Marrying my husband has brought me several benefits, one of which is that I have now seen pretty much all the zombie movies ever made. I’ve spent time with the Evil dead, the annoyed dead, the plain down right pissed off dead, even the dead who really can’t be bothered and are just there because, well, being dead doesn’t give you a lot of scope for hobbies. Now, I’m walking with them, which is a sight more invigorating than Clare Balding on radio four.
I have also developed what we call ‘Zombie Apocalypse Syndrome’ Z.A.S, which means that pretty much wherever I am, in idle moments I find myself wondering just what would happen if the zombie apocalypse were to happen there and then. In a cafe I imagine leaping across the counter for the bread knife and taking out two or three with the sandwich toaster, or find I’m eyeing up the fellow passengers on the train, wondering which will be trampled under foot and allow me and a plucky few to make it out alive.
The appeal of the zombie scenario seems to be remarkably enduring, and sometimes I wonder why, along with where the nearest weapon might be. You have a group of misfits, which allows for some wonderful tension and inner strife, and an implacable foe, which knits the most unlikely of teams together. The foe look like people, but aren’t, and so one can stab, shoot and decapitate them with a clear conscious, which is nice - no troublesome side issues around morality and ‘are we in fact as bad as they are’ sub-plots. There’s nothing like a ravaging horde of the undead to concentrate the mind, to trim away all the nagging issues around childcare, tax returns, redecorating, what did she/he mean when they said that about my shoes - drastic, sure, but it works.
And, when life is throwing you up against the kind of harsh reality there’s no fighting against, none what so ever, not with a bread knife or a sandwich toaster, the sort of reality which comes to us all and from which there really is no coming back - well, it’s a nice bit of escapism. That, and I have a bit of a thing for Daryl Dixon….