I have a hideous weakness for truly bad disaster films, and not just the Irwin Allen classics (Towering Inferno, Earthquake), I mean utter crap like Daylight, the Stallone movie where he gets trapped in the collapsed midtown tunnel between Manhattan & Brooklyn (now’s where Nathan chimes in and tells me that I’ve got my NYC geography all f’d up). Or Twister. Or that horrible Morgan Freeman movie Hard Rain where the entire town gets flooded out.
I defended my taste for these uniformly awful films by telling my detractors that I was more prepared than they were, say, if a bunch of friends & I were going to Manhattan and the tunnel we were driving through collapsed. Who’d be laughing then, eh? Me. Although, I’d probably wait till I was safe & all my friends were dead before I actually started laughing. Always best to avoid counting your chickens, and besides, I’ve never been to a movie about surviving murder attempts from your jealous friends when you’re all trapped somewhere.
Hell, I’ve got it so bad I even saw the remake of Poseidon last summer (yes, I was the one person who saw it), so that I would know not one but TWO different ways to survive a capsized ocean liner.
And this survivalist bent apparently extends to great works of literature, not just cinema classics, so it was with much delight that I finally purchased a book that’s been on my Amazon wishlist for a while now. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie Wars is set like 20 years from now, when a great decade long plague (similar to the Black Death of the middle ages except with zombies instead of rats) has finally been eradicated and the 2% or so of surviving humans are trying to put society back together. For those of you who want to rank your own level of disaster preparedness, there’s an entirely realistic “risk calculator” at the WWZ website which will give you your exact odds of surviving the zombie outbreak, or “walking plague,” as it’s known in the book. I was pleased to see that through merely lying about all the relevant facts and taking the quiz a couple of times I received a 44% chance of survival, which is much better than the majority of the population in the novel. Haha, fictional characters, I’m more likely to survive than you are!