A PRIMER (for the zombie apocalypse)
by Mark Teats
by Mark Teats
During the zombie apocalypse, circle your house, inspecting that every board is hammered tight. Shutter the first floor windows, but not upstairs. Zombies are terrible climbers, and the sunshine will boost your spirits on those lazy afternoons. Inside, keep all unnecessary doors locked. Unlocked doors only invite zombies. Memorize your escape routes, load your guns, safeties are optional. Always wear shoes or better yet, boots. Cultivate relationships with slow runners. When crossing midnight playgrounds you may hear the laughter of shadow children echoing off the empty swing sets. Move quickly. If you are followed by ankle-biters, literally, do not spare the rod, for the child has already spoiled. Can’t you smell them? Apply your baseball bat liberally. Aim for the head. It’s the kind thing to do. But don’t strain yourself. You can’t afford a sprained arm or shoulder.
For entertainment, books and comics are best. Archie, Howard the Duck, nothing too deep, nothing too heavy. If you have a portable generator then a DVD player and a stack of Jim Carrey movies will really make all the difference, between wanting to go on, and wanting to put in a good movie. Laughter is the best medicine. It cures what ails us. Except for Zombie virus Z strain 17, apparently. Generators will call in zombies, so in the slow parts of the show, you can take a break, and put a few down. With gunfire, no ethnic slurs, or criticism over fashion mistakes. They can’t help how they were made.
After hand-to-hand mano y zombie combat, feel for fresh wounds. Strip down; leave your bloody clothes behind. The epidemic crawls there. Go to clean water. Bathe, pray, lather, repeat. Bathe, pray, lather, repeat. Make visual confirmation there are no cuts, scratches, bite marks or unwanted blemishes. Leave your feminine side behind. Makeup, lipstick, perfume, tears, shows and books about angst filled vampire love and clumsy teenagers don’t belong here. Nor English royalty. That bullshit is left behind. Don’t accept “new kinds” of meat from strangers. Be wary of strangers in general, especially those that drag their feet, moan, have rotted body parts, and who wear cloying cologne. Beware, also, of the happy. There is no time for giggling now. Although, maybe it was just one of those Jim Carrey flicks that set them off.
Know where to find fresh water. Reload. Know how to hunt, fish, camp, steal, read instructions, climb a light pole, deliver a spleen rupturing punch, and sew. Knitting is of no use. Knit garments get caught on things, like grabbing, gnarled hands, or yellow, infection-clotted teeth.
Sing. Something popular, preferably something mindless with Spanish or Korean lyrics. “Gangnam Style” comes to mind. Enjoy the new financial utopia. No one cares about your mortgage payment, your credit card debt or your money now. Gas tanks are best kept full. Slant the nose of your parked escape vehicle down the driveway, like a plane ready for a bumpy, emergency crash landing. Keep on eye on the exits, have piles of maps. Leave the GPS behind. They’ve become less and less stable since The End.
Once you’ve killed all the zombies in your neighborhood, clear the land around your stronghold. 550 meters is the effective range of an M16 rifle. Fire is a good clearing agent for pesky buildings that block your view. Plant killer and dynamite have their places, too. Use as needed. Don’t think of zombies as humans. Sure, some of them were once like you. Once your friends, perhaps. But then some of them don’t give your books back (Nancy). Some of them spill soda on your rugs and don’t offer dry cleaning (Tony). I repeat: Zombies are not human. To think otherwise is dangerous, it’s loser talk.
Cock. Aim. Fire. Reload. Cock. Aim. Fire. Reload. Know how many grains of gunpowder work best in a 9mm bullet. Six is best. You want that extra punch. Have a reload kit, 5,000 rounds of empty brass, and five pounds of premium gun powder. One thing is still true as it was before the zombies: avoid condominiums. Three gallons of clean water per person is a good start, but you’ll be thirsty in no time. Consider a solar still. Do not make out after beating an undead mob to death with a hatchet. It’s icky. However, if you’ve taken all the above to heart, fornicate. A lot. In interesting positions. The best lookout on top. It passes the time. And unlike zombies, babies don’t make themselves. And without babies, this has all been for nothing.
~ Mark Teats / @manowords
~ Mark Teats / @manowords
*Explanation: This is my attempt at a "prose-poem." I hope you enjoyed it.
**Watch out for zombies.