Sharon Astyk contemplates what her own “Zombietopia” — that is, her idealized apocalypse — would look like. I especially like these features:

10. My children will recognize that this is a heroic and important moment, and rise nobly to the cause, behaving gracefully under pressure. They will not whine, pick their noses at meetings or distract us from zombie fighting by fighting with each other.

12. Bruce Springsteen will not be killed by the zombies, but will live and write awesome songs about the heroic resistance. Leonard Cohen, who writes awesome songs but already looks kind of undead will rise again to write (but not sing) the zombie’s soundtrack lyrics.
13. In my Zombietopia, all the women of middlish age will not have to bring coffee to the hot warrior chicks and guys in their 20s, the way they do in all the books. Indeed, it turns out that middle aged geeks with agrarian tendencies will somehow be just what is needed.
14. That which does not kill us will make us stronger. I’m hoping that that which doesn’t kill me also makes me thinner, more organized, less irritable and more heroic.

I especially endorse No. 14! In my Zombietopia, the following conditions can be found:
1. Zombies will prove especially vulnerable to the savage mystical powers of Shun Ken Onion knives, turning those who possess them into Insta-Jedis.
2. By executive decree, the president will declare that all saloons have to give free beer to Insta-Jedis who whip out their Shun Ken Onion knives.
3. The most effective zombie fighters will be those who engage in frequent canoodling with their lawfully wedded wives. President Obama will urge distaff patriots to do their part for their country, even if they have to just close their eyes and think of America.
4. Zombies will be terrified of small yappy dogs, and when startled by the canine klaxon, will exude an odorless pheromone that will instantly de-constipate the hound. If he’s constipated. Which he probably is.
5. Chickens, when tapped on the poultry equivalent of the shoulder by Insta-Jedis, will instantly turn into chicken versions of those cool flying dragon birds from Avatar, and will prove staggeringly effective in helping Insta-Jedis who ride them pick off zombies from on high.

6. Because zombie flesh will make excellent compost, certain zombie-killers who bag a bunch of corpses … I mean, dead bodies of the undead … will delight their urban agrarian wives beyond all telling (see No. 3), thus leading to a magical symbiotic circle of life.
7. Children will believe their parents when they tell them that if they don’t eat their vegetables, the zombies will gnaw the flesh off their bones.
8. The zombies will have it in their power to resurrect R.E.M.’s long-dead ability to make good music, at least long enough for them to record one more good album — this, in exchange for us turning over Rachael Ray, no questions asked. We tell them we would have done it for nothing, but okay.
9. In the end, the zombies make their final stand somewhere in France. Nicolas Sarkozy will offer to turn the country over to somebody, anybody, who can show up with a three-piece set of Shun Ken Onion knives, a small yappy zombie-hating dog and a charged-up zombie-slaying mojo, thus undertaking to save the nation, and indeed the world. Wouldn’t you know, there’s only one hero on the planet fitted to the task … and he magnanimously agrees to deliver France and the planet at the cut rate price of being made Emperor-for-Life and Absolute Ruler of the Champagne region (that, plus a big, manful leather couch, a wide-screen TV, Diana Krall playing nightly in the piano lounge in the chateau, and a lifetime supply of Harry Shearer doing the voice(s) on my answering machine).
(Your personal Zombietopia conditions welcome in the comboxes).
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