Well, it’s happened. Cosmic radiation, virus, reading a from a book with a human face; the reason doesn’t matter. The zombie apocalypse is upon us. It’s time for fight or flight and you are ready for both.

You’ve spent years training for this: learning how to shoot for the head rather than the body and practicing smashing craniums with a metal bat (by using watermelons, of course). Yes, you stopped being invited to neighborhood parties and the other parents whispered about you at PTA meetings, but no matter. Now that the undead are shambling around the streets looking for tender human flesh to devour, you are the alpha dog in this hunt. You are ready to meet the rotting horde head-on if need be and come out unscathed.

At least, you would be if not for that incompetent motherfucker you’ve found yourself saddled with.

It happens in every zombie movie, comic book or TV series so you shouldn’t be surprised. No matter how well trained, how well prepared the hero is (and who are you if not the hero?) there is always a victim-in-waiting attached at the hip, ready to drag himself down with the hero to a gruesome death. Or worse, someone who is willing to make you a zombie’s snack so they can survive a few more minutes. So, as a service to zombie-killers everywhere, we have put together a list of people that you should actively avoid lest you wish to become lunch.

Your Family – Let’s just get this one out of the way. You’ve tried to reason with them, tried to help train them in the art of zombie slaying but they just aren’t with the program. Sure, maybe the five-year-old has an excuse for not having the “physical ability” to bash a skull in but the least he could do is show some enthusiasm. It may break their hearts (maybe; depending on if you took their training to levels of bat-shit insanity) but it’s better to cut them loose.

 

The “Macho Man” – Being confident in your survival skills isn’t anything to be ashamed about. It will rally fellow slayers around you and make your group all the stronger. But when that confidence in knowing how to put down a walker crosses over into the “Fuck-Those-Ugly-Rotten-Fuckers-I-Can-Take-Them-All-On!” attitude then you have a problem. Fortunately, these people are easy to spot. They are often the ones who run out into the middle of a zombie horde with a bat and a smile and never return. Just make sure you are not with one when they pull that shit.

 

The “Denier” – THIS asshole. Man. No matter how many walking corpses crowd the streets, no matter how many family members this person has seen become zombie chow, he just doesn’t accept that the world he knew is over. Constantly ranting about how the group should find other survivors or (worse) wait for the army to swoop in and save us, his annoying whining will cause dissension and carelessness to arise. And that’s not the half of it. The really dangerous ones are the people who are convinced their loved one is still inside the rotting husk slowly limping toward them and welcome them with open arms. Which get eaten off afterwards.

 

The “Know-It-All” – A little knowledge is a good thing. A lot of knowledge can kill you. In every group there is always one guy who’s seen every movie, binged watched every TV series and read every comic book about zombies and thinks that is “reality.” The problem is they follow every single rule in zombie pop-culture including the rules that contradict each other. And while they’re trying to figure out if the zombies are the brain-eating variety or the flesh-eating ones (They’re flesh-eaters, duh. That “Braaaaaiiinns!!” shit doesn’t make a lick of sense.) they are being surrounded by walking, groaning maggot-sacks. Let him debate to himself while you are heading for safer ground.

 

The “Old Fart” – Look, I have just as much respect for my elders as anyone else. They have decades of wisdom and experience. But they are typically slow as fuck. Wish gramps aloha and make tracks.

 

The “Mall Cop” – A distant relation to the “Macho Man,” a zombie horde is a security guard’s dream come true. Typically not fit enough to be a member of the police force, a zombie is a guard’s perfect opportunity to live out the craziest Police Story/John Woo fantasy he has never been able to do to shoplifters or skateboarders. While they are very ready and willing to take out a zombie, they are not typically subtle about it and create a ruckus with their flip-jumping-while-shooting-two-guns-at-once crap. This results in drawing more zombies to their location which is exactly where you don’t want to be. Though admittedly, watching them flip-jump is pretty damn funny.

 

The “Psycho” – Okay, these guys scare the shit out of me far worse than any walking corpse could, especially since you often don’t know who they are until it’s too late. Zombies are easy to recognize. They couldn’t be more obvious if they wore sandwich board signs. Psychos, not so much. They can be quiet. They can be friendly. They can be anyone. They’re not really interested in survival as much as seeing just how many ways a zombie can devour a friend. Don’t be that friend.

 

The “Backstabber” – Self-explanatory.

 

The “Weeper” – Not everyone can be as mentally prepared for the undead apocalypse as Yours Truly. I get that. It’s kinda hard watching society crumble around you with the screams of the innocent being devoured ringing in your ears, sure. But why do some people have to be such blubbery babies about it? They cry while you’re in hiding. They cry while you’re on the move. They cry while eating their cold, canned beans. They’re annoying. What’s more, they’re noisy. Noise attracts zombies. Give them a box of tissues and slip out the back, jack.

 

The “Got-Everything-To-Live-For-So-He’s-Obviously-Gonna-Get-Eaten-Guy” – Man, these are the worst. There is always one person in every group who has a journey, a goal, a dream. They’re trying to reunite with their family. Or maybe find a zombie-free zone to build a new, utopian society. Or maybe they just want to find some Twinkies (yes, that guy was real; he’s also now real dead). Whatever they’re seeking, they are full of optimism and hope. And if anything is a zombie magnet it is optimism and hope. Seen it too many times, people. If you find yourself buddy buddy with a guy who smiles a little more than most would during the end of times and speaks about the future in a way that reminds you of Little Orphan Annie, just shoot him. He’d thank you for it.

 

So, there you have it. Watch out for those ten types of companions and you have taken another step on your way to surviving another day on this God-forsaken, zombie-infested planet witnessing horrors human eyes were never meant to see and minds cannot hope to forget.

 

You’re welcome.

By Daniel Frazier

 

“Daniel Frazier is a writer, artist and filmmaker who can also distract zombies with amazing slight-of-hand. He is the co-creator of the all-ages comic book series The Adventures of Nightclaw & Prowler and is currently working on a children’s novel with his wife and a digital re-edit of his feature-film Avenging Disco Vampires. You can find out more about Daniel and his work at www.daniel-frazier.com.”