Okay, the Mayans got it wrong when they predicted the end of the world a couple of years ago, agreed? My personal opinion tends towards the lack of an appropriate app on their phones to get the numbers right. Doing math and stuff in your head is dangerous. So the whole, so-long-see-you-in-Xibalba never happened. And it wasn’t as though you could prepare for the world to fall off its axis and landing arse-first in the sun, either. So that was actually pretty good news.
Still, we have other disasters that might befall us, and with the approaching holiday, we need to talk about one that you can prep for.
The Zombie Apocalypse.
That’s right, zombies, always threatening to come back to life (do they actually die?) and gnaw on Aunt Gladys because she couldn’t move fast enough, not since the hip replacement and the cheap walker, the kind without the wheels that takes up the width of an entire Walmart aisle. Easy prey for zombies.
I don’t want that to happen to you, so in the interest of your own preservation, prepare now by getting the right shoes.
The folks at The Zombie Apocalypse (the website, not the worldwide calamity) have their own suggestions, and they would probably work if you had a head start. They recommend heavy, sturdy hiking boots, suitable for tromping the woods, comfortable but boring. I suppose if the zombie decayed enough to lose both legs, you could get hobnails for stomping the rest of him. Beware his playmates. While you’re busy doing the Riverdance routine, they’ll bite you in the behind. Literally. Bite. Butt. Say “owww!”
Or run, and for that you need the right shoes. I’m repeating myself, I know. I do that when I’m worried. You should be worried, too. So repeat after me, “Get the right shoes.”
Since I’ve ruled out the army boots, and since I look ridiculous in high heels, let’s look at the classes of running shoes. Good news; choices abound. As a matter of fact, you have so many choices that if you try to over-think the situation, the undead will rouse themselves and rediscover hunger—or just a instinctual desire to gnaw on something, and dangnabit, they’re fresh out of Juicy Fruit gum.
Now, if most of your running occurs on the track, you’ll be tempted to use spikes. But what length? Long? Short? Pyramids? Ever run in spikes for an extended period? You might be running for quite a while. The undead, almost by definition, are too dumb to quit. Anybody else would keel over and decompose. Not them, though. They’ll give an arm and a leg to catch you.
So plan on a longer run. That rules out most of the racing flats unless you train in them on a near-religious basis.
Minimalist shoes might work. Can’t come up with a reason against them except I can’t get my feet into most of them. In a rush, I’d rather go with some I know I can put on in a hurry. I’d skip the huaraches. The open upper lets too much dirt and debris under the foot, plus zombie ick will get between your toes if you step on one. For those lacking experience in zombie guts, a fast primer—it’s moldy, smelly, and hard to wash off.
Standard trainers usually have enough cushion, the uppers enough protection. They’re light on traction when you meet the zombies in mud and muck, though. Nothing worse than recognizing the danger and slipping when you step on the gas to clear the danger zone. Zombies don’t have slippage problems since they don’t move that fast. They move more like a lumbering trucker, stiff from driving the last thousand miles, who realized early in his driving career that all-you-can-eat buffets were the way to go. Unlike the trucker, they don’t stop for pottie breaks every two hundred miles and they’re not so much into eating as biting.
Trainers are also missing one more component—a rock plate.
Think about it. The Zombie Apocalypse will not include chamber music, witty repartee, or wine tastings. Nope, not even in Manhattan where all the right people show up to all the right soirees.
I expect the post-Zombie world to be glittering, in a shards of broken glass kind of way. Zombies do not respect private property rights and maintain a passion for creating their own doorways by thrashing through obstructions which might have previously been the plate glass window at the Starbucks. Now, the little light-catching shards lay ready sparkling in the sun, a constant threat to let the air out of your Nikes or de-gel your Asics.
I had a pair of Montrails, years ago, that would have been perfect for the broken urban zombie-scape. Heavy, with a rock plate that laughed at broken granite in SoCal and cracked basalt in the Seven Devils. Like a ’58 Buick, they lacked any sort of sex appeal but survived long past any rational limit. I think I put about fifteen hundred miles on those shoes before they finally died.
Never found another pair like them. Sadness.
So, my plan hinges on making due with my Manta Sense from Salomon. They don’t have the built in solidity of the Montrails but they’re nimble for dodging the quicker of the roaming rotten remains of former neighbors, I can run on broken concrete with them, and I can cover some ground. The rock plate lacks a little beef but works well enough, and I like the snazzy lime green trim that works nicely as a counterpoint to the grayness of Zombie-ville.
I should be able to blow out of town, probably with a fear-induced PR for zombie evasion.
Which leads very directly to the next problem.
Other than running away, I got no survival skills. None. Don’t hunt. Can’t forage. If I chose a mushroom to eat, a bad trip is almost assured. Deer laugh at me and consider me harmlessly entertaining. I don’t even own a gun (this makes me the odd one in my neck of the woods – Nez Perce county across the river just took third place nationally in gun ownership. They actually stand a chance of beating back the zombies.)
I can probably learn the hunter-gather lifestyle given the proper incentive, say starvation, but I’ll pack some Clif bars to tide me over the learning curve.
That’s the plan, at least. I’m really hoping the Zombie Apocalypse goes the way of the Mayan End-of-the-World thing. Eating nothing but Clif bars every day, all day, is a little boring and getting eaten is a little too exciting, don’t you think?
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