Epic Con Sleep Deprivation of Doom ™

From under the zombie bunny cage of RC Murphy

A shambling horde descended on Dallas, Texas early Friday morning. They moaned, groaned, and went in search of the nearest source of caffeine. Then the fans started pouring in. Your brave commanders roused from their jet lag and sprang into action.

Texas Frightmare Weekend brought us face to face with a lot of die-hard horror fans—many of who came up to the tables and wowed us with their amazing costumes. I will admit to jumping any time a zombie shuffled by or stopped to speak with commanders IronE Singleton and Michael Rooker. However, we were assured that these particular zombies were more interested in speaking with us than eating us. (Juliette cuddled her trusty crossbow in preparation for an attack, nonetheless. My plan involved ducking behind our Special Forces commander. Have you seen the way he fights? Dang!)

Friday night we met with potential ZSC recruits until horses turned back into mice and our coach became a pumpkin. Everyone seemed very eager to chat about proper zombie-slaying etiquette (Always double-tap!) and we even learned a few new techniques. Color this commander impressed. Texas breeds good recruits, folks. Though I must say the funniest part of the night came after we said goodbye to everyone and settled down to eat a late dinner. Juliette flipped through her photos to see what she got and realized that Tom Towles photobombed IronE. He is an outstanding individual…with great comic timing. We’re still giggling.

The following morning, we were back in the swing of things. More jaw-dropping costumes came in through the doors. By the time we got over the shock of how cool they were and how kind the fans were, it was time for the Walking Dead panel. I’ve never in my life seen so many people cram into a room to sit through a panel. Every seat was filled and folks lined up three-deep along the walls. Rooker, IronE, Reedus, Madison, and Chandler fed off of the energy coming from eager fans and gave them a lot of insight into the show. That was after Rooker hosted an impromptu fight demo backstage, teaching us how to use our elbows for defense and attack. See guys, we never stop learning new things to keep you all safe during the Zombiepocalypse.

Our Saturday ended with hula-hoops, terrifying folks in elevators, and exhaustion nipping at our heels, but it was worth it to see so many smiling faces during the day.

I like to imagine Sunday mornings at all cons are what would happen if someone yanked the rings out of a circus in the middle of all the nifty animal tricks. Tigers, elephants, and zebras run amok in a mass of confusion. Inevitably one or two get lost in the panicked crowd. Yeah, you guessed it. We managed to “misplace” some of the commanders. No, they weren’t hiding in the coffee shop on the lobby floor. They were recovered later in the day with no explanation, nor recollection about where they’d been. Possible UGA interference? I think so. This served as a stark reminder that while things have been quiet, never drop your guard.

Parting from our fellow ZSC commanders is never easy, but we made sure everyone arrived safely to their various modes of transport to [classified locations].

We would like to extend a huge amount of gratitude to the folks running Texas Frightmare Weekend and their staff, who worked tirelessly to make sure we had everything we needed. Special thanks to Nic and James (Cowboy) for being by our sides the entire weekend without running scared. And of course, our last thank you goes to the ZSC brigadiers and potential recruits that we saw over the weekend. You were all so wonderful. We can’t wait to visit Dallas again.

Our next Zombie Survival Crew event is Spooky Empire’s May-Hem May 25th – 27th in Orlando, FL.

Bonus! I asked a few people what is in their go bag. Nic, one of our volunteers, told me what his wife, Kim, wanted in hers. It made me laugh so hard, I just had to add it to the con rundown.

Kim’s go bag:

  1. Water
  2. Tranquilizers
  3. A wagon—so someone can pull her around