July 4, 2013
I thought I’d be able to hear Fireworks from here. I guess 3 to 5 miles is kind of far away. Oh well. I got a little Independence Day appreciation in earlier today including some photography.
Oh wait. There they are. I think I’m hearing two different finales.
So it was a good time earlier today. I woke up late, though, so I only caught the end of the Dundalk Heritage Parade. I saw some friends and hung out with the family. A good day in all except for one thing.
I mean, look at this. So irresponsible.
Using actual zombies in a parade. I don’t even know how they manage to keep them in line with only a few wranglers.
Insanity. I just don’t get these public events and zombies as entertainment. It’s sick.
You know what it reminds me of? The Tough Murder mud race.
The gym people keep trying to talk me into doing another one. I’ve done it — or half of it anyway — twice but I’m not a good/strong runner so I got vicious cramps in calves about half way through each time so I missed the zombie part.
Oh. This must be the fireworks finale. Hm. Probably should have looked out the window or something. No wonder dogs freak out. I was going to ride my bike down to Fairfax High but … here I sit.
This job thing. Should be interesting. I wouldn’t mind working from home for a while. I have an interview with a Skynet project contractor. I’m not exactly sure what they do. Something about autonomous drones. Not sure how I feel about that or how UI or UX skills would fit in there.
I hear Massive Dynamics is hiring, too, but I did sign a “no compete” clause. Too bad. They’re working on some interesting things, although their CEO is always away on travel.
But in the meanwhile I need to find something to do with my time. Ideally I’ll have a week or two between jobs. That would be nice. The gym people have been trying to talk me into another Tough Murder mud run. I keep telling them I’m retired. Seriously.
I half way did it twice. Severe leg cramps both times around the half way point. So My body crapped out before the electricity and zombie obstacles. Well,
the “active” zombies anyway. I’m not too upset about that, to tell you the truth. In a way.
It was pretty freaky, though, that first time. I definitely wasn’t expecting some of those things. Gave me nightmares for weeks. Don’t judge.
I mean, imagine you’re belly crawling through deep mud under barbed wire. All of a sudden there’s a mound of earth kind of in front of you and it suddenly starts squirming. Then the mound breaks the surface of the mud and you see glazed, mud coated eyes and teeth snapping at you, lunging closer. There are too many people behind you to back up and soon the mud is thrashing and churning with zombies and people in one level of panic or another.
Turns out that these zombies are pretty run down. They’re chained down or staked into the ground and usually don’t have any arms. And because Tough Murder is more of a cooperative event there’s usually some tough guy or girl helping to restrain. It’s a rush.
I can’t swim so I skip the zombie lake obstacle.
For the later obstacles with the more active and free running zombies they have weapons you can pick up. Not allowed to bring your own and you have to return the weapons at the end of each obstacle for the next wave. No projectiles,
in case you’re wondering. No bladed weapons either. It’s all good ol’ blunt force trauma or just avoid them altogether.
I don’t even know how it’s legal but it is one of the most popular mud runs.
Maybe it’s a public service, though, because it is good practice. After watching people fight their way through the last few obstacles I can tell you this. As complicated as zombies can be one thing is pretty much universally true. They’re all offense and no defense. They may try to out-flank you but they never retreat. They never back off to regroup.
Any two able bodied people can deal with one zombie with 100% efficacy. One with a long weapon, pole, broomstick, pike or whatever. You just hold it off at the end of the pole and it’ll just keep at it. The other person with the weapon then has plenty of time to go for the head shot.
That’s how the kettlebell club dealt with that horde that one time. Did you see the pics I took? We were at the gym, some of us training and some people in the class. One of the guys who works with the groundskeeper company came downstairs all out of breath saying that there was a school bus near 50 and PJ Skidoos. There are soccer games in the park near there. Some time to be the away team.
Everybody looked at each other and then it was on. People taking up sledgehammers, barbells, dumbbells and one or two ladies, who will remain nameless (you know who you are), went into their bags and pulled out handguns. I ain’t complaining.
I grabbed the spare Annihilator from the back seat of my car and, yes, my camera and ran after them. I’m slow over distance so I caught up to the chaos a little after the fact. I heard screams, moans, whoops, and who knows what else before I got past that incline.
I have to say. It was the most glorious carnage I’ve ever seen. It was complete chaos. The definition of frenzy.
You have to be careful. When you go hunting zombies it’s easy to get caught up in the thrill and the adrenalin. Everyone’s lost a loved one or two and smashing deadheads can be cathartic. But while you’re transformed into a manic, whooping death dealer you forget that the noise is attracting more deadheads from all directions. Or that something you’ve only partially mangled is now a crawler chomping on your juicy calves while you’re preoccupied with trying to extract your battle ax from deep midst a
The big yellow school bus was situated diagonally across westbound 50. A traffic jam was growing exponentially on both sides of the road. A preteen girls soccer team was inside the bus screaming in terror. Twenty zombies were shuffling up out of a culvert next to the PJ’s parking lot. There was actually a trail down there that lead to a neighborhood and the park with the soccer fields.
There had been a series of fender benders and some more serious accidents. One car was smoking profusely as a fire from another encroached on it. A motorcyclist had gone down and a zombie was unproductively gnawing on the dazed rider’s helmet. Sirens were blaring in the distance.
Somewhere between ten and twenty zombies were on the ground in various states of extra-death. In the middle of it all, doing the slaying, were the gym crew. One of the coaches had made his way into a tree and was dropping Zs with a bow and arrows.
Two of the KB ladies was popping head shots with a look of mayhem and glee in their eyes. Another coach was swinging a 50lb. barbell like a baseball bat. Never heard a barbell whistle through the air before. I saw more than one head knocked off entirely.
The others were going to town with whatever they had grabbed. I saw some good sledgehammer action and someone braver than I am getting close and personal enough to cave in a skull with a 40 lb. dumbbell.
There was so much going on I didn’t know what to do. Motorcycle guy started panicking and everyone else was occupied. The girls in the bus were the safest people there at that moment. That’s where I started.
That’s also when I became reacquainted with the dangers of ordering crap off of the Internet. I trotted over to the biker guy with the zombie trying to bite through the motorcycle armor. The zombie noticed me, looked up and snarled in frustration, anger and unchecked rage. Before it could stand I lined up my swing
and cold cocked it in the head just behind the temple. You ever hit a softball with the wrong part of the bat? Like, too close to your grip? That’s what it felt like.
Annihilator, one. Zombie head, zero. The biker jumped to his feet and without a word ran to his bike, righted it and drive off.
I heard the fast footfalls before I saw it. I turned and swung at the same time at the zombie runner. The wrecking bar caught it on the shoulder and snapped clean in two. Craptastic. Annihilator, one. Zombies, one.
By the way, after the fact when I got home I looked up reviews for the Annihilator. Basically it’s a cool looking toy for hipster wannabe zombie slayers. It has a way of cracking or breaking when used for real. It pays to do your research first. Lesson learned.
I’ve since bought the FuBar forcible entry tool. Observe. Now we’re playing with power.