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How to Kill a Zombie (and Make Sure It Stays Dead)

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Zombies are notoriously hard to kill, mostly because they’re already dead. Their lungs, their hearts, and their nervous systems are pretty much decorative at this point. The only thing that drives them is that spark of undead life in what’s left of their brains.

Fire may seem like a sure bet, but it’s a very inefficient way to kill a zombie. Sure, it will do the trick eventually. But in the meantime, all you’ve managed to do is turn that insatiable, slaughtering ghoul into an insatiable, slaughtering ghoul that’s ON FIRE!

No, the only way to take down a zombie is to destroy its brain. Decapitating isn’t enough, as a zombie without a body is still capable of giving chase (although admittedly only downhill). If you want that zombie to drop, you’re going to have to cause more brain damage than five straight hours of talk radio.

Since there’s nothing more annoying than having to kill the same zombie over and over, here are some cool zombie-killing methods that will hopefully do the trick once and for all.

Drop a piano on the zombie.

Actually, anything sufficiently large and heavy should do the trick, but pianos make a truly satisfying discordant sound when they come crashing down on top of a zombie or two. Plus, for extra style points, you can walk over to the wrecked piano and play Taps on the remaining keys.

The downside is that it’s a lot of effort to go to just to take out a handful of zombies. You’ve got to rig the hoist and pulley, and then you’ve got to tie a rope around that piano and hoist it up twenty feet or so. And then, you’ve got to somehow convince the zombies to stand in one place long enough to let the piano do it’s business. One thing you might try is painting a target on the sidewalk and setting a bucket of fresh brains in the center. You might even place a sign nearby that reads “FREE BRAINS” to alleviate the zombies’ suspicions.

  • Efficiency: 3 out of 10
  • Style: 9 out of 10

Go after the zombie with a chainsaw.

This method is recommended for advanced zombie slayers only, as it requires you to get dangerously close to your targets. Be sure to wear protective clothing and goggles to prevent injury or zombie bites. Stand still and let the zombie approach. As soon as it moans, “Braaaains!” and comes in for a taste, let it have some chainsaw in the forehead! Remember, the goal isn’t to decapitate the zombie, but to totally decimate its skull and all it contains. The bloody mess you make is liable to attract more zombies, so make sure you have plenty of fuel and an exit strategy.

  • Efficiency: 5 out of 10
  • Style: 7 out of 10

Double tap to the brain.

Admittedly this method of zombie execution isn’t nearly as showy as some of the others on the list, but there’s a reason why it’s known as the old reliable. As long as you have plenty of ammo and a vantage spot, you can pick off the zombies at your leisure. Not only are they great for target practice, but you can play some really fun games as long as the ammo holds out. Don’t forget to set aside a bullet for yourself and one for each of the survivors in your group, just in case the worst happens. Yeah, it’s depressing to consider, but boy, will your face be red if you come up short of bullets when the zombies inevitably overwhelm and overrun you!

  • Efficiency: 7 out of 10
  • Style: 3 out of 10

Hit the zombie with a car.

Preferably, you should use somebody else’s car, because all that zombie goo and matted hair can really screw up your grill. Make sure you drive relatively slowly, as plowing into a zombie at 40 MPH will probably total the car and leave you severely injured. Try to keep your speed around 20 MPH or so, to make sure the zombie goes under the car (and the tires), minimizing damage to it while protecting your vehicle. Make sure to check your mirrors and, if the zombie is still moving, throw your car into reverse and back over it. Repeat as many times as necessary.

  • Efficiency: 4 out of 10
  • Style: 6 out of 10

Just wait out the Zombie Apocalypse.

Zombies might be hard to kill, but they’re not exactly built for the long haul. Most of them only have a life span of three years or so before they decompose entirely, and an unseasonably warm summer might even knock that number down a bit. If you can find a safe place with plenty of food to hole up, just give the zombies five years or so to deteriorate and die out. And then step out reclaim your place in the glorious aftermath of a zombie-free world! Of course, you might want to do something about the millions of desiccated corpses that are no doubt littering the street at this point…

  • Efficiency: 3 out of 10
  • Style: 2 out of 10

Wood chipper!

It’s not efficient, but man, is it awesome! If you can capture a zombie and somehow incapacitate it, you can cram it feet-first into a wood chipper and turn it into undead mulch. You should probably get a friend to help you, as bound zombies can be a bit unwieldy. Also, make sure you stand away from the chute as the zombie leavings can permanently stain your clothes. You may not put an end to the Zombie Apocalypse with this method, but at least you’ll have a way to pass the time during those tedious afternoons while you’re waiting for humanity to reclaim the planet.

  • Efficiency: 1 out of 10
  • Style: 11 out of 10!!!

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