A Tale of Two Houses

My friend Tadao Tomomatsu began to show me how to look at houses to assess Zombie Apocalypse Resistance (which I think I’ll call ZAR score, and which I have randomly decided will range from 1 to 5). For example…

Only one of these two houses has a chance of surviving the Zombie Apocalypse; can you tell me why?

House 1

House 2

It’s not location. They’re only about a block apart, along a busy street. But look at House 1! That pretty arching window looks like a perfect place for a zombie to make a dramatic appearance, don’t you think? It even looks kinda like a target. So let’s say that’s a -1 on the ZAR scale.

The door to the house, which is hidden in shadow in the first picture, is pretty much the same shape, just smaller. But still with lots of glass. It would be far too easy for a zombie to smash through.  – 1.

The front yard is easy access, too. No wall. No gate. No moat. No sharpened stakes placed at angles. Just flat grass and a cement walkway. That’s another – 1.

There’s a decent sniper position, using the small windows on the right side of the house. It would be quite possible to pick off zombies from there should you be so lucky as to have a firearm handy. Or a crossbow, I suppose. But I’d vote for the firearm. That might work to take out a party of five zombies. But a large group would push right through and run you out of ammo. So… let’s say that’s a + 0.5

And then… single level. No upper floor to hide out in while the zombies rampage below (because we all know they’re totally going to get in). – 1

ZAR score = 1.5

Now for House 2. Look at those windows! I love those windows. Not just because their uniform neatness makes my OCD happy. But look how high they are off the ground. And how small. No zombie of a size small enough to squeeze through is going to be able to reach, without climbing over the decaying bodies of its brethren. Which could happen. But it would take a while for the zombie carcasses to pile up high enough. +1

Plus, the windows make a good snipering location to pick off zombies as they approach. +1

The front yard is open, it’s true. But the concrete path doesn’t lead straight up to the door, unimpeded. There’s a wrought iron gate set into a wall of concrete bricks (hard to see in the photo, my apologies). +1

You can’t even see the front door from the street. That’s good. + 1

Single story, though. The zombies get in, and you’re toast. -1

ZAR score = 3