THE VAULT

Dawn of the Well-Fed
August 22, 2007 by Julius Serpentine

Moments before he unhinged his jaw.

A virus is quickly spreading across America and there is no vaccine. Researchers have found that Adenovirus-36 (Ad-36), a common cause of respiratory and eye infections, turns stem cells into fat cells, causing obesity in the Infected. As it makes its way into every man, woman and child in America, the landscape of the country will be shaken, perhaps enough to destroy the very foundation of our society. Ad-36 will bring about Armageddon and we will be too busy breathing hard from our walk to the refrigerator to stop it. Thankfully, Slantmouth is here to help.

We like living in a functional country, instead of a post-apocalyptic nightmare, so we have compiled a list of important survival tips, so that you may avoid becoming infected and prevent the destruction of civilization as we know it.

1. Stay away from the Infected.

Avoid contact at all costs. The Infected often travel in large groups unofficially called “buffet lines”. They tend to be around others who are infected, due to the sharing of similar feeding habits. Joining a group of the Infected is the easiest way of catching Ad-36.

The virus’s incubation period may lead an individual to initially believe they are immune to the effects of Ad-36 and unwittingly infect other Survivors. However, no one is immune, which the individual may not realize until they wake up one day, have a look in the mirror, and notice their figure resembles a bell curve. At that point it is already too late.

Sadly, some of the Infected may be loved ones. Just remember, now that they are infected they are no longer the person you loved. They are a monstrosity, precariously stuck between life and death, whom you can barely hug anymore anyway. What is the use of loving someone if you cannot even hug them? The safest course of action is to lure them with chocolate and lock them in the basement.

2. Stay outdoors.

The Infected seem to prefer the indoors, likely because of the climate control and comfortable couch cushions. They only occasionally venture outside to feed. This is a huge advantage for Survivors as, surprisingly, most of the world is actually outdoors. This means there is plenty of space to roam and safely avoid the Infected. If one must be indoors the safest locations are local gyms. The Infected seem to have a natural aversion to the sound of intense physical activity. Reportedly, large groups of Survivors have fought off hordes of the Infected by breaking into coordinated jumping jacks and spontaneous break-dancing competitions.

While gyms are safe houses for Survivors, fast-food establishments are death traps. They serve as the primary feeding grounds for virus carriers. Even Wendy’s, with its seemingly “healthy” menu, is a major threat to the safety of all Survivors. Until the military is able to eradicate the fast-food feeding network via a prolonged bombing campaign, it is best to stay several miles away to avoid accidental contact with the Infected.

3. Flee.

If there is a chance encounter with an infected human the best bet is to run or jog away. Though, walking briskly should allow you to escape unharmed. If the shear number of the Infected does not allow for a casual getaway on foot, climbing a flight of steps should keep the hordes at bay for quite some time.

The Infected are large and slow moving creatures, who can be heard coming from several miles away due to their heavy steps and heavier breathing. When a threat is evident, keeping these characteristics in mind should allow you to get a head start on slowly walking in the opposite direction.

4. Remove the head or destroy the brain.
When no option for escape is present a more direct method of defense may be necessary. In most cases, a sharp blow to the head should dispatch any of the Infected. Any household object can be used to produce the desired results, including television remotes, rolls of quarters, and assorted fruits and vegetables. Less force is required if the random object strikes the Infected person’s soft spot, usually located around the back of the head.

If brutal bludgeoning does not work, then removing the head should be used as a last resort, as it is extremely messy and the smell of fresh meat may attract other infected humans.

Slantmouth hopes that these tips help you survive the upcoming apocalypse. Truthfully, you cannot start preparing early enough. The Slantmouth staff has already started stuffing backpacks full of canned goods, for both sustenance and bludgeoning. When the United States is overrun by the Infected, join up with us so we can start a continuous break dance competition to keep everyone safe. You will know where to find us&#8212at the top of a very long flight of steps.

~Julius Serpentine