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Last Sunday, in typical college fashion as the power went out, the question was posed: "If Tucson truly is the Hellmouth, and this is truly Armeggeddon, then it follows that the army of zombies will be attacking soon. Where shall we take refuge?"

Naturally, since the power was out, I couldn't just ignore my flatmates' requests for a debate by diving back into Xenosaga, so I grabbed myself a beer, and threw in my two cents.

Of course, the conversation did not arise as such. It actually started when the power went out, and we sat bored for a few moments. A friend of mine who crashes at our house occasionally (Jon) picked up a hammer that had been utilized in the consumption of a coconut earlier, and commented on how convienient it would be to be carrying a hammer if zombies attacked. This is illogical to me. Apparently my friends all believe that just destroying a zombie's brain will render it incapacitated, but I argue that you must do much more to a zombie than that (after all, I've seen too many pictures of zombies with their brains spilling out of their heads, and they're no less lethal; or un-lethal as the case may be.)

Always one willing to jump right into an argument swinging just to see if I can refute people's points, I attack the hammer, declaring the close proximity your hand would need to a zombie in order to incapacitate it. It is common knowledge after all, that if you are bitten by a zombie, you become one. It seems logical to me then, that letting your hand get within a foot of a zombie would not be a good idea. Agreeing with this, one of my housemates (Mike) offered golf clubs as a substitute. This seemed altogether more logical to me, and I decided to let it slide. However, the power was still out, so my need for arguing could not yet be satiated.

A golf club is all well and good if dealing with a single zombie out in the open, but generally zombies are pack animals (if and only if they are animals.) I brought this point up as my housemates all began searching our abode for more instruments to destroy the zombie infestation of Tucson.

About this time, we came to the conclusion that our house was unacceptable for holding off a zombie infestation. There are too many windows, and those windows are too easily broken. Furthermore, the lack of any sort of firearm would force us to engage the zombies on a hand-to-hand level. Not wishing to let any zombies into the house, let alone just one or two at a time we decided that our house was unacceptable. We needed someplace that would have close proximity to our current locale, provide us with food for days (in case of a prolonged attack, another problem with taking refuge within a college house) and provide us with weaponry to dispatch our undead attackers.

First, our minds wandered to campus; specifically, our minds wandered to the Koffler building. At first it seemed logical enough. The Koffler building housed vending machines at just about every 50 feet, many beakers to be used as projectile weapons and four stair wells. We could take refuge on the top floor, as zombies would obviously have trouble navigating the trip up to the top. Each of us could watch a single stairwell, and guard it with our endless supply of chemistry equipment like in Army of Darkness. Koffler got shot down however when we realized that with only four of us, nobody could watch more than one entrance while another took a break for food or sleep. Furthermore, the vending machines would only provide us with sustinance for maybe a day at max. Also, lets face it. Beakers? As weapons? Not a chance.

The idea of a grocery store came up, as we were now thinking with our stomaches. Stores usually had one main entrance, and a few side entrances that could be boarded up. Problem with this, though we could sustain ourselves for quite a long time on the food contained within a grocery store, there were no weapons to defend ourselves with. Weaponry would need to be acquired on a stop along the way, maybe we would hit a sporting goods store, or knife shop or somesuch. A stop along the way eliminated it right away. Though the thought of having so much alcohol at our disposal was entertaining, only some of the alcohol was high enough proof to become a molotov cocktail.

A sporting goods store was discussed, but when it came right down to it, we weren't all that close to one, and the zombie infestation would likely cause all of our vehicles to spontaneously stop working. We were met with the same problem as with Koffler: no steady supply of food. After much debate, I convinced the group that there is, in fact, a hunting section within the store, however we were still met with the food problem.

I can't remember who exactly came up with the idea. It could have been me, it could have been Chris, Jon, or Mike. Wal-Mart however, makes the perfect anti-zombie fortress. Aside from one flaw discussed momentarily, it provides the ideal environment with which to stage your war against the forces of evil.

  • Food - The super walmart that we are considering is not your ordinary walmart. This is one of those stores that can sustain an entire town on its business alone. Not only can you feed a family of twenty for cheap (though money isn't really an issue) there is a full alcohol section, and a place where you can find all sorts of cooking equipment. Food would obviously not be a problem within Wal-Mart.
  • Weaponry - Wal-Mart is known to be white-trash central. Consequently, Wal-Mart carries a full line of firearms, as well as machetes and baseball bats. They can cater to any combat you wish to wage upon the zombies.
  • Security - Strategy was discussed, though most Wal-Marts sport two entrances, we could take refuge within the security room, and note enemy movements. Any time we needed food or supplies, we could all venture out into the store, retrieve what we need, and fight our way back.
  • Other - Some other points make Wal-Mart a very comfortable fortress: First, you have a lot of clothing. Who wants to wear the same blood-spattered clothes every day of your seige? Next, entertainment. The electronics section provides us with DVDs, games, music, and everything else needed to keep our spirits high. Finally, touching on the clothes once more, it provides us with disguises for those times we wish to wander out into the store in order to secure supplies. Wal-Mart stocks halloween costumes all year long, I'm sure we can find zombie suits.

The Downside:

The single downside I could find in this argument is the state Wal-Mart would be in when we arrived. A twenty-four hour store, Wal-Mart constantly has patrons milling about it who are scary enough - being from Tucson, and being in Wal-Mart - without being zombies. Furthermore, by the time we reached Wal-Mart, the zombie infestion would likely have already reached it, causing us to need to clear out the store, or fight our way into the back room. This brings us full circle to what we could bring as our first weaponry: A hammer, and golf clubs.

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