One of the charms of Zombieland is the semi-anonymous world in which our hero, Columbus (his home town, not his name), lives in. (In fact Bill Murray, playing himself, is the only character referred to by actual name.) What makes this even more poignant is the fact that this was clearly not a reaction to the zombie apocalypse but just generally the way he rolled. When his beautiful neighbor (Amber Heard) knocks on his door he refers to her only by her apartment number, “406”.
Frightened and in near panic 406 begs to be let in and comforted. Ever the chivalrous romantic Columbus, interrupting another Friday night of World of Warcraft, does just that. A crazed homeless man had attacked and attempted to bite her. After calming her with Code Red Mountain Dew and (crisp) Golden Grahams they fall asleep in each other’s arms. As Columbus tells us, “setting aside the feverous, homeless cannibal, I’m living the dream.”
Of course stories generally don’t have happy endings in Zombieland and he wakes to a bloated, vomiting, pustule-covered monster trying to take a bit or three out of him. Although he attempts to reason with her he’s eventually forced to take drastic action and crush her skull with the toilet cover. You know, like you do.
So we raise a glass in fond memory of 406. She taught us that what is given can be taken and what is wanted isn’t always what is needed. She was an early victim but an educational one. Perhaps Columbus said it best: “You just can’t trust anyone. The first time I let a girl into my life, she tries to eat me.”