Introduction: Survive a Date With a Zombie / Apocalypse

In theory, people that you meet on valentine's dates could actually be zombies and it is therefore possible that you could get bitten and infected before the whole zombie apocalypse begins. With this in mind, I'm going to provide some really useful tips in case you think you are now dating a zombie or if you want to survive an apocalypse with your date.

If you are expecting advice on which is the sharpest samurai sword to buy or the best restaurant to go to etc. then this is the wrong instructable for you! I will be taking a more holistic approach to this problem and I will not go into making weapons or dating technique in any detail.

WARNING: The following text contains 'spoilers' for the film series 'The Walking Dead'.

Step 1: Tools and Equipment

Step 2: Be Nice to Zombies

This will be contraversal, but if you do spot a zombie today, just be nice to them, maybe even give them a hug. Really they are not much of a threat on their own in our civilised world, but obviously, don't let them bite you! Maybe, if you think that your date really is a zombie then perhaps it's not a good idea to kiss them. And watch out if they try to join together to form a group, or a herd, as this will be a good indicator that the apocalypse is about to start.

Step 3: Do Not Feed the Zombies

This may sound obvious, but in 'The Walking Dead' some people did feed the zombies at the fence and even started to think of them as human or pets. Zombies do not make good pets! If you think you are on a date with a zombie - pay very close attention to their table manners. Do they tend to slurp their soup or dribble gravy down their shirt?

Michonne, being exceptionally brave and inventive, did successfully use two 'pet' zombies to protect her from other zombies in the area, using the principal of 'close proximity behaviour' where the two closest zombies were ignoring her. Warning: This does not work with just one pet zombie as a zombie's threshold of perception is slightly higher than that.

Another tactic used was to cover oneself with zombie gore and walk around mimicking a zombie. This could be practised at home with your date and a bucket of slops from the kitchen.

Step 4: Develop Good Interpersonnal Skills

One of the best parts of 'The Walking Dead' was how the characters in Rick's group interacted with each other. Think about the intense leadership battle between Rick and Shane and the impossible decisions everybody had to make. A true leader such as Rick, shudders at the responsibility on his shoulders, which came across really well in the film.

After the apocalypse, we would all want to be in a group such as Rick's, but it would also be easy to find ourselves, maybe temporarily, in a group of very unsavoury people. To avoid being bitten by zombies we'd definitely need to be in a group of some sort as that is the way human beings function the best for general survival. We would be very wise to start practising and honing our skills before the Event begins so that we can survive in whatever group we might land in, so spending less time looking at screens and more time talking/working with varied types of people would be great.

If you want to take this to the extreme, pick the worst person you can find and try and see if you can successfully go out on a date with them without going completely insane!!

Step 5: Keep Fit

This may sound obvious, but there is more to this than meets the eye. In a post apocalyptic world our meals might be few and infrequent, in which case we will be thrown back to an era 10,000 years ago when we were hunter gatherers. The people would exist on 'feasts' when they found food and would eat every last bit of the food fairly quickly, putting on some weight for the possibility of a famine in the near future. To be too fat and unfit is obviously a massive disadvantage when faced with a hungry zombie, but to be thin is also bad in terms of long/medium term survival.

Look at Ray Mears - does he look a bit podgy to you? Obviously, he'd look a bit more sexy without that spare tyre round his waist, but would he survive the zombie apocalypse? A good tip here would be not to date extremely skinny or fat people.

Step 6: Join a Post Apocalyptic Preparedness Group

There are groups out there in the community that meet up on a regular basis and talk about how to prepare and survive an apocalypse. Unfortunately, they probably wont be that interested in the Zombie Apocalypse, but they would be still worth joining for a number of reasons. Firstly, you will get a chance to practise your interpersonal skills. Besides that they will have some really useful tips and may even invite you to weekend camping trips to practise the skills.

Maybe you could put 'apocalypse prepper' in your online dating profile and have romantic meals with other enthusiasts?

Be careful if you want to start your own group as everyday people will probably think you're a bit crazy, so it would be best to keep it pretty quiet. Don't broadcast it on facebook!

Step 7: Don't Date a Vegetarian

After the Event, food will be hard to find and it is quite likely that people in your group will be able to hunt animals fairly easily. Obviously, there will be a certain amount of foraging in supermarkets in the first 6 months or so, but after that the main source of food may well be meat. Again, watching 'The Walking Dead', Rick tried to set up a garden to grow food in the abandoned prison, but this eventually proved futile due to a number of different reasons including the constant threat of attack by other groups of humans. The eventual policy was 'not to stay in the same place for too long' as sooner or later either 'herds' of zombies or gangs of nasty people would find you.

Step 8: Learn How to Kill and Eat an Animal

This is a follow on from vegetarianism, but considers the need to process you own food, or at least be part of the process.

When you go out on your date, make sure that you are both involved with the process of killing the animal that you intend to eat. The post apocalyptic group that you eventually find yourself in will almost certainly not allow you to remove yourself from all the work that is needed in killing and processing the food, as this is one of the toughest jobs that will need doing. Get used to it now - start by going fishing and processing a fish, then move up to small game such as rabbits and finally large game such as deer.

Step 9: Develop a Good Sense of Humour

Although zombies will probably not be stopped by cracking a joke at them, your group will be infinitely stronger if you can have some humour being circulated. Some people will find this extremely hard, especially if they have recently lost loved ones, but without some humour, the group is almost certainly doomed to failure. Reading books about soldiers in the first world war, you will find that the men in the trenches always found it possible to 'have a laugh', even in the most dire circumstances. This is a massively important part of our 'human condition'.

Zombies do not tend to have a sense of humour themselves, so if your date was a bit 'flat', this could indicate a problem.

Step 10: Join Up With the Reservists or Territorial Army

If you're young and fit you could join your country's part time army corp and learn really useful skills such as survival in the outdoors and how to use firearms. Like it or not, but after the zombie apocalypse, firearms/guns will be needed to protect the group from the zombies themselves and other rival groups of people fighting for the ever scarcer resources.

Step 11: Special Forces Training

If you don't want to join the army, devise your own special forces training package and see how well you cope.

One activity would be to train for extreme isolation as an elite sniper. This does not require a gun, except maybe to scare away bears. You give yourself enough food to last for exactly 7 days and you go off into the wilderness with a sleeping bag and bivey bag. You have to stay hidden from a potential enemy so no fires or torches are allowed. No cigarettes or alcohol. No books as you must be alert to enemy activity at all times. Do some research about the dangerous wildlife in the area eg. snakes, bears, coyote, ticks, spiders, alligators etc. or learn the hard way as I did!

Try not to think about romantic or sexual interactions whilst on this training as you may become distracted. You don't want the enemy to catch you with your trousers/pants down!

Step 12: Choosing Your Group

Immediately after the Apocalypse, you probably wont be able to choose your group and will probably be thrown in with whoever is around at the time. In preparedness for the Event, have a close look at the people you hang out with. Would you want these people in your group if you did have a choice? I did this with some of my friends recently (without telling them of course!) and instantly found that about half of them would be worse than useless! Maybe try this with your date?

Mostly my decision was based on what sort of person they were rather than what skills they had. I discovered that one person was lazy, selfish, ignorant, manipulative, dishonest and mean! Whilst I can tolerate him as a casual acquaintance, given the choice, he would definitely not be in my group! Eventually, you will want to be part of a strong group, so start trying to spot it now! A good group will be composed of a good mix of people with different social and manual skills. People who are kind and loyal will rank very highly, even if they can't shoot straight or skin a rabbit.

Step 13: Skills

If you don't have any 'hands on' skills, think about learning something or getting trained. If you ever find yourself where you need to join a group and they're not sure about you, if you're highly skilled at something relevant, they will more than likely take you in. The most obvious useful skill is that of nurse or doctor. A carpenter would be quite handy and also a cook who is used to preparing large meals. You might also find yourself already in a group where you are helping decide whether to accept a newcomer. 'Engineer' would be a useful skill, but I would ask them 'how many years of practical experience?' Too many engineers just sit behind a desk! If your date is an accountant, for example, you may find it difficult to join, or even stay in, a group.

Other useful skills/vocations would include:

  • Police (Rick was a policeman)
  • Military
  • General Builder
  • Farmer/Agriculture
  • Deer stalker
  • Fishing
  • Councillor/therapist
  • Mushroom identification
  • Fire starting
  • Survival
  • Mountaineering
  • Musician/entertainer

Step 14: How to Spot a Zombie Today

This is probably the hardest part of all. There are only a few very scant guidelines, none of which are fool proof. Unfortunately, you can not yet tell a zombie by looking at them as they are normally not yet covered in gore with limbs hanging off and staggering around aimlessly.

One thing that you could try is to see if someone repeatedly 'says one thing and does another'. The big problem here is that you would have to get to know the person quite well to spot this, by which time you will have become quite fond of them and are loathe to sever any ties. Also, this is by far fool proof as they might have good reason for their behaviour - maybe be they are working under cover trying to infiltrate the zombies in advance of the Event? Who knows!

The best advise is to try not to be too judgemental.

Step 15: Love Your Inner Zombie

I am sure there is a bit of Zombie in each and every one of us. Now is the time to look for it and make friends with it. Hatred and fear of Zombies is not a solution.

Step 16: Date Night Food for Thought

Stuck for something to talk about at your next date? Maybe try this:

It is very likely that we will have a full 'Global Meltdown' sometime in the next few decades or so, due to climate change and associated economic collapse of the developed world. But, anybody who is thinking that we should 'Save the Planet' is deluding themselves as the planet itself will be absolutely fine. It might lose a few species here and there but this has happened regularly throughout it's millions of years of existence. Does anybody mourn the demise of the dinosaurs? I think not!

It's time to 'man up' to the fact that we are only really concerned about our own species - human beings - who will find it very difficult to sustain our way of life. Thinking that technology will be created to prevent or manage the Event is another delusion and it's more likely that technology such as nuclear power stations will aggravate not alleviate the situation.

Thinking that human beings in our current condition can prevent global warming is yet another delusion as it is obvious to many of us that this extremely unlikely. This then leads us to an acceptance that the Event will happen and any efforts to stop it are largely futile, which may sound pessimistic, but actually it is not.

Maybe the human race actually needs some kind of catastrophic Event to act as a proper wake up call to say that our way of living is wrong? What is so good about our civilisation that is worth protecting anyway? Even our precious, hard won, democracy is fundamentally flawed.

So does this now give us free reign to go and burn as much fossil fuel as we like? I think not! Nobody is going to respect what we say if our actions are not pure of intention so indulgent holidays in far flung places are still not appropriate. I like to leave things with a few questions, so here goes:

  1. Is there anything genuinely positive that we can do?
  2. What would civilisation look like after it had been rebuilt again in a better way? (Think Star Trek: The Next Generation)
  3. Are you dating a Zombie?
  4. Have I just been watching too much TV? !!!!

Answers in the comments below please! Also, please vote for this is the Apocalypse Preparedness competition as I live 20 miles from a nuclear power station and so some radiation tablets could be really useful! Thank you.

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