Before we unroll this week’s batch o’ madness, it seems prudent to resolve a rather common misconception in spelling and definition.
Hoard: /hôrd/ (noun) – a stock or store of money or valued objects, typically one that is secret or carefully guarded.
Horde: /hôrd/ (noun) – a large group of people.
Yes, you’ve been saying it right and spelling it wrong this whole time. The misspelling does make the show “Hoarders” more interesting when you consider it. Now… on with the show!
It has become a rather commonplace, and too oft underplayed sequence, in just about every film, made for TV movie, television series, book, audiobook, etc., concerning an apocalyptic uprising of the undead. Wherein, there inevitably comes a point when the story’s featured band of protagonist survivors (the “heroes” of the tale, if you will) will encounter a brain-eating horde.
Usually this event comes during a film’s climax or the apex of a story arc. In most cases, it plays out following a slight lull in the story line’s action, at a point in which the survivors have survived and in surviving believe they have ensured their survival. They have beaten the odds, know their enemy and have a good grasp on staying alive in an undead world. We got this, and all is seemingly quiet on the western front when… all of a sudden and without warning *BAM* Zombie horde!!! They no longer got this!
So just how many zombies constitute a horde? Well, first we have to factor in the number of survivors. If there’re 100 survivors and 100 zombies, then it’s even odds and considered a herd. It only becomes a horde when the number of undead grossly outweighs the survivor ratio. Using a hypothetical average of 1 to 20 potential survivors means that the minimal integer for hording would be somewhere around 50. However, in most theories, it doesn’t become an imminent threat until it achieves endless horde status. This would be a mass of corpses that stretch across and into the horizon.
That covers the “what” so let’s get to the “why”. There are several theories on the zombie herd mentality. These ranging from primal pack instinct to undead telekinesis. However, the most logical presumption is chain reaction. One zombie hears a noise. Noise equals food, so it heads in the direction of said noise. Another zombie hears the first and assumes the same and the next and so forth. By the time they’ve horded up, they’ll just mindlessly keep going following the noise they’re making en masse… like a metal concert.
Okay there’s the “what” and “why” and you know “who” you are (psychological evaluation pending) so let’s chase to the cut and discuss the “how”. How you can survive a zombie horde!
Encountering a horde unprepared certainly limits your options. Step 1: Run! — Not at, not directly away from, but rather at an angle to the right or left away from the walking nightmares.
Step 2: Wish! — You’d exercised more.
Step 3: Hide! — Once out of sight and sound, find a place to hole-up.
Step 4: Wait! — Nothing else you can do but be silent and hope they pass you by.
Now if you’ve time, there are a plethora of anti-horde defenses to take into consideration. Start with a secure 2-story building, equipped with an indoor accessible roof and a 360° view. Stockpile supplies, then seal off the lower floor and access your safehouse via retractable ladder.
At 100 yards out, alternate between unlit bonfires (a torch runner or good archer required) and deep holes circling your stronghold. Zombies will either be set alight or fall in a hole to be crushed by others.
At 50 yards secure trip lines and propane/road flare bombs. They’ll trip, get trampled and when enough have fallen — blown up.
At 25 yards a circular blockade of vehicles and/or whatever you can find in hopes of redirection.
You’re surrounded! The zombies are below, clawing and moaning for your flesh. Silence is your best defense, but for those that won’t give up… Gather dead weights, i.e. cinderblocks, tie on a 2-story length of rope then drop – crush – reel – repeat.
Follow this action plan and you may survive a zombie horde. It all may seem rather horrific but being eaten alive is assuredly no picnic… unless you’re a zombie.
I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected].
Hope to hear from ya until then try and stay focused. See ya.