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.