The Walking Dead: Emmy or no Emmy, walkers are all around me

zombies, The Walking Dead - AMC
zombies, The Walking Dead - AMC /

You won’t believe it, but I saw a walker yesterday.

I know what you’re thinking. You think I was watching The Walking Dead reruns on Netflix. Or maybe the frenzy over The Walking Dead being snubbed by the Emmy nominating committee has me a little worked up. Well yes, it does, but that’s not the point. This is serious.

My husband and I are visiting Chicago for a long weekend. As we walked across a relatively big cross street downtown, there was someone crossing the other way, walking directly towards me, whose walk can only be described as that signature lurching shuffle that only walkers do. The person’s head was slightly off center, as if they couldn’t hold it up right. It was thrilling and terrifying all at the same time. It was a real, “live” walker!

The Walking Dead - Season 2, Episode 13 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
The Walking Dead – Season 2, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

Of course, it wasn’t really a walker. It was really a person who, unfortunately for them, couldn’t quite walk straight. I’m glad I made the connection in my brain before I tried to stab that person through theirs – NOT that I was going to do that, of course… I mean, I didn’t even have a weapon.

This leads me to another question: As much as I watch, write about and think about The Walking Dead, how can I possibly justify being anywhere without a weapon of some kind? You know, just in case!

For reasons I don’t claim to understand, my husband doesn’t watch The Walking Dead, so he’s constantly rolling his eyes at me, because my brain makes every random thing I see into a connection to the show. He looked at me in confusion yesterday when I stopped to take a picture of the sign that said Archer Street, and surprisingly enough I had to explain to him what I was doing. I mean, wasn’t it blatantly obvious? Even he knows that Daryl carries a crossbow!

IL Nat'l Guard Armory - Credit: Lauren Roberts, 2015
IL Nat’l Guard Armory – Credit: Lauren Roberts, 2015 /

Thankfully I had been exploring the city on my own on Thursday, when I found (and promptly photographed, for my own amusement) the Illinois National Guard Armory building. I chuckled to myself when I decided that it was a good place to know the location of, in case a zombie apocalypse happened while we’re in town.

I was kidding, of course. Well, I was mostly kidding. I’ve never even held a gun, and I certainly don’t know “where the safety is.” But as my eight year old likes to say, “Nothing is impossible.”

This morning my husband was running a 5K at 7:30 am, so we were out of our hotel, walking across the empty city streets to the starting line, before 6:00 am. Ever since I started watching The Walking Dead, when a city is that empty it always makes me nervous. The traffic lights were on and cars occasionally drove by, but still… it was eerie. I don’t expect to hear the moans… But the thought does cross my mind, at least fleetingly.

Summer means that plants grow quickly in Virginia, where I live, and I often see grass that is well past needing to have been cut. My first thought? Zombie apocalypse, or course! And don’t even get me started on flowers. They’re everywhere this time of year. It’s like a joke screaming to be made everywhere I go, but no one who I see in real life on a regular basis watches The Walking Dead, so I have to be content to make the jokes in my own head.

There’s so many other little things that constantly remind me of TWD. I suddenly avoid revolving doors whenever possible, again to my husband’s great amusement and much eye-rolling, and I’m wary of large crowds, which I never was before.

I’ve always loved people watching, but now I look around at strangers and evaluate them for their potential to survive the zombie apocalypse. That sundress she’s wearing? So impractical! Those shoes? She’ll never be able to outrun walkers in them. It goes on and on.

Logically, I know that I’m being silly. At the same time, it’s fun to imagine what I would do if I really did find myself in a zombie apocalypse.

Wait… that came out wrong. It’s not that I think that a zombie apocalypse looks like fun, because as much as I love the show, the characters are having anything but fun most of the time. No, the constantly running from undead monsters who want to eat me isn’t the part that sounds like fun, exactly.

I guess it’s more that The Walking Dead is escapism, so it lets me get away from the problems in my own life for an hour (or two, three or four…). When I’m up to my eyeballs in work deadlines, bills, checking my kids’ homework and all those other exhausting details of my daily life, it’s fun to think about what I would do if I lived in some alternate reality where none of those things mattered at all.

The Walking Dead - AMC
The Walking Dead - AMC /

Yes, the Emmy Awards have once again refused to acknowledge the brilliant acting that brings The Walking Dead’s characters to life. As passionate fans of the show, we feel personally betrayed, though not surprised, that this has happened again. It makes me angry on behalf of the actors who deserve to be recognized, but as far as I’m concerned, the people who are


losing out are the ones who aren’t watching it. They just don’t know what they’re missing.

In my opinion, anything that constantly amuses me as I go about my daily life, while not hurting anyone else in the process, makes life better. There have only been a very few TV shows that have ever impacted me to anywhere near the extent that TWD has. People may think it makes me seem crazy, but life is too short not to do what makes you happy as much of the time as you can.

After all, if we’ve learned anything from The Walking Dead, it should be that you have to appreciate the little things in life, because you never know when they’ll be gone. So if I’m seeing walkers in my everyday life and they’re not trying to bite me, that seems like the best of both worlds.

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