1/7TH OF THE 14 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE ZOMBIES
(An excerpt from Zombies for Zombies: Advice and Etiquette for the Living Dead, shambling in your direction this September from Sourcebooks)
A major event has occurred that will significantly impact every aspect of your life, including your involuntary functions. That, however, is no reason to come unglued. This is the moment when you must dig your deepest for strength and dignity. It’s time to gain perspective about where you’ve been and where you’re headed. Now is when you must learn how to become highly effective. Not to be confused with “infected” or, for that matter, “affected.” The world doesn’t need any more poseurs.
WHO THUNK THIS STUFF UP?
The 14 Habits were first introduced in two separate books, written by the same author, who chose to remain anonymous. Allegedly, said author was a well-meaning psychologist who dashed off the first book, The 7 Habits, at the request of our government; at that time, the Feds were seeking a strong set of behavioral guidelines to impart to the infected and to certain citizens of Boulder, Colorado. Subsequently, federal workers attempted to teach these habits to Horde members (that nasty bunch that lives in the Containment Zones), an assignment that went badly from the get-go. Multiple workers were lost within minutes.
Once the Feds abandoned the Horde and figured out who the optimal recipients of this advice would be, the book proved to be an enormous success. It wasn’t long before the author was encouraged to write another. Sadly, in celebrating his newfound literary success, he developed quite the addiction problem, and Okay, Here Are 7 More Habits was not as popular, valuable, or cogent as the first. Frankly, it sucked. Please keep this in mind as you review the entire list.
HABIT #1: TABLE MANNERS
Eating with your hands is never acceptable. You weren’t born in a barn. Sure, you may see a lot of your brethren and sistren behaving coarsely while dining alfresco, but you need to ignore them, because that’s not how you roll. (Remember, just because everyone in the Horde does it doesn’t make it right.)
Civilization is crumbling but you’re staying civilized. So, please, always use utensils. Rather than tearing your dinner apart and gnawing on it, make the effort to pick up a knife and fork and cut your food correctly. Really, it’s not that much work. Alas, if you absolutely must descend on a poor random creature with your friends, keep a spork or other easily tucked-away utensil on your person for such regrettable “manner emergencies.” For that matter, also keep a wet wipe or two handy.
And what of the aforementioned al fresco concept? Social graces dictate that you accept your meals inside, around a table, sans snarling. Believe me, no human has a problem with a polite patio gathering at the Shores or a lighthearted picnic on the lawn now and again. But the idea that it is somehow acceptable to be out wandering around at all hours, chewing on the first living thing you come across, is simply wrong and bad form.
How to put this best? No roadkill (unless you’re out maggot-gathering—see Chapter 3). Roadkill = really bad form. You didn’t behave in such a manner when you were living, and you won’t be acting like that in the post-life, either.
HABIT #2: “PLEASE” AND “THANK YOU”
To my mind, Habit #2 sets its sights on one of the most disturbing traits of typical Horde conduct: entirely too much uncouth grunting and grabbing. While it is true your vocabulary will shrink to that of a first grader (if you’re lucky), the plucky pair of “please” and “thank you” can still play an effective role in your everyday speech. And they’re not that hard to remember.
For example, let’s say you encounter a situation where several Horde-ish folks are having a light roadside snack. You were just told not to participate in such behavior, but you know how you get. So if you are joining your comrades, instead of elbowing your way in to snatch an available limb or organ, utilize “please” and “thank you” in order to ask for what you want. By doing so, a small slice of civilization is preserved. It’s the little things that keep us human. Some of us.
What follows are examples of sample dialogue. Read each one aloud and make a point to emphasize every “please” and “thank you”:
- “Can I please have that thigh?”
- “Pass the ribs, please.”
- “Thank you for the pancreas, Danny. It was delicious.”
- “Excuse me, ma’am—may we please bite your face?”
- “Mindy, I never properly thanked you for that nice brain platter you put together for our function the other day. How very kind of you.”
- “Please stop screaming. We get hungry when we walk. Thanks!”
What a difference “please” and “thank you” make! They promote civility, kindness, and respect—three more words that will become even more important in the days and weeks to come.
Of course, there are twelve other Habits as well, which you’ll learn more about once you purchase and join the Z4Z program. (After all, this is simply an excerpt, not a free lunch.)
The rest of the original seven are:
HABIT #3: YOU’RE STILL GENTLEMEN AND LADIES
HABIT #4: SHHHHH—OTHERS LIVE HERE, TOO!
HABIT #5: PUNCTUALITY
HABIT #6: ANGER MANAGEMENT
HABIT #7: GOOD-TO-MIDDLING SELF-ESTEEM
The Habits from Okay, Here Are 7 More Habits (often referred to as “The Lesser Habits”) are:
HABIT #8: OBEDIENCE
HABIT #9: MODERATION
HABIT #10: BOXED WINE
HABIT #11: ABILITY TO PULL COINS FROM EARS OF STRANGERS
HABIT #12: HUFFING
HABIT #13: ABILITY TO SELL EVERYTHING FOR WHATEVER I CAN GET
HABIT #14: METH
Remember: that’s Zombies for Zombies — The World’s Bestselling Program for the Recently Bitten! Grab a copy today!