People need something to be afraid of; some bump in the night to remind them that the real world may be bad, but at least the creepy-crawlies in the shadows aren’t real. After all, in real life we can be hurt by real monsters, be they terrorists, criminals, or elected – it’s a relief to leave that behind for a couple of hours and deal with something you can stake in the heart or shoot in the head.
Not that you couldn’t do that with terrorists … okay, maybe bad comparison, never mind.
Ordinarily I’m not a huge fan of horror movies, as I tend to be a news junkie and so scared often enough in real life. Also, I’m not a joiner. I especially have no great desire to join the undead in light of the fact that, to get there, they have to – you know — die.
And yet, on October 30 I’m going to be in a zombie walk.
Well, that’s just crazy.
But I’m going, and I’ll be lining up in historic downtown Kendallville with all the other historic dead people, so that between four and five p.m. we can moan, stumble, limp along, and basically act the way I do when I first get out of bed. Why?
Well, first, it’s a food drive. All those zombies are supposed to bring a non-perishable food item – and before you ask, brains are not allowed.
They’re also having zombie hunters and zombie protesters, so it sounds a lot like a typical Washington political rally. Maybe there’s a connection there, and zombies are real. Go Google “Nancy Pelosi” and tell me she’s not one of some kind of living dead.
(On the other hand, surely a brain eating zombie in Washington would starve.)
Second, my fiancée is making me.
Ah, the things I do for love.
I’m about the only person in my family who’s not a huge fan of Halloween. Look, it’s the end of October, and everyone knows how I feel about cold weather – what makes anyone think I’d be in the mood to celebrate? Frankly, Halloween hasn’t been fun for me since I went from getting candy to giving it.
My brother and sister-in-law go all out at their Halloween party every year: Decorating, dressing up, cooking, hosting huge bonfires, sacrificing virgins, the whole nine yards. I show up and sit there like a lump, as close to the fire as I can get without shriveling my mustache. Maybe, just this once, it would be nice to get in the spirit and show up with limbs falling off, peeling skin, a thirst for brains, and maybe a couple of bags of chips. Good times.
So this year I’m letting Emily dress me up as a zombie, in some kind of an outfit that will hopefully hide the several layers of clothing I’m going to wear. I’m thinking of going as a Santa zombie, to take advantage of the fur lined coat and a big belly that, in my case, will contain a space heater. Santa’s had it, kids – don’t count on anything for Christmas this year but an infected bite.
There will be pictures, of course. I don’t know how I’ll come out looking; maybe I’ll just go without sleep the night before, and not bother with the makeup. You’ll be able to find me near the center of the crowd, where it’s warmest.
You’re all invited, naturally; if you’re not a joiner you can just watch from the sidelines and take pictures, unless you have a fiancée who makes you. It certainly won’t be your typical Saturday night in a small town.
I’ve never been a zombie before, but for those of you who might be worried, I can assure you I have no taste for brains, liver, kidney, or haggis. If you don’t know what haggis is, you don’t want to. Instead, I plan to be the first ever zombie who eats only chocolate animals. Bunnies, preferable. Think I can’t find chocolate bunnies? I’ve got news for you: the local dollar store started putting up Christmas displays in September.
Which is why I threatened to eat the owner’s brains.
Talk about scary.