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When all else fails, run sideways

When all else fails, run sideways


I didn’t get any photos of my cat actually in the snare because I was focused on pulling it off him as soon as he got caught so he didn’t have time to pull it taut, making a noose and choking himself. But he got caught in it five or six times in about three minutes. Surely dinosaurs and nutria are just as stupid.

I tend toward passivity. You might even say weakness. I am neither a self-defense expert nor a trained soldier. I can barely defend myself from some of my small cat’s better planned attacks.

Needless to say, if I have to face a dread monster of lore, I’ll be hopeless. You probably will be too. I mean, a prehistoric creature, a kraken, a flying monkey – how do you fight something like that? You’re just one wee human, after all.

So I say, give up on fighting it. Leave it to the military.

But if the military is already incapacitated or occupied elsewhere and a monster is nearby, then despite your hopelessness, you’ll have to protect yourself.

For this, you have two options. You can go on the defensive and try to escape it, or you can go on the offense and try to incapacitate it.


Be unpredictable: If a monster is chasing you, the number one tip I can give you is this: run sideways.

Don’t be a stupid action movie hero and keep running straight in front of an incoming threat. Dinosaurs,tanks, big rolling stones – you can’t outrun it, so outsmart it. Bolt to the side into a narrow alley or open doorway.

Regardless of what kind of menace is chasing you, if you make yourself an easy, predictable target, you will die. So don’t be predictable.

Blend in: I hate to bring up “Scooby-Doo” again, as if it’s secretly fine educational programming and should replace Big Bird on PBS, but the gang was really good at hiding in plain sight. If they were at an amusement park, they grabbed some circus paraphernalia and struck quirky poses by a bunch of clown statues. If they were in a museum, they quickly wrapped themselves in toilet paper and jumped inside a mummy’s coffin.

This worked almost every time, since the ghouls chasing them were routinely afflicted with sub-human intelligence and ran right by them. (Which is somewhat embarrassing, as the ghouls were, in fact, humans. Although it’s more embarrassing they thought traipsing around dressed as a monster would help them, say, inherit their dead aunt’s estate.)

We can assume mythical monsters have subhuman intelligence and/or eyesight, too, and hope their sense of smell isn’t too keen.

Hide: This goes right along with blending in. Basically, you should treat the apocalypse like a prolonged game of hide-and-seek. If you’re in a house, grab some supplies and hole up in the crawl space. If you’re in the wild, wear camouflage gear and hide under some bushes. The better you were at hide-and-seek as a kid, the more likely you are to survive doomsday. Childhood game FTW.


Catch it. Many of the monsters listed last week have more strength and intimidation than you. If you don’t have the brawn to defeat an enemy, you’d best start using your brain.

It is most important, as with zombies, to keep the threat away from you. Because once it reaches you, you’re probably going to die. You have a much better chance of preemptively disabling a monster than actually surviving an attack.

Whether you’re staying in a bunker, hunkering down in your office building or moving around the woods, you should set up traps around your home or camp.

You can capture (and injure) a beast using a snare, a covered pit or a metal trap. Snaring would work excellently for sasquatches, nutria, many shapes of robots, small dinosaurs. If you wanted to try catching Godzilla with this method, however, you’d need some really really strong rope. But if you could spin a hundred thousand strands of spiderweb into a single strand, maybe you’d have a chance.

Drug it. A veterinarian, a biochemist and a farmer walk into a top secret government lab. There’s no punchline here. They’re just saving the world.

Seriously, if you can’t defend yourself with physical strength, try some bioterrorism. Talk to an animal expert or a scientist about what kind of pathogens, poisons, toxins or tranquilizers would likely affect whatever monster is at large. Locate some of that drug or a scientist who can develop it, and convince a farmer or pilot to jump in a cropduster and drop it over the monster(s).

Kill it. Hopefully the drugs will at least subdue the creature enough for you to hurt it to death. But if the drugging fails, or you just can’t find a top secret laboratory to raid for highly dangerous chemicals, then you’ll have to use more traditional methods to take down your enemy.

But if you’re facing mortal combat with Godzilla, you’re going to die.

Should’ve stayed in hiding.

Next week: Let’s try this shooting thing one more time.


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