Planning Travel? Five TSA-Approved Weapons of the Zombie Apocalypse



Next week, I hop on a flight to teach The Master’s Series in Seattle at the Emerald City Conference. I’m always so blessed to serve and I LOVE that area of the country. SCORE! But, flying has become particularly…terrifying. This only adds to my already irrational fears because—face it—I’m a writer and we have pathologically overactive imaginations. Writers INVENTED The Dark Side…literally .

And yes, we’re in scary times. My go-to coping mechanisms for fear? Crocheting, violent video games, Jui-Jitsu, gallows humor, and tasteless jokes.

You know you’re a writer when the rest of the world sees the neighbors “got new carpet” and you wonder inside if the wife is present and accounted for O_o.

*checks roll of discarded carpet for smells of decomp*

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 Seattle 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 have been through this with me before on other trips, but it’s HALLOWEEN! AND helllooooo? EBOLA?

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 around so early.

Ooops. Inside words stay inside. Zombies don’t like politicians anyway. 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. I’m also wondering if hand sanitizer can really help me all that much in the face of a deadly filovirus, and I assume a portable flamethrower is not TSA approved. There goes my prevention plan.

But of course, it is impossible for me to travel without thinking of the Doomsday Zombie Separated from Home Scenario.

Yes, this is me.

Come on! If the zombies strike Seattle, then I have to make it cross country (because I HATE open water and that is a LONG way home to Texas). But 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 the time I tried it. Then I have to stay alive long enough to make it all the way home to rendezvous with Hubby because he is SO NOT doing this without me!

Hubby and I are way to excited about this…

Be prepared….

You shall not pass!

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.

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 8.02.07 AM

Want to see zombies? Wait until the end of NOVEMBER.

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-Approved 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.

Swap the shoes for something more functional, like sausage sprinting shoes.

Swap the shoes for something more functional, like sausage sprinting shoes.

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.

The Spawn claims it isn’t a mess, it’s preparation.

Well, those are the Top Five TSA-Approved Zombie-Killing Weapons.

Any TSA friendly weapons you would like to add? I have to pack for the potential Zombie Apocalypse conference, and, 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/fears? Do you have a fear of dying and loved ones finding your house a mess? Why would we care anyway? Do you see a shower curtain or a great hiding place for an ax-killer? You KNOW you say the rolled-up-carpet-dead-body *stares at you*.

I LOVE hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of OCTOBER, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

For those who need help building a platform and keeping it SIMPLE, pick up a copy of my latest social media/branding book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World on AMAZON, iBooks, or Nook


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  1. As the Yellow Brigade Commander of the Zombie Survival Crew (, I approve of this post. =)

    • robin witt on October 6, 2014 at 4:26 pm
    • Reply

    I’ve made far too many work trips… I could wallpaper my office with the brochure TSA puts in your bags when they search it because WHY Would Someone be Carrying Rocks on a plane???
    Answer – because she’s a geologist, of course… but they don’t get it.

    I will definitely start packing a bag of legos as zombi apoc. protective gear. That is sheer genius!

    Also – are you having email problems? Because I checked my inbox and my junk box over and over, and I can’t find the email letting me know I won the September prize.
    I’ll keep checking back.

    Thanks for another fun blog post. Have a safe trip 🙂

    1. LOL. I have had a BADLY sick kitty and am behind tallying and posting official winner. So we will assume you won 5-page critique just for being enthusiastic. Send it to kristen at wana intl dot com.

    • robin witt on October 6, 2014 at 4:28 pm
    • Reply

    hmm – my wink and grin got edited out of my comment above… I don’t truly think it’s technology getting me on the prize drawing… (will you enter my name again since I posted twice?)

    1. I got the joke :D. Send me your five.

  2. You don’t have to critique anything for me, but I DID want to say I love this post. I have the same irrational fears about flying. The TSA is nicer to you if you are wearing heels and a short skirt but I imagine myself going down the inflatable ramp and puncturing it or someone’s lung with an errant stiletto. 🙂

  3. Since I’m flying to Oregon tomorrow (at *six*freaking*a.m.*), this is a very timely post. I was just at the store to stock the freezer for my guys while I’m gone (that way they don’t have to leave the house in case of a zombie apocalypse), so I”ll pass on the meat dress, but I’ll throw in some legos and bubble wrap. Cuz who can resist bubble wrap? But a Justin Bieber CD? Sorry, there are just some things I can’t bring myself to do.

    Wave to me if you fly over Oregon on your way to Seattle!

  4. Good luck with the conference! I’ve heard great things about that one; what a great roster of authors and publishing people.

    • Carrie Kwiatkowski on October 6, 2014 at 5:01 pm
    • Reply

    Oh my gosh. I think I snorted water out my nose. Infinitely grateful it wasn’t coffee. 🙂 Rest assured, there are no zombies here in the Seattle area…yet. I ran the Dawn of the Dead Dash last year and it was pathetically devoid of zombies to chase me. You’re safe!! 🙂

  5. LOL! Kristen! so funny! I wore heels once on a flight for work and of course things got dicey and I was SURE I was the cause; and that people would trample me on their way down the slide as I tried desperately to navigate a three inch wedge. NO heels! flip flops or slip ons from then on! (anywho, they’re better for security)

    • johnfindley on October 6, 2014 at 5:10 pm
    • Reply

    Hello Kristen
    I read you blog and my heart dropped you wrote:-
    “SCORE! But, flying has become particularly…terrifying. This only adds to my already irrational fears because—face it—I’m a writer and we have pathologically overactive imaginations.”

    Maybe I could conform to your definition of a writer, as I have an overactive imagination. But I enjoy travel and will look forward to seeing new places, so planes, cars, trains and ships are things that excite me. So I don’t fit all of my heroine’s definitions of a writer.

    Heather my wife has many fears of travel, and I will keep your blog away from her eyes as the “Zombie Apocalypse” is not yet one of her reasons for putting off a holiday.

    Have a great time in Seattle.

  6. I like to clean my house before traveling simply because I don’t want to come home to a mess when I get back. Unpacking will be enough of a chore. Good luck at the conference! I wish I knew about it earlier, especially since I live within commuting distance. 🙁 (I Probably should have paid more attention to your blog and Facebook posts).

  7. Your imagination is in overdrive. Those TSA agents, you know – the ones who look asleep, are really Ninjas in disguise ready to protect you from anything and everything. Also, all pilots have now been trained in zombie evasion tactics. So, enjoy the friendly skies. Oh, but do watch out when you land!

    • Nita on October 6, 2014 at 5:46 pm
    • Reply

    Perfect timing, I just booked a flight to visit family. Think maybe zombies are here disguised as real people. Whoever was in charge of the websites I was using tried their best to distract me from my mission. But, it takes more than a little site shutting down to slow a grandma down. Another weapon you might be too young to is jacks. They’d be extra dangerous paired with the innocent looking legos. Looks like you’re taking a vintage toy to a child to help with hand-eye coordination (we bounced a ball and picked up jacks before catching the ball.) Also, you can’t take finger-nail clippers or a seam ripper, but a pair of small scissors is fine. Last time I forgot and had 3 pair in my bag. Crochet hooks are good weapons, not sure how they work on zombies, but on others with evil intentions they can poke out an eye, or make a heck of a hole in the body. Travel safe.

  8. Love the graphic with the shout out to Nano

  9. Great post.
    My youngest has been appointed Zombie Apocalypse Search and Rescue Master and Canine Trainer Manager (or some such name) whereby she is in control if such should happen. I know it’s real because she has the official license plate and requisite stickers on her car.;)
    Anyway thanks for the laughs. And Nita’s suggestion for jacks is on target as they are MUCH more painful than Legos. Just PUHLEASE don’t ask me how I know!
    Oh, for the shoe issue, try dressy Crocs. They are great for running from Zombies and are cute to boot! (That is if you can stomach Crocs but, that’s a story in and of itself!)

  10. Kristen,

    Love the blog and the ideas. Watch out for the TSA. I think they are the zombies. Seriously, watch them closely when you go through screening. They are mindless zombies, but they dont want your brains, they want your shoes, belts, electronics, and liquids.

    • Rachael on October 7, 2014 at 12:21 am
    • Reply

    This cracks me up! Love it!.

    • sao on October 7, 2014 at 12:23 am
    • Reply

    Turn off the water when you leave the house. Once on January 2nd, we got a call saying water was seeping from under our basement door and when the snow-shoveller peered in the window, all he saw was steam. A valve blew in the hot water tap in our 3rd floor bathroom, spewing steaming water on the ceiling. It poured down through recessed lights into the living room, bringing down the living room ceiling and ruining most of our furniture. From there, it went to the finished basement, where there were a few inches of water. We were on vacation on another continent, our landlord (who had a key) was on vacation in another country, and our relatives (who also have keys) were celebrating out-of-town, so it was a good day before the discovery of water seeping under our basement door produced the door being opened and the water shut off.
    Then there was a the clean-up.

    Ever since then, it’s not zombies that scare me, it’s the sound of water dripping.

  11. My immediate response when loved ones are half an hour late, or I can’t reach them by phone, is to assume they have been murdered or kidnapped. I’m so glad I’m not alone.

    Love your brilliant ideas, I’ll definitely be thinking about the Lego if I ever need a creative weapon against anyone, alive or dead. Have a safe trip!

  12. Great line:

    Zombies don’t like politicians anyway. Empty calories.


  13. There’s only 2 fears I have when traveling. 1) MiL will forget to come feed the cats. 2) Someone will break into the house and trash it because there isn’t anything worth stealing. My one ritual: pack 5 days in advance; check every day until the day of departure so that anything forgotten is not forgotten.

  14. Hmmm. Don’t know why half my last comment was underlined. Really do wish the doctor didn’t ban me from caffeine. I miss caffeine. A lot.

  15. Also, plastic back scratchers.

  16. The question I am pondering: does the potential of a high heel as a zombie killing weapon override its potential as a death-inducing shoe in the event of a desert landing?

    • Addy Rae on October 7, 2014 at 10:07 am
    • Reply

    Two! 1.) Bottle of scented, glittery body lotion. Won’t stop male zombies, but what lady zombie can resist a free lotion sample? Gives you a chance to escape. 2.) Multiple small containers of cheap and horridly scented sample perfume. No one runs faster than someone escaping the perfume sample counter at Macy’s. Drives zombies off like a charm. 😛

    1. NICE.

  17. you know, i wasn’t freaked out until i read this, so thankful for the practical survival tips. now i can be prepared. may have blown my life savings bidding on gaga’s meat dress, but survival is worth it, right?

    1. LOL. Or make your own. After they throw you out of a handful of sewing groups and call the cops, just show them this blog 😀 .

  18. Thanks for the laughs. I needed it today. Now, if I can just find that bag of legos.

  19. “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 around so early.”

    I love that line. Please let your inside voice out to play more often.

  20. I am so there with you, Kristen. It’s like you read my mind. I’ve had my eye on our neighbor for awhile now. One by one all their children have disappeared and they try to cover it up by saying they’ve gone off to college. Yeah! Right!

  21. Funny post I reread that had me chuckling each time. The average Joe Citizen really doesn’t understand the mind of an author, if they did they’d look at us as Zombies, killers and such, ready to turn you into one of us or kill you and then write about in front of a blood splattered laptop. But honestly I get the fear of Zombies, I mean look at people who chose to exist rather than LIVE their life; if that isn’t the gaze of a thousand yard stare I don’t know what is. I get the fear of in-laws, well the really crappy ones that your wife or husband will eventually turn into. I get the fear of routine… ok really I don’t get that one but if you must put the square peg into the square hole and be satisfied with the predictable results, then who am I to raise a Rock like eyebrow at you and your candy-ass. Now there are a couple of fears I really don’t get and they are author related. The fear of an author refusing to ask for help when everyone in the literary world needs help (why do you think Kristen has such a loyal following…WE NEED HER HELP). The fear of taking your writing craft seriously or seriously just get out of the way. Some people want to say ‘hey I have written a book’ (drumroll please) and that’s it…LOL YAY for you. Now the biggest FEAR MOST AUTHORS exhibit is the fear of SUCCESS. Yes you read that write; if nothing succeed like success then why start on the journey of a better you in the first place? I’ll be the first to raise my hand up, that’s attached to my one day carpal tunnel syndrome wrist and say yes, I too am guilty of doing a lot of something that always amounted to a bunch of nothing for fear of actually making it. Yes, this kind of fear can be crippling, so I broke out my cane of no more and before I die I’m going to hobble my way to success despite my fear…LOL. And like the true fear of actually being in a plane moments before impact or embarking on a writing career that will take you to oxygen depraved heights, if you happen to come down from both just enjoy the ride and the view on the way down. One you’ll have to be blessed to walk away from and the other will give you something to write about.

  22. I love you, Kristin Lamb! You crack me up. Another item to bring with you is lots and lots of lotion. Mix it with a little water for instant slime and squirt a bunch on the floor. The zombies will be slipping and sliding while you rub the remnants in to your hands. Not only will you live longer, you’ll smell great and have moisturized hands, too!

  23. I have been a fan of your blog since I joined WordPress. Do you mind giving a newbie some advice? What is your blogging style? Do you work on a post for a while and then edit it together? Or do you freestyle and just let your thoughts come together as they pop into your head? I apologize if this seems like a silly or inappropriate question. I am still trying to wrap my head around social media and blogging. I appreciate any tips.

    Thank you,

    1. My book Rise of the Machines can help you. I just dictate the voices in my head 😀 . But I have had a LOT of practice. Was tougher in the beginning but I was being too serious and formal. Blogs are a conversation not a presentation for the most part if that makes sense.

      1. Thank you! My problem is that I can’t type fast enough to keep up with the voices in my head! Ha! I’ll be sure to check out your book. Being born before 1970 is a definite handicap as I plod my way through the digital forest!

  24. Hey Kristen! I noticed you weren’t showing up in my reader so I refollowed!
    I flew five times this summer and could have used your advice!
    Have you filled out the preTSA form yet? I keep forgetting. We get the upgrade once in a while. Then I can carry a huge can of hairspray and wear platforms through security. 🙂

  25. Never fear Kristen, I have to work so couldn’t attend your workshop at Emerald City, but I live near where you will be staying, and in the event that the Zombie Apocalypse happens while you’re in Bellevue, WA, I’ll get into my 4 wheel drive vehicle, come to the hotel, (bringing guns, baseball bats and several axes – for chopping off heads) and rescue you. Then we’ll go to my very safe compound in the Cascade Mountains, with my stockpile of food to sit it out. Once we’ve determined it’s safe to travel, we’ll head to Texas. But, I’ll have to let you off at the border, because I’m really terrified of Ebola. And we all know where Ground Zero for that crap is…TEXAS. By the way, check this out:
    Listed as the “World’s Largest Zombie Culture Convention and Survival Expo” in SEATTLE.
    Be afraid, be really – REALLY afraid.

  26. Every time I board an airplane I look around for a few things: FIrst who will we be eating if we end up on a desert island. Second who has a guitar that I can steal if they end up dead, Third who had a suitcase full of books that I can read… The list is actually much longer but those are among the top 10.

  27. I have completely made up superstitions too. Trying to get pregnant right now and I feel like I can’t wear inappropriate T-shirts – or else. O_O

  28. Reblogged this on Jo Grafford.

  1. […] Planning Travel? Five TSA-Approved Weapons of the Zombie Apocalypse. […]

  2. […] by Kristen Lamb’s hilarious post ‘Planning Travel? Five TSA-Approved Weapons of the Zombie Apocalypse’ (seriously, go check it out) and Piper Bayard’s review of the film The Equalizer, I thought […]

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