June 5, 2012

Trivia Blog: Let's Zom-Be Friends

These Trivia Blog posts come from the emails I send out as Quizmaster of the Gael Pub Trivia Night every Tuesday.  But seeing as how they comprise most of the writing I seem to do these days, I thought it fitting to include them on the Pale Writer blog as well.  I won't include things like info about categories or drink specials, but will keep the bulk of the rest.  Hopefully you enjoy, so much so that you come out some Tuesday at 8:30 (3rd Ave. b/t 82nd and 83rd)...

 So let’s talk about zombies…

It’s been a banner year or so for the shuffling undead.  Between the success of The Walking Dead on AMC, the seemingly never-ending run of Robert Kirkman’s source comic of the same name, a bevy of successful video games and movies, and an exhaustive list of zombie-related Halloween costume ideas, the reanimated have never had it quite so good.  But this isn’t luck.  Not by a long shot.  Zombies were smart and they were patient.  They bided their time as the world went through its back-and-forth vampire and werewolf phases, knowing full well that people could only take so much of that dead-eyed stare of Kristen Stewart and that anything called “Teen Wolf” is worthless if it doesn’t feature Michael J. Fox dunking on a comically undersized basketball rim.

And so now it’s zombies’ time to bask (rot?) in the glow of the upper echelons of popular culture.  So much so that they seem to be appearing in real life, too.  At this point, we’ve all heard of the zombie-riffic story of the doped-up homeless dude in Miami noshing on the face of one of his fellow men, a grisly piece of news that spawned A) a bunch of “Zombies are for reals, you guys!” reactions and B) about 20 team names during last week’s Trivia Night.  And as this follow-up piece in Gawker points out, it does seem as if, over the last couple months, the Sunshine State has become the epicenter for a proper zombie outbreak.  But as much as I want to put my zombie survival tactics knowledge to use (thanks, Max Brooks!), I gotta call bullshit on this, folks.  No way do the undead choose Florida as their base of operations.  For one, that kind of humidity would do a number on the bodies of what are basically slowly rotting corpses.  For another, the elderly have already staked their claim as the top-dog slow-moving, horrifying group in that state.  And zombies, oddly enough, don’t mind paying income tax, so that holds no appeal for them.

So if not Florida, what state would be a better fit for the zombie home base?  Let’s break down the contenders:

  • Hawaii - Sure, it’s remote enough that an outbreak there could go unnoticed for a while, and if Lost has shown us anything, it’s that some wacky shit can go down in Hawaii, but it’s literally an island(s) in the middle of nowhere.  If they wanted to spread their reach to mainland USA or elsewhere, they’re facing a loooong walk under water, which can be a pain even for beings that don’t need to breathe.  Think of the riptides.
  • Alaska - Same issue as Hawaii, only sub out the long trek across the floor of the Pacific for the frozen wastes of the Yukon.  Even the Mounties could stop a wave of popsicle-ized zombies.  We’re going to have to go contiguous United States for this one, I think.
  • Arizona - The dry heat solves the problems posed by Florida’s humidity, but zombies would basically be foreigners in Arizona, and if Arizona has taught us anything over the recent years, it’s that they don’t take kindly to strangers.
  • New York - If the zombie horde could make its way to our fair city, they’d have an 8 million person-sized buffet in close quarters waiting for them, but zombies would have trouble navigating the city with no source of income as the MTA continues to hike up subway fares.  And some of them would be forced to go to Buffalo, which would kill the spirits of even the undead.
  • Texas - See: Arizona.
  • Pennsylvania - A state that would actually elect someone like Rick Santorum to consecutive Senate terms has to be dumb enough to be conquered by zombies, right?  But then you remember that Philadelphia is in Pennsylvania, and if there’s anyone drunk and angry enough to take down an army of the undead, it’s Philadelphia sports fans.
  • California - Would you want to face the wrath of immigrant workers who think you’re trying to encroach on their territory?  Zombies wouldn’t, either.
  • Wyoming - The lowest population density in America means wide open spaces and room to grow.  Plus, when’s the last time you ever really paid attention to Wyoming?  By the time we realized what was happening, they could have amassed an army AND learned how to ride horses.  And nothing’s scarier than a zombie on a horse.  I think we have a winner.

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