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By Pam Burke 

The team is one good man down


November 3, 2017

I am drawn to useful people, and somewhere along the line I realized that it’s as if — on some subconscious level — my brain is working to assemble a zombie apocalypse team. A team that could save the world.

If it comes that we survive fire and ice, gale-force winds, floods and earth-shattering quakes only to be overrun by gruesome, brain-crazed half-humans gone overripe, I have this crisis covered with my peeps by my side.

Sure, our collective skills set includes plenty of shooters and scrappers — this is a fight for our lives against beings with no humanity, so duh, shoot first, shoot best, fight and be fierce about it.

But this team also brings to the table skills that will not only keep us alive, but also make life worth living: carpentry, cooking, bullet reloading, hunting, cattle wrangling, electronics genius, large-scale outdoor/indoor gardening, mechanics, wicked driving, machining, food preservation, decision-making, welding, horse training and riding, construction, demolition and emergency rescue, to name a few. Plus, I have a veterinarian and a lab scientist with ADHD who is up to committing some serious mayhem.

I felt, like, whatever apocalyptic situation arises the team would have it covered. I don’t mean to brag, but I have awesome friends.

Then one day my husband, John, pointed out the fatal flaw in my otherwise killer lineup: I lacked a hammer man.

You know what I’m talking about, or maybe you don’t, but you should. That seat-of-your-pants engineer who understands how everything from irrigation systems to hydraulic lifters works and knows the weight-bearing strength of metals and the proper application of pulleys, levers and gears. And knows how to build things. He, or she, knows — and this is crucial to the zombie apocalypse team — how to fix or operate almost any machinery and convert a pile of scrap metal into a useful tool using a torch and a simple two-pound hammer.

Yes, I needed a hammer man, the hammer man. Specifically, I needed my father-in-law, Ralph.

It was an obvious decision to add him to the apocalypse team, but it wasn’t without knowing I was also inviting trouble into the team. Ralph often broke things, backed into them or ran over them in the process of rescuing someone, and often those things happened as part of normal, daily operations.

But I assume in an apocalyptic situation no one is going to care if your stuff is dented, patched awkwardly, or simply ripped off and left where it landed. Is anyone really going to care if you have a turn signal while you’re outrunning a horde of zombies? I think not.

As a skilled horseman and wheel man, he added a lot of depth to the team and he was tough as iron, so the whole flawed-genius aspect could be forgiven.

Plus, I’m pretty sure the only human he ever ran over was John, and to be fair, not only did he survive the experience each time, but John has also run over himself, too, so maybe Ralph was just a tool of karma or something.

Last week, my hammer man succumbed to the only thing that ever slowed him down, old age. He could never be replaced, this I know, but the team will be needing something the whole world needs, useful people who know how to get practical things done.

Applications will be accepted. Whiners and people who couldn’t find a solution if it were a buzzsaw biting them in the backside need not apply. Proficiency with a two-pound hammer preferred.


Send applications to https://www.facebook.com/ViewfromtheNorth40.


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