News Column

Zombie Survival Class

July 26, 2012

Zack McDonald

Pop culture is filled with tales of the dead reanimating -- whether it's because of a lack of space in hell, radioactivity or even a Sumatran rat-monkey bite causing the undead to trudge the earth in search of brains or human flesh.

But a zombie apocalypse is not actually possible. Right?

The owners of the A&M Theatre on Harrison Avenue in Panama City, Fla., are not taking chances. The venue hosted a sort of preventative measure over the weekend entitled "The Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse and You: A Seminar."

"We wanted to take the pop culture aspect, which made zombies popular, and showcase the serious side, which is survival," said Shaun Phelps, host of the seminar. "But, there is still the inherent humor in it."

The seminar included survival tips and tricks, a zombie costume contest and a Skype chat with Shawn Chesser, author of a series of zombie survival books, the most recent being "In Harm's Way: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse."

During the interview, Chesser was asked what the most important resource would be in surviving a zombie apocalypse.

"I think probably security," Chesser said. "If that went down, you'd have to get the hell out of dodge pretty quickly."

Another challenge mentioned by Chesser, like with most major disasters, is health.

"There would still be cholera, dysentery," Chesser said. "You got to keep your place clean and you got to have security and food. Those are the real important things."

The best and worst zombie costumes of the night also received survival-themed prizes including a first aid kit, baseball bat and a full-sized chainsaw.

Jesse Horn, co-owner of the A&M, said the venue hosts live music, "favorite movie nights" and a variety of other events. "Speak on it!" an open poetry night sponsored by the NAACP will occur at the A&M on Friday night.

Source: (c)2012 The News Herald (Panama City, Fla.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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