This week’s survival guide for The Walking Dead episode 406, “Live Bait”, features the long awaited return of the Governor. Wait, I’m not sure anyone was actually really waiting for that, but, it was good to see him start to bring an end to the prison arc, planning Rick’s destr– what was that? He just kind of wandered around the whole hour? Hoo boy. Okay, let’s just see how we can survive this.
Scenario: The Governor, lost after the Woodbury massacre, and abandoned by his top lieutenants, walks the earth alone.
What the survivors did: Grew out a sweet, failed-jedi looking beard, and adopted a controversial, non-violent bball-inspired “cross ‘em up” style of zombie fighting.
What the survivors should have done: Okay, you busted me, I didn’t really have much to say, I just wanted to make the basketball joke.
But while we’re here, I would think that, if you’re alone in an apocalyptic world, you’d want to travel by day, but stay off road as much as you can. After all, that’s where all the people are going to be, and if we’ve learned nothing else, it should be the living can be on a whole other level of terrifying from the zombies. Your first goal should be to always have a map of the area, because you’re going to want to plan your day around getting to the next town, or neighborhood, before dark falls. Maps should be relatively easy to come by; I’d imagine at least one in ten cars would have one, almost every big box store would carry them, you can find them in nearly every house or apartment building you’d care to loot. And you don’t want to travel at night, because humans have evolved to function well during the day; our night vision is shit, we’re not as alert at night when our bodies rhythms start to slow and remind us that hey, now’s a good time to sleep. You could make exceptions in cases of dire need or full to nearly full moons.
You want to get indoors at night, clear the house/building you select, secure it, makes sure you have at least two ways out, and then sleep with one eye open. Sleeping outside in tents in a wide open area like they were doing in the cold open is crazy. One, nylon tents offer no practical shelter from the undead, and two, tents tell people “someone is staying here or stayed here, this is a very good place to loot for supplies.” To be clear, this is not a message you want to be sending during apocalyptic times.
Scenario: You have essentially a lifetime supply of processed food, a secure building, ammunition, and human companionship. A drifter that has been in your life two whole days decides it’s time to move on.
What the survivors did: Insist on following him, packing up as much stuff as they could fit on the truck and set of to points unknown.
What the survivors should have done: Stay! For the love of Christ and Christmas mornings, stay! Look, Lilly, I get it. This dude is borderline handsome, and he knows the secret art of killing zombies (aim for the head) that you pretty much strain the limits of credulity by not knowing and yet have managed to live comfortably for well over a year, probably closer to two, and you’ve been trapped in here with your mute daughter, your sister who combines the worst traits of a frat boy with a wannabe rent-a-cop, and your terminally ill father. I get it. And you’re scared, because since you didn’t know how to kill a zombie, AND you didn’t know that everyone who dies turns, you realize that — holy shit!! If not for the dumb luck of Qui-gon Jinn here arriving literally the day before he died, Grandpa would have eaten all of your asses. And that’s not to mention the unholy stench of the apartment being lived in for years, surrounded by rotting neighbors, and filled with the farts of endless meals of ronisticks and beeferino. That’s not a pleasant picture, no.
But, in my best Rick Grimes voice, you don’t know what it’s like out there. Roving bands of rapist, murdering thugs. Starving French women with knives. Hippies with broken ankles and peaches. ALL of which are more equipped to survive than you, and likely will try to eat you for dinner. That says nothing about unmanageable herds of zombies, which in your case, is any number of the undead that is greater than about two.
Your area has been miraculously spared these roving bands and herds of zombies. You have an incredible 75% survival rate, and the one you lost was entirely due to natural causes. Rick’s group WISHES it had half that survival rate. Shit, check out our show logo if you don’t believe me. Now that grandpa has been put into the ground, you should have a good 30-40 years before having to worry about that happening again, plus, you now know how to deal with it should it come up.
So stay. Your odds of survival, all of you, now that you’ve hitched yourself to this guy? Zero. Yeah, it might get a bit lonely. But to paraphrase Peggy’s mom’s advice from Mad Men; go out and catch a cat. In 13 years, catch another one. 13 years after that, catch another one. Then you’re done.
Scenario: Late night in the beeferino mobile, Lilly gives you the smoking hot shoulder. You’re surrounded by her child and fist bumping sister.
What the survivors did: Bone like a catfish fillet. Bone like the natural history department of the Smithsonian. Bone like a skeleton from Castlevania. Shit, I don’t know if my similes even make sense, but the fact remains; they had sexual intercourse.
What the survivors should have done: Come on, is this a serious question? Maybe pre-apocalypse, you could clear your throat and hurrumph about, oh, what if Megan woke up? Oh, what if Lilly is just distraught over her recently dead father, is she in her right mind? Is the governor taking advantage of her?
But when 99% of the world’s population is either dead and rotting, or dead and walking, fuck all that noise in its stupid noise hole. The governor had enthusiastic consent, that’s good enough for me. Megan being tramautized by seeing her mom humping against the governor under the sheets? Granted, a scary sight to see, but SHE JUST SAW HER GRANDFATHER’S SKULL GET PULPED BY AN OXYGEN TANK! What’s she going to do? Talk less?
Besides, as I alluded to in this week’s cast, this is how humans got down to business for thousands and thousands of years, until we invented the multi-bedroom housing. It’s still how a greater portion of the world gets down to business, and their kids are fine. Actually, their kids probably have a healthier view of sex than your kids do, if you’re reading this as an English as primary language speaker.
And that’s not to say that single bedroom dwellings are like a porn shoot; I imagine most kids are blissfully unaware of the depravity their parents get up to at night. It turns out, our sleep patterns, absent artificial light and industrialization, give us 3-4 hours of sleep, then about an hour to ninety minutes of wakefulness, in which our brains pump all kinds of feel good hormones through our bodies that arouse us and relieve stress, followed by another 3-4 hours of sleep. Also, a “siesta” time during the afternoon, but that’s not important right now. What’s important is this; what do you think couples get up to in that time of wakefulness while their bodies are pumped full of “fuck yeah I feel awesome” hormones? Here’s a hint. Now kids on the other hand, sleep a hell of a lot more than adults; they don’t get the same polyphasic sleep patterns until puberty, when they start turning their horny little minds towards late night wakefulness of their own. It’s almost like God/Darwin knew what they were doing.
So relax, first world guardians of childrens’ virtue. Megan was most likely fast asleep. And if she did wake up, I doubt a cyclops plowing her mother will be the most traumatic thing she sees in a 24 hour period. As far as her sister, if she gets all twisted up about it, well, there’s one sure fire cure to get her feeling all right and to alleviate any hurt feelings or trauma; the fist bump.
Scenario: The governor is running pell mell through a field, carrying his newly adopted little girl, Megan, when he suddenly falls into one of his patented “screamer pits”.
What the survivors do: Bounce up, and start destroying zombies with his bare hands.
What the survivors should have done: Look, if you think I’m going to criticize the governor for falling into a giant hole, instantly springing to his feet swinging, ripping one zombies throat out, beating another back to undeath with his bare hands, then peeling the first one’s skull off the top of his head with a femur… then you’re goddamn right!
Yeah, I’d have been damn near incapacitated by that fall. There is NOTHING worse than falling when you don’t expect it. I can’t imagine falling with a child, where what little time your brain/body has to instinctively better it’s position in landing is going to be devoted to the evolutionary imperative to “PROTECT CHILD! CHILD’S SKULL IS FRAGILE AS RAW EGG!” that all parents are familiar with. So, I’d have been rolling around in pain and general annoyance with the unfairness of life for a good 4-5 minutes.
But you know what, I’d have been okay, because I’d have had a gun strapped to my hip! I can roll around in pain and still muster enough strength and wherewithal to put a bullet through a zombie’s x-ring from 15 feet. Come on, Brian/Phillip, you’re basketbrawl zombies skills mean nothing at the bottom of an earthen pit! What the hell are you going around without any weapons on your person?! Who is this guy pretending to be the governor?! This guy was going to go after Andrea with a pair of pliers last year and now he can’t carry a gun 24×7? Bad form, Brian. It’s a good thing you’re at your heart a psychotic badass, or you and Megan would be walker food by now.
Okay, that’s a wrap for this week. See you here this time next week for next week’s episode, “Dead Weight”. I’d say it was an ominous title, but they pulled this “squeaky live bait” sign bullshit this week, so we’ll just have to see.
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