Whenever I travel, I have a number of fears.
1) The ONE time I don’t leave my home clean enough to perform open heart surgery will, of course, be the trip where I die in a fiery crash. Thus, as a good luck talisman of sorts, I have this compulsive need to make sure every stitch of dirty laundry is clean and put away. It’s my psychotic-and-pretty-much-fully-delusional-insurance against plane crashes.
2) If I wear cute, impractical shoes, the plane will have to make an emergency landing in some desert and then I will have to hump it out of Death Valley in those Betsey Johnson Iron-Maidens-for-the-Feet. In my mind I die not because I didn’t have a way out, but because I foolishly chose fashion over function. We miss dear Kristen, but she left this world looking ADORABLE!
3) The Zombie Apocalypse will strike when I am away.
Every single trip, I have the same fear (I blame this on being a Gen-Xer). All I can think is, Gee, I hope the Zombie Apocalypse doesn’t start when I’m in CA and away from Hubby, Spawn and all the guns. I know normal people don’t think things like this, but you guys are writers, so you totally understand.
And I know some of you went through this with me right before the NYC trip, but it’s HALLOWEEN! Zombies are a totally appropriate topic, and everyone should be prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse anyway. You can laugh now, but if a horde of brainless freaks hit the streets of your town, you will be thinking, I didn’t know the presidential campaign was coming HERE.
Ooops. Inside words stay inside. Zombies don’t like politicians anyway. They’re empty calories.
Where was I? Oh, yes. You will be thankful that
weirdos people like me thought this stuff through.
Today I am frantically trying to get as much work done as humanly possible before I leave for the LaJolla Writer’s Conference. I hope some of you, if you’re in the area, can make it. I’m super excited because I get to see one of my fave peeps in the world, James Rollins. AND I get to go all fangirl on Tess Gerritsen. Squeeeeeeeeee! James Rollins and Tess Gerritsen in the SAME PLACE?
I think I have the schmeltz *fans self.*
But of course, it is impossible for me to travel without thinking of the Doomsday Zombie Separated from Home Scenario.
Come on! If the zombies strike LaJolla, then I have to make it cross country, and who knows if the outbreak is contained to just the west coast? And then I have to figure out how to ride a dirt bike and we all know how well that went last time. Then I have to find gluten-free-dairy-free food (I am SO screwed) and stay alive long enough to make it all the way home to TEXAS to rendezvous with Hubby because he is NOT doing this without me!
Am I wrong to be a little freaked out about leaving home? In Texas, I HAVE a plan. We have weapons, ammo, a fallback point and lots of GF food. We can also raid the burned out shells of Central Market, Sprouts and Trader Joe’s as we flee to the ranch. But to leave out of town? I can’t bring nail clippers on a plane, so this presents a new challenge.
This is what always happens in the movies. The protagonist leaves for some innocuous business trip, and that is precisely the moment that some corporation trying to create a new kind of permanent Botox screws up. Then the protagonist is in for a cross-country zombie-fest with only the hope of being reunited with loved ones to cling to.
YES, I do have an overactive imagination. It is why it was better I become a writer than an accountant.
I am a really odd duck. Yes, that’s a nice “shocked face.” Thank you for being polite. No, seriously. I think these things through. I am the person who gives SAS Survival Guides as Christmas gifts and made a note to pick up a copy of Bob’s new survival book once it comes out.
But I am in a bit of a conundrum since the terrorists ruined travel FOREVER. What can I pack in case of the Zombie Apocalypse?
The people in the movies are never prepared, which is why I am then required to shout expletives at the screen to make-believe people who can’t even hear me.
Anyway, since my life is not a movie…yet :D…I’ve had to get creative. Here are my Top 5 TSA-Friendly Zombie-Killing Weapons. Make it through airport security and rest assured that you will be prepared should the Zombie Apocalypse strike when you are on vacation or business travel, because you just know that an apocalypse never strikes at a convenient time *rolls eyes*. I think AAA and the airlines should give these kinds of travel tips, stuff we can actually use.
Top Five TSA-Friendly Zombie-Killing Weapons for the Apocalypse
1. Justin Bieber CDs
Being attacked by a horde of brainless freaks? Play some Justin Bieber and they are guaranteed to start dancing and crying and believing that Justin like seriously like looked right at them! SQUEEEEEEE! This method is guaranteed not only to distract the zombies, but it might even attract some Justin Bieber fans to give the zombies a snack so they aren’t busy chasing you.
The TSA isn’t crazy about Justin Bieber CDs, but they aren’t yet officially listed as weapons of terror.
2. Cheap Hairspray
I would go for the industrial size can if you check a bag, but also at least 40 bottles of the travel size. They are under 2.5 ounces, so the TSA can’t exactly stop you, and if you wear big Texas hair they might not even bat an eye.
Hairspray, of course, is easy to make into a flamethrower, and also to do your hair. Duh.
Everyone has camera phones these days so it is a pretty safe bet that people will be taking pictures of the Zombie Apocalypse. And on any footage captured? Naturally, you want to be looking your best.
3. Bubble Wrap
To the TSA, bubble wrap just looks like you are OCD about packing your stuff and making sure it doesn’t get jacked up. What they don’t realize is bubble wrap can serve as a Zombie Early Warning System. Scaling fences and cars running from mindless monsters can be tiring, so you need to get your rest. Just use the bubble wrap to form a perimeter. When they step on it? The noise can wake you up and then, when they are distracted playing with the bubble wrap–because, seriously who can resist freaking BUBBLE WRAP?—you can bust cap in their @$$. Not exactly a weapon, but the zombies end up dead–er, so who cares? Close enough.
4. Lady Gaga Meat Dress
It’s like a Ghillie Suit for slaying zombies. Just make sure you wrap this in the bubble wrap to keep it from leaking on your other stuff. And I might advise freezing your meat dress.
Not only will freezing your meat dress keep it fresh for the flight, but wearing freezing cold meat can a) help you stay cool while running for your life b) serve as a cold compress for any injuries you might sustain c) makes excellent body armor d) will keep anyone of the opposite sex from remotely hitting on you, thus preventing the sexual distraction that normally comes before a zombie rips your skull open e) can be used as food until it get’s that greenish slimy look f) but once it does get green, slimy and stinky, you will fit right in with the zombies, thus the Lady GaGa meat dress becomes the perfect zombie camouflage. The downside is the zombies might not eat you, but you could die of e-coli, so make sure to fully cook your meat dress before consumption
The TSA might be iffy on this one. I know we can’t transport produce across state lines, but no one at the airlines would answer my questions about the meat dress. And now my phone is clicking. I think it’s been tapped.
5. A Bag Full of Legos
Need to trip up a pursuer? Toss a bag of Legos on the stairs and listen for the scream. To the TSA agent, you look like a loving family member bringing a child a toy, but little do they know Legos have a dark side and sharp edges.
Well, those are the Top Five TSA-Friendly Zombie-Killing Weapons.
For me? Back to packing and finding my Spanx. Haven’t worn those since NYC!
Any TSA friendly weapons you would like to add? I have to pack for
the potential Zombie Apocalypse LaJolla Writer’s Conference and right now, to be honest, I can’t think much past great shoes for running and hair utensils that can be sharpened to kill. I’d love some additional suggestions to add to the bag.
Do you have weird travel rituals? Do you have a fear of dying and loved ones finding your house a mess? Why would we care anyway?
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Kristen, you forgot the duct tape on your list of supplies!
Oooh, I could get that though security. GOOD ONE!
I loved this post the first time, and I love it again now. You must be my big sister because we’re paranoid in a lot of the same ways. I don’t worry it’ll be the zombie apocalypse, but I have thought about what I’d do if aliens invaded (and I don’t even believe in aliens!), what I’d do if all the power went out forever like in Revolution, or what I’d do if the world finally devolved into a giant war zone. The way I figure it, all that thinking is great story fodder 😀
I take it you’ve never seen Shaun of the Dead (a British Zombie film) or you would know that the best weapon for killing zombies is a cricket bat!
I just posted about my zombie makeover a few days ago, so zombies are really on my mind lately! I always worry about my house burning down when I am away, and when I pull up to my street when I return I picture the charred remains.
You are so funny. I am always paranoid bout leaving home. No, I didn’t leave the curling iron plugged in because it’s in the suitcase, etc. By the way, I read a mystery in which the corpse was killed by a stiletto shoe heel. So there’s another weapon. I do have a question, though. If zombies are dead, how can you slay them? Just asking…
Tess Gerritsen?! You’re going to meet TESS GERRITSEN? OMG, she’s totally one of my all-time faves! (Oops, there I go lapsing into “Valley-Girl Groupie” again!) Seriously, she ties with Karin Slaughter and Lisa Gardner for my top fave suspense/thriller writers. Tell her “Hi” for me. I know she’ll be able to place me after I’ve stallked…er, “liked” her FB page.
About the packing, well, I never know when Angelina Jolie will ask me to accept the Oscar for her, so I pack at least several outfits with matching shoes for even a weekend getaway. You just never know what you’ll wind up doing…gotta be prepared!
Honestly, Legos have to be the best weapon. Nothing hurts like a Lego underfoot. That’ll slow them down. Might even cripple them. 🙂
Greatness! I love the list. If my girls didn’t like Legos, I’d have to include a bag of small hard plastic animals–almost as good as Legos. Have fun at the conference!
The only thing I fear when I go somewhere, esp if it’s somewhere I’ve not been before, is losing my way there or losing my way coming back and not being able to get home. I am learning not to think that, and instead think that there is always a way home. You mentioned Bob. I am currently reading his ‘Writer to Successful Author’ book and just got past the section about fear. He says to overcome fear, you have got to work out what it is and work on it, so that what is your not so comfortable zone becomes so.
Don’t forget Matchbox cars! Not only do they hurt like the dickens, but they will send any zombies flying…probably to land on their back and lose a leg. Can’t chase you without a leg, now can they? 🙂
Wow. I feel much better now. I honestly thought I was the only one who gave the Zombie Apocalypse so much thought.
Plastic knitting needles. My mother swears by them. You can’t get the metal ones through, but she’s never had a problem with the plastics. Pretty much guarantees a security pat-down (lady with knitting needles? Very dangerous!), but in a pinch you’ll want something that can poke the zombie in the eyes without having to use your fingers. There’s also the yarn, which can be strung across doorways to trip approaching zombies to give you extra running time.
LOL Love the pic of you in dark sunglasses and a camo cap! Have a great conference.
Kristen. May I call you Kristen? Please put the gun down and slowly back away from the keyboard…
I once passed through TSA with a 50ft length of industrial rope, duct tape, work gloves, a screwdriver and a hammer in my carryon bag. I had been helping my sister move — at least that was the story for TSA — and was flying back home. Of course, they searched the bag of the guy in front of me – because he had a flash disk that they couldn’t identify.
You are so funny today Kristen! LOL! Ah, the stress of packing and nesting before a trip. HATE IT!
Listen, if you want to have a great dinner in La Jolla, go to George’s at the Cove, upstairs. It is our favorite restaurant in La Jolla bar none. And what a view of the Pacific!
Have fun at the conference! 🙂
The easiest way to get on the plane is by wheelchair. I need one. I know some people who will never travel anymore because they are to proud to take a wheelchair. Now, isn’t that the silliest? I also know some people who’ve told me they are getting a wheelchair for their next trip. But, they’re flying to Mt Rainier for a climb. Too astonished for a reply.
Ordered your book and have almost every page with stickies. I have already edited my bio. Took out my nursery school certificates and my cat’s awards for longest claws.
Can you leave me a message on my blog? I don’t know how to do this. There is something on the blog already but if you leave a message, maybe I can go to your chapter on blogging, and figure it out.
You can go ahead and count me within your numbers my neurotic sister. Before I travel I do all the laundry. Clean the bathroom (with bleach) but this is where it gets really interesting.
1. I’ll schedule my social media to post while I’m actually flying and traveling and even the day after. I do this because if I go down in a crash it would totally confuse people. They’d be all like is she pranking us. And actually I’d joke around like that. So there’d be a bit of humor with my death.
2. I believe in the power of positive thinking. So as part of my tweeting schedule I tweet things like “boy this is turning out to be an easy trip.” Or ” WAs running late and TSA got me all the way through.” Hoping that it will really happen because I put it out into the universe that way.
As for zombi weapons…I like to always bring my medication with me. Because everyone knows that zombies hate medicated brains. Totally takes away from the flavor. So you could wear your pill bottle like a talisman of protection. LOL
My travel plans tend to include obsessing over a deadly flu pandemic. That is why I avoid Disney World, pretty sure it will originate there. Then it’s a hop, skip, and jump until it floods airline terminals and shut down the airlines, leaving me stranded somewhere.
TSA acceptable zombie weapons? Well I think checking a crossbow and arrows is really the only sensible thing to do. Definitely in bubble wrap, in case of an emergency landing due to a zombie on board. If I’m in the cabin when the zombapocalypse breaks out, I plan to barricade myself behind the beverage carts.
The main thing to remember is situational awareness. Always be aware of your surroundings and leave the cell phone/Ipod/Ipad, etc. to everyone else. That way, when the zombies begin shambling down the street, all the tech-zombies will have their heads down and won’t see them coming. Zombies may be dead but they’re also opportunistic so those people not paying attention will be gone before they can text “Zombiez!!1!! ZOM-“. Use the time to beat a hasty retreat or at least arm up with your hairspray and Bic lighter.
And don’t forget your towel. If necessary, get it wet and use it to snap the zombies on various body parts. It may not take them down but you might be able to dislodge a knee so they can’t lumber along. Heck, aim it right and you might even be able to knock off a zombie head or two.
That is so awesome! I just want to know when you are going to write We are not Alone The Zombie Apocalypse.
Mathair tends to be a social butterfly, while I despise leaving my house. I chalk it up to being an introverted, hermit/novelist, but in reality I love the security I feel when I’m home. Zombies don’t usually come to mind, but I always think that a World War is going to break out, or we’ll be invaded, like Red Dawn style. I do have to admit, Alien invasions are always running through my mind. My little brother is sixteen, and Zombie obsessed. He’s mapped out the easiest routes to gas stations, food stores, and even has a list of supplies, safety precautions, and how to rig booby traps, just in case Zombies arise. Great post, Kristen. It’s comforting to know we’re not the only neurotic weirdos in the world.
You are too funny! I love reading these!
Awesome list! I actually bought a hairbrush that turns into a kind of sharp edged pointed weapon, like a thick ice pick. It’s made of a hard plastic so I had no problem getting it through security.
Zombies are EVERYWHERE these days, aren’t they?
Great travel post, Kristen! Can’t wait ’til you make your way to my neck of the woods… Niagara Falls could use a shot of culture and enlightenment!
The zombie apocalypse is why I raise chickens, and garden. Oh yeah, and all my gun-toting friends know to rendezvous at my place, because we have the defensible high ground. 🙂
Kristin, loved your classes at La Jolla Writers Conference. You also gave me some great insights into my novel when you read my first 12 pages. So generous with your time. Thank you Thank you. I’m a guy so I don’t clean anything before a trip. However, I do clean the day before my wife comes back from a trip. That’s more an act of self-defense. As for your zombie apocalypse, a belt with a vicious buckle would get through and work nicely as a slashing whip. Any vegetarian faux meat products might make them pause in disgust.
I laughed my butt off the first time you posted this. I laughed harder this time!
Legos…he he he 🙂
I love it!!!
Will be rechecking my bunker to make sure all my supplies are stocked to the ceilings.
Have a great day!!
The LaJolla Writer’s Conference is driving distance from where I live. Too bad I couldn’t make it. I can’t really afford to go to any writer’s conferences until I’m making more money off of my writing, lol, ironically.