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Friday, December 16, 2011

Good roommates


I have had good roommates and bad roommates. Often, my roommate has been both at the same time. The kind of guy, for instance, who eats your last jellybeans while you’re gone for the weekend is also the kind of guy who will freely share his extensive music and VHS collection. Or a girl who plays The Barenaked Ladies’ “If I Had a Million Dollars” over and over again until you want to move to the States just so you can easily buy a gun that will allow you to mow down the entire apartment building is also the girl who does the dishes when it’s supposed to be your turn. But these days, my roommates are the absolute best.
Today’s breakfast conversation was highly entertaining. Breakfast conversations are rare things: everyone in the house has slightly different schedules, which means we don’t often all gather around the table until supper. We got lucky today, and managed to have almost ten minutes in the same place at the same time. It gave us a chance to discuss our zombie apocalypse preparations.
You see, I have the delight to live with two people who are just a touch phobic about zombies. They don’t believe zombies exist… sort of. Maybe they do, a little. Certainly they are concerned with our preparedness should the eventual outbreak occur. Depending on their moods, they might considerable that outbreak inevitable rather than eventual. The whole thing does make for some interesting chats, though. Food stores, access to water, weapons for protection, that sort of thing. Today was home defensibility.
We have a two-story house. It’s been decided that the temptation and convenience of having access to the first floor can’t be allowed to sway our resolve. Zombies can’t climb. Zombies can, however, break through windows (even boarded up ones) and eat you while you try desperately to claw your way out of your blankets. So the current plan has us sacrificing the ground floor in exchange for security.
That leaves a single staircase as access, designed thusly:

You can see how the zombies can just make a clean run down that hallway up to our bedrooms. Obviously, it needs to be blocked off. Several ideas have been thrown around. A simple sheet of plywood would serve to lock the thing down, but my fellow house-dwellers aren’t satisfied with that. They have suggested we get a steel trap door. It would be designed to be out of the way, attached to the wall over the stairs, and then be lowered into place on a hinge. The thing would lie horizontally over the top of the stairs. Lock it down, and done. That way we are secure, but also have the ability to sneak out if the coast is clear.
This morning, however, the trap door idea was revisited. A steel gate that would slide down to close off the stairs at their bottom would mean the gate itself would be held in place by the lower stair. Further, a steel bar (or even a simple wooden 2x4) could be wedged between the top step and the gate to make it even harder for the zombies to push through it. It couldn’t be the kind of thing that mall stores use, because we need something opaque. Maybe the sort of things liquor store owners use in the movies. Zombies hunt by smell, but also sight, and a glimpse of one of us upstairs would send them into a noisy rage. That’s another point in favour of the liquor-store gate rather than the mall-store gate: it would block more noise. Who wants to sleep to the sounds of constant groaning? (Maybe porn directors, I don’t know.)
So it looks like the liquor-store gate installation crews will be coming over any day now. The decision has been made. The zombies don’t stand a chance.

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