The Zombie Acropolis

zIMG_0641It’s Friday at 5:30 p.m. I await a friend at a back table at The Troop (Krčma U parašutistů). The bar is full of people celebrating the end of a week by hiding from the early dark days of late November and pile-driving their livers with beer and spirits. The center table is filled with regulars; old men who have spent every day at that table for twenty years. It shows. All in all, it’s a normal Friday in Prague.

Oh yes, except for that the men at the middle table are the undead. To be fair, since reading World War Z, everybody is the living dead.

PJ arrives and we do a brief recap of the week: Lazy students, cleavage, good gulaš somewhere, we should go jogging, learned a new word in Czech, good book. World War Z turns the conversation. We chat about the plot and some of the more spectacularly disturbing scenes, then some of the extremely unsettling elements and notions. We have a shot.

“I am becoming a paranoid freak,” I admit.

“So did I.” PJ takes a drink. “So, what would you do if this happened?”

“The zombie apocalypse?” I want to pretend that I haven’t been considering this question since I started reading the book, yet I’m certain that immediately launching into specific details of my zombie avoidance does not convey this wish.

“OK, I would fill everything in my flat with water – bottles, jars, sink and tub. Then I’d do a canvas of all the food in my house and figure out the nutritional value of cat food.”


“This is a tough one. I am not sure. I don’t have a lot in my house that could take off a zombie’s head.”

“Do you have a strong hammer?”

“Oh, good idea!” I jot it down in my notebook on a page in the back entitled: Just in Case. “What about you?”

PJ’s preparation is more well-thought out as mine; this makes me feel better. “This is the great thing about where I live. I am on a hill on the outskirts of Prague and I am right next to a highway. I’ll wait for the original mayhem to settle down and then hightail it out of town, down to the cottage.”

“Damn, that’s a great idea. Am I in on that?” I am 100% completely serious with this query.

“Of course.” The fact that we have stopped speaking in hypothetical language has not escaped either of our attentions.

Why do zombies make us (well, at least me and PJ) think like this? I don’t sit around wondering what I’d do if vampires or werewolves overtook the cities of the world. I don’t consider what my options would be if I were attacked by a Megalodon (big, big shark), and I rarely worry about my eventual meeting with Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guards Hades.

Vampires and werewolves are historically set apart from us humans. Vampires can’t get in unless you invite them in and meeting a werewolf is really just a case of wrong place, wrong time. If faced with a Megalodon my first concern would be either how I went back in time to 24,999,294 million BC or how I ended up alive in the Mariana Trench. Cerberus is just an eventuality for most of us, so when I sense that my time is approaching I won’t leave the house without a pocket full of Beggin’ Strips.

But unlike these other sedentary monsters, zombies come for you. They come to your house and they beat down the door; they have no sense of revenge or anger, they just want to eat you. They are biologically driven undead animals.

And so by the time PJ and I have this discussion, I have spent a week analyzing every aspect of my house, neighborhood, weaponry and food storage in terms of its applicability to a zombie apocalypse. I am preparing to train my cat to detect zombies. Chances are I am going to be undead pretty quickly.

We talk about a few more aspects, and eye the middle table of undead regulars while we make uneasy jokes and search for a silverware stein.

I imagine our escape from Zombie Prague, our drive to south Bohemia to their cottage, boarding up the windows and buying crowbars and shovels. In this fantasy, my cat is steering us clear from danger with her zombie-peeked senses.

As we order one more drink to toast our successful survival, I frown as I remember that PJ is allergic to cats.

I keep this information to myself, take out my notebook and jot notes for Plan B.

  1. #1 by Lonnie P on November 26, 2012 - 2:50 pm

    I’ve had plenty of preparation walking around Lawrenceville. Some of the locals show zombie characteristics – slow moving, mouth slightly ajar, drooling, mild display of body decay / lepersy. It enables me to visualize my fantasy – much like I’m doing right now on this bus on my way to work. Remember Carmen Electra? I used to fantasize about her. Now, well, now I fantasize about taking my laptop and bashing in the brains of the yinzer wearing a Kordell Stewart jersey outside Wendy’s asking me for change to catch the 91 bus even tho I know that MFer ain’t going to Blawnox he just trying to get close to me and bite my arm off. Damn spooky stories.

    • #2 by Damien Galeone on November 26, 2012 - 7:16 pm

      Oh, LP, how can we live so far from each other when our thoughts, fears and dislikes are so close?

  2. #3 by Jared on November 26, 2012 - 7:29 pm

    Finally, someone has started the discussion we have all been thinking about. Thanks to World War Z and Walking Dead (amazing tv show if you are unfamiliar), I am almost prepared. Since PJ graciously left his sword here, I have two samurai swords that will be combat ready after a quick sharpening. So I just have to get some supplies and find a place to regroup and begin the fight. VIVA LA RESISTANCE!

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