¡Feliz Dia de los Muertos! As you know, today is Mexico’s Day of the Dead, which is the day of the year that all of Mexico’s recently departed rise to life to eat the brains of the living. A week later, and all of them would be voting for Democratic candidates several times.
|Seriously? Thirty seconds with a SAW will take of this platoon. But check out the happy guy in the hat and glasses who seems a tad oblivious. Ya gotta like that spunk.|
Long-time readers know the Czar has neither fear of nor delight in zombies. Frankly, they are stupid creatures who do not deserve an iota of the attention paid to them by movies, television, and popular culture. Without question, millions of you love you zombie apocalypse stories, as a small, rag-tag group loaded with possibility for Writing 101 interpersonal conflicts, come together to shoot zombies through the head before they themselves are eaten. What a load of crap.
So in honor of this sacred holiday, the Czar thought he would take a critical threat assessment of zombies and determine how long a zombie apocalypse would actually last. Answer: not very long.
Some rules, as we understand them: only the recently departed come back to life, because advanced decay or bodily destruction prevents them from returning to life. Also, it appears that the zombie apocalypses are a largely American phenomenon (some films contradict this, but the original Romero zombies were caused by some space probe crashing back to Earth and the subsequent radiation activated the zombies).
First, let us define “recently departed.” After five days, the dead are generally either cremated or buried or so infested with blowflies that they ain’t coming back. Cremation you will likely agree. But burial? Don’t they dig themselves up?
Doubtful. A standard American casket is 84″ x 28″ x 23″ high, and buried to a depth of six feet. This means a buried casket has about 800.33 cubic feet of dirt over it. Assuming the weight of dirt to be a moderate 75 pounds per cubic foot, that casket has over 30 tons of dirt packed on top of it. And from what we see, zombies aren’t very strong. Heck, they can’t even pop a board off a window.
And if you ever saw what blowflies do to a corpse, you would agree that a zombie left out in the sun too long won’t even be able to make the b sound in “brains” without falling to chunky pieces.
So we have four days of zombies of deal with. Looking at mortality stats, about seven thousand people die each day in the US—about 8.26 per 1,000 people. Both numbers are important. This means that you would have four days or so of that, or 28,000 zombies spread across the US. About thirty-two for every thousand citizens.
Folks, this is like being invaded by a slow-moving, unarmed Austrian army.
Okay, two concessions:
First, each day this lasts another seven thousand folks will die of natural causes. Yes, the zombie army can replenish their ranks, but only for so long: 1,000 versus 32 people will rapidly kill zombies faster than they can replenish. And after a couple of days, nearly all dead people will be rapidly cremated or flash frozen or beheaded to prevent their animation. So over time, the zombie army might swell to the size of a slow-moving, unarmed Laotian army.
Second, yes—zombies can make more zombies by killing ordinary folks. But if you have noticed, the resulting zombies are imperfect copies to say the least: they have been largely eaten and rendered ineffective.
Zombie apocalypse? Over and done within five days. We really cannot see what the fuss is about.