Some things I wonder about zombies

posted in: On writing | 11
Wikimedia commons
Wikimedia commons

I’ve decided I must be odd. I confessed in an earlier post that I don’t understand vampires as sex objects and I fear I must reveal my strangeness once again by admitting that zombies are… just… yuck disgusting and what is the point? I realise that zombies is the craze of the moment, replacing vampires. But no, I don’t/won’t/shan’t watch the Walking Dead.

You might be able to discern from what I’ve just said that I’m hardly likely to be an expert on the topic. But I’d have to have been lost in space not to know the basics. Besides, I’ve read Wikipedia. Rotting corpses seem to be the go, usually dressed in equally rotting clothing, shambling along with bits falling off them. Apparently they eat brains. If I’ve got it right, they shamble along after living, breathing people, do them in, then eat their brains. The victims then rise and join the army of zombies.

As far as I can tell the basic plot of a zombie story is brave humans resist zombie hordes. One by one, they fail, get killed and join the zombies – but in the end the remaining brave humans win. The end. So I guess what it’s really about is the characters of the brave humans, and a fun guessing game about who’s next on the dining table, so to speak. That’s cool. I suppose.

Just why the zombies rise up from their tombs seems to be one of the few areas open to invention in the plot. Viruses, aliens and black magic come to mind. But, you know, I can’t help wondering about a few things. Hey, some of you can no doubt put me right here. I remember seeing some graphics (an illustrated story, maybe? or an SFX magazine featuring a story about Night of the Living Dead?) of a modern day zombie story set near a Civil War battlefield and a lot of the zombies were shambling around in torn and rent Civil War uniforms. And I kinda went, huh? For a start, shouldn’t they be skeletons by now? And would the uniforms last? Or… I know! Whatever made them zombies recollected all the broken down molecules and (almost) reconstituted them into a semblance of life. Including rent and torn and mouldering uniforms, dirty bandages and bayonets stuck in chests.

Then there’s the brain-eating thing. I mean, WHY? They’re dead. And if you’re going to eat brains, don’t you have to open up the skull? I don’t recall many people in the annual zombie parades missing half a head. Then again, I suppose they could do like the Egyptians and pull the brains out of the nostrils, but your average zombie didn’t seem to me to be terribly dextrous. I shouldn’t criticise, though. It must be difficult if you know your fingers, your hand, your whole friggin’ arm may fall off any second now.

Speaking of eating, what goes in must come out, know what I mean? So I’m picturing a posse of zombies shuffling along a street, and one says, “I gotta go. Wait for me, will you? I’ll pop into MacDonald’s.” Or the posse shambles along and encounters a bunch of trapped, terrified people, and it shambles on past. One says to the other, “They look delicious, but I couldn’t eat another thing.”

As for the idea of zombies as sex objects… eeewww. Just eeeewwww.

I should add in the unlikely event that a zombie apocalypse was ever to happen, I’d be perfectly safe. I’d just pop over to Fraser Island and pick ’em off as they try to cross the Great Sandy Straits.

So come on, folks. What do you think of zombies? Do you love them? If so (for pity’s sake) why?

Footnote: None of the above applies to Terry Pratchett’s zombies. Reg Shoe is wonderful, even when his arm falls off. The rest of Pratchett’s zombies appear to be lawyers and that, I would suggest, is singularly appropriate. Oh, except for Baron Samedi, who at least hails from a corner of the Discworld that closely resembles Haiti. Please note also that none of Pratchett’s zombies have a fetish for brains.

11 Responses

  1. Doug Bittinger

    I agree with everything you said, Especially the ” eeewww. Just eeeewwww.” part. Especially that.

    I had not though of the zombie poo angle, thanks for bringing a new level of eeeewwww to the picture.

  2. Pippa Jay

    Yeah, I’m not a fan of traditional Hollywood zombies, although I really liked Warm Bodies. A couple of scientists did a post on the scientific basis for zombies – the brain eating was something to do with pain killing chemicals in the brain or some such. I much prefer Pratchett’s zombies, which are based more on traditional voodoo – my fave, though, was Windle Poons, a wizard who died of old age but due to Death having been sent off in retirement, the dead were having to go back to their bodies. That’s much more the kind of zombie I’m currently working on. And no yuckiness or brain eating!

    • Greta

      As you know, I’m a Pratchett tragic. So I might read your zombie story 😉

  3. Nickey

    In a general sense I agree with you, it is just another ‘genre’ with a fairly predictable story line. Sex with zombies? Now that is a disgusting thought. The reason why “Walking the Dead” is so well loved (guilty) is due to the richness of the characters, specifically their growth throughout a range of diverse experiences. The creativity and skill from the authors and actors are refreshing. In all honesty they might as well be a group of people defending each other from pirates or even lawyers.

  4. Jennifer Sosniak

    I love a good zombie story. It’s not the zombies themselves that I love though, and I’ve never even heard of zombie sex. That’s just wrong! I love the raw fear from the threat of something almost impossible to overcome. Aaaaaand it could happen. LOL

  5. Allan Douglas

    I too patently avoid contact with zombies. I know the concept, I see an occasional ad in a side-bar, but I don’t watch or read about them. Too many implausibilities and too much… as you put it: “Ewwwwwwww”. Nothing about them appeals to me.

  6. mona karel

    I am so with you on vampires and zombies. Nothing sexy about having your throat torn out, and rotted corpses? NOT.
    As far as zombie sex, do they do ‘it’ until body parts fall off?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.