You’re walking down a regular nondescript city street when suddenly zombies come out of the woodwork. You have to make a quick decision on where to hide out. You look around and see only your standard strip mall fare: fast food, bar, commercial sit-down restaurant and grocery store. Which of these havens of quick processed food stuffs would be the best to hole up in during the zombie apocalypse?
The Bar: Your family and friends have just been eaten by zombies and then came back as undead ghouls. Grandma and mom suddenly lurched forward and tried to feast on your brains and you had to put bullets through their heads. You could use a drink. While the allure of Jose Cuervo and Natural Light may be enticing, the practicality of living off of booze and stale popcorn just won’t cut it. First, getting drunk during a zombie uprising is generally not a good idea. Zombies won’t try and get you to flash for a T-shirt and won’t be receptive to talking for hours on end about the importance of cheese to the economy. Also, drunken stupor equals zombie food. Alcohol will also dehydrate you quickly and unless water is in ready supply, you will just be hastening your natural demise.
Commercial Sit Down Restaurant: It’s time to polish off your pieces of flair and head on over to your favorite after work hangout. These TGI Friday, Bennigans and similar restaurants have a fair amount of food in stock, but because it is a “higher class” establishment, much of it will be likely to spoil over time. I know not every dish at Olive Garden is made fresh daily and there are plenty of frozen noodles stacked up in the freezer, but if the electricity goes out and things start to thaw there is a much better chance of getting some E.coli from the T-bone than the processed “burger” at a fast food restaurant. Also, these places are maximized for space, creating cramped quarters and with so many metal signs and other crap on the walls there is likelihood that you will kick or step on something that will make a noise loud enough for passing zombies to be intrigued by. We all loved Judy Garland in Wizard of Oz, but I would hate that bitch if her metallic embossed visage caused me to be zombie dinner.
The Grocery Store: What could be better than a well stocked grocery store to spend your days, weeks or months sitting out the zombie apocalypse as civilization burns around you? There are endless aisles of canned goods, chips, cookies and other food items that will take years to eventually spoil. Plus, you can spend your first few days chowing down on the expensive meats and seafood that will be going bad. At first glance, the local neighborhood Kroger might seem like the ideal place, but there are two major downfalls that keeps this from winning the coveted “Don’t eat me” prize. First, the food is great, but only if it is there. The first thing the general populous is going to look for is food and water and grocery stores will be the first thing on their mind. When you make it to the store, there may be hundreds of people already laying claim or the aisles could be bare in the same way they are when a hurricane is about to strike. Second, grocery stores are huge with lots of doorways for deliveries. You won’t be able to keep an eye on all of them and before you know it there are 100 zombies in the frozen food section.
Fast Food: You spot a McBurger King and quickly enter with dreams of feasting on burgers and fries for years on end. The good thing about fast food is it is so full of preservatives that you could leave a burger on the front step for 10 years and it will still be as “fresh” as they day it was processed by little children in Malaysia. You have a ready supply of carbonated beverages, juice mixes and cappuccinos. You should have enough supplies of frozen burgers, chicken, fries and other items to keep you sustained for quite a while. If the gas or electricity goes out, you may have to figure out some creative ways to cook it, but necessity is the mother of invention. Your only real food concern is likely going to be cholesterol and heart related, but given the alternative of either starving or zombifiction, a heart attack doesn’t seem that bad. The biggest problem with living in a fast food restaurant is the overabundance of windows. They are usually built with windows surrounding the public area of the restaurant and you can easily be seen by any passing zombies groups. Smear some ketchup and mustard on those babies and you’re good to go. The fast food joint wins the “don’t eat me” prize in my opinion. Who would have figured that the place criticized for killing so many people would end up being the best place to hide from zombies.