Come the 11th of October, London's streets will empty that little bit quicker as the sun sets, worried voices and rushed footsteps will rattle London's alleyways and byways that little bit louder as police sirens and blood-curdling shrills provide a harrowing urban symphony.
No, this isn't London on any given evening, oh no; the zombies are coming.
World Zombie Day in London is practically upon us and the 11th of October will be a day where we and all and sundry can dress up as zombies (ed: for some, it won't be that difficult), raise a few quid for homeless and hunger charities and have a moaaanumental time in the process.
Yet this seemingly harmless celebration of the living-dead got us thinking, panicking even, at GoWin Towers…what if there really was a zombie outbreak, right now?
How would we really survive?
The problem is that most zombie survival guides, as good as they look, fail to provide any realistic survival tips for such an outbreak. It's as if the survival guides have only been designed for individuals with serious anger issues and large scale weapons collections. Most guides detail ways to modify the shotgun you've got stashed in the kids wardrobe for a double-tap head-shot, some survival guides list crossbows as the preferred weapon of choice (?!) and most just assume you have boxes of ammo lying around. Waterproof matches by the bucket-load are also a given as well as finding military grade para-cord by the bag-load behind the sofa (what is that stuff anyway?!).
As you're reading this you are probably at work. Now, take a quick look around you, do you think that anyone in the same office as you owns a shotgun plus ammunition, a hunting knife, crossbow and bolts, a petrol powered chainsaw or even walkie-talkies? Maybe you should be slightly worried if they do, but frankly we'd hazard a guess that the only weapons of mass destruction they own at home range from a Barry Manilow CD to a butter knife.
And what about their ability to cook without gas or electricity, to hunt even? None of us are called Bear Grylls (thankfully). If the power was lost due to hordes of flesh hungry zombies crawling all over the nation’s infrastructure we'd be screwed and left to starve if it wasn't for that huge stash of biscuits on your desk. You see, all those biscuits you bought have proven to be a great investment and there is noooo way any of us here would attempt to eat the office cat, never. Probably because we don't have an office cat, but that's beside the point.
It's time we got serious, it's time we got real. It's time to read GoWin's ‘How to really survive a zombie apocalypse'!
Forget building that bomb-proof underground shelter with escape tunnels. You don't have the time, the resources or the space, and to be honest you're already knackered just thinking about it, no thanks to those biscuits. You need to be pragmatic.
Frankly, we'd assume the only items you have on you right now is a mobile phone (probably useless thanks to the network being down, more so if you're a Virgin customer), car keys, a couple a jelly-babies squashed in your pocket covered in that unexplained blue fluff (eat, now) and the clothes on your back.
The first thing you should do is get indoors and consolidate your surroundings. If you're already indoors, well done – stay there and start looking for water and food. If you're miles away from home and stuck at work you'll have to cut your losses and just get on with it, your co-workers aren't that bad. OK maybe they are, but there's no way we'd recommend venturing outside unless you want end up on Mr and Mrs zombie's dinner plate.
The most important thing you can do right now is leave the vulnerability of being at ground level, it's time to head up stairs or at least to a higher level. If you live in a bungalow, good luck!!
At this point it's worth noting that zombies are essentially good at two things, biting and having the knack of being able to break into stuff, yet the one thing they struggle with is getting to another level if the stairs have been destroyed or heavily blocked, and that's exactly what you're going to do right now.
No, dummy! We're not going to destroy the stairs, unless you happen to have a spare block of C4 explosives in your lunchbox, not that lunchbox. You need to block stair access with as much furniture and crap as possible, those mountains of Health and Safety manuals will come in very handy here!
Still reading? Good, that means you're still alive and you've blocked the stairs reasonably well, for now.
OK, now you need to gather as much essential kit as possible to make life bearable.
So, unpack the assault rifles, count the number of smoke grenades…wait. Are you serious?
Get real, people. The only item you have close to you that sounds anything like ‘rifle' is the trifle in the fridge your co-worker made last week. What you really need to do is find as many sharp objects as possible to use as improvised weapons because apparently zombies don't work very well without their heads attached to their bodies. Start raiding the kitchen (keep off that trifle) for all things sharp.
Hopefully you won't come into contact with zombies any time soon, and we're not going to detail how to kill one either, we'll assume you are smart and you'll stay away. However, we'd advise you to gather these essential items in the list below. No time to ask now, just get them and all will be revealed later in this guide.
Now, if you're at home, fill your bath tub up with fresh drinking water (not booze), if you're at work start filling up every container you can get your hands on with the wet stuff. Without water, you're screwed. Other items that you feel will make things more comfortable, as seen in the image above, grab now, and no…not the blonde girl from the office next door.
We're not talking gun-nests or scud missile launchers here. We're talking about making wherever you are as secure as possible with whatever you have at your disposal. Making the place you're hiding-in secure is one of the most important things you can do during a zombie apocalypse. If you are with other survivors take it in turns to keep watch and be just as cautious of other non-infected humans trying to get in your safe-house as too many mouths to feed can lead to complications, unless they come carrying packets upon packets of biscuits, you can make a concession then.
Harsh but necessary.
As we mentioned earlier, access to the mobile phone network may be completely cut-off or it may simply be on melt-down what with the amount of panic and emergency calls trying to get through, not to mention those dubious loan companies hammering away with sales calls; zombies work too you know.
Of course you'll want to get hold of your loved ones but it's far more likely that you can't or won't be able to as something else may be holding on to them…
The thing is, no matter how many times we tell you not to go out about in Zombieville and be a hero, we have no doubt that you will.
So here's some handy tips to keep you alive that little bit longer whilst dodging zombies.
Don't do what these muppets did in the video below, apparently this video along with the smartphone that was used to film it (as well as the obligatory half eaten hand still attached to the said device) was found behind a butchers. Not the best place to hide, it must be said… (WARNING: The video contains swearing and REAL zombies).
Right, you've made it this far. Well done. Shame that it's only been a couple of hours since this whole zombie issue blew up. Remember, you've gotta do this day in day out until hopefully someone, not something, finds you.
Remember those items on that essential list we got you to gather? Good, read this very carefully.
You'll no doubt be hungry during the coming days and months and, incredibly, even the Co-op will be shut – almost unheard of, granted, but that's lunch buggered. Yet there is hope and it comes in the form of the tin can.
That's right: canned food can last longer than Sir Bruce Forsyth's TV career. And it can be found just about anywhere.
No can opener? No problem.
Get that stone or slab of concrete from your essential survival list, place the top of the can (raised metal lip) on the stone / concrete and rub the can up and down until the lip has worn away. Now with your fingers push the body of the can inwards which will create pressure, forcing the lid to pop off!
Need to cook said canned soup but don’t have fire? Wrong! Grab your toilet paper, a battery and wire wool or equivalent from the list.
Wrap the bog paper around the metal, leave a little metal exposed. Then place both positive and negative ends of the battery on to the metal…very quickly the paper will ignite. FIRE!!
Well done, that's almost your first full day of survival completed. Sadly night time gets a little more, shall we say, scarier.
The rest however, dear friends, is entirely up to you.
We can only wish you luck with your survival during these most desperate of times, and if by luck these hordes of zombies resemble the same dim characteristics as those found in the cult-classic film ‘Shaun of the dead' you may just survive. But alas, if our zombie friends happen to match the characteristics more accustomed to highly tuned, athletic flesh eating predators as described most eloquently in this piece, then we're afraid you're most buggered.