Walking Dead While Talking Logic

Let’s make this clear: I enjoy “The Walking Dead”.  You can’t beat the dramatic interactions, the plot twists, and the extreme nature of a life in a zombie-filled world, where hope is all you have.

Who doesn’t love zombies? Can we have a show of hands – assuming zombies haven’t eaten your hands yet (Image from podcast.teachercast.net)

My love of the show is predicated on my having to be able to accept the premise that the world is largely populated with zombies, and that if you let your guard down, even for a minute, one of them might just sneak up and take a bite out of you.  Before long, you’ll either be eaten by a horde of them, or turn into one yourself.  Without the acceptance of the premise, the show is totally silly.  Modern medical science tells us that there is no such thing as a virus or disease which turns people into mindless, flesh-eating zombies.  The nightly news tells us that bath salts will do the trick.

I’m okay with embracing the premise, but I have my limits.  Anyone who’s ever gone to a horror movie will tell you that you have to accept certain things to be able to enjoy the experience.  For example, no one in their right mind would ever go into the haunted house at the end of Creepy Lane, and certainly not at the stroke of midnight on Friday the 13th.  No sane person would open that door at the end of the hall when there’s all that scary sound-track music playing.  People in horror movies are notoriously stupid when it comes to their choices.  If you’re going to enjoy a movie or TV series of this ilk, you simply need to surrender your logic for a few minutes and enjoy the ride.

Fans of the show will tell you that the story isn’t really about the zombies.  After all, zombies, or “walkers” as they are also called, are mindless carnivores.  There’s no real opportunity for character development when it comes to these hungry guys and gals – it’s just lurch, attack, hiss, and re-lurch.  The meat of the Walking Dead story is the interactions between the survivors as they try to stay alive.  For the most part, the very human emotions and difficult decisions they are faced with are what make the show compelling.  Luckily for the cynical viewer, there are so many zombies that the survivors don’t have to make the typically foolish decisions we’ve grown accustomed to in the horror genre.

Be that as it may, I need to point out a few things about the show which are sticking in my craw like a poorly chewed piece of Hershel’s calf.

Premise:  Once infected, every zombie develops incredibly sharp teeth and jaw muscles which allow them to have the destructive biting power of saber toothed tigers.

Bullcrap:  Despite hyper-trophic jaws and a disregard for pre-existing dental shortcomings, we are expected to believe that a weak spot has developed in the front of the skull of each zombie, allowing survivors to kill them with the poke of a stick to the middle of the forehead.

In the spirit of writing a “green” blog, I’m re-purposing images from previous posts whenever possible. This guy may have been infected with the zombie virus, but his teeth still look like he just came from the orthodontist. (Image from zombiecombatcommand.com)

Premise: Wild animals don’t run away from people now that most of them are zombies.

Bullcrap:  Wild animals are wild, and having the majority of mankind turn into killer-jawed eating machines will not likely make an owl or a deer any less afraid of a human.

Fer Chrissakes Bambi! Didn’t you see season one when the zombies attacked and ate a horse?! You need to stay away from humans! (Image from jnace.net)

Premise:  Without an infrastructure, things like gasoline delivery don’t happen anymore.  Early episodes showed characters dodging zombies while looking for gas.

Bullcrap:  Now that the show appears to have landed a sweet little product placement promotion with Hyundai, the days of looking for fuel are gone.  As a bonus, the responsive handling of the Sonata is great for dodging the undead in the middle of the road.

This Hyundai Veracruz will outrun even the fastest zombie and there’s plenty of storage for pointed sticks and flashlights! (Image from cargurus.com)

Premise:  In the first two seasons, survivors had to be frugal with battery use, as new Duracels were even rarer than gasoline.

Bullcrap:  I can’t keep the flashlight in the kitchen from being dead every time there’s a blackout, but in the catacombs of the prison, these guys suddenly have tons of working flashlights.

The great thing about this baby is that you can also use the back end of it to pierce the egg-shell thin zombie skull just above the bridge of the nose (Image from dansdata.com)

Premise:  Hillbilly Daryl has three arrows in his quiver, and almost always has one loaded and ready to fire in the crossbow.

Bullcrap:  He never runs out.

Daryl has three arrows, and the same number of shirt sleeves as Larry the Cable Guy. (Image from walkingdead.wikia.com)

Premise:  Zombies are slow, lumbering creatures and are easy to shoot.

Bullcrap:  No one with a gun ever misses, except for the one lady, who missed so badly she almost hit Rick in the foot – but after that, she didn’t miss again.  Oh and Otis missed the tame deer and shot Carl at the end of season 1.

You’ll never get a good head-shot on that zombie if you keep looking at her ass! Focus, Carl, F-O-C-U-S !! (Image from tacticalfanboy.com)

Premise:  Bullets are getting scarce, especially after the survivors shot up the prison grounds killing zombies who could have been dispatched with sharp sticks.

Bullcrap:  Bullets won’t be in short supply for long, rumor has it the producers are currently in negotiations with Remmington brand ammunition for a product placement deal for hollow points starting next season.

I used this before for another post. It was a pain in the ass to draw, so using it a second time eases the painful memories of struggling with badly drawn thumbs.  (Illustration by the author)

Premise:  Lori is conflicted by her situation.  She’s going to be bringing what appears to be Shane’s baby into a hellish world filled with flesh eating ghouls and very few quality daycare centers.

Bullcrap:  She’s got a big bun in the oven!  Between the swollen ankles and the hemorrhoids, she shouldn’t be able to escape the zombies.  Even a mindless walker will be able to identify her as the weakest member of the tribe as well as a two-for-one in the eating department.  Can’t she get eaten, please?

While Mexican beer is off-limits to pregnant gals, Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia with a few dill pickles is still a favorite for those late-night cravings. Lack of refrigeration pretty much kills that option though – no wonder Lori is so bitchy! (Image from knowyourmemes.com)

Three kinds of Statistics; White Lies, Fibs and Bullcrap

Look at these stats! Nothing but good news and a need for a taller graph! (Image from pages.uoregon.edu)

There was a quote by Mark Twain which essentially said that there are three kinds of lies; Lies, damn lies and statistics.  Fittingly enough, Twain attributed the remark to Benjamin Disreali.  I know this because I had a statistics instructor in college tell us that the first day of class.  I’m still not sure if that was the best thing to tell us as we started our study of stats, but that was his choice.  In his defense, I’ve recalled that quote, albeit somewhat incorrectly, for all these years since.  By the same token, I’ve pretty much forgotten everything else we covered after that first day.

In the spirit of lies and damn lies, I’ve assembled a few of my own statistics for your reading pleasure.  While some of the stats may be twisted or completely fabricated, the important thing is that this piece gives me a chance to put a bunch of links to other things I’ve written.  If stats are good for one thing, it’s surely self-promotion.

Number of Posts = 80

Blogging Since = February 2012

Number of times Freshly Pressed = 0 (Refer to an upcoming post on the phenomenon known to WordPressers as Freshly Pressed)

Number of times I looked at the drivel I’d posted and prayed it wouldn’t be Freshly Pressed – Oh please, not this time! = 67

Lowest hits on a post =   Gotta Start Somewhere   – My very first blog post, with a massive 17 hits.  It was tentative, weak, could well have also been my last post, but 17 people read it.  I felt obligated to my teeny fan base to write a second post.  The rest, as they say, is the reason the garage isn’t cleaned out yet.

Highest hits on a post =   Life Lessons From Gilligan’s Island  – A ridiculous 471 hits and counting.  Seriously people?!  I compared the Skipper to Jerry Sandusky!  This is the post you love most?

Average time required to draw an illustration for a post = 2.9 hours.  That’s an average.  Some took much longer, and one or two were practically doodles.

Average time required to surf, copy, save, retrieve, crop and properly credit photos from the web for a given post = 2.89 hours.  Part of the reason this takes me so long is that my computer keeps taking me to porn sites and fantasy football articles.

Average time spent writing a blog post, not including illustrations/web photos = 45 minutes

Average time spent editing/re-reading/re-writing the above 45 minute post = 3.73 hours.  This statistic does not include the times when, after multiple edits I just got so sick of looking at the post that I deleted it out of spite.

Average number of times someone on Facebook utters under their breath for me to “get a life” per blog link posted on my wall = 1.3 .  Admittedly, this is only an estimate, but if my wife is any indication, I think it’s pretty close.

Average amount of time spent daily by those very same Facebookers on virtual farming, mystical quests for dragon eggs and Words With Friends = 7.3 hours.  Also an estimate, exaggerated for comedic value.  For the record, my wife does not partake in any such Facebook activities.  Sadly, the same cannot be said for my oldest brother Mike.

Number of contacts who I send a blog link to via personal email every single time I post = 83.  No exaggeration here.  These people were foolish enough to give me their email addresses and now my notifications pop up more often than spam for discounted Mexican Viagra.

Number of them who delete the email but don’t have the heart to tell me to stop sending them = 71.  This number is based on how often I see friends and colleagues (and neighbors, Bill) who never comment on my latest blog.  They’ll avert their eyes and suddenly get urgent cell phone calls if I even bring up the subject (I didn’t hear it ring.  Huh.  I guess it was on vibrate)

Monetary value of total hits of posts = $0.  Unless you count the time I found a five dollar bill in a box of colored pencils while looking for a decent eraser.

Emotional value that someone read me, even if they don’t speak English = Priceless.  This, of course, is a nod to all my fans, but especially my uber fan, Manon Kubler.  Kubler, to the best of my knowledge, speaks no English, but still insists on raving about my blog and even reblogging it, presumably to his countrymen who may or may not believe me to be some kind of “Cargo God”