It’s been a rough week for me. I’ve been battling a bout of the stay-home-mommy-blues and I’m depressed about my upcoming birthday. I’ve started and deleted about four different posts this week that were a bit ranty, but I don’t want to get in the habit of that because it really doesn’t make me feel better. So, just for shits and giggles, let’s talk about something fun, like zombies!
Like many people, I am obsessed with zombie fiction. I read and watch entirely too much science-fiction and post-apocalyptic literature. It stresses me out and entertains me at the same time. I love stories about humanity’s ability to rise above chaos and disaster when the world goes dark and monsters are lurking around every corner. However, my love of these genres does have an unfortunate tendency to make me a little paranoid, and that spills over into my real life where I imagine all sorts of crazy scenarios that require me to protect my family at all costs.
For example, a few months ago we had to take my son to the emergency room on a Saturday night. If you’ve ever spent a weekend evening in the emergency room at any major urban hospital, you will totally understand where I’m going with this.
In the waiting room, there’s an air of desperation that surrounds you and permeates your pores in a way that makes your skin crawl. While we were there, one guy sat for several hours waiting with a broken arm. Several people sick with the stomach flu were given emesis buckets and sat amongst everyone else while they waited to see a doctor. More than a few people traded seats for the other side of the room when the pukers sat down. The man sitting across from me had a partially severed finger and was bleeding steadily, yet still he waited with everyone else. Everyone had these terrible expressions of pain and suffering on their faces.
At one point, I looked around the room, and could clearly imagine that if a zombie apocalypse was going to happen, an emergency room in the middle of the night was the perfect origination point for such a disaster. Although it sounds very dramatic, I would be lying if I said I didn’t scope out the exits in case I needed to make a break for it with my family. I could clearly picture the woman sitting across the room, staring blankly into space while clutching her throw-up bucket, morphing into some half-dead creature of the night who wanted to eat my brains. At 2am, anything seemed possible.
And don’t even get me started on the crazy thoughts running through my head after watching the movie World War Z. Afterwards, I told my husband two things. Number one, we needed to go on diets, because we were too chubby and out of shape to outrun any zombies if they really attacked. And two, I needed to go to a shooting range and learn how to accurately fire a gun so that one of us would be able to wield a weapon and protect us during the invasion. Without those two major lifestyle changes, our ass was grass if the worst should happen.
I know it’s silly, but to preserve my image as a mostly sane and reasonable person, let’s pretend that I’m not paranoid about zombie invasions, and I’m really just referring to emergency preparedness for your typical Southern California earthquake disaster. That’s more palatable to the average person (and to my neighbors). People tend to think you’re a freak when you admit your Costco shopping run was due to the fact that you were up all night having nightmares after watching an episode of the Walking Dead.
I go through these little stages of feeling like I need to have supplies on hand in case there’s a natural disaster, like an earthquake (or a chemical spill that causes all life forms to mutate into horrible creatures), and our utilities or local services are shut down. Since I live in Southern California, this only makes good sense. And plus, I live in Los Angeles, and everyone knows that all the alien and zombie invasions will happen in either LA or New York first, because all the film makers say so. So my husband and I have prepared a stash of water and food supplies for emergency purposes. He calls it my zombie stash, because he totally gets me and sees it for what it truly is, no matter what I tell our neighbors.
I try not to let myself get too carried away though. I have to draw the line when I start thinking about the potential benefits of going to survival wilderness camps, or going to Home Depot to buy large sheets of plywood boards that could be used to board up the windows of my home to prevent looters (or the soul-sucking undead) from raiding my house.
But if the worst should happen, you can bet your ass I won’t be going anywhere near a hospital emergency room.