I work at the Gordon Field House Box Office, so I watched as tickets for Max Brooks trickled out. We often went days without selling even one and I thought I knew why: he was a boring guy!
I’d started reading Brooks’ World War Z a few years ago, and found the book just good enough to pick up every once in a while when my younger brother left the book around. I doubt I ever made it to the second chapter; and I don’t think there are more than five books that I’ve ever started in my life and didn’t finish.
My brother, on the other hand, is not a big reader. While I took to words, he ran to numbers. Yet World War Z is on the list of five books he’s actually read.
So, when I called and asked him if he wanted to check out Brooks, he agreed immediately. That was really saying something. My brother is perfectly content at home and very rarely agrees to go anywhere or do anything outside of the house.
That made me want to go. Not only could Brooks make my brother read, he was also able to get him off the couch.
Brooks’ event was sponsored by CAB and was held in the Clark gym. It can seat about 1,500 people. Less than 500 tickets sold. I feel bad for the other 1,000 people who could have been there and did not attend.
It was spectacular. His humor kept me attentive for the full hour. Three things I learned:
1.) Water is the most important thing to have in a zombie apocalypse.
2.) Guns can be a hassle considering that they need bullets, and unlike Left for Dead, a very popular video game, there will be no bullets just lying around that just so happen to also fit your gun.
3.) Bicycles are probably the best mode of transportation; unless they create a car that doesn’t need gas and can run on fear.
However, the highlight of the night was when a student in the crowd asked the following question: “If the zombie disease is passed through fluids, can I dehydrate zombie flesh and make it into jerky, and eat the jerky?” Only an R.I.T student would think of that.
Brooks had special advice for us girls though. “Ladies,” he said, “there are going to be a lot of [zombie-fighting] groups who will want you to join their group without even caring about your skillset. Be wary of those groups.” Of course, that advice holds true before the apocalypse! Translated: be wary of men who want your company without getting to know you first.
Finally, Brooks reminds us that we have to keep from blurring the line between real zombies and the ones in the movies. If we’re going to survive, we have to think about the things that wouldn’t make it to the movies: sleep, clean water, companionship, etc. This is where we, ladies, have an edge over men. We are detail-oriented. We think of the little things. Men may not think we’re tougher, but thinking about which shoes goes better with a zombie apocalypse may actually save us.