Monthly Archives: September 2013

Send in the Zombies

There’s something that ‘s been bothering me for a long time and since it’s bothering me, I suspect it may be bothering a great portion of the American population, as well as other so-called civilized populations around the: What’s happening to our monsters?

 Let me focus on zombies for a start, since I’ve been thinking about this since I saw the latest Dawn of the Dead awhile back. Look at any movie produced in the ‘40s and ‘50s. Zombies, brought back to “life” by some form of voodoo, were just big numb, lumbering, slack-jawed things with the intelligence of a lug nut, wandering mindlessly, often mistaken for members of Congress. Mostly they just galumphed through fog, scaring the beans and other food types out of Abbott and Costello or Bob Hope. They were so slow you could jump on a Segway and run circles around them without getting snared. In the ‘60s, Night of the Living Dead gave us a new zombie version, brought back to life by some alien virus and, though still lumbering, now needed to eat people, since a diet of embalming fluid is nutrient-deficient. These Bill Gates Windows 2.0 zombies could only be stopped by 160-decibel salsa music or a shot to the head from Dick Cheney. Since the ‘90s, with further upgrades, zombies no longer lumber.  Some have even produced their own Pilates and Tae Bo videos. But why should it be easier for these people to do those things now that they’re dead when alive some of them couldn’t even generate new skin cells without being short of breath?

I’d sympathize with the old zombies, especially when they showed up at someone’s door selling Amway. But this new generation of zombies can run, jump and almost fly at you like smart phone contract salespeople at the mall. Some can even remember the words to “Disco Duck.” And what about Social Security? It wasn’t around when the old-type zombies were out networking. Many of these new zombies were already collecting it. Can they collect now that they’re active again or are they still considered dead? Is their state of decomposition taken into account? Could active decomposition be considered self-employment and subject to the tax? These people were supposed to be dead and buried. Do undertakers offer a money-back guarantee since technically they’re not because they’re obviously running around eating people’s faces? Is cannibalism considered a hobby or employment? If they were employed, are they entitled to get their old jobs back now that they’re up and about? What about life insurance? Are they obligated to get the payout from their greedy relatives and return it? If it’s already spent can they just eat the relatives and the insurance agent and be done with it? If prosecuted, are zombies entitled to legal representation? If so, would they be better off eating their lawyers and representing themselves?

I could go on with other monsters—the Mummy, Frankenstein, Ann Coulter—but my head is spinning and I’m sober, so I’ll save them for another time. Give us back the non-CGI monsters we knew and loved, the way we loved them. And if it’s not too late, let’s keep zombies out of elected office.


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We’re All in the Same Boat

I’d like to discuss the benefits of aging, but since I can’t think of any, that’s all for this post.

Surely, I jest. Of course there are innumerable benefits to getting older. The problem is that trying to come up with them is like trying to get a truthful statement about the Gulf of Mexico from bp. But since you could have been doing something valuable such as purging your lunch instead of reading this piece, I should endeavor to list some.

Maybe one comes to mind: If you’re aging, you’re not dead. I suppose that would be the biggest benefit. In an overwhelming majority of cases, death has proven to be highly detrimental to aging.

Maybe another one: Provided you are not dead or a member of Congress, you can impart valuable advice in life matters, based on wisdom gained through years of experience, to your children who will promptly disregard it and take the advice of their friends, who don’t know any more than they do, and make stupid mistakes all over again, ones they could have avoided if they’d only listened to you. For instance, don’t gargle bowling balls. Bocce balls are smaller and a better fit, but there is an increased risk of accidentally swallowing one. This will be soundly ignored by your children, leading to major tooth loss and cracked bathroom sinks. Hopefully by now they will have moved out of your home for the last time so you and your spouse can enjoy the winter years of your life in a nursing home, wiping the drool off each other’s chin as you sit in front of a television watching reruns of The Lawrence Welk Show.

Yet another: You get to have as many colonoscopies as you’d like, which is usually none. Being sentient life forms for the most part, we humans have an aversion to swallowing a 50 gallon drum of prep fluid and then having a scope the size of a dryer hose shoved into a place where things are only supposed to come out of. Fortunately, you’re asleep for this procedure, so you miss thrill of feeling that a horde of rabid weasels in track shoes is performing Riverdance in your intestines.

A final one: You’ll be eligible to collect Social Security, though collecting it will be purely fantasy since Congress will have us living out the self-fulfilling prophecy they created by reporting that the system will be broke by 2030 and doing their best to fulfill that prophecy for everyone but them. You’ll then be able to move to the Loop and into that refrigerator carton on Lower Michigan Avenue you’ve been eyeing for years.

One benefit of aging for me personally, even without a Social Security check, is that I no longer stick my fork into my forehead when I eat. I’ve learned how to easily find my mouth. This is especially true with the uncapped end of a beer bottle.

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