Weapon of Choice: Zombie Apocalypse Style Part Tres
In my last two posts, I’ve been the exploring the concept of what weapons I would want with me during a zombie apocalypse. My assumptions are that I can only use weapons that are commonly available to civilians and can reasonably be obtained fairly easily, and also that I’m in the Worst Case Scenario: on foot, traveling by myself. First I dealt with shotguns, then I dealt with other firearms. Along the way I discussed Unitaskers, objects that are good for just one thing and for nothing else, and which I want to avoid.
Today: hand weapons.
Hand to hand combat with the undead is to be avoided. For that matter, so are gun battles with the undead, unless you are safely ensconced, have an overabundance of ammo, and need to blow off some steam. Unfortunately, the zombies aren’t quite so cooperative with the whole no-fighting-please mantra, so from time to time the little buggers need to be dealt with, close up and personal. My general rule with a hand weapon is this: don’t get attached. If they get used, they will break. It’s best to have a simple, generic item that can be replaced easily and doesn’t require advanced training. A Shaolin Spade or a katana seem like awesome ideas. Unless you’ve been training with one for years, though, it’s doubtful you’ll be able to pick one up and suddenly become a zombie death machine. Additionally, while great at what they do, they are unitaskers. Katanas especially would be problematic, since even an excellent one will break from hacking off zombie heads or chopping off limbs, and it isn’t exactly easy to stumble across another Hattori Hanso sword while rooting around for food.
The first hand weapon I’d own is a nice big knife. Although not much good except as a last resort utensil against the undead, the knife has a lot of utility for other aspects of survival: cutting things like rope, skinning game, as an eating utensil, a way to deal with other not-so-nice people quietly, and the like. Some come with compasses in the pommel and have hollow hilts that hold fishing line and matches and a gram or so of coke (so I’m told). I don’t want one of those. I want a solid, dependable weapon, not a gimmicky half-plastic thing that sounds better than it works. I would prefer this item sheathed somewhere like a boot.
The next item would be a machete. Big choppers, they can cut through a grasping arm with a couple of blows, behead someone if you’ve got the time and inclination, hack through undergrowth, and slice open your chest during some obscure Native American ritual just before dying to an alien hunter. Plus, every time you take it out of its sheath, you can say, “Machete,” in the voice of the guy from the movie trailer and movie. Machete. Remember, attitude is important.
The third and last weapon I’d carry is, of course, a shovel. I’d have a shovel partly for sentimental reasons, because the Zombie Dream I had that involved me beheading an old woman zombie at the front door of my house was instrumental in finally getting me to start writing again. Additionally, though, the shovel is no unitasker, especially the one pictured to the left. Solid steel core, virtually unbreakable, and only 4 and a half pounds. I’d carry it like a walking stick, and could use it to fend of zombies, cut through the neck of a prone one pretty darn quickly, use it as a prybar, bludgeon, and even use it to – get this – dig holes. Defensive trench? Why not. Bury your buddy after putting a bullet in his head? Whatever floats your boat. I wouldn’t need the one pictured here (40 bucks, Home Depot), but I would prefer a shorter one with a square head and a d-handle if possible. Otherwise, any old shovel would do. They can be tossed around without concern that it might go off (like a rifle or shotgun), don’t require ammo, and can do a lot more than spray projectiles in a particular direction. Will they intimidate a potential gang of raiders? No, but that’s what the smaller firearms are for. It’s the one thing I’d want most during a zombie apocalypse.
Me and my shovel.