Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Scooters & the Zombie Apocalypse

There are 3 things in life that I love. Scooters, zombie survival, and all-you-can-eat specials (uh, 4 things actually – wife!). Today, we shall discuss 2 of these things combined.

Hypothetical scenario:

A long dormant but deadly blood-borne pathogen suddenly mutates and reactivates primitive cerebral functions in previously deceased corpses. This virus activates basic motor function in its host, re-awakening an insatiable hunger for cannibalistic urges while simultaneously rendering the prefrontal cortex processes and circulatory systems inoperable. This spreads through the human populations by initially contaminating “subject 0” whom while on a safari trip deep in the Amazon jungle is bitten by an infected mosquito. “Subject 0” returns home infected, and the virus subsequently propagates throughout known civilizations. A global apocalypse has begun!

Script from the latest horror film, or a potential tomorrow?

Even the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued a guideline for this “unlikely” (HA!) possibility. http://emergency.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies_blog.asp

While the pending zombie apocalypse situation (and it IS pending) has been discussed to death (comparable to six dead horses or perhaps a small elephant), my research from films, expert interviews, survival handbooks, and scientific literature has lead me to the conclusion that the modern day scooter is in fact the ideal mode of transportation in a post-apocalyptic zombie infested world. This theory is further disseminated in the following sections:

Reasons why scooters are better than other modes of transportation:

The most ideal mode of transportation while surviving and living in a zombie-infested environment (referred to as “ZIE” from now on) is, as anyone who knows anything knows, a medium-sized sailing vessel with long-term seafaring capabilities and rechargeable solar-powered engine, or a nuclear submarine. Obviously not many people will have access to such transports.

Uneducated common people (a.k.a. future zombies) will consider heavily armored vehicles as the ideal transportation since it provides the most protection from zombies and will likely flock to military bases and used car lots for tanks, APCs, and chromed out H2s. This is of course a grievous mistake. These vehicles are loud (zombies are attracted to noise), have terrible gas mileage, and provide a false sense of security which subsequently makes people drive too fast and crash their vehicles into a ditch and become trapped = canned food for zombies. But of course you already know that from Zombie Survival 101, and I’m presuming this discussion is to an educated forum.

Interestingly, survival experts and guidebooks suggest that the most ideal mode of transportation in a ZIE is the bicycle. It’s quiet, commonly found, light-weight, not dependent on synthetic fuels, and can easily out-pace shuffling zombies. While I agree with these facts, I believe that the scooter is a more appropriate mode of transportation for the following two important reasons.

  1. Injury. Injuries, especially lower extremity injuries, will severely hamper your escape possibilities. Try riding a bicycle with a large laceration down your left quadriceps. Or steer a bicycle and change gears through a city street clustered with abandoned cars and debris with a dislocated shoulder while a mob of hungry zombies chase after you. Scooters on the other hand, can still be easily operable to individuals suffering from a while range of injuries.* Cut leg? Missing arm? Abdominal bleeding? No problem! (Well, it’s a problem, but a problem for later, once you’ve made your escape). *This is all of course, dependent on the fact that your injury was not caused by a zombie bite. If so, you’re screwed. Although your final moments in life would be driving a scooter AS a zombie, which would be pretty badass.
  2. Speed. Sure, a bicycle is more than capable to out run a human zombie, whether shuffling at 2-3 mph (George A. Romero zombies), or even running zombies at 6-8 mph (28 Days Later RAGE-virus zombies). But consider this: what if the virus mutates further and infects other mammals? e.g. predators! e.g. cheetahs and lions!! Sure, here in the continental U.S. we don’t really have to worry about African lions or other fast predators (unless you work in a zoo, in which case, why the hell are you still working if there’s a zombie outbreak!?). But further consider this: ZOMBIE BEARS. Or ZOMBIE WOLVES. Scary stuff right? Well a damn piece-of-junk Walmart 10 speed bicycle will likely NOT outrun an enraged zombie bear or wolf. You’re screwed man. But of course, a well maintained 50cc scooter, with a top speed of 40-50 mph, could more than likely outrun a bloodthirsty zombie bear/wolf.

Lastly, I will cover why the scooter is a better vehicle in a ZIE than a motorcycle. Sure motorcycles are faster and can travel further while sharing many similar beneficial qualities of a scooter. But scooters are more agile, more fuel efficient, and quieter. But here are the two most important reasons:

  1. Easier to drive. Motorcycles have a clutch, need to change gears, and heavier to lift. What if you fall over and get your leg trapped under the bike? Would you rather attempt to lift a 600-700 lb motorcycle off your leg, or a <200 lb scooter? Also, you can one-hand drive a scooter. Obviously this enables you to wield a weapon with your free hand. I doubt you can whack zombies with a golf club or drive-by zombies with a 9mm while driving a motorcycle (or at least, not as efficiently as on a scooter).
  2. The bag hook. The most underrated piece of equipment on a scooter, and vitally missing from a motorcycle, is the bag hook. A plastic hook above the foot rest on the scooter provides a plethora of uses in a ZIE. Carrying freshly raided food supplies/chicken wings from an abandoned supermarket? How about a plastic bag full of grenades desperately needed to be delivered to your family’s outpost besieged upon by hundreds of mindless zombies? Sadly, you can’t do any of these things on a motorcycle folks – no bag hook.

Scooter usage in various stages of a zombie apocalypse:

Another infrequently discussed topic is the stages of ZIE survival. Movies and expert discussion often describe the first few hours, days, and perhaps week or so of survival during an outbreak. But how about long-term survival? Here I shall discuss the uses of a scooter in various stages of a zombie apocalypse.

Initial outbreak (24 hours): scooters are very useful in escaping urban environments. Thousands of cars will block all roads and highways, making escape very difficult. Scooters are invaluable because they can drive on sidewalks and other narrow paths.

Initial survival (days to weeks): scooters are important in conducting supply raids, reconnaissance for large slow moving survival caravans, and provide excellent tactical use in drawing out small hordes of zombies towards predetermined counter-attack areas.

Long term survival (months to years): scooters are sadly not as useful in the long term survival of humanity against a zombie infestation. Despite fuel efficiency, gasoline is almost nonexistent as all known sources have been depleted (even abandoned cars have been siphoned, evaporated, or burned). Food sources can no longer be dependent on strategic raids (foods have either been spoiled or already taken), and agriculture is a necessity for survival. And scooters don’t plow well. Your best bet for scooter usage is to either store it as an emergency escape route, or dismantle it for the engine to use as a makeshift generator.

Rebuilding civilization (years later): Congratulations, you’ve survived! All infected zombies have starved to death, and with luck the virus has not mutated enough to infect other creatures. Back to rebuilding civilization and blogging about your scooter survival!

Next week’s update: A D-I-Y guide to jury-rigging a flame thrower/machine gun turret on your scooter! (Patent pending).

Also for next week: Interested in knowing your survivability during a zombie outbreak? Leave a comment and I will utilize my vast stores of zombie knowledge to make an expert analytical synopsis of your survival preparedness in the upcoming ZIE. Will post these results in the next update as well!


Meghan said...

I would like to know my zombie survivability!

moogs said...

So would I, Beet! Since I'll be riding on the back of your scooter, I think I'll do pretty well!