As if staging a Halloween costume party-slash-wedding with a post apocalyptic theme wasn’t a tell-tale sign of utter geekiness, we naturally took things a step further. There’s a fine line geek and loser and I’m proud to say that my happy feet stomp that line like the Lord of Dance himself. There were missing persons posters and contamination signs, windows boarded with fake wood planks, intricately cut out pumpkin centerpieces and even a “First Aid” trunk packed with pop. My lovely wife even managed to lay out a full-on candy bar with little take out containers and the whole shebang.
Always trust a diabetic when it comes to candy selection.
Having a post apocalyptic theme is superb because a mess is exactly the look you’re shooting for. At the end of the night things looked more perfect than the start of the festivities. With a dub wasteland 80’s funk wrapped in hip hoppy goodness playlist playing throughout the night – every so often interrupted by custom radio transmissions about alien invasions and zombie uprisings – the icing on the cake was the ZEAT left at everyone’s table.
What is the ZEAT you may ask?
Quite simply it’s an acronym for the Zombie Epidemic Aptitude Test. Yes geeks of all ages I actually compiled, printed and bound little questionnaire booklets for the reception. I figured it’d be a fun little diversion for those who had a bit too much to drink. The ZEAT is a comprehensive exam based on a wealth of redundant movie and book knowledge. While some may disagree with some of the conclusions or answers it’s still fun to use. I was digging some old papers and came across what I believe to be the last printed copy of the ZEAT. In honor of my sick fascination with the genre (and to enable the addiction of others who suffer from the same terrible disease) I present to you, the adoring masses, the ZEAT:
Z . E . A . T.
Zombie Epidemic Aptitude Test
The following 50 questions could save your life in the unfortunate event of an Undead Outbreak. Answer each question as honestly as possible. Your responses are not being monitored, recorded or stored and are for your personal use only (unless you designate otherwise). This is not a scored exam but more rather an aptitude test to gauge your cognitive knowledge on this horrific situation and whether or not you are physically, mentally and/or geographically prepared to handle a sudden outbreak. Once you have completed the exam please compare your responses to that of the Z.E.A.T. Answer Key to see how well you did.
Physical & Health (select one answer per question)
How old are you?
__ 12 or under
__ 13 – 30
__ 31 – 45
__ 46 – 64
__ 65 or older
Do you exercise regularly?
__ Gym Rat (in the gym 5 – 7 times a week)
__ Gym Dedicated (in the gym 2 -3 times a week)
__ Hard worker (work daily in a physically demanding job such as sports or construction)
__ Casual (in the gym once a week or work out at home occasionally)
__ Light (go for walks or jogs regularly)
__ Couch Potato (rarely exercise)
Do you smoke?
__ Yes – Hardcore (several packs a week)
__ Yes – Casual (a pack every week or bi-weekly)
__ Yes – Sorta (No cigarettes, but something else…hehe)
__ No (I don’t smoke anything)
Are you an active prescription medication user?
__ Yes (pain killers, heart meds, antipsychotics, insulin, etc)
__ No (clean)
Do you suffer from any substantial ailments or injuries?
__ Yes (such as cancer, diabetes, need the aid of a cane, etc)
__ No (nothing too serious)
What is your weight or build?
Social & Habits (select one answer per question)
How many people do you currently in your household?
__ Wife/Husband or live-in boy/girl friend
__ 3 – 5 people
__ 6 – 9 people
__ 10 or more people
Do you have a pet?
Are you socially active?
__ Social Slut (have many friends and family members that you keep in constant contact with)
__ Socially Sound (have a nice circle of family and friends that you keep in constant contact with)
__ Socially Guarded (have a handful of family and friends you keep in somewhat good contact with)
__ Social Deviant (can count the number of people you keep in contact with on one hand)
__ Loner (no real contact with family or friends)
Do you actively follow the news?
__ Absolutely – I actively read the papers every day, watch the daily news and frequent news sites
__ Pretty much – I keep up to date either online or with news tickers
__ Not Really – I have a general understanding of what’s going on in the world
__ Nope – Do don’t really keep up with anything
Do you watch movies or play video games often?
__ Totally – I’m a movie buff and play games regularly
__ Pretty much – I’m watch all kinds of movies and play video games occasionally
__ Not really – I don’t watch certain types of movies (Horror, comedy, etc) and rarely play games
__ Nope – I don’t care for movies much and haven’t picked up a controller in ages
__ Training & Special Skills
Do you have any hand to hand combat training?
__ Yes – Formal (military, wrestling, boxing, martial arts, etc)
__ Yes – Informal (street fighting or brawling regularly)
__ No (no training other than maybe a fist fight or two years ago)
Do you have any firearms training?
__ Yes – Formal (military, police, etc)
__ Yes – Informal (sport hunting, self-taught, etc)
__ No (Rarely if ever held or even fired a gun)
Do you have any melee weapon training?
__ Yes – Formal (military, police, etc)
__ Yes – Informal (sport hunting, self-taught, etc)
__ No (Rarely if ever held or used a melee weapon)
Do you have any First Aid training?
__ Yes – Advanced (Doctor, paramedic, EMT, nurse, etc)
__ Yes – Basic (life guard, book or class educated, work safety officer, etc)
__ No (nothing more than knowing the difference between an abrasion and a laceration)
Do you have any training in any field that could prove useful in complete society breakdown (Such as electrical, mechanics, carpentry, engineering, etc)?
Home (select one answer per question)
General climate in your area?
__ Tropical Moist: all months have average temperatures above 18° Celsius.
__ Dry: with deficient precipitation during most of the year.
__ Moist Mid-latitude Climates with Mild Winters.
__ Moist Mid-Latitude Climates with Cold Winters.
__ Polar Climates: with extremely cold winters and mild summers.
Where do you live?
__ City – Large (population in the millions)
__ City – Medium (population under 1 million)
__ City – Small (population under 500k)
__ Town – Large (population under 250k)
__ Town – Medium (population under 100k)
__ Town – Small (population under 50k)
__ Suburbs (a bit of a way from a town or city)
__ Rural Area (not near any significant population)
Scale of home or residence?
__ House – Large (2 or more stories)
__ House – Large (1 story)
__ House – Small (2 story)
__ House – Small (1 story)
__ Apartment or Condo – Large (5 or more stories)
__ Apartment or Condo – Small (4 or less stories)
Age of residence?
__ Old (pre-1950)
__ Contemporary (1951 – 1990)
__ Modern (1991 – present)
Does your home have many ground level accessible windows?
__ Many (more than 10)
__ A few (4 – 9)
__ Does not apply (live in an apartment that is not on the ground floor)
Do you own any firearms?
__ Firearms – Multiple
__ Firearms – Single
Do you own a vehicle?
__ Truck – Large (freight truck, cube van, etc)
__ Truck – Small (pickup, van, SUV, etc)
__ Car – Typical (any standard sedan)
__ Car – Small (luxury, 2 seater, etc)
__ Motorcycle or Moped
__ None (other than a bicycle)
How many non-perishable goods are currently in your residence?
__ Enough to last months
__ Enough to last a few weeks
__ Enough to last a week tops
__ Enough to last a few days
Do you own a toolbox?
__ Yes – Advanced (Mechanic level tools and accessories)
__ Yes – Basic (Standard tools and accessories)
__ Yes – Minimal (Hammer, screwdrivers, etc)
Do you own a First Aid Kit or have an Emergency Response Kit prepared?
__ Yes – I have both
__ Yes – I have a First Aid Kit or an Emergency Response Kit
__ Not Really – I have basic medical supplies such as band aids, a flashlight, simple meds, etc
__ Nope – I have nothing substantial
Does your home or residence have a backup or reserve power generator?
Situational & Judgment (select one answer per question)
Safest floor in a home?
__ Top floor of an apartment building
__ Top floor or attic of a house
__ Ground floor of an apartment building
__ Ground floor of a house
__ Basement or a house or apartment building
Best weapon to have on hand at all times?
__ Molotov Cocktail
__ Rifle (automatic or semi)
__ Knife or edged weapon
__ Blunt object
You’re unexpectedly thrust into violent zombie outbreak in your neighborhood, community or immediate area and are currently outside in the middle of all the commotion. What do you do?
__ Fight back, hold your position, and wait for help
__ Be a Samaritan and save as many as possible, wait for help
__ Go into hiding locally
__ Flee the area immediately (leave the city or town)
__ Flee the area immediately (head home)
__ Gather a few people, hold your position, and wait for help
__ Gather a few people, go into hiding locally
__ Gather a few people, flee immediately (leave the city or town)
__ Gather a few people, flee immediately (head home)
News of a zombie outbreak in your area is announced. What do you do first?
__ Head home (or if home already start securing it)
__ Head to family or friends
__ Head to police, military, fire station or designated rescue facility
__ Follow others and conglomerate to a meeting point
__ Locate nearest secure facility and hunker down
__ Flee the city/town
You’ve managed to fortify yourself (and your companions if applicable) for a few days now during the initial outbreak in a semi-secure building. However you hear cries of someone in distress coming from outside. What do you do?
__ Venture out immediately and attempt a quick rescue
__ Observe the situation from a safe vantage point and determine if a rescue is feasible
__ Do nothing, stay quiet and wait for the commotion to pass
Home base supplies are running low and you’re in danger of starvation soon. What do you do?
__ Venture out alone to raid small local shops
__ Venture out with a small group to raid small local shops
__ Venture out with a large group to raid small local shops
__ Venture out alone to raid large local stores
__ Venture out with a small group to raid large local stores
__ Venture out with a large group to raid large local stores
__ Relocate, abandon your position and search for a new base of operations
You (and your party) have managed to survive the brunt of the undead outbreak in a well fortified complex with substantial supplies and a means of producing fresh water and food. A couple of months have passed and, while the zombies are still present in great numbers, they can’t breach your facility. What next?
__ Stay put and wait it out
__ Organize ‘kill missions’ to start exterminating batches of zombies daily
__ Plan a mission to abandon the fortification and head to the mountains
A relative or close friend is bitten. What do you do?
__ Kill immediately and mourn later
__ Sever and/or cauterised the afflicted area in an attempt to stop the viral spread
__ Isolate or contain the injured individual and observe
__ Patch them up and use them for as long as you can till they turn
__ Patch them up and bring them to a medical facility (if applicable or possible)
Best protection to wear:
__ Plate Mail
__ Chain Mail
__ Shark Suit
__ Bulletproof Vest
__ Kevlar Covers
__ Loose comfortable clothing
__ Tight fitting clothing
Safest public building(s) – Check all that apply
__ Office building
__ Police station
__ Retail store
__ Shopping mall
__ Pier or Dock
__ City Hall or Capitol building
__ Military base or complex
__ Off Shore Oil Rig
When venturing into a zombie hotspot it’s best to:
__ Travel in a large group
__ Travel in a small group
__ Travel alone
True or False
Your home is the best place to weather the initial outbreak.
Swimming (in a lake or pond) is a safe way to avoid zombies.
Fire will cause a zombie to hesitate.
Zombies retain knowledge of their past lives.
Zombies can see better than the living and/or have night vision.
Zombies hunt using their ears and sense of smell.
Zombies can be domesticated.
Zombies eat humans only.
Zombies possess supernatural strength.
Zombies are fueled by or gain nutrition from the consumption of flesh.
A Zombie bite can be treated if proper medical attention is delivered immediately.
It’s safer to travel at night than during the day.
Please bear in mind this is all for fun and the love of the genre. Don’t harass me about facts and figures and probabilities. It’s for entertainment purposes! When the shit really does hit the fan we can discuss semantics then. I’d like to thank my mom and pop once again for dealign with a troubled child all these years. I’d also like to thank Max Brooks, George Romero and zombie fanatics across the globe for continually breathing new (after)life into the genre.
I suppose you want the answer key, eh? Well you have to download it. I’m done with this post. Enjoy the fact that I have stolen this time out of your life that you’ll never get back. >:p
Long before the Team Jacob vs. Team Edward teenybopper wannabe vampire nonsense there was (and is) a difference in opinion as bitter as the most savage rivalries. In 2002 Director Danny Boyle tantalized horror fans with his hit 28 Days Later. First and foremost it should be made abundantly clear that Danny Boyle’s “infected” are not zombies but in fact (like the name suggests) living human beings that suffer from a viral infection. This virus turns the hosts into mindless berzerkers that pretty much kill anything and everything in their path. In the movie the infected resembled undead creatures in their marred and often bloody appearances. They chased down victims with cheetah-like speed and tenacity. The infected would do everything from devouring their victims to ripping them apart with their bare hands. While this movie never claimed to be a “zombie flick” it is often accused of being the birthplace of the fast zombie. The true catalyst came in the form of the 2004 remake of uber-cult classic Dawn of the Dead by Director Zack Snyder.In it we got to see zombies in a whole new light, to the chagrin of many old school fan boys and girls. Undead marauders charged through city streets like feral children chasing down the ice cream truck. They were relentless, agile and downright nasty in every aspect. Those who grew up in the Age of Zombies had mixed reactions to this new take on such an grounded source. Much like the True Blood vs Twilight warfare we’ve seen in the vampire genre, people quickly separated into two camps.
You see the patriarch of the modern zombie, George A. Romero, introduced the world to one of the most identifiable horror characters in cinema to date. The term zombie was most commonly associated with voodoo and the trance-like state victims would be placed under (as seen in the 1943 movie I Walked With a Zombie). They were few and far between in numbers and overall not too terrifying to behold. Romero changed all of that. At the time movie goers had never experienced such a radical concept as “the undead” so when Night of the Living Dead debuted in 1968 it took the world by storm. The low budget marvel terrified audiences across the nation and brought forth Hollywood’s newest movie menace. In 1978 he followed that iconic film with Dawn of the Dead which served to strengthen the fascination with the modern zombie. people couldn’t get enough of them. Zombie Mania was running in full effect. Romero has admitted in numerous interviews since then that he never anticipated the phenomenon to grow as much as it did. They were more socio-political statements about the times he was living in. As a result a lot of the nuances about his zombies were never really addressed. As of late Romero has lost his grip on the genre he helped create with disasters like Land of the Dead and Diary of the Dead and culminating in the straight to DVD flop Survival of the Dead. Thankfully author Max Brooks quietly assumed the mantle as the face of zombie knowledge with his books World War Z and the Zombie Survival Guide. They not only reinforced the original concepts of Romero’s zombies but gave them chilling detail. To many fans Brooks’ dedication to the genre made him the unofficial new authority on all things zombie. They’re slow, lumbering, clumsy and generally move no faster than an old man getting out of bed. For 30+ years this is the form of zombie we’ve all become accustomed to and the faithful remain true to this vision to this day.
Then along came Zack Snyder and his “fast zombies”. This new unfamiliar twist didn’t fly too well with many who had grown comfortable with the classically slow and painfully stupid breed we’ve all come to know and love. Pro-Slows were in an uproar. You had fanatics go as far as bring up all kinds of biological contradictions in an effort to “disprove” the logic behind Snyder’s Fast Zombies – as if slow zombies had any more factual basis for their existence. There are any number of reasons why some people like the fast or slow ones. I personally have mixed responses to both. I’ve never been afraid of the classic zombies – even when I first watched them as a wee child. Sure the acts they committed were gross and gory and I never wanted to be caught by one (or a dozen) but that was the extent of the fear factor. They were dopey and even comical at times so it was really hard to be scared. Snyder’s zombies removed that comfort zone of being able to casually jog away from a zombie and put a bit of anxiety back into the genre. While they never really scared me either the reinvention did make zombies fun once again especially after Romero’s recent film sequel debacles.
So where does this leave us in the great debate?
Absolutely no where. Let’s not forget the most important thing – this is all make believe. How can we have a debate over a subject matter that has no factual basis whatsoever. I’m sure there are people who will toss biology logic and terminology around but you can’t validate or disprove something that doesn’t exist in the first place. Putting aside that sobering reality, I propose a compromise between the two sides. Let’s have the best of both worlds. It’s fair to assume that fresh kills would have a bit more pep in their step than ones that have been dead for a while so why not let them be fast initially. Decomposition and wear will eventually make them the uncoordinated moaning pussbags we’ve grown accustomed to. Viola. Problem solved, right?
At least neither type sparkle in the daylight. We can all agree on that at least. 😉