According to the late Michael “Hinky Dink” McKenna, “Chicago ain’t no sissy town.” With a name like Hinky Dink, we know this cat was serious. Chicago is a tough, smart city, home of the modern skyscraper and innovator in railroads. A blue collar, trash talkin’ town where we fistfight our brothers during baseball season and lament the state of Wisconsin during football season. For that reason, your Chicago Zombie Writer has taken it upon himself to ask the locals of this glorious, hard knuckled town just what they will do come the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
My first subject is Rachael Martin, a 22 year old teaching student from Arlington Heights. When we spoke, Rachael was wearing blue jeans, polka dotted socks, brown leather boots, and a necklace with a wing and a heart over a grey scoop-neck sweater. Tough.
CZW: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your knowledge of zombies?
RM: Ooh, like a 2. I know they’re bad but that’s about it.
CZW: Off to a great start. If you knew a zombie apocalypse was coming, how would you prepare yourself?
RM: I think I’d go to my Uncle’s house because he’s pretty good with a baseball bat. So I’d hole up there, with lots of bottled water and string cheese.
CZW: So you’ve clearly thought this through. What would you describe as your greatest strength against the zombie hordes?
RM: I’m pretty good at finding hiding places and I have pretty decent aim so I could throw things at them. I’m also good at hitting things with my car so that would be an asset as well.
CZW: Remind me to plan a road trip with you. How about your greatest weakness?
RM: I’d feel bad, because what if you recognize them, and what if you could find a cure? I wouldn’t want to kill them, I would rather restrain them until they could be helped.
CZW: Ok. Aside the fact that they’re already dead and their flesh is falling off–(the interview pauses while she yells at me about the denouement of Shaun of the Dead)–that sounds like a grand gesture. So what reasons are there, if any, that Chicagoans would be more prepared for the zombie apocalypse than citizens of other major cities?
RM: No one cares about anything in LA, because they’re all apathetic and they’d just die. New Yorkers would turn against each other because they’re mean. I think Chicago would strike a good balance. We’d have a healthy fear, but we’d ban together. Also, there are a lot of farms around.
CZW: In five words or less, describe how to survive the zombie apocalypse.
RM: Be better informed than me (laughs).
CZW: Thanks for your time Rachael, I have…mixed hopes.
Despite, or perhaps because of, her short stature, Rachael would be able to move to and fro in the shadows, at the zombie periphery, taking short breaks to crash her car into buildings, surviving long enough to see humanity bond together like so many Modgepodge beads. Because we’re tough.