Remember the end scene in Frankenstein when the monster tracks down the good doctor to one of the poles and they confront each other in the snow and ice? Not the 1933, Boris Karloff vehicle, which I’ve always thought more as silly than iconic, but the Robert De Niro/Kenneth Branagh version. Well, that’s where I’m at now. Up in the frozen tundra facing a horde of zombies. Well, facing a pack lead by one zombie in particular. I never saw it coming down to this, but this is the last stand for me.
Zombies were my thing, you see. If you’re into Horror or Sci-Fi, you had your favorites. Like the Beatles/Elvis question, you were Star Wars or Star Trek, even if it was ever so slightly in one direction or the other (I personally was just a tad on the side of Star Trek). I was a child of the 80’s so I remember the rise of both Jason and Freddie, but I always had a soft spot, pun intended, for the Zombies. World War Z, Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days and 28 Month Later, and my ultimate favorite, Shaun of the Dead. I don’t know what it was about them, but I suspect it was the idea of paring down ones priorities to very few after living in a world of Twitter, Facebook, cell phones and video games. The day to day plodding through work, kids and bills broken up by the Zombie Apocalypse and the chance at being the hero (or being dinner).
Zombies were my thing until they actually showed up on the scene. Remember that case in Florida where the poor guy got his face eaten off? They blamed it on “Bath Soap” I believe and that was an outright lie. No one really knows where the Zombie infection started, but it’s a good guess it was one of those military labs. You know some low-level geek tore his suit in the bug lab and dragged that stuff out to the rest of us. But what makes my Zombie Apocalypse different from the dramatic and virulent spread in the books and movies I loved was it was lame. Yep, it spread like molasses on a winter’s day, and still the government couldn’t completely contain it. Millions were infected and the world was changed forever. Yeah, right.
Humans are nothing if not resilient. We band together in times of trouble, bust our butts fighting the bad guys, showing our best side until the threat passes or is at least manageable. Then we incorporate whatever it is that was threat into our lives and move on. In most cases we even begin to thrive, and once we hit that level, we find out how to make a buck off of it. So we had the hordes of angry zombies running through the streets, just like in the movies, for about six months. Then some bright bulbs figured out that guess what? Zombies are stupid! Yep, turns out the living dead make the Special Olympics look like Mensa. And just like in the movies they have one motivation; brains. But unlike the foodies on the Food Network, they are not as discerning as we guessed. Turns out calf brains, or sweetbreads, are fine and dandy and were easy to substitute as pretty much only weirdo foodies eat that stuff anyway. The price went through the roof with the staggering demand, but it made the zombies manageable. Hell, it made them a resource.
So there goes my heroic turn saving the world from the Zombie Apocalypse, and start my turn as entrepreneur. That’s right, you are looking at one of the trending millionaires in the latest natural resource to hit the plane; zombies. Forget your fossil fuels and alternative energies, we’re talking Zombie Power, folks. Why run engines and waste electricity? Get a zombie to do the work. Power your home, your electric car, your TV’s, Cell Phones, Video Games…you name it. I came up with a way to harness the never-ending power of the zombie to an electric generator and voila! Zombie Power, baby. Sure, they’re nasty, but they work for brains (there’s a pun in there about peanuts and brains, but I couldn’t find it). Imagine an electric bill of $50 a month. Now lock that rate in, in perpetuity and pay it in advance for ten years. Not to mention a place to deposit those unwanted zombies and you’ve got a winner.
And everything was going great until the Zombie Rights Bill of 2015. What I’m saying is that everything gets ruined by politics, and it was just a matter of time before this became an agenda in an election. And it all boiled down to someone’s grandma. After the zombies appeared in droves, harnessing them as an energy source was a no-brainer (ok, that’s two puns I’ve missed thus far, but I know there’s one in there too). They’re pretty much unrecognizable after even just a few days, but once they were no longer a threat, they started to look less and less like zombies and more and more like lost loved ones. And that’s where the problem started. People began recognizing their loved ones harnessed to carts, digging ditches, and in a more sinister turn, showing up in illegal gladiatorial rings. Next thing you know, some guy sees his grandma in the ring with a monster of a man and that was all she wrote (granted, grandma was kicking ass, so I’m not sure why the guy didn’t show a little pride). Next thing we know, there’s a Zombie Rights Bill and it’s all downhill from there.
After that passed, zombies starting getting representation, and they’re no longer “resources,” but, like corporations, they’re people. Some ambulance chaser started representing the families of zombies and tracking them down. The minute they found them, boom! They’re out of the factory and rushed off to some zombie old-folks home to be pampered on our hard-earned tax dollars. Add to that, and these scumbag lawyers started filing suit. And who did they go after? Not the gladiator ring guys. Not the dude who chained one to his parking garage to scare off car thieves, no. They aimed way higher than that right off the bat and there I am, in court, across the aisle from Gomer the zombie drooling on himself, stinking like a 10-year old limburger and sick sandwich with his bald, ferret-faced lawyer, and I’m looking at actual jail time if I don’t cough up wages, taxes and health insurance for the past 2 years. And this is the first of many, so I’m not only going to lose everything, but I’m going to owe…and owe zombies. WTF!? So I did what any upstanding, American business man with offshore accounts would do; ran.
And I ran and ran and ran. I bounced around to so many no-extradite countries in one year my passport looked like a Sydney Pollack painting. And finally, I ended up on an island in the tundra just between Russia and the US. Literally a no man’s (and no zombie’s) land, and yet they still found me. And here I sit at the top of a small mountain in my meager little cabin with supplies for years, satellite TV, and all the booze you can drink about to be overrun by litigious zombies, led by their leader, my very own, personal Walker Stalker from the courtroom. The sob actually has a subpoena in his claw too. As the saying goes, “this ain’t your grandpa’s zombie story.”