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Ways in which the London Riots Resembled a Zombie Apocalypse

Yet another writing contest that I did not win.  Read on to enjoy my thoughts on zombies once again.

Every time a zombie apocalypse starts, it’s always on an ordinary day with no warning.  Like a lot of real cataclysmic events (flash floods, earthquakes, Vanilla Ice showing up at your 30th birthday and puking on your shoes), there is absolutely no way to predict a zombie apocalypse.  This is why it’s important, according to the US government’s Centre for Disease Control, to have a zombie disaster preparedness plan in place, because when that day comes you won’t have time to run around buying bottled water and mapping an evacuation route.  Similarly, the last thing that every key politician in the British government expected when they all went off on holiday at the same time last August was images of London beaming into their hotel rooms in sunny postcard-laden destinations, London flaming like a Pop-Tart in a toaster with a broken switch.  Nobody could have anticipated the riots that swept the city and then the country, even though in retrospect people identified what they think was the catalyst: a peaceful protest outside a police station in Tottenham that got out of hand.  So out of hand everybody was suddenly running around setting fire to everything, and throwing milk.  (Yes.  Milk.  Apparently the protesters during the Greek debt riots last May threw yoghurt at the police, so maybe there was some kind of dairy product/police violence affinity going on back in 2011.)  Governments usually have emergency action plans to put in place for disasters including civil unrest, but obviously somebody forgot to put the list up on the fridge before they left.

Also like a zombie apocalypse, the rioting spread rapidly through the city and then the country.  Much to everyone’s surprise, instead of stopping at a single night of rioting in Tottenham things escalated the following night, with incidents flaring up around London like a bad case of the clap.  Then, just when London looked like it might be getting back under control, violence spread to other cities.  As demonstrated in the actual mathematical paper from 2009, “When Zombies Attack!”, the thing about zombies is that they JUST. DON’T. STOP.  The rate of infection is just too rapid to be contained before becoming a pandemic.  The researchers also pointed out how their mathematical model can be used to explain the spread of political views, not just mindless, brain-eating monsters with no sense of purpose other than to further their endless hunger for extinguishing human thought.  (And we’ll leave it there.)

Well, this is only the final parallel with the ‘good’ kind of zombie apocalypse, the kind that isn’t really an apocalypse after all:  Everybody left at the other end teamed up to clean that shit up.  Discovering a newfound sense of social welfare and collective responsibility, remaining survivors eventually stopped relying on the authorities (booing them when they did appear) and started teaming together to clean up and rebuild what was left.  In the bad kind, everybody just ends up dead or undead.  But they do get some bitchin flatscreen TVs.

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