Zombie College

From the archives, due to a sick day....  sorry f you've read this before


Last night, I began my intensive summer learning program on zombies. R has concluded that I need remedial assistance in this area, and revised my Netflix queue accordingly. No more foreign films, no documentaries, no indie classics; instead, “Quarantine”, Night of the Living Dead, “Diary of the Dead”, “Land of the Dead”, etc. For the next six weeks, every Sunday night we’ll watch one zombie movie.

It’s not like just watching a movie, though; it’s more like a class. Six minutes in, R. stops the movie: “Mom, what have you learned so far?”

“Um… Umm…”

“Focus. Think about it. We’re six minutes in. What do you know?”

“Um, that the zombies are scary?”

“Right, that’s a good start”, he says, like an indulgent teacher, “but more to the point, zombie movies start right off with something happening. Why look, you’re still awake, and people have already died! That’s one thing. What else did we learn here?”


“Okay, here’s what we know: if you see someone with blood around their mouth, don’t investigate, just get away. Are you writing this down?”

I pull out my notebook and write, “Zombie Rule #1, Don’t go near someone with blood around their mouth, just get away.”

We watch the 2-hour movie in this fashion, with R. stopping the movie frequently to explain things, or to coach me about watching, or to rewind to point out something I missed. I wrote down 12 rules that I thought I’d share, in case you need them. Some, surprisingly, apply to the rest of life, and some don’t at all. If you’re confused about which is which, please raise your hand.

Rule #2: Zombies cannot form sentences. I'd say this is more like a diagnostic than a rule, but that's probably splitting hairs. We all know people like this, but odds are, they aren't zombies.

Rule #3: Zombies feed on warm flesh, and can only be killed by shooting them in the brain. (I argued about this one; I didn’t think the movie really showed this for sure, but R. said these facts have been widely documented in the literature.)

Rule #4: Don’t ever use a croquet mallet as a weapon against a zombie. (“Why, R?” Guess. “Because its part of a wimpy lawn game?” “No, it’s because it’s a top-heavy weapon with a flimsy wooden shaft. Inadequate.”)

Rule #5: In the event of a Z.A., it’s okay to steal a toilet and throw it through the window, or participate in other such lawlessness.

Rule #6: Zombie infestations, unlike the swine flu, spread rapidly in a community, but slowly on a planet because zombies don’t get on airplanes. They are too busy milling about outside your window looking scary to keep track of an airplane itinerary.

Rule #7: When you find a secure spot, don’t leave. (We paused here to debate the merits of this in our actual life - I don’t think you can really call it living if you do this, its more like waiting to die, but we agreed that during the ZA, it makes sense.  I think real life is all about leaving your secure spot.)

Rule #8: If someone is bitten, shoot him or her in the head immediately. (Hopefully, there’s no confusion as to whether this would apply in real life. Please ask if you’re puzzled.)

Rule #9: Prioritize. Kill crazies first, then zombies. The crazies will bring you down. Example: if someone’s pregnant wife turns into a zombie and delivers a scary little zombie baby, kill dad first, because although he’s crazy with grief, he can still reason, unlike the shackled zombie mother, and therefore, presents a greater risk. (The crazies bring us down in real life, but we have other remedies, like counseling and medication. Only during the ZA do you shoot them in the head.)

Rule #10: Don’t make openings to let anyone in to your secure spot. (See #7. Again, this is the opposite of how we want to live our real lives.)

Rule #11: Communicate clearly, with complete information. Example: if someone goes into a building with a zombie inside, and you’re talking to her on a walkie-talkie from another building across the way, and you know that Andy is a zombie because he’s smeared blood on his whiteboard rather than writing a complete sentence, say, “Andy is now a zombie, get out,” rather than just saying, “Get out.” But where’s Andy? “Just get out.” (Hey, that’s a good idea! Communicate! I’m learning tons in summer school!)

Rule #12: Be a team player. Example: If you get bitten by a zombie, don’t get on the boat with your friends and loved ones, stay on shore to die. I think this could actually apply in real life too.

Happy Easter, everyone.


  1. Uh-oh, You're sick? OH NO! Was it the party? It was the party wasn't it. You are suffering for your art.


  2. You shoulda gone nextblogging right after you posted this.


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