(Note: This post contains images and text that contain arguably gratuitous amounts of blood and profanity. If either cause you problems, feel free to skip it.)
When it comes to zombies, my preferred weapon is something along the lines of "orbit-based kinetic strike" (a concept which, coincidentally, appears to be featured in the upcoming GI Joe movie), but something tells me that we are not going to have that kind of hardware if/when the dead start shambling around and gnawing on our extremities.
Plus, it makes a mess out of your planet.
Which brings us back to more-terrestrial weapons, which invariably reduces us to, "What caliber for zombies?" Folks go ’round and ’round about the ideal load-out (though I think we can all agree that "12 gauge" is not it, despite Hollywood’s bitter clinging to the notion), but the conversation eventually gets around to, "What if you have to dispatch a walker quietly?" or, "What happens if you run out of ammunition?"
For me, in both cases, the answer is, "Run like hell," but for those slightly-more-hands-on folks out there, the answer is obviously a blade of some type, and one cannot talk about zombie-related blades without bringing up Zombie Tools. I will let their 2012 interview with Blade Magazine tell you a bit about them:
A Zombie Tool is whatever the hell we want it to be.
When we started making blades there were two dominant camps in the blade world: the historical and the tactical. We didn’t want to make historical blades because that was too stodgy and confining. We didn’t want to go tactical because that’s too uptight and blandly macho. With Zombie Tools, we can actually do a little of both and then slather on our own unique weirdness.
Aesthetics aside, the main functional criterion of a Zombie Tool is that it be capable of punching through a skull and/or cutting through a spinal cord at the neck.
Zombies represent the ultimate shit-hits-the-fan scenario. And while zombies are pretty scary, even scarier is the broader notion of system collapse. Our contemporary material culture is a massively complex network of systems that no one controls and no one really understands. And we have become almost completely reliant on these systems for our basic survival. If those systems fail, for whatever reason—zombies, asteroid, war, demonic unicorns from hell—we’re screwed.
So the prepper mindset is a return to a consideration of human fundamentals. Where is the water? How do we grow food? How to we protect ourselves? What skills do we need to survive when we can no longer rely on professional specialists?
Now, in fairness, the same interview indicates that they have been downplaying the whole "zombie" thing, and will be potentially rebranding themselves as purveyors of "unfettered bladed badassery" in the near future, but hear me out for a second: I do not think they should (not that I get a vote in the matter, of course).
To be sure, the zombie craze has jumped the shark… and the canyon… and whatever else it is people jump at the end of their meteoric careers, but that is due to… shall-we-say "exploitative" companies painting their products green and calling them "Zombie Gear" or whatever. There is certainly nothing wrong with good, old-fashioned commercial exploitation (of products, at least… exploiting people is still frown-worthy), but that is what sets Zombie Tools apart and separate: they are not exploiting the market; they genuinely make bad-ass, functional blades capable of meeting their whole "cutting through a spinal cord at the neck" requirement.
These folks are honest-to-god swordsmiths and swordsmen, making honest-to-god blades out of honest-to-god 5160 spring steel meant for honest-to-god work. They did not just paint a stupid import machete green and call it a day… and I respect that.
Now, in all this rambling, I have probably gotten y’all’s hopes up, and for that I apologize. Zombie Tools were not able to donate a blade to the fundraiser – their current order backlog is 15 weeks, and, well, none of their stuff is cheap (in either sense of the word).
They did, however, throw me a box full of swag: one of their Zombie Che Guevera Hoodies (size XL), one of their Fist Full of F*ck Yeah t-shirts (size XL), three of their I Don’t Hate Zombies t-shirts (sizes S, L, and 3XL), 3 of their can koozies, and 3 of their patches. Some of this gear has already been deployed into the fundraiser (I had obvious packages lined up for just this kind of thing), and some of it will be saved for later.
However, in all cases, given the potential for folks to have delicate sensibilities, if you do not want awesome gear covered in stylized bloodshed or basic profanity, but want everything else in the package, let me know, and we will work something out. I somehow doubt anyone will turn this stuff down, though…
Me, I need one of their "Reapers". No idea, at all, what I would do with it, but… damn.