Survival skills

ANOS – Apocalypses Not Otherwise Specified – No1: SLUGS

You know about your zombies… your outbreaks and viral attacks… your nuclear wars… but what about the ANOS.

Oh yes… the ANOS

Apocalypse Not Otherwise Specified.

In this series of posts I am going to outline possible ANOS scenarios. The horrifying ends that writers and film makers have imagined for us that haven’t quite made it into the annuls of ‘apocalypses we not only celebrate but actively plan for’ but yet have a creeping level of possibility in them that perhaps warrants a re-think of their ANOS status.

This week I bring you that shell-less terror Hutson unleashed upon the world within the pages of the same-named book (and the subsequent movie adaption) and that starred in one of the scariest, most freaky 80s brat pack movies ever, the horrifying ‘Society’. I bring you – SLUGS

Because, let’s face it, there’s a very real possibility that these slimy, malignant creatures could be deprived of their natural food sources and find themselves jonesin’ for a little nibble of long pig. Or, having mutated, they could already have taken human form and be walking amongst us even now, picking us off one by one.

Chances are, if that happens, people won’t be prepared for it. I mean, not many folk like slugs but it’s a sure thing no one looks at a slug and thinks ‘potential predator of the human race’. But it could happen… it could. And in the event that it does, here are a few tips that may save you from becoming a human-sized slug feast.

• Always carry salt in your hand bag or man bag – slugs don’t like the salt, it makes them buuuuurn

• Pack a taser – get those puppies wet and it’s a sure fire humansVSslugs win when the electricity hits the slime

• Wear large boots. In the event of salt supplies running low or your taser failing to work due to lack of water, these will enable you to stamp your way to freedom

• Don’t chuck raw meat down sewers or drains… seriously… it’ll only encourage them

• Invited to a party by creepy folk who’ve never spoken to you before? RUN. You’re the hors d’oeuvres AND the party trick (be afraid)

• Ever meet anyone who seems to have a fetish for scoffing hair also RUN. Chances are it’s a human slug fiend wanting to munch on your tender flesh

Last but not least – trust no slug. They might look innocent and vegetarian right now but, hiding beneath that mucus-slicked flesh, a killer is waiting to emerge…

Preparing Your Children

by Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth

If you rely on standardized exams to prepare your children for the apocalypse, you will find your tots will not cope well with the demands of the post-apocalyptic world. Here is a training film that will better prepare them for the realities. Get your conch out and sharpen that spear.

Plants vs Zombies: Training for the Apocalypse

by GClarkHellery

Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m a total ‘Plants vs Zombies’ addict. I love my little peashooters and wallnuts as well as the array of different zombies who constantly attack my home in search of brains. Brilliant in its simplicity, players need to be strategic in their placement of the different plants and choose wisely. For example, you wouldn’t choose night plants while fighting on the roof. But what else can we learn from Plants vs Zombies to help ensure we are apocalypse prepared?

  • Diversify your weaponry. No one plant can defeat the zombies on it’s own and combination weapons make for more deadly mow-down, so you can freeze the zombie hoards with an Ice-shroom while cutting them down to size with a Threepeater. The same applies during the apocalypse: diversify your weaponry so that if you run out of bullets, you can keep shooting using a crossbow or get in close with a sword.
  • Know and protect your power source. The Sunflowers and Sun-shrooms give you points to buy plants and need to be protected. During the apocalypse your power source is your life source, without it you’re dead so make sure it’s safe at all times.
  • Set traps which provide a warning and slow down the attacking werewolves while you’re doing other things, such as the Potato Mine or Spikeweeds. Minutes matter and those extra few moments when the killer robots are trying to untangle themselves from your net trap might be enough for you to escape.
  • Always have a backup plan. If the zombies eat all your plants, your last line of defence is a row of lawn mowers which slices them down. However, as with all last-ditch defence plans, it can only be used once and when it’s gone it’s gone so if your final defence is activated, either refortify quickly or escape.
  • Know pros and cons of each weapon. Chompers are great at eating zombies whole but take time to digest their meal which leaves them vulnerable, while Scardy-shrooms cause a lot of damage, but go into hiding when an enemy is near. No weapon is perfect and all have their limitations. Knowing these and using these to your advantage ensures you are using your available weapons to the peak of their performance, which will increase your chances of survival.
  • Know your enemy and attack accordingly. As with most games, Plants vs Zombies begins easily, but becomes progressively more difficult with more challenging attackers. Bucket-head zombies have added protection which makes them harder to kill while dancing zombies always travel with back-up dancers. In order to kill them, you need different plants. In the same way you wouldn’t kill a robot using a silver bullet as you would a werewolf, know your enemy and use appropriate methods for attacking them.
  • Takes time to re-energise. In Plants vs Zombies, once you’ve planted, that plant will need a certain amount of time to ‘recharge’ before it can be planted again. Even during the apocalypse a girl needs a little time to recharge herself so she’s feeling ready to take on the world so take some time out and give yourself that mani-pedi you’ve been promising yourself.
  • Marigolds are planted which can earn you money as they pop out coins during the game and during the apocalypse you can always make a bit of extra money or whatever passes for currency at that time.
  • Make sure you have a great theme tune. Once you’ve completed the game, the plants and zombies come together to get down to some funky tunes and really isn’t that what every girl needs after a long day of slaughtering rabid cows?

So there you have it. I’m sure that there are other games out there that will teach you other survival tips but for me, I love my plants. Now, where did I put my Grave Buster?

Survival Skills #2

by Honeybadger

More unusual skills

Mushroom farming

It sounds ridiculous but the simple fact any number of types of apocalypse could make traditional farming methods almost impossible. Dragons will burn up a years hard work in seconds, an ice age will make ground unworkable, if the machines rise a farm is far too risky and in a nuclear winter you aren’t going to have enough light, even after the ground recovers enough not to poison you. You still need to eat.

Mushroom farms are often located in dark, damp caves. Wonderful fireproof caves, not visible by machines or dragons from the air. Mushrooms don’t need much light, they don’t require all that pesky chlorophyll to grow. They are a good source of protein. Personally I hate them, but come the apocalypse they may well become my new favourite, indeed my only regular, source of food.

Raising barns
Assuming you have zombies or something similar to deal with, it seems likely settlements of survivors will gradually appear within high strong walls. The old Amish tradition of raising barns will be a useful skill to provide shelter and storage for your number, especially in the early days when simply getting under cover takes priority. Remember, the Amish may seem quaint to us with our iphones and our sky tv but come the apocalypse they are already self -sufficient while those of us who have become dependent on the walmart family are going to have to learn all over again. Not so amusing now are they?

Country Music/The Blues
Ok, lots of people can play the guitar (I can’t, but lots can). But what will you play to your ragged group of survivors? You need something that says ‘shared pain’ but can also say ‘we are still alive so let’s dance’. Country Music is the music of pain but can be easily turned to cheerful stompy dancing tunes. You may not like it, but this is the music you will need to keep everyone going after the apocalypse.

It’s also worth nailing the old 12 bar blues, for when a member of your team buys the farm, or you find yourself facing certain death alone. It may seem frivolous, but music is important to any society and both these genres are suited to lone acoustic guitar and the end of the world as we know it.

Making armour.
Yup, it’s the apocalypse folks, time to get medieval! A forge can provide weapons, protection, tools and a lot of heat as it goes. It’s a useful thing to get going if you are able to settle somewhere at least over winters. Yes it’s a risk, staying in one place, all that smoke, but still, all those cars are just scrap metal now, maybe it’s time to do something useful with them.

Honeybadger out.

Survival Skills #1

by Honeybadger

Unusual Survival Skills you may wish to Consider

The very first zombies were raised by necromancers in the voodoo tradition. Zombies in this tradition, still alleged to be practiced in Haiti, become mindless slaves to the necromancer, usually a voodoo high priest/ess or Bakor. Becoming a Bakor is a long and slightly grim process as voodoo relies heavily on the use of various bits of bones and body parts but should the zombie apocalypse happen it would be useful to be able to call the amassed flesh eating hoards under your control, even if it’s just long enough to allow you to loot the now unmanned Jimmy Choo store on your way out of town.

Spear fishing
Not the general route of leisure fishermen in this day and age, certainly not in the UK. However any kind of apocalypse is going to impact on hot and cold running water at some point and quite quickly on the availability of uncontaminated protein. You will want to set up camp near a stream or river and in order to maintain the muscle mass you need to fight for your life on a regular basis you need that protein. Spear fishing requires very little equipment and you will develop the reflexes with practise.

This is something your grandmother used to do, darn socks by firelight during the war. Get used to it. Every scrap of clothing you have is going to have to do full service, darn it until there is nothing left but darn. Then and only then you may consider discarding it. Remember, Primark will not survive the apocalypse, although the other cockroaches will.

Shearing, Carding, Spinning

We can hope that some wool fleeced mammals might survive the apocalypse, depending on its nature. There are some species of sheep but mostly goats that are still able to survive in the wild. Most sheep are now so bred for meat they are basically on permanent suicide watch.

You are going to need to make full use of the resources. Small goats and sheep are much more likely to still be around than large herds of cattle, so get used to goats milk or even ewe’s milk, it’s not gained much in popularity but makes an acceptable drink and excellent low fat ice cream. You will also need to shear their wool, both for their comfort and health in summer and for yours in winter. The fleeces serve multiple purposes. Unwashed and untreated they provide warm if somewhat smelly piles in which to sleep, with the natural oils they contain providing some damp proofing (a bit like a wax jacket). Otherwise you can clean, card and spin the wool before passing it over to your team mates in craft corner to knit into fingerless gloves, woolly caps and jumpers.

Ok, it’s not nice, but it may well be necessary at some point to chop someone into pieces. Zombies require their brains taking out and a swift decapitation is a useful technique. Other than that some bugger tries to take your supplies, you can use his remains to tempt ravenous mobs of wolves away from your camp. Aside from anything else, you don’t want a rotting body hanging around and if you hack them up they are easier to move. Any carcass will have key points at which you can get through the joints more easily, like with a chicken leg, and I recommend a good axe for minimum fuss.

Honeybadger out.