Actual Fears of a 20-Something Red Neck

Friday’s mid-term, asking out the cute girl you sit next to in chem lab, and where to apply for grad school are all things people our age worry about. Failure, rejection, and the future are all pretty scary, but they’re small potatoes when compared to the end of the world as we know it; something a very good friend of mine is concerned with.

I recently went home for a long weekend, and while hanging out with…oh let’s call him Bob, a friend from high school, I learned about an interesting new “hobbie” he developed.

Bob has started to collect swords and exceptionally big knives, but not for show or display, they have a practical purpose. I’m going to let Bob tell you in his own words why he started this…collection.

“They’re to fight off the living-dead when the Zombie Apocalypse starts.”

Reread that last sentence and give it a minute or two to set in. I wish this was a joke, but sadly it is not. I laughed at Bob when he told me this, and he got pretty mad that I wasn’t taking him seriously. So let me be clear, the Zombie Apocalypse is actually something Bob, and a surprisingly large number of his friends, are worried about. And according to Bob it’s going to happen soon. This is something he agonizes over regularly.

Now, I should mention that I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which is sparsely populated and pretty much the middle-of-nowhere no matter where you are. Most of my friends are hicks, or hillbillies, or red necks (whichever you prefer), and let’s just say that they tend to think about things a little differently than most other people. I should also mention that Bob is going to college, so he’s a red neck armed with an education. He’s a thinking man, and for some reason this is what he spends a lot of his time thinking about.

As I said, I laughed at Bob when he told me about fighting zombies with his swords from ebay and he got mad, but after he calmed down he tried to explain to me where this fear had come from.

Turns out Bob is worried about the Earth’s overpopulation problem; something that keeps a lot of people up at night. But Bob isn’t worried about overpopulation leading to starvation, irreparable environmental damage caused by pollution, or the depletion of our natural resources; like I said country folk think about things a little differently.

With the help a few movies and books Bob has convinced himself that one of nature’s solutions to this overcrowding problem will be some kind of virus that brings the dead back to life to eat the living. I mean the simplest solution usually is the correct one.

Bob has also convinced his friends that the Zombie Apocalypse is coming; they don’t know when, but it’s better to be prepared, so they have a plan to meet at an undisclosed destination in the woods (where there’s bound to be fewer zombies) to set up a strong hold, and wait out the sh*t-storm. They’ll bring food, water, and most importantly lots of weapons. You can never have enough fighting implements when zombies are on the loose.

I’m not a firm believer in this theory, in fact it sounds pretty f**king dumb. Don’t get me wrong, I love zombie movies, and Max Brooks’ novel, World War Z, was incredibly entertaining, but they never seemed plausible.

That being said, if the dead do start getting up and walking around in our lifetime I’m calling Bob and getting him to tell me where his secret hideout is, because a group of fired-up country boys tend to get sh*t done. I mean even though I think the idea is really, really stupid I should leave my options open, right? Besides, Bob wouldn’t tell me where the hideout is because he thought I was still making fun of him; I need time to “prove” that I’m serious.

In the meantime Bob suggested that I get a sword or two. You might be wondering, as I did, why Bob isn’t stockpiling guns and munitions, but there’s a simple answer. Again, I’m going to use Bob’s words.

“Swords don’t need reloading dumba**.” The simplest solution strikes again.

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