Desert Companion

Shop: Prepare for the zombie invasion

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Shop or die

If you take the temperature of our zeitgeist, the thermometer doesn’t lie — zombie fever is red-hot and spreading like a, well, plague. From TV (“The Walking Dead”) to movies (“Survival of the Dead”) to novels (“World War Z”) to comics (“The Last Zombie”) to video games (“Dead Island”), it’s the Age of the Undead. And at least one store in town is hedging its bets regarding the likelihood of a flesh-eating apocalypse — or global financial collapse — by offering survival products while at the same time having some fun at doomsayers’ expense. 

Sandwiched between a gold-coin shop and an artificial-turf supplier, the Zombie Apocalypse Store opened in November and draws folks from all walks of life — paranoid ex-Marines stockpiling food, hipsters looking for T-shirts, gun-lovers seeking 3D “bleeding” zombie targets to blow away at the range, and plain-old horror-film fans desiring, say, a framed poster of 1941 voodoo-comedy King of the Zombies.

“It was time for something like this,” explains the store’s owner Mike Monko. “Given the economy in Vegas and everyone thinking about survival, it just makes sense to be ready and have what you need. And if you plan and prepare for survival in terms of zombie attacks, then you can pretty much handle whatever’s thrown at you.”

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Everything you need to render an undead adversary inert — or protect your home from invading investment bankers: Machetes and swords, AK-47-suitable bullets, stun guns, even Zom-Bomb exploding targets (for use in the desert only and please keep 50 yards away at all times, OK?) are at your fingertips. But fighting is one thing; securing decent grub and H2O is another. The beef jerky is tasty and comes in all flavors (teriyaki, habañero, etc.). The 200-serving survival buckets (just add boiling water to each packet) have a two-decade shelf life. And the emergency drinking water pouches — simply toss one into a puddle, let it inflate, wait a few hours, then sip — will keep you from dying of thirst.

“Much of the survival products we offer aren’t zombie-specific,” adds Monko. “These are great for camping, natural disasters, shortages or just being down-on-your luck.” With any luck, I won’t have to eat this bucket I bought. — Jarret Keene

Zombie Apocalypse Store, 3420 Spring Mountain Road, 1-866-784-7882,


Shiny new things

FragrenceMessage scent

The test tubes and oil bottles that line the blending bar at Fragrance Factory are reminiscent of a science lab, but no science lab looks this warm and inviting — or smells as good.

Sarah Snajczuk recently opened The Fragrance Factory at The Village Lake Las Vegas, and she’s concocting one-of-a-kind, custom-engineered perfumes from grade-essential and U.S.-sourced fragrance oils.

What’s that mean? It means no longer are you restricted to purchasing fragrances sold in strangely shaped, neon bottles endorsed by pint-size pop stars turned fragrance moguls. It means you can build your own unique scent for yourself, friends or clients.

“The fun part is when people walk in and they put together thinks like lemon, violet and Egyptian musk,” says Snajczuk. “I would never have thought to put it together, but it worked so well together — and that’s the fun part, working with each person.”

Snajczuk’s shop has brought the art of aroma mixology to not just perfume, but also products such as handcrafted soy candles, sugar scrubs and, yes, even spa dog shampoo. You, your home, your office and even your pooch can all smell alike if you so choose. That’s true customization. — Alexia Gyorody


Meet your makers

CupcakesHave cake, drink it too

After nearly a year in business,  Pick Your Poison Bake Shop  is fast becoming the Downtown corridor’s Saturday night hookup for cocktail carbo-loading. The bakery makes cupcakes infused with as much liquor as their names are kitsch. Flavors like Jägerbomb, Red “Wine” Velvet, and Margarita prevail, followed by soda-flavored cakes such as Cherry Dr. Pepper and Shirley Temple. Pick Your Poison’s beverage-infused offerings are rounded out by several more traditional tastes such as S’mores, Banana Cream Pie and (my personal favorite) Strawberry Shortcake.

The bakery offers two purchasing options, $28 for 24 “shots,” bite-sized mini cupcakes (two flavors per two dozen), or $28 for 12 “Cocktails,” standard-sized cupcakes (two flavors per dozen). Currently, Pick Your Poison is online order and delivery only, but owners Robyn Holt and Taryn Mumpower hope to open a storefront downtown in the near future. Go to to make your suggestion for January’s “Poison of the Month.” December’s winning flavors? Drunk’n Gingerbread and Spiked Eggnog Cupcake. (, 741-1382,

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