Saturday, November 03, 2007

Zombies of the north


Thanks to John Gushue, I now know what the odds are of me surviving a Zombie Apocalypse. At 56 per cent, it’s not the best odds in the world, but hey, it’s a better than 50/50 chance. My odds would be greater if only I did two things. First, was not make sure my loved ones were all right first before taking shelter. Curse my conscience for wanting to make sure Cathy was safe first.

And secondly, I need to become more comfortable with fire arms. I’m not, really. Jen and her husband would be just fine in case of imminent zombie attack. They have loads of guns and like to use them. Me, not so much. The only time I’ve ever fired a gun was back in ’95 when covering a story about the then impending gun control legislation. I went out to the Magnum Gun Club out in Witless Bay (jokes have already been made. Move along) and fired both hand guns and a rifle.

The consensus was that I shouldn’t really bother with guns if I could help it. It’s not that I was a bad shot. I’m a half decent one. It’s something far worse; I’m careless. I tend to forget the thing in my hand can kill people.

So really, I’m quite content to go through life without having a gun. Unless there’s a zombie apocalypse, in which case I will likely curse the fates that I never took more target practice.

However, I’m still feeling relatively safe up here. First of all, I’m not worried about zombies coming out of the ground because, hi, the ground is frozen. People would be waiting at the graveyard with guns, tapping their feet and wondering when the zombies were going to hurry up because it’s goddamn cold just standing around waiting for them all day.

Secondly, it’s goddamn cold. I don’t think zombies function all that well in -50. But I could be wrong. Who knows, maybe they can move faster than the average person up here bundled up in a parka.

Third, I suspect of all the capital cities in Canada, none has so many guns per capita as Iqaluit. I have no scientific numbers to back that up, but I’m fairly confident in that fact. So if there are zombies, many of the hunters in town will be grateful for the target practice.

(Terrifying fact: Cathy's says of the 25 kids in her class there are about 30 guns between them. Not every kid has a gun, but several have multiples. How many Grade 5 classes can you say that about?)

Finally, I think the Inuit would get a kick out of zombies. Again, no hard proof, you understand. I just think zombies would be an interesting game for them. Many Inuit found interesting ways to amuse themselves during the cold and dark (where do you think throat-singing came from?) so I can see zombies be entertaining.

One odd, final thought. I had a linguist up here tell me that qallunaaq, which is essentially the Inuktitut for “white person” comes from the Greenland dialect of the language. It means the colour of rotting flesh, which happens to be white. I have no idea if that’s true or not, by the way, before someone starts arguing the linguistic merits of that definition. It’s what I was told by a local linguist. So I’m going to go with what he told me until someone offers up proof he was pulling my leg.

So my final thought is this: would the Inuit call zombies qallunaaq?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Qallunaaq in Inuktitut is literally translated to "bushy eye-brow and pot belly". Because back when qallunaaq's started to come to the north, that was how they looked so the Inuit started to call them "qallunaaq".