached zed” approached–>approaching 😉

” and the close in around” the–>they

” zombies mix constant in” constant–>constantly 😀

Dave, do people some favors next time you get a cold:

1. Call in sick.

2. Ignore the comic, get the cold/flu stuff in your system, and have plenty of rest.

3. Don’t worry about us, we’ll still be here waiting for you to get well soon and will be wishing you well! 😀

Other than that, there weren’t really that many typos, good fun finding them anyway! 😀


I get what Gus is saying here, but does he know that a group could be capable of pulling a double-cross on both parties at once? It’s one thing to call it that, but it’s another thing entirely when it might not matter if they’re targeting both groups simultaneously.

So, what are our group members supposed to do about this situation? It’s not bad, it’s worse, infinitely worse, than they thought it was! 😀


Very good point. The extent of their deception could be huge indeed.


is Gus going to stay where he is or does he have some kind of plan or reinforcements he could help them out with? I think in a zombie apocalypse, one certainly won’t be able to call on the A-Team, nor any other team, for that matter. They’re going to have to figure something out here, and see what they can do about making their current predicament somewhat less dire! 😀


Excellent question, and that will be addressed very shortly.


One last typo alert: “Double Cross” title should be hyphenated. 😀


Shotguns are versatile. You can load small shot to take down small game or large shot for bigger game. You can load solid shot so it acts more like a rifle when you hit with it. Some people think they are easier to use than rifles because they think you don’t need to aim as much. Down sides are they are shorter range than rifles, ammo can be harder to find since reloading shotgun shells is not as practical as rifle rounds and you have to have the correct gauge and if you have the wrong ammo loaded it can take a while change ammo. Also most shotguns hold a smaller number of rounds than rifles. Oh and sawed off look cool but not recommended for long term use.


Excellent comment. Why are sawn off shotguns not recommended long term?


The end of a barrel is designed to allow the shot to leave. Cutting a barrel down loses that and the wear on the end will increase dramatically.


I really like where this is going Dave!
Ok, I have a bit of a technical question here. When you say “double-cross”… who is double-crossing who?
If we assume that the “others” are playing our heroes… I guess Murphy and the others are being”double-crossed”? Unless Murphy is one step ahead and is only pretending to be played, therefore “reverse-double-crossing” the others? Ouch, my head hurts.


In this case, Henry’s group is double-crossing Murphy & Co. They said they were going to team up and take out these bad guys, but that’s clearly just a diversion for whatever it is that they’re actually up to.


Agreed with rat travel.

Shoot guns advantage is the multiple types of ammunition, the ease of production, the ease of reloading spent ammunition as long as you find a primer. If it is a powered type, then conversions are easy too.


I’ve never reloaded, but I can see where plastic shells would likely be much easier. How difficult is it to reload the primer and powder?


I haven’t done it, have a friend that tries to do it himself said that the first time was easy. I also haven’t figured out what permits and requirements are needed by the changing laws.
However there are 3 serious problems. Number 1 finding that re-loader squishing together (and not set off the primer) device, called a shotgun press. 2 not mistaking an older style device for a button press, and 3 COST.


I remember in The Road, a character had shotgun shells that had been reloaded and sealed with candle wax. Presumably he had done this with improvised tools. How realistic is this?


Not that bad, probably around 2 minutes worth of work with an exact fitting washer to hold the shell, some very small pouring edge style coffee scoops marked to the right amount of powder, a coffee like filter paper wad, a few very small pipes to poke things off and push together, some very well fitting cardboard to cover the opening, and finally some well placed Elmer glue to hold the cardboard down.

It does look easy on a million prep – videos , but it takes a steady hand to accomplish this, not discharge the primer, and catch fire to the open gun powder, and hot wax to substitute for glue means that you need a way to melt HOT wax around open HEAT sensitive powder.
I would grade it as probable, but very impractical, plus on a hot day the wax would melt out of the hull (plastic tube) and release the contents, probably causing damage to the gun and those around.

It makes me think of 2 jobs for the “jobs that people may not think are needed in the apocalypse question” and that job is horse caretaker and glue maker.

Steam Powered Spam

Everyone likes shot guns, but the poor blunderbuss gete no love .w.

Living in the midwest of ‘murica!’ (America in Redneck) there is no shortage of weapons here. I suspect that in the event of a zombie infection, alien invasion, or robot uprising, it would be a lot like Fortnite where there are dozens of deadly death dealing weapons waiting to be used around every corn of every abandoned building.

Annnnnd I would still be a lousy shot with each and every one of them.

But if given the choice, I would take the shotgun over a rifle simply because they look so KICK BUTT, and if nothing else, I would know I look cool right before I get eaten :p


Indeed, it’s tragic that the golden time of the blunderbuss seems to be at an end.

Pepper Valentino

“Your friends are in trouble.”

Hmm…How does Gus know they have friends?
He could probably figure it out. Especially if he knows this other group, and what they do.
But still…They never told him that they were more than just Murph and Russ.

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