“That’s great it starts with an earthquake,
Birds and Snakes, an Aeroplane,
and Lenny Bruce is not afraid…”
So why all the fuss about Zombies when they aren’t real? Put simply, it is a representation of something that cannot be quantified, or that has so many variations that to attempt to describe all of them would take years and years, but can be prepared for in similar ways. What if a financial collapse brings us to a post apocalyptic world like Mad Max lived in? What if the government implodes upon itself allowing a Red Dawn scenario to play out? Think of all the plot devices that brought us some great and some not so great movies, like Resident Evil, Mad Max, Waterworld (sorry), and so on. All of those deal with the acronym TEOTWAWKI; The End of the World As We Know It, or in other words, Zombie Apocalypse (even though they don’t all deal with zombies). Those are extreme cases, and highly unlikely. If you make it a bit more personal though, suddenly it is very relevant.
When I was 12 years old, my family went on vacation. When we returned from our week out-of-state, our house had been burglarized. They took a TV, jewelry, and some other small things. This was in the 80’s so there was no computer to take, and they didn’t take everything. They left both my brother’s and my bicycles, a car, various powertools and so on. Was it the end of the world? No. It was however the end of our world, at least in the way we perceived it. When we returned and found our house ransacked, everything changed. We didn’t sleep in our house that night, and it was some nights before we did again, because we didn’t feel safe. All of the door locks changed, and we suddenly had a ton of lights in the house on timers, which stayed that way whether we were home or not, or motion sensors. We also got a dog, Duke. These were not drastic changes, but they were changes. What we had known before, had been very suddenly and very dramatically changed. The world as we knew it before and the world as we knew it after were two very different realities.
Recently, I was informed by a friend that a friend of his had his house broken into. It wasn’t a smash and dash either, but the individuals that broke in spent quite some time. Everything of value was taken. The gun safe was broken into and all the contents missing. For this individual, it was the end of the world as he knew it. It was his own personal zombie apocalypse. His home which was supposed to be his family’s refuge, had been violated. As if to add insult to injury, his stolen weapons appeared at the shooting range he frequents while he was there. He called the police who apprehended the individuals, who were them promptly released when the ADA on call refused to press charges against the individuals who were in possession of an array of stolen firearms, some of which that just happened to be his. (That is a long roundabout story, that does not have a happy ending.) He is moving because he no longer feels that his home is safe, and I don’t blame him. I would move too. It is said that one’s home is their castle. We even have a law named after that concept; the Castle Doctrine. I’m willing to bet that this man’s next home will be less castle and more fortress. His view of the world, and what’s in it, has changed, and I’m certain, even though I have not personally met the man yet, that his behavior around his new home will reflect that. I don’t mean to imply that he wasn’t already prepared either. He had a home alarm system, a safe, and so on.
Zombies aren’t real. I get that. I’m not 12 years old anymore and I have a family of my own now. I worry about them and their safety constantly. Am I preparing for zombies? No. I am preparing for The End of the World as I know it, and I know that anything can happen, from an economic disaster, to a terrorist attack, to having my home intruded upon by unwelcome strangers. No matter how much I prepare, no matter how much I anticipate, there is still a chance that my world, as I know it now, will end and I will have a new reality to wake up to. You don’t have to have actual zombies to have a zombie apocalypse, even so it’s still a good idea to prepare for one.