Posted by: Addison – Jun 20, 2012
For years, it has been discussed and debated among friends and acquaintances. Its relevance in pop culture has recently skyrocketed, spawning hit movies and television series. It is a scenario that we love to joke about, but would never want to actually come true.
Bad news: the zombie apocalypse may finally be upon us.
If you keep up with the news or have an Internet connection, this is not something I need to tell you because you have spent the last month thinking about it on your own time. Due to a recent string of unusual instances that include a man eating another man’s face off, a serial killer that uploaded a video of him eating his victim with a fork/knife, a Baltimore man that ate his roomate’s heart and brains, and the guy in Sweden who cut off his wife’s lips and proceeded to eat them, people all around the world have been talking about a potential international invasion of lifeless flesh mongers. These incidents, while isolated and mostly unrelated, include an uncomfortable amount of zombie-esque traits, sending many into a state of irreversible fear that a fantasy scenario thought to be reserved for Hollywood may eventually turn out to be non-fiction after all.
So what happens when you turn on NBC12 and the 5 o’clock news has been replaced with a message from the emergency broadcast system? You have a few options. You could take it with a grain of salt. You could make like Huck Finn and immediately make plans to float down the James River in hopes of greener grass and clearer skies. Or, you could gather up all of your friends (except the one who will inevitably get a nosebleed and get you all killed) and make plans to hole up inside a Richmond building that offers the most protection and the largest chance of survival. But take note: this is not an episode of The Walking Dead and you are not Rambo. Be smart, think logically and remain calm. Zombies feed off your fear. And your face. But we aren’t there yet, Negative Nancy.
Ipanema: Any sexually experienced woman knows that it is not the size of the ship, but the motion in the ocean. And while there won’t be any motion in this ocean (unless Kate Upton suddenly becomes a walker), the basic sentiment still stands: it’s not always the size of what you are using but how you use it. With that in mind, you can easily see how Ipanema would be an excellent base camp. The cramped entrance, which is hidden off the main stretch of Grace Street by just enough to make it inconspicuous, is guarded by a metal gate that isn’t going to give out, no matter how many bony bitches are gnawing on it. With no windows or glass to worry about, the entrance to Ipanema is as Zombie-proof as a bar can possibly be.
Once inside, you have just enough room to move around without getting cramped or claustrophobic. Plus, being the vegetarian venue that it is, the smell of meat won’t pose a danger whatsoever. Instead of being worried about an unexpected invasion, you can pick off any monster that tries to unsuccessfully break through the metal entrance one by one--with a silenced weapon, of course.
Bottoms Up: If this Shockoe Bottom establishment can survive one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in Virginia history, I’m pretty sure it can handle an invasion of flesh eating superhumans. The entrances are less than obvious, and offer the easy option of being boarded up and turned zombie-proof. In addition, the outdoor deck provides a perfect campout spot for the snipers in your survival group, assuming you are lucky enough to have them.
As the walkers explore the Shockoe district, pick them off one by one with precision and careful aim. Luckily for you, Zombies can’t climb, so as long as your front and back entrances are sealed properly, Bottoms Up will give you a safe haven and an abundance of pizza for the meat lover and vegetarian alike. Just don’t get lost in a daydream about feeding your old dog under the family dinner table and start secretly dropping fresh pepperoni off the sniper deck. That’s one way to ensure that this scenario will not end well for you.
Capital Ale House (Downtown): If the emergency broadcast system alerts me to a flesh-eating apocalypse, you can bet your last tic-tac that the first (and hopefully last) place I will be heading is to this draft house. Aside from the Governor’s mansion or a bank vault, neither of which are the least bit practical, Capital Ale may be your best bet if your goal is to survive the end of the world as we know it. The location is not ideal, but it’s what lies underneath that really counts. (Right, fellas?)
With an extremely narrow (and solid wood) door, the stage is set for you to begin your new life as a full-time zombie hunter, part time alcoholic. While the multiple large booths lined down the wall will keep you hidden from view (and allow you to relax every now and then), the kitchen holds all the necessary ingredients to cater to their gigantic menu, which includes everything from delicious burgers to classy steaks. And while a Cheesecake Factory-sized menu may be obnoxious to encounter in the real world, it will seem like a dream come true when you receive word that your fellow survivors are on their 83rd day of nothing but stale chips and soggy tacos from Nacho Mama’s.
But the real gem of Capital Ale lies in its seemingly unlimited beer selection and downstairs gaming area. No matter who you are or what you drank in a previous life, it will have absolutely no relevance to how much you want to consume when you know that every night has the potential to be your last. The hundreds of beers this bar has to choose from, an abundance of which are international, will surely keep you just buzzed enough to avoid having a panic attack related to your impending doom. Meanwhile, the downstairs area, which is currently home to dart boards and foosball, could serve as the perfect plan B in case your “stay invisible during the day” plan falls through. If the zombies somehow do break through your initial line of defense, the basement can serve as an excellent secondary route, just like Auntie Em’s storm bunker did for everybody except for Dorothy.
Sticky Rice: Yes, it’s Richmond’s hipster haven. Yes, they sell more Jameson than any other bar in the state of Virginia. Yes, the karaoke rules, the dance parties are fierce, and the sushi is half priced on Monday nights. But when the walkers are stumbling down Main Street in search of fresh prey, belting out “Don’t Stop Believing” isn’t going to prevent you from getting torn apart faster than Robert Pattinson at a Team Jacob convention.
Look, I love Sticky Rice just as much as the next cut-off-jean wearing, bearded dude who enjoys a cold PBR when it’s raining outside. But throwing back some cold ones and the potential end of the world as we know it are two totally different things. Sometimes you just can’t mix business with pleasure. This is one of those times.
The complete glass exterior of Sticky makes it the first and most obvious target. (Hint: THEY CAN SEE YOU.) And before you can wipe the tater tot remains from the side of your mouth, those hungry bastards will have torn the glass windows to shreds, leaving you looking like a dumbass for choosing the most cramped bar in Richmond to camp out in during a zombie attack. Nice going, asshole. Now as you get torn limb from limb, be sure to spend your last few waking moments reciting as many Strike Anywhere songs as you possibly can.
Can Can: Being French and fancy isn’t going to save you now. In what is definitely the worst choice within the confines of Carytown, this elegant hotspot is a complete disaster area. Glass windows facing Cary Street allow for easy entry, while the open dining area leaves you no room to hide from anything except your own stupidity for thinking that anything inspired by the French would work to your benefit during a crisis. Plus, those oysters are going to go bad eventually. Unfortunately, you won’t be alive when they do.
The Camel: Assuming that any music venue would be a good spot to stay alive in is about as intelligent as holing up with Hannibal Lector. Easily accessible through multiple doors and extremely visible glass windows, you’ll be nothing short of a sitting duck with all that open space and nowhere to hide. Sure, the bar might be fully stocked, so if nothing else you can at least die hammered and alone. Unfortunately for you, there’s no amount of Patron that can make getting your flesh consumed feel like going under the knife during a dentist appointment. Had your rational and intelligent side been calling the shots instead of your inner rock star, perhaps you would live to play one more gig. Instead, you are now a walking Zombie trough. Excellent work.
The basics have been laid out for you. The remaining choices are up to you and you alone. Good luck.
By Chad Brown