I've had two lengthy zombie nightmares in two weeks and each morning I awoke with Hell resting heavily on my heart. I've had regular zombie nightmares since I was a child but have never been able to determine the day's formula of provocation. Perhaps it was listening to J-Lo's whiny Puerto Rica in Monster-In-Law while manipulating photos for posthumous blog postings. Maybe it was because only minutes before bed, I was slopping colored sugar from my delicate fingertips while my cheeks bulged with Krispy Kreme (it was National Donut Day). Regardless, I blame my parents and Michael Jackson for my fear of zombies.
Jacko's been terrorizing little boys since '84 as far as I'm concerned. "Thriller" was and remains one of the most horrifying displays of zombie behavior of all time, and even though I'd hide whenever the 9-minute video started, I liked the song and would accidentally moonwalk from behind the family sofa and back into Jackson's perversions. That was the start. My parents, unfortunately, perpetuated the King of Pop's terror by staying aloof to the things I actually stood in front of the TV watching (please see my profile picture for a visual of the impressionable child I once was). Things like Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Return of the Living Dead I, II, & III, both Reanimators, and every other 80's flick that involved hordes of dead people standing up and eating the living. Worst of all, most of these apocalyptic episodes were never explained. One day, there simply were zombies moaning outside your windows, and if you weren't immediately resourceful, you'd be pulled limb from limb and/or eaten alive. To this day, I still map out a zombie evacuation route at new jobs, just in case. The way I see it, I'm at work more often than home, so it only makes sense to prepare a don't-be-dinner strategy. It usually involves my clawing up the highest furniture and spider-monkeying the ceiling's rafters to the roof's escape hatch. If there's a padlock on the door (and there usually is), plan B is to belt myself to the ladder and await a slow and painful dehydration, a wonderful alternative to supernatural cannibalism. At home, the plan is to calmly but urgently make a mostly jelly PB&J and carry a crowbar and bottle of water to my roof and also, slowly die. I'd wish my loved ones well, of course, but a zombie attack trumps love and friendship, and ultimately, it's every man for himself. If my rooftop sanctuary is compromised by ambitious survivors who require I participate in their futile survival plans, I will not differentiate them from the undead and have no qualms about ejecting them from my safe haven once they've fallen asleep.
This my phobia, people. You can't make chicken-livers overcome their fears by forcing them to confront one face to face. I learned that after holding a plastic frog under the nose of a coworker, who, as it turned out, really was terrified of plastic amphibians. She turned pale and eventually vomited, and I vowed to believe people when they say they're scared of ridiculous shit. Zombies are not ridiculous. They can relentlessly pursue and eventually get you, you see. It's not even a matter of being killed. It's a matter of them getting me. I don't want that. So when the shit goes down, please, leave me in my fetal defense position, and find your own goddamned hiding place. Christ, now I'm tense.
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5 weeks ago