The Dawn of the Dead

Imagine you wake up one Saturday morning and decide to go to your favorite downtown Melbourne coffee shop, but instead of finding a peaceful bistro with the regulars, you find yourself in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse. Seems far-fetched? Well this happened on October 13 in one of my favorite events that I help coordinate; THE MELBOURNE ZOMBIE WALK!  I normally participate as a survivor and spend months creating my zombie combat armor and weapons. I recruited several of my friends and roommates (Z-Walk veterans) and other rookies to help me fight the horde of the undead.

As with popular zombie movie culture, I figured a chainsaw would be an effective weapon. In addition, I wore a police vest with lots of pockets to store ammo and supplies.  This post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention my Utilikilt, a modern designed kilt with cargo pockets, which is the perfect accessory for a zombie hunter/kilt-enthusiast.

The Z-Walk started, the battles were fought and in the end most of my squad managed to survive (RIP Comrade Matt).  After feeling heroic, we decided to celebrate at Steak ‘n’ Shake (Kyle if you are reading this, you owe me ten bucks) and spent the night watching zombie movies. Sounds like a pretty epic day right?

As heroic and brave as we thought we were, zombie survival expert and author, Max Brooks, showed us how wrong we were when he came to campus on October 15, as part of the Campus Activities Board events showcase

(Photo Courtesy of CAB member Matt Levy)

Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who were mistaken on zombie survival tactics; most movies, video games, and TV shows portray the best zombie survivor to be a Rambo-like character with infinite ammo and the survival skills of Tarzan. When Max Brooks arrived on campus for a discussion on zombie survival, it really opened my eyes. While most people would feel the most important thing to do is grab the biggest gun they could find, he expressed that the most important supply to have is water. One of the rules of creative writing is to create drama in order to keep things interesting and readers engaged. It’s all about the characters making bad life choices; if they followed common-sense then the show or movie would only be 10 minutes long.

Some important lessons we learn was nowhere is safe. Unless we can make a car that runs on fear, the best way to move around is a bicycle. Another important note is when creating your survival squad it’s always good to have specialist, not just someone who is strong or a good shot, but someone who knows the devil is in the details. Max taught me that at the end of the day if the zombies don’t get you the small things will.  Whether it’s a painful insect bite, drinking polluted water or even identifying edible plants from the toxic ones, having a specialist who knows how to handle a multitude of scenarios will make life in post-apocalyptic Melbourne more navigable.

After his presentation, he opened the floor for questions.  All I can say is FIT students have very creative and interesting questions. From the serious, “Can zombies can climb trees?” and “What would be a good leadership system for a small group?” to the humorous, “If you cook it properly can you eat zombie flesh?” and “What about Idaho?” Overall it was a very funny and educational experience, kind of like some classes at FIT.

But like any class, here is a quick cheat-sheet to help you survive the zombie apocalypse:

Top 10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack according to the Max Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide

  1. Organize before they rise!
  2. They feel no fear, why should you?
  3. Use your head: remove theirs.
  4. Blades are best.
  5. Ideal protection = tight clothes, short hair.
  6. Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
  7. Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
  8. Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
  9. No place is safe, only safer.
  10. The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.

Like an episode of the Walking Dead, you’ll just have to tune in Next Time to read about Humans vs. Zombies at Florida Tech.


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