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My Zombie Roommates

An unexpected undead invasion

It’s something that you think would be apparent earlier, but I only just noticed it recently: zombies have invaded my apartment.

No, not legions of shambling, rotting undead. If they got in here and I didn’t notice them, I doubt I’d be able to finish this column, let alone post it in advance to run at the end of a vacation I’m taking. But I did notice that I’ve accumulated a somewhat large collection of zombie-themed items over the years.

This finally hit me after I bought a Zombieland DVD to add to my movie collection. I’m somewhat picky in buying movies, but a couple of other zombie flicks also made the cut: Shaun of the Dead and the 2004 reboot of Dawn of the Dead. Yes, I know that one has running zombies. Sue me, I still like it.

But three movies is hardly zombie overkill, especially since there are no doubt people out there with healthy collections of ghoulish films ranging from the George Romero classics to the Mystery Science Theater 3000 worthy B-movie horrors. The list doesn’t quite stop there, though.

There’s the teaser poster from 28 Weeks Later, a nifty piece of artwork featuring a biohazard symbol and a demand to maintain the quarantine. The bathroom shelf includes Max Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z. I also gave into the temptation to buy a whimsical collection of watercolors by Rhode Island artist Greg Stones entitled Zombies Hate Stuff after seeing it at the Mystic Outdoor Arts Festival.

There’s something about the zombie apocalypse scenario that’s just so appealing. Maybe it’s the imaginative post-apocalyptic landscapes or dystopias featured in these stories, or the scenarios that show that people can come together to form roving communities and face danger together—even if there’s always the looming threat that such societies are tenuous and are susceptible to crumbling amidst mutual distrust. Or maybe it’s just fun to plan for a nonexistent threat that, unlike most disaster scenarios, involves recommendations of tackling the danger head on instead of running for the hills or cowering in a basement.

A neighbor and I certainly had fun discussing such strategies at my former residence. We were in what seemed like practically the perfect location: next door to a food co-op and above a gun shop. We would just have to load up on supplies and smash the exterior stairs and we’d be all set.

Here in New London, no such luck. I’d probably just make a dash for the Coast Guard station to see if I could hop a ride to safety on a fast response boat.

Of course, the city could always hold preparedness drills. Up in Maine, Portland holds a zombie kickball event every year. I understand New London was involved in zombie walks for a little while. My own idea is some kind of zombie pentathlon.

I’ve been kicking that around for awhile, first hoping to organize something for summer and then thinking it could be a Halloween event. Now I guess I’ll have to again consider whether it could be done for summer, and perhaps even get serious about it.

After all, who knows when the virus will hit that critical mutation state.

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