I can remember a time when the world was abuzz with the prospect of the Robopacalyspe or when it was endlessly enchanted by the ever looming possibility of a stray, existence-ending asteroid we never saw coming, but somehow secretly hoped for. Those times are gone.
We’ve moved passed our simple oxymoronic fears/hopes of mechanical and/or cosmic annihilation and transcended into a new frontier; a region so vaguely familiar, yet somehow still wholly foreign. We’ve rediscovered zombies.
Zombies, the living dead, or walkers. All monikers of the accursed and wretched plague us against all reason, dread might one day crowd our streets. The ultimate enemy, with no fear, an insatiable thirst for human, particularly brains, and a penchant for slowly moving forward. They are virtually unstoppable … or are they?
I suppose it’s selfish to setup the question like that as I fully intend to say zombies are unstoppable, but I needed the segue. I submit to you, the reader, that zombies, who have been painted as the supernatural enemy most likely to bring about the apocalypse, are actually an impotent threat of no real consequence. And here are three reasons why:
1. Intelligence. The function of a zombie’s brain is seemingly limited to the most basic functions: breathing and eating. They have no concept of strategy. They simply see a potential source of food and try to eat it. It would be harder to outsmart a sandwich. Even the simplest of hunters would be able to take down an army of these dullards.
2. Speed. Do you know why people don’t find sloths terrifying? Because they’re comically slow. Paraplegics could run faster. It’s the same story with zombies. Being attacked by a zombie is akin to being chased by a confused senior citizen. A car, a bicycle, roller blades, a brisk walking pace — any, if properly employed, should avert a zombie attack.
3. Attacks. The primary weapon of the zombie is its mouth. That means in order to inflict significant damage — damage that would inevitably turn its victim into a zombie themselves — the attacking zombie must be within biting distance. This unavoidable dependency on melee attacks gives a sizable advantage to humans. Erect a chain link fence or scale a tree and you become essentially untouchable. Then it’s just a matter of slowly picking the zombies off with one of the many long range weapons available in our arsenals.
There you have it. My generation’s arch nemesis, the creature that keeps our children awake at night and our basement’s lined with automatic weapons, an ill-equipped, dimwitted sloth who’s as threatening as a confused senior citizen with a healthy appetite. We’re doomed.