Monday, November 1, 2010

I Like Zombies

Zombies are just about the last truly scary monster, I think, and I think I love them for that reason. They seem to have replaced vampires as the latest en vogue monster.

Think about it...books have been written about the upcoming zombie apocalypse (which, by the way, was a very good book: great plot and extremely well written, and it's even being turned into a movie for 2012...that seems fairly appropriate for a release year, since that's supposedly when the world is supposed to end anyway).

The idea that zombies could rise up, en masse, against humans, is kind of like the idea of the end of the world scenarios. Or maybe it's like Darwinism at it's best: only the strong will survive, nevermind the reasons why or how it could happen.

But it was a good year locally for zombies. On my way home from work on Oct. 30, I passed by a Domino's Pizza in Virginia Beach on a busy street. Sometimes when the weather is nice on the after-work ride home, they have someone on the sidewalk, trying to attract business. One day, someone was throwing pizza dough. On the 30th, however, they had someone dressed as a zombie with a pizza sign. I honked and waved. The zombie waved back. You've got to enjoy that for Halloween.

It was even this costume he was wearing.

But it wasn't just random pizza franchises that got into the act this year. Even Sears redid their website for the time being. Zombies are customers too, you know. The best can translate the zombie gurgling into regular English.

Even the normally stoic Washington Post got into the fun this year. On Oct. 29, the WP hosted an online discussion of zombies with Salil Maniktahla, Self-Appointed Professor of Zombieology. That's a position I'd like to hold. Questions ran the gamut from fun to interesting to thought provoking. I liked this question from Greenville, TN: "When the zombie outbreak occurs, what is the best "safe zone" to reach? Would it be a rural, isolated area where one can grow his or her own food and build shelter, or would it be more appropriate to see the confines of an area such as a Walmart and weld the doors shut?"

Salil's response was, "Being a city boy raised in the South, I can see pros and cons to both methods. I suggest that if you spend your time outside to take appropriate precautions: sunscreen and bugspray, and a decent-gauge shotgun with sufficient ammunition. Being indoors can induce a siege mentality. You can be lulled into thinking you're safe, when in fact your entire family has been infected. Three days later you'll be very sorry you welded the doors shut."

"Survive Norfolk" was held for the first time this year in Norfolk through word of mouth and Facebook. Imagine the power of zombie tag with 7,500 people that wanted to play and 17,000+ that said they were maybe's. I got there in time to watch the 1,500 allowed humans run for their lives and then the release of the original 15 zombies. Next year, I'm going to play, and I'll take the day off from work if I have to, to get there in time. But I want to be one of the starting zombies. (Salil, the zombieology professor, organized "Survive Alexandria.")

I thought this photo collection of the evening on Flickr was especially good.

Even as I type, I'm going through the DV-R, watching scary movies that I recorded. I haven't even gotten through to the first episode of "Walking Dead" on AMC.

So, Halloween is over for another year. It gives me time to plan decorations for my yard. I think for next year, I need to rig up a great zombie to scare the hell out of people. We've got a reputation to uphold and a neighborhood to represent!

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