Hello fellow smart, saavy, survivors. A.Ron here. Due to the success of our recent Kickstarter project, we've brought back our old Survival Guide series. We didn't quite make the goal, but we had some left over from our previous-Kickstarter campaign, and what the hell. Survival is important right? So without further ado, let's consider the events of "The Walking Dead" episode 401, entitled "30 Days Without an Accident", with a critical eye.
Situation: Rick is approached by a filthy, apparently starving woman that claims to be searching for food for her and her husband. She explains they’ve been doing poorly and would like to join their group.
What the survivors did: Rick gives her a burrito then volunteers to follow her to wherever her camp is, armed only with his beard and six shots from his mighty Colt Python.
What the survivors should have done: Hoo boy. I can’t fault him for wanting to give people a chance. In an apocalyptic scenario, there is safety in numbers. But you have to have the right people, or you wind up with the Merles and Governors of the world fucking your situation up. And you have to play it smart.
You think Hershel was agitated that Rick wanted to go outside of the fence? Wait a second, hold up, I’m going to blaze new territory here and do a survival guide inside a survival guide, Inception style. Fire up the soundtrack, Hans, 'cause we’re about to go a level deeper! BWOOOOOOOONNNNNGGGGGGG...
Situation: Your figurehead and source of moral authority wants to go traipsing outside the fence with a pocket knife for protection, while said fence is visibly infested with a hojillian walkers.
What the survivors did: Herschel reasons with Rick, pretty please, think of what losing you would mean to us. With sugar on top, take your fucking gun. Which Rick does.
What the survivors should have done: When Rick came up with the suggestion of going out unarmed, he should have stuck that Python right up Rick’s ass, followed by that shiny new prosthetic leg of his, and told him he’d have worse if he ever so much as thought of pulling that shit again. Now, get ready, 'cause here's your kick back to the previous level...
As I was saying, if the council was “concerned” with Rick leaving the prison unarmed, they would be fucking apoplectic if he met up with some dirty Irish hippy and went off who knows where for who knows how long alone without even telling anyone what he was doing. Do you see a problem with this? Let me illuminate.
Said dirty hippy could be the front woman for a band of cannibals. She could be the point woman for the returned Governor. With orders of walking around the prison – as an aside, one thing we’ve learned is being outside the prison is apparently only lethal if you’re in Rick’s group, if you’re a convict, insane woman, or teenage thug from Woodbury you’ll be just fine until you run up on Carl – until someone shows up, expresses concern, you tell your sob story, and they follow you back to an ambush point, and then dinner is served. Or you’re robbed. Or tortured for information about the guard patterns and weaknesses of the prison. Or all of the above!
What the survivors should have done: I don’t have a problem giving the woman a burrito. It’s a gesture of good faith. Then tell her to go back to her camp, get her husband, and come on back. If she shows up with her sick, frail husband, all well and good. You can take them in, clean them up, interrogate them with Rick’s patent pending three questions he got while tripping balls on grief and rage, keep them in cells for a few weeks at night, and slowly restore their privileges and freedom as they earn it. You’re saving their life. It’s not like they’re in a position to bargain, and if they want to, fuck ‘em. They can have all the freedom they want on the other side of the fence.
“But A.Ron,” some of you may say, “Her husband could be too weak to travel, and the woman too frail to carry him.” Okay, fine. Give her the burrito, escort her back to the prison, lock her in that really nifty spiked stockade/vestibule/airlock front gate they got, round up the available badasses, grab one of their people with medical training, grab some weapons, and head out in force. Make it a proper mission. Where ever she’s taking you, stop and listen, flank the area you’re going, scout ahead, act like your life has some kind of meaning, if not to you, if not for the people who look up to you and count on you, then at least to your son and infant daughter.
If I were Herschel, Rick’s "confession' later would have consisted of me kicking his ass up and down the cell block while he tried to whine and cry about situations where it would justify taking such an awful risk as I bellow “NOT EVEN THEN, YOU DICK!” with each cyborg foot I buried into his gut.
Situation: Children have adopted a zombie with a name tag as one of their own, and like to have daily parades of their young, tender, juicy bodies in front of clearly agitated zombies trying to pull down the only thing between them and screaming bloody death.
What the survivors did: Fuck all. Carl told them off, but since his dad took away his gun, couldn’t do much else.
What the survivors should have done: Beat ass. Beat ass and keep reapplying the ass beating until the lesson is learned.
Look, I don’t subscribe to corporal punishment. I was spanked as a child, sure, because my parents were basically characters starring in their own life-long rage comic, and admittedly I turned out okay, right? RIGHT?! But I don’t spank my kids because I have the luxury of living in a soft society that allows me to completely ruin their day and devastate them when they step out of line simply by denying them access to expensive electronic toys and depriving them of their trips to Chuck-E-Cheese that they feel entitled to as their self-evident God-given right. And it’s SO UNFAIR! Now, I’m not going to judge you, anonymous person reading this on the internet, because I don’t know you and I don’t know your kid and I don’t know your situation, so please don’t get all butt hurt and email me to explain how I'm wrong and why you refuse to spare the rod. But in general, if you live in a western-style democratic society with a functional rule of law, intact social contract, and public school system where you send off your crazy kid to circulate among the Gen Pop… I’m just saying, maybe don’t spank your kids.
But there are dads and moms out there that live in societies that make Mad Max look like fun. Where you can get your head blown off or conscripted in some sort of goddamned child army or sold off to a sex slave gang if you look at the wrong person in the wrong way and don’t stay on your toes 24/7. If your kid misbehaves, they won’t get dirty looks or a scolding from an authority figure, they’ll get dead. In this situation, you got two options; not give a shit, stay hands off, and fuck like bunnies to keep the birth rate up, or, take an active hand in raising your kids, give them a little Darwin inoculation and beat some ass on the reg. It ain’t perfect, but hell, you’re probably living in a country that has more AK-47’s than usable calories for your daily intake, so you beat some ass and do your best.
Question: Which type of society do these kids live in? That’s right, a worse than Mad Max hell hole. Oh, and it’s also teeming with undead cannibals. So, beat those asses, parents. The ass you beat today may be the ass you save tomorrow.
Situation: The prison is being slowly overwhelmed by steadily increasing hordes of the undead. They are threatening to take down the fence.
What the survivors did: Apparently they spend a bit of time each day clearing the fence by poking zombie heads with stakes and rebar and what have you. But, if at the end of the day, we got some zed build up here and there? Fuck it, let the morning shift clean it up. If you’ve ever worked in a service industry, retail at Christmastime, or at a FedEx hub, you know exactly what kind of attitude I’m talking about.
What the survivors should have done: This is a no-brainer. Pardon the pun, but there appear to be plenty of able-bodied men and women. Let’s say it takes 30 seconds to pith each zombie. A team of six survivors can work their way through a group of 720 zombies per hour. I didn’t get an exact count, but there appeared to be way less than that in total. So what’s the problem? I get that it would take longer to drag the bodies off and dispose of them, but hey, round up another six man team and that truck, and run shifts stacking 50 or so onto a flat bed, haul them a mile up the road, and drop them in a field. Even if it took you 60 seconds to load each corpse, you could do 60 an hour. A ten minute round trip, and you can get it done in 12 hours.
It would be back breaking, disgusting work, but you could probably switch off days, one six man team spiking brain, the other six man team loading and hauling, and not run people down. And that’s if you just have 12 able bodies, and deal with a surge of 720 zombies every day. I don’t think that’s the reality.
And what’s the alternative? Don’t want to work to clean out the infestation threatening all our lives? Oh, you know where you don’t have to work at all and can do whatever the fuck you want? On the other side of that fence. Get the fuck out. Too good for zombie duty? Fuck you, other side of the fence. Too sensitive? Ah, yeah, fuck you; fence.
Scenario: Zach sucks up to Daryl, while displaying total lack of muzzle safety.
What the survivors did: Make lame jokes and not beat Zach to death.
What the survivors should have done: If I were Daryl, I’d have pointed my crossbow at Zach’s thigh, and then asked him, “Hey, what’s wrong with where I’m pointing my weapon?” When Zach gets a dumb look on his face and says, “Huh? Wha?” I’d shoot him in the leg, and say “Oops!” Then I’d pull the arrow out, have Bob fetch a bottle of hooch out of the Big Spot, pour it on the wound and stitch him up with a knitting needle and fishing line. I don’t think Zach would have a problem with muzzle awareness ever again.
What we can see in these scenarios is one common theme. Once again our group has gotten too complacent, too lazy, and too sloppy. And the hell of it is the group is being led by a core group of Quarry/Farm veterans that should know better! But they’re too busy playing model UN to get a handle on how dangerous this apparently peaceful situation has become. I could go on, but I've got some fire to spit about this walker/fence situation and I want to save some ammo for next week. See you then!