It probably seems strange to like something as unpleasant as a zombie. They aren’t exactly lovable by most means, first of all. And really, compared to other well-known monsters, the archetypal zombie has far less suave than your average Count Dracula, far less charm than Dracula as well. There’s no raging strength or fierceness like a werwolf. There’s no iconic backstroke like the Mummy or Mr. Hyde. You might even be tempted to say the zombie is the monster equivalent to the clean slate. But the zombie is not without his or her characteristics, and I suppose there are some historical and religious roots if one chooses to go down that road. But maybe the zombie, in his or her phlegmatic lurching menace, has a certain humor. Or maybe I’m over analyzing things.
What do zombies make you think of? Aside from the campy movies I mean. Try hard. Imagine that zombies were an actual part of everyday society. Can you picture it? Maybe one lives down the street from you. That’s right, right down the street in that big house, the one with all the trees out front. Would you be scared of the zombie? I sure would, I can tell you that much. I mean, honestly, he’s a zombie right? What’s stopping him from lurching and lumbering down the street one day, smashing through your front window, and eating your brains? That’s right, nothing. That’s what they eat you know, brains. I’m not really sure why. I’ve never really had brains. Well first of all I don’t go around eating people, that one goes without saying. But I’ve never really had brains from animals either. Have you? They’re probably not that good. I mean, if they were, don’t you think we’d all be eating them? Everyone but Andy, he won’t eat anything, not even good things like pizza.
(Did you notice that the tone of that last sentence does not agree with the first?)
Zombies huh? So what is this exactly? You just ask something like that and get everyone’s silly reactions on camera right? So right, zombies. Well. I saw one once. Yeah, sure, you look surprised. I saw when I was about thirteen years old. Me and my mamma were out shopping and we were driving around downtown looking for the mall. This was back before the Town Circle, that hadn’t been built yet. Heh, I guess I’m giving away my age here a little bit. Yeah, right, so anyways, we’re driving around down town looking for this mall because the main entrance to the parking structure was undergoing some kind of repair or constructions or something, so it was closed off and you had to drive around to the other side to come in this other entrance. We was on the way around and we drove down Franklin street, right out there in front of the county court house, and we were stopped at the traffic light. And out there on the lawn was this group of em. Zombies, all just standing out there. It was the damnedest thing. Can I say that? ‘Damnedest’? Aw heck, ya’ll can just bleep it right. Well yeah, see, first I thought they was just people, but they weren’t moving much at all. And so then I thought maybe they was statues, you know, like those ones they’ve got up at Ridgeview park that look like parents and kids and stuff that just got frozen in place. But boy was they ugly. Tattered clothes, messed up skin, not much hair to speak of, even on the woman ones. Looked like a salvation army truck had exploded. Anyway, I thought it was strange that they’d make such ugly statues, and besides that, when you looked really close you could seem them twitching every once any a while. You know, like someone who’s trying to stand still but has an itch. I don’t know about you, but that always gets me. I had to have this cat scan once and the nurse says to me you’re going to have to sit still for 20 minutes while we do the scan, and wouldn’t you know it by nose gets this itch.
Well yeah, thats what my mamma thought, performance artists. But then this guy on a bicycle goes buy, riding through the park, and all of a sudden one of those things just springs to life. It was like on one of those nature shows. Just tackled the guy to the ground, they wrestle for a second, and then the zombie stands up with the guys head in his hands. Ripped it clean off. That’s about when the light turned. What’s that? Well no, I mean there’s not much you can do for them at that point anyway. They always say don’t try and take a catch from the zombies. I’d say that’s good advice. But that bicycle guy had the last laugh. When we drove back by an hour later that zombie was still trying to bite through his helmet.
A lot of people will tell you to fear the zombies. I bet you’ve got a lot of that already. But what we have to understand is that the zombies are just a part of the natural world. Yes the zombie attacks are increasing, and yes, they are making incursions further and further away from their traditional home territories of grave yards, toxic waste zones, and condemned suburban malls, but this is only because we’re driving them to it. By squeezing them into smaller and smaller spaces, what did we expect would happen.
Now I know the politicians are making a lot of noise about zombie control, and zombie preserves… You know, this is the way of nature. You see zombies on those nature programs or in the movies and you think they all cute and cuddly and majestic. But you get one film on the news of a pack of zombies taking down some little tricker-treaters that shouldn’t have been in that neighborhood in the first place and well… I don’t know what to tell you.