by Jayme Nelson

The early-morning sun is just about to crest a far-off horizon. You see them, the frothing, rabid mass clawing at the locked doors of the local shopping mall. You’re hunkered down, barely peeking out through your car window. Channeling your inner Rick Grimes, you turn to your friends and say, “It’s now or never. Everyone remember the plan? Let’s do this.” 

Not unlike an opening scene from an episode of The Walking Dead, Black Friday can be anxiety-ridden and slightly terrifying. When enough savings is at stake, a mob of eager deal shoppers could easily be mistaken for a clan of zombies. That said, we couldn’t help but notice a few five striking similarities between preparing for Black Friday and The Walking Dead.

1. Have a Plan

Just as you wouldn’t wander aimlessly into a pack of zombies as they embark on a feeding frenzy, you shouldn’t go blindly into a bargain-shopping scenario expecting stellar results. Know where the entrance and exits are and make note of exactly which aisles contain the items you seek. Make sure everyone in your shopping party has been briefed thoroughly on the plan ahead of time, and while it is a bit eerie, the governor’s whistle is a subtle, yet effective signal that it’s time to bail.

2. Wear Sensible Shoes

In a zombie apocalypse you’ll be running for your life. At Black Friday, you’ll be running for your life. Comfortable shoes, preferably some sort of athletic shoes are a must. You don’t have time for blisters, which will slow you down.

Consider cutting your hair short or shaving it off completely (I’m looking at you, Carl). With the hair high and tight like Merle Dixon, the zombies won’t have anything to grab onto. Neither will aggressive deal mongers who will throw you to the ground to get their hands on a Hatchimal.

You might want to dress in layers too, which will make it harder for fellow shoppers (and zombies) to bite or claw through your clothes. A thick leather jacket, alpine utility pants, even Kevlar motorcycle gear if you have it, are all smart choices.

3. Stay Out of the Fray

Large malls or retail outlets really aren’t the safest places in the event of a zombie attack, or Black Friday for that matter, unless you want to become one of them.

A single zombie, like one shopper, probably won’t cause you any harm (they are slow after all—zombies that is). Collectively though, zombies are a force of nature, knocking down fences and crashing through windows. The same goes for crazed crowds of shoppers with bargains on their mind and cash to burn. Find smaller, specialty stores, preferably made of brick, with few windows and lots of markdowns. You will be safer while supporting small businesses. If you do visit a bigger store, pull a Michonne and Carl and distract the crowd while you sneak in a side door. We recommend a decoy sale sign or standee display.

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4. Keep Energy Bars on Hand

It’s all fun and games until you’re trapped behind a barricade warding off a famished zombie craving live flesh, or hiding behind a garment rack holding the very last $19.99 Himalayan yak sweater in eggplant. Keep energy bars, nuts, fruits and other small snacks nearby when you need a quick burst of energy. From Maggie and Glen to Rick and Deryl, having to scout for food often leads someone into trouble. Don’t let food get in the way of your mission.

5. Have the Talk

In a zombie attack, you would likely sit down with loved ones ahead of time and discuss what happens in the event that one of you gets the zombie virus. Black Friday is no different. You might get the bargain. You might not. Someone in your group might end up with a PS4, while you couldn’t get your hands on the Bluetooth speakers you wanted. Emotions will be high either way, so it helps to talk it out beforehand.

In the words of Rick, “We choose to go, we choose to stay. We stick together.”

Now you have a few excellent tactics in your back pocket for how to survive Black Friday or a real live episode of The Walking Dead. Just remember, stay alert, blend in and if you get in a bind… run like the wind. Or, do like me and avoid it all together, and wait for Cyber Monday.

Image Copyright © AMC