Television and movies have a way of making bad ideas seem good. They have wonderfully safe and controlled environments from whence come magical action sequences that are very pretty to watch, yet bear little resemblance to actual combat. It would take several lifetimes to address all of the fallacies in movie and television as far as fighting and survival are concerned, so this essay will focus on blades, and how they are used in zombie-themed movies. Furthermore, this essay will offer a solution to the fallacy of the blade as a main weapon against the legions of slavering undead that are bound to show up any day now. This paper will show that blades are a poor choice as a main weapon against zombies because of the difficulties surrounding decapitation, the toughness of bones and skulls, and zombies’ lack of any type of pain response.
Jack Ketch Shits the Bed Executing the Duke of Monmouth
For the purpose of this essay, the term, “shits the bed” will refer to the monumentally poor job that the executioner Jack Ketch did of beheading the Duke of Monmouth. Ketch had attended many beheadings, and knew what a man’s neck is made of. His axe was sharp, yet, when he took that first stroke upon the Duke’s neck, the Duke struggled to his feet, and reproached Ketch for the poorly struck blow. After being forced back upon the chopping block, poor Monmouth’s executioner whacked and hacked at his neck for quite some time. The Duke struggled all the way through, moaning in pain (Macaulay, 1850). This story is used to illustrate how difficult it actually is to sever a human neck so thoroughly that death is the result.
A Bone of Contention
Aside from the issue of decapitation, there is the general toughness of bone to consider. A sword is swung, and then energy is lost the moment it begins to cleave flesh. By the time you hit those big old neck bones, there isn’t much impetus left in your Vorpal blade, and the blade gets stuck in bone.
Next; the use of knives against zombies is absolutely preposterous. Sticking a knife through a human skull takes a whole lot of work. It is best accomplished while your intended target is sitting down in front of the television, or lying down asleep. Unfortunately for you, zombies do not watch television or sleep.
According to the Journal of Neurosurgery (These people know a metric ass-load about some skulls) “an average human skull can withstand 520 pounds of force before crushing. This human bone is stronger than steel and concrete of the same mass and is almost impossible to crush unless using a heavy object. A cubic inch of bone can bear a load of 19,000 pounds before crushing” (Journal of Neurosurgery). In short, skulls are tough. Go try sticking your knife through a piece of 1⁄4” plywood while the plywood is trying to eat you, and see if you can do it.
“But wait!” you say. “Zombies are icky-smooshy deaders, so they are softer than regular people.”
WRONG. Here is why you are wrong. Firstly, if they are all soft and squishy, why are they able to remain upright? They can remain upright because their skeletal system is fully intact. According to many sources, including Nicole at Yahoo Answers, bones take forty to fifty years to become brittle from decomposition (How long does it take for a human body to completely decompose after it’s been embalmed?).
The zombie is a human corpse that has been re-animated by a virus, bacteria, or parasite of some kind, and that corpse has to be able to move around in order to infect more hosts. It would be counter-productive of the virus to make their host squishy because then it would not be able to go out and recruit more followers.
So, there you have it. Say it with me, “Swords and knives are a bad idea as a main weapon against zombies.”
What!? You need more proof than that? Well, if the toughness of bone and the difficulty of decapitation are not enough to sway you, then perhaps the next portion of the show will convince you.
Feeling No Pain
Zombies, as re-animated humans, do not feel any pain. The nervous system has been hijacked by the zombie virus, and is used solely for detection of food, and locomotion toward the food. Find, capture, eat; that is a zombie’s entire existence.
The reason for the mention of this lack of pain is that without a pain response, the undead do not care what damage you do to them. If you do not kill that creature with the first whack, it is going to be eating you.
The wild boar is an excellent example of why a sword is a bad idea against zombies. Historically, circa Ye Olden Days, hunters of large and dangerous beasties used spears with a cross-piece on the haft. That cross-piece was there to keep the enraged (rightfully so) animal from walking up the spear, and tearing the hunter a new asshole.
Above is a boar spear. You will note that it is NOT a sword, because a sword would be stupid when going up against creatures that can eat and kill you. Yes, zombies eat you before you die. That is messed up. If you use a sword, you will get eaten and then killed. Not the other way around. Don’t use a sword.
So, you have your Vorpal blade, and you skewer that pesky zombie with aplomb. Well, no pain response, no reaction, and the revenant just walks up your sword, and eats your lips off. It eats your lips off because you used a sword. You have no lips, and you are turning into a zombie because you used a sword!
In conclusion; you should never eat yellow snow, you should never accept Kool-Aid from a guy named Jim, and you should never choose a sword as your main weapon in a zombie apocalypse.
The Stick is Mightier Than the Sword
A good melee weapon for the zombie apocalypse is a heavy stick. You need to destroy the brain, so a stick is the perfect choice.
Above is King Richard the III’s skull. He was struck down with a blunt instrument. You know he was wishing that the person who struck him was holding a sword instead! His shit was all bunged up. His jaw and skull were battered wicked-bad.
A stick will not get stuck in a zombie’s neck, a stick never needs to be sharpened, and a ravening creature from beyond the grave cannot walk up a stick and eat your lips.
If you are interested in learning how to use a stick effectively, please check out Zombie Fighter Jango on YouTube
Also, you should really read the Zombie Fighter Jango series of books. They are on Amazon.
Live Free, and Punch Hard!
How long does it take for a human body to completely decompose after it’s been embalmed?
(n.d.). Retrieved from https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070804095320AAabFgu
Journal of Neurosurgery. (n.d.). How much pressure can the human skull withstand? Retrieved from ASK: http://www.ask.com/science/much-pressure-can-human-skull-withstand- 1bcef73aaa0018cb
Macaulay, T. B. (1850). Execution of Monmouth. In T. B. Macaulay, History of England from the Accession of James (Vol. II, pp. 1-3). Leicestershire.