I have a phobia.
We're not talking a fear, here. We're not talking about some fantasy phobia, either. This phobia does not kick in only when I'm playing Left 4 Dead or Resident Evil. It's not just after watching Night of the Living Dead, and no, it's not cured by humour - Shaun of the Dead was still scary as shit, even if I laughed.
I'm NOT looking forward to the Zombapocalypse, or whatever you want to call it. I think it's the scariest thing imaginable. I'm NOT interested in your zombie survival plans - yes I HAVE read the Zombie Survival Guide and unfortunately I think it was brilliantly written...which means it contributed to, not cured, my phobia. Same goes for World War Z.
I have a very real, very intense fear of something very very imaginary. I have a REAL fear of zombies. This fear extends to the point where I am honestly and genuinely frightened by anyone or anything pretending to be the walking dead. Phobias get in the way of rational thinking. I tend to react out of instinct rather than logic when I'm immersed in my phobia - I've regrettably thrown some punches and nearly drop-kicked a friend who thought it would be funny to pretend to be a zombie in an elevator with me. I gave fair warning, verbally, and held my sanity for a lot longer than most people with phobias.
To all of those who are psyched for the days when zombies walk the earth: you're fucked up. I'm sorry guys, seeing the people you love die a horrible death, ie - your sister being eaten alive by your mother and then in turn attempting to eat you alive - there is NOTHING, repeat, NOTHING cool about that. Now, zombie games can be amazingly fun to play - in the sense that they scare the shit out of me, and require me to be quick with my fingers on a controller. But I know people who honestly would love to act out a zombie game or movie. And no matter how I reason with them, and attempt to get them to the point where they admit it's sorta messed up that they wish the walking dead existed, they just refuse to give.
The impending doom is what gets me. Fast zombies I can live with - if I get caught it'll all be over pretty quick. Left 4 Dead, 28 Days Later, those zombies I can handle, and watch the movies or play the games. It's the slow ones. The ones that shuffle. Those ones are the scary ones. The ones that give you false hope - you think you're going to make it out alive, because you're so much quicker. But if you've ever experienced exhaustion, you know that eventually, your body goes on strike - eventually you have to rest. And those zombies, they're going to keep shuffling. They don't need to sleep. They'll slowly catch up to you. And when they do, they'll slowly kill you - slowly eat you alive. Slowly turn you into one of them. Five minutes is a long time to live through being eaten alive. Ever stubbed your toe? That's a long ten seconds. Think about it.
Yes, I know zombies don't exist. My nightmares do, though, and I have them at least once a week. It's a plague. And my understanding of what a zombie epidemic would be is real too. so quit it guys. You know you'd all be the first to go, too, because you'd be running out there with a fucking machine gun forgetting that there isn't actually a checkpoint with extra ammo waiting for you at the subway. There's a bunch of very hungry, very real zombies, and you've got a lead pipe left in your pocket, because you can carry three things, not twenty. Good luck with that shit - and if you do make it out, good luck with the PTSD. I'll be in Hawai'i - and if the infection gets out there, well, I'll die happy at least.