#3: Were you ready for this?
Updated: Mar 9, 2021
According to a recent scientific study, people who enjoy zombie stories were better prepared for the coronavirus pandemic than others. You can read the results of this study RIGHT HERE, or by clicking the link below.
Now, even though I sometimes use big words and play mind-games on my kids (my youngest currently believes that she smells different when she's lying), I'm no scientist. But I could've saved those researchers a TON of time and money if they'd spoken to me before bothering with those other 310 test subjects.
Obviously most of us friendly-neighborhood zombie freaks were better prepared for the Covid-19 pandemic than the average, boring old non-zombie consumers out there. If you're the kind of person who can casually transition from talking about the weather to analyzing Walking Dead character deaths at dinner parties, or who gets a weird twinkle in their eye whenever somebody moans unexpectedly, you're probably already used to people social distancing from you.
I know I've cleared more than a few rooms by trying to start up a conversation about the importance of double-tapping zombies, or by informally polling a crowd about whether they prefer machetes over baseball bats when dealing with undead firefighters.
In any case, as awful as this pandemic is, I think I was relatively well-prepared. I've predicted a global pandemic for almost twenty years already. I've been quoting Dustin Hoffman's lines from Outbreak for so long I sound like one of those late-night mesothelioma infomercials, except for some sort of Ebola-slash-Rabies-slash-acne hybrid supervirus. I already had a decent bug-out location, a solid stash of non-perishable food, camping gear, emergency supplies and so on.
Sidenote: speaking of emergency gear, did you know that Doritos and other corn chips make great fire starters? If all prepper supplies were this deliciously crunchy, doomsday planning would involve a LOT more time on the treadmill.
As far as my own prepping goes, I even have a bidet installed at home. This saved my family from the quasi-apocalyptic global toilet paper shortage. If zombies ever do show up, it'll be horrible and terrifying, sure. But my family will sport the cleanest bums in town. It may not be much of a silver lining, but when it comes to the end of the world, I figure anything is better than nothing.
Also, the last thing you want to worry about when you're fighting the undead is figuring out an off-grid solution to laundering combat skid marks.
The only prepper supplies I neglected to hoard were live-in nannies. Every survival manual I
consulted failed to recommend stockpiling a few babysitters ahead of the apocalypse. Maybe the next book I write should fill this important gap in doomsday prepper strategy. Apocalypse Prepping for Parents - Nanny Selection and Storage 101. I'm not sure if there's a category on Amazon for a book like this, but I'll email Jeff Bezos to ask. I'm sure he'll get back to me quickly.
Note: Depending on where you live, there may be legal implications to nanny hoarding, so check ahead. Don't do as I do. Don't even do as I say.
What about you? Were you ready for the pandemic? Do you think you're handling it better than the average non-zombie fan? And what if it were a full-on zombie apocalypse? Do you have a contingency plan for personal zompoc hygiene? Let me know. Although please don't send me photos. My wife and kids often use this computer.
Again, this pandemic is absolutely terrible, no matter how well-prepared you were. It's a real nightmare. The only real benefit to all this - at least for those of us who somewhat saw this coming - is that we're all finally justified by starting most conversations with "I told you so." Given that I'm wrong about virtually everything else in life, I'm enjoying this tiny aspect of it while it lasts. It's the cherry on the sundae, if said sundae were made out of wet, infectious goat manure.
I figure that being this right about something so important automatically gives me a license to feel smug. I really only have my wife and kids around me these days, so there aren't too many people who have to endure my silly little smugness tantrums. This means I don't have to tone down my act one bit. I can flail my hands around, stamp my feet or Harumph all I want.
So long as I keep doing the dishes. It's truly amazing how much pomp you can get away with while the kitchen is clean.
Being in a pandemic, there's very little risk that I'll alienate my family members by acting self-satisfied right now. Divorce and legal emancipation are way less tempting when everybody outside of your family has to stay two meters away from you.
In any case, my wife is used to it. She just raises an eyebrow, indulges me with a half-hearted "Uh-huh" , then goes back to watching Bridgerton while I mutter to myself, standing alone in the kitchen. Meanwhile, my kids ignore just about anything I say unless it involves dessert, Pokemon cards or the threat of forced vegetable ingestion. If you plan it correctly, small-scale self-satisfied gloating leaves very few victims in its wake.
If I can at least get 18 months of self-importance out of my custom, mail-order #ToldjaSoPandemic2020 tie-dye
T-shirt, it will have been worth it. I even got a free cardboard coaster to go with it!
Netflix finally dropped a few seconds of their teaser for Zack Snyder's upcoming, much-anticipated zombie blockbuster Army Of The Dead (included in their 2021 movie sizzle reel). Although it's only coming this summer, I'm super excited for this film. Zack Snyder directed the remake of Dawn of the Dead, which I think was one of the best zombie films of the past twenty years. Bonus: one of the stars of Army is the hilarious Tig Notaro, whom I also love on Star Trek Discovery. If you like deadpan, fatalistic, unselfconscious stand up comedy, check out Tig's specials on Netflix.
Waiting for Army of the Dead is a big part of my strategy for lasting through the long, dark winter months ahead without throwing myself to the mercy of nearby bears, grocery-store sneezers or icicle-wielding serial killers.
There's only about six seconds of footage from Army - skip to 1:15 to catch a quick glimpse:
British horror author Mark Cassell is running a special ultra low-price on Fabric, a box set of
four of his dark fantasy works right now. His book cover also kind of looks like how I feel when I wake up to my screaming children every morning. If you like scary stories, check this out:
There's also another big new collection of free fantasy, sci-fi, post-apocalyptic and horror books available right now, but you can only get it for TWO MORE DAYS. This deal shuts down after January 25th, so if you want more giveaway stocking stuffers for your newfangled eBook reader, take a look at this collection ASAP:
Finally, are you on Facebook? If so, why not come and hang out in my zombie-loving group The Zombie Pen? We have a lot of ridiculous, completely unrealistic conversations about the undead on a daily basis. Maybe one day we'll all meet up in person at some random event, get-together or convention somewhere and figure out that we can't stand each other. But until that happens, it's fantastic.
So join the group, already! I'm sure you'll fit right in. If you don't, I'll help you find some other fringe group. Maybe something about werewolves, radioactive vampires or demon mermaid absinthe orgies, if that's what you're into. :)
That's it! Thanks for reading, and have an excellent planetary rotation.