Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Z is for . . .
Image courtesy: Angus
I got hooked on The Walking Dead and watched the first three seasons on Netflix. Now I am in withdrawal. I've read one of the novels (The Fall of the Governor, Part I) and ordered the first two of that series. While the television show was excellent, the book was just so-so. Plenty of carnage, but the writing wasn't the greatest. I've also read the first comic book by Robert Kirkland and would like to read more, but they are a bit pricey.
All this time in Zombieland has lead to some questions. Zombies are horrifying corpses in various stages of decay. They are literally falling apart. So in the zombie apocalypse, how long would zombies actually last? One website explains that a human body can become completely skeletonized in as few as 10 days to a month if exposed to heat and humidity. The setting of The Walking Dead, Georgia, certainly qualifies on both accounts. Yet there are plenty of fleshy zombies up and about several months after the initial outbreak. So what gives? Is this why many zombie movies and books focus on the first days of the outbreak?
The writers for the show might have known people would ask this, so they added a nice little twist to their zombie universe. The zombie "virus" is in everybody, alive or dead. So if a "normal" person dies, they still turn into a zombie even if they weren't bitten by one. So, in theory, this might explain the relatively fresh zombies, but from the way the story has unfolded, survivors are pretty rare. Or perhaps part of zombie biology is a slower rate of decomposition.
My other question is a bit gross, so if you are still reading, you may want to stop. Here goes: Do zombies poop? Their purpose in the afterlife is to gorge on living people (or in The Walking Dead, any living creature). They never get enough! So what happens to all that food getting jammed down their throats? Fans of the show may remember a scene in which a zombie tummy is unzipped with a knife to check that a missing child wasn't inside. Gruesome, I know. Thankfully, they just found a woodchuck. If that mess didn't move on through the rest of the digestive tract, then wouldn't the zombie eventually pop? And if they do digest this food, exactly how dead are they?
When all is said and done, trying to find logic in a zombie universe is probably an exercise in futility. Are you a Walking Dead fan? Have you seen other zombie fiction that deals with these issues? Need a barf bucket?
Congrats to all who made it through the A to Z challenge!