It’s coming, and it’s inevitable. Whether as a result of some mutated bacteria, a manmade biological toxin or an aberration of nature, it’s going to happen.
The Zombie Apocalypse.
You don’t know when it will happen. You don’t know where you will be. But one thing is certain—you’re not going to be able to survive it alone. You’re going to need people. People with strength. People with skills. Fearless sorts who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, and who know how to MacGyver all kinds of stuff into all kinds of other stuff.
It’s not the police. It’s not the military. It’s not Ghostbusters.
That’s right. During the Zombie Apocalypse, you are gonna want horse people on your team.
Horse people are, by design, ever-ready for any disaster. No matter when or where zombification strikes, we are likely to be wearing sensible clothes and sturdy shoes and be driving a truck full of tools. We’ve also got five changes of clothing, camping gear, building and repair materials, blankets, veterinary and medical supplies, and a bunch of groceries that never made it from the back seat to the pantry. We’re a survival camp on wheels.
Horse people can safely navigate a herd of 1200-pound animals who would like nothing better than to bowl us over and go through our pockets for treats. Do you really think a few zombies are going to intimidate us? They are slower, less intelligent and much easier to elbow out of our personal space. Give us a lunge whip and before too long we’ll have them trotting in obedient circles around us.
We are inured to unpleasantries from which ordinary people shrink. Dead things do not scare us. Do you know how many half-decomposed rats and headless birds we’ve disposed of, courtesy of the barn cats? And we’re not squeamish. We will put our hands into stuff most folks would cross the street to avoid. We scrape stuff off of our boots that can only be described as unholy. We have cleaned up the aftermath of having fed the nervous mare too much green hay.
Sorry, zombies. Nothing you can spew out of any of your orifices can faze us.
Horse people come well equipped to eradicate the undead. We don’t need a katana or crossbow when the everyday tools of our trade are ideal. The pitchfork. The awl. The machete (we gotta bust into those supplement buckets somehow). Don’t even get me started on the possibilities of the hay bale hooks
We also have duct tape, Bondo (basically Armageddon-grade Play Doh), bungee cords, baling wire and hay nets. That’s pretty much everything you need to make a catapult. No boulders required; load it with a few flakes of alfalfa hay and you’ve got a long-distance weapon of zombie mass destruction.
Of course, then there’s the whole cleanup and disposal situation. Zombie cadavers pile up quickly, and nobody thinks it’s their job to clean them up. Oh sure, everybody wants to kill the zombies, but heaven forbid we ask you to sweep your own zombie mess out of the crossties.
Fine. We cart hay bales and feedbags and loads of shavings around every day – a few dead bodies are nothing. We can balance at least six of them in the wheelbarrow at a time. As for the scattered, dismembered parts? Behold the single-scoop shovel-sweep, a maneuver only horse people can master. In one swift motion we can slip the shovel under the zombie-bits and flip them right into in the muck bucket.
Resources in the zombie apocalypse will be in short supply. The majority of the surviving population is going to be raiding all the grocery and drug stores for supplies.
You don’t need to get in the middle of that when we know the location of every ranch supply retailer and vet clinic in a four-state area.
The vet clinic is a practical alternative to battling looters at the local Rite Aid. Horse people can identify meds equivalent to anything a pharmacy stocks, and we’re experts at dosage and administering. Okay, so maybe we’ll have to shoot it down your throat in paste form. And you’re not going to love checking your fever with a horse thermometer. But hey, this is the zombie apocalypse; tie a string on the end of it and be glad you still have a place to stick it.
You might wonder what a ranch supply store will get you. For starters, all kinds of thingies that can neutralize zombies, like shovels and pitchforks and pipes. Metal trashcans make great zombie-proof body armor, and the lids are ready-made shields.
Most of the time, you can find propane. That will come in handy as the whole public utility infrastructure goes belly-up and we have to live without electricity, running water and Facebook. And check the parking lot out back – you might just score a Dually with a full tank of gas.
Know what else the ranch store’s got? A whole section full of beef jerky and trail mix next to the checkout desk. Lightweight, great protein, and expiration dates well into the next decade. Makes those guys fighting over pineapples in the GroceryMart seem foolish, doesn’t it?
Finally, this is where you’ll find end-of-the-world-worthy clothing. Ranch supply stores have serious clothes. The kind you’re going to need to survive. We’re talking pants that stand up by themselves, bite-proof gloves and boots, and all but bulletproof outerwear. Let the other wannabe survivors pillage the mall – see how long they last in shoes from PayLess and those J. Crew shorts.
The good news is, you don’t have to wait for the zombie apocalypse to hit. Horse people are good in any kind of emergency, and you won’t find anybody more willing to dig in and do what it takes to help somebody in need. Put us on speed dial. We’re who you wanna call.
After years of trying to fit in with corporate America, Jody Lynne Werner decided to pursue her true passion as a career rather than a hobby. So now, she’s an artist, graphic designer, illustrator, cartoonist, web designer, writer and humorist. You can find her work on her Misfit Designs Cafepress site. Jody is one of the winners of the Chronicle’s first writing competition. Her work also appears in the annual Amateur Issue print editions of The Chronicle of the Horse.