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It is our inability to murder loved ones that will bring about our ultimate downfall. –Cracked.com

So, this week, I have been thinking about the zombie apocalypse. My roommate Mary is out-of-town, which makes this thought process incredibly unusual. I don’t believe that the zombie apocalypse is likely to happen. I’m pretty sure if the world ends, it will be because

  1. We’ve either gone to war and nuked each other to death or
  2. We will have poisoned our planet to such a degree that Mother Nature will get pissed off at us and instead of sending us to our room she will go all kinds of Medea. She’ll kill us by either:
  • Creating a supervirus that kills us all after a long, agonizing, and painful death or
  • Climate change will become so ridiculous, we’ll die of frostbite in July in Mexico.

Clearly, I’m an optimist about the fate of humanity and our ability to save ourselves. I don’t really believe in zombies, but I’m curious why so many people are obsessed with them. Like so many creatures out of horror films, there is obviously a reason why they not only entered our long term cultural consciousness but also continued to delight us with fear. Why?

Why Zombies?

I think there’s a number of reasons why we are afraid of zombies. Let’s review our fear of the two major types of zombie plagues.

The Necromancer Zombies

Let’s say that zombies that zombies are reanimated corpses, usually controlled by some sort of “evil” magic person — The necromancer. They raise the zombies from the dead, in order for them to do their bidding, usually to amass massive amounts of political power to create a dictatorship where the people are held in captivity by fear. These zombies feel no pain and are “living” fighting machines.

Let’s say we’re the reanimated zombie:

  • Many of us don’t want others to control in real life. In our normal lives we are able to resist control through subtle subterfuge or outright defiance. As a reanimated corpse, most people believe our soul and sense of self has left our body, and we are no longer able to maintain control. Someone is able to use us as a physical shield without our consent.

If we’re the alive when this happens:

  • It is reasonable that the necromancer would want to kill us for our body. This is terrifying. I would not like to be murdered especially if I knew that the situation outlined above was going to happen and would be the afterlife of my physical body.
  • Unlike robots, we cannot take out their central power station or deactivate them by unplugging them. Somehow, we have to kill the Necromancer. But how are we able to do this, if said necromancer has reanimated an army of zombies whose sole purpose is to do the bidding of said necromancer? These types of zombies do not need to eat or feed. They exist only for their necromancer to control them.

The Diseased Zombies

Most of us have a healthy respect for or fear of science. Let’s be real, we can cure cancer or kill thousands of people and leave a radioactive wasteland behind with the single detonation of a nuclear bomb. The other major classification of a zombie is the disease created zombie.

These are the zombies of our nightmares. At least with the necromancer created zombies, they might not aim to kill. Their creator’s attention might be somewhere else, and we might be able to survive. However, these zombies want to eat our brains.

If we become the zombie:

  • Obviously, no one wants to become a zombie. But, this might be worse. There’s no clear opinion about what happens to the soul or consciousness of the person the zombie was. Do we know that we have become a brain consuming monster that only wants to eat our friends and families? Because I think that’s terrifying. The only thing worse than having no control over whether you’ve become a zombie slave is having an awareness that you want to eat any person that crosses your path, but you cannot do anything about it. Is it like Alzheimer? Do the zombies ever have clarity?

For the survivors:

  • First of all, does anyone else think this sounds like an awful STD from a bad date? The zombie has to be in proximity to bite you. So all you have to do is stay away from them. It’s not like they can throw the zombie virus. It’s like abstinence, but for your life. Don’t have sex, don’t get a disease. Don’t be near a zombie, don’t become one. It’s not like you catch zombie from a toilet seat.
  • You realize that it’s highly probable you will eventually have to kill a friend or family member. (On the upside, you might kill your nemesis for a good, legal reason.)
  • Zombies don’t sleep, but humans do. We have to face the limits of our own humanity.

The Actual Zombie Apocalypse

Regardless of what type of zombie apocalypse occurs, Cracked.com makes an excellent point. “It is our inability to murder loved ones that will bring about our ultimate downfall.” Many people I know say that they could shoot their loved ones, but I have my doubts. For those of you who think you could, I don’t believe you. I think that murder for most of us would give us at least a pregnant pause before we aimed to kill. That pause will clearly lead to the zombie knocking the head off our body and possibly eating our brains.

If the zombie apocalypse ever occurs, I’m rescuing the serial killers and hanging out with them. With zombies, they want to kill everyone. Serial killers generally only want to kill young hot boys or women. I no longer fill either of these classification. Totally saved.

Here’s a drink for those nights where a zombie apocalypse is on the conversation agenda:

The Corpse Reviver

From The Savoy Cocktail Book:

2 oz Brandy/Cognac

1 oz Apple Brandy

1 oz Sweet Vermouth

Stir well with ice and strain into a martini glass.

Evaluation:

I am not a fan of this cocktail. In fact, given the tastes of most of the people I know who read this blog, I don’t think they would like it either. It’s sweet, but let me explain that.

There are types of sweet. Generally, when we think of sweet, we think of dessert sweet. For cocktails, these are drinks like Chocolate Martinis, rum and cokes, and Gimlets. Then there are the drier cocktails: Martinis, Manhattans, and old-fashioneds. This drink falls bizarrely in the middle. Because of the Sweet Vermouth and brandy, it’s incredibly herbal. You can taste those mysterious herbs that distillers use to create the liquors. However, brandy and apple brandy are both incredibly sweet compared to their liquor counterparts. It’s much sweeter than whiskey, gin, vodka, etc. There is a reason why people drink cognac and brandy neat and warm and have for centuries, across multiple countries.

The drink is really strong and was created for consumption on hangover mornings. Enough to kick drive the drinker into the rest of the day. It’s the 1930s equivalent of a mimosa at brunch. If you have “drunk across time,” you can tell that this would have delighted the Depression era drinker, but not many of you from today.

Honestly, you can take your Corpse Reviver and hand me a mimosa. However, mimosas aren’t a good cocktail when discussions on the zombie apocalypse are on the conversation agenda. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Cost:

Cost if you have nothing:

750 mL bottle of Brandy: $10

750 mL bottle of Apple Brandy: $20

750 mL bottle of Martini and Rossi Sweet Vermouth: $8

Total Cost: $38

Cost per drink:

Brandy: $0.80

Apple Brandy: $0.80

Sweet Vermouth: 0.32

Cost per drink: $1.92

Have zombie hunting! And, as always, happy and safe drinking.

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