Gabriella Batel

Teen Thrillers, Apocalypses, and a Little Magic


Identifying Upcoming Victims of the Zombie Apocalypse Based on Lack of Email Skills: Frequently Asked Questions

Identifying Upcoming Victims of the Zombie Apocalypse Based on Lack of Email Skills: Frequently Asked Questions
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(Image courtesy of cottornbro through Pexels)

Yes, COVID hit its Zeta variant, and now symptoms include lack of smell, trouble breathing, and an insatiable hunger for brains. (HA! Told you it’d happen, Clare.) No vaccines since Fauci and all of Pfizer neglected to social distance and are now shuffling around munching on each other’s media-asserted braininess, so your only option is to hightail to the frozen ends of the Earth. (Maine.)

Moving can be a stressful process, especially when you are being stalked by cannibals who cannot be killed except by whacking them with old crowbars. To make this process easier, below are some frequently asked questions.

1. I want to invite all my email contacts, but I have a sinking feeling not all of them will make it. Is this normal?

Yes, this feeling is normal. It’s also completely correct.

2. How can I tell who will make it and who won’t?

The few survivors of your trip will be those with basic competency at email communication. The only reason they survived previously was because there were no undead predators with a particular fondness for the slow, the sick, and the supremely lazy. Also, they had you to haul their slack before, but once you zip, this will no longer be the case. Unfortunate for them.

3. I have contacts who never respond except for an unperturbed Yep. I got it, after my sixth follow-up when I’m sorely tempted to stop blaming my side of the system for not getting the past five emails through. Will they survive?

No. (Including you, Clare.)

Even though you will specifically write, If you have not joined the undead as of the reading of this email, please respond as soon as possible, they’ll slam the laptop shut and head straight to the abandoned Whole Foods you designated as the meeting point. (Survivor’s note: Zombies avoid Whole Foods stores after discovering vegan turkey breasts.) However, since you’re getting apocalyptic crickets from their end, for everyone else’s safety you’ll have to assume they’ve been reanimated and leave before they have a chance to get there.

Before being infected, they will blame your side of the system for failing to receive their follow-ups.

4. What about contacts who I can tell never read my full emails?

Rest assured. Their memory will live on in a nightcrawler’s next BM.

This is because they’ll see the words Whole Foods in the first line and run to the store nearest them. What they won’t realize is that you inconveniently chose a Whole Foods that was at a midpoint from everybody—for which you provided an address in bolded and highlighted text. A troupe of zombies unfamiliar with the horrors of seasoned tofu will stumble in, and those contacts will then run to the plant-based meat section only to find a conspicuous gap.

As they are infected, they will still be wondering why the rest of you went to the wrong Whole Foods.

5. My husband disregards my emails the minute he sees they’re from me. Will he survive?

No. My condolences.

6. And contacts who get snitty when I politely follow-up?

Do not follow-up. Put your mind at ease knowing a zombie will already be digesting these contacts’ guts by the time they’d condescend to look at it. Besides, you’re too busy alternately calling and texting your husband until he picks up just to make the pinging stop. (Survivor’s note: If he turns his phone off, there was nothing else you could’ve done.) 

7. But doesn’t this eliminate everyone I know?

Almost. Below is an exhaustive list of people who will still make it:

  1. Your mother, who has already slayed several shufflers with a hatchet and a bottle of moonshine.
  2. Your teenage children, who are more afraid of not responding to their mother’s messages than of the undead.
  3. Your elementary-aged children, who are well-trained in whacking zombies with crowbars.

8. I feel a sense of tragedy. Is this normal?

Yes.So goes survival of the competent.

Final survivor’s note: your husband can catch up if he moves fast enough.

9. I have a friend who usually responds to my emails within minutes, but I sent her a follow-up and haven’t heard back. Did she receive it?

Hi, Clare,

Yep. I got it.

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