I overheard a conversation (OK, I was eavesdropping) between my daughter and her boyfriend, who is reading everything he can get his eyeballs on about the Zombie Apocalypse. He knows it’s coming— faces are already being slurped in Florida—and he wants to be ready. My daughter, on the other hand, thinks he’s nuts. (She has a six-figure I.Q. and he is, well, awfully cute.)
“OK, but when they’re eating your face off, you’ll be glad I’ve got my crossbow ready,” Boyfriend says with sincere, slobbering affection.
My daughter remains totally expressionless, advising him to stop getting his news from stupididiot.com, but it’s too late. The latest zombie e-blast has imprinted intense phobic fear on Boyfriend’s acquiescent brain, which also readily absorbs tweets about vampire attacks.
Here’s what’s he’s been tracking in Florida:
A dozen high school students broke out in a mysterious, perhaps zombie-induced rash. Now in my day, cold sores and potentially fatal infectious diseases were the school nurse’s purview. Her entire medical cabinet consisted of six tongue depressors and a box of Band-Aids. But it didn’t really matter. Whether we were diagnosed with head lice or broken legs, she’d blame the cafeteria meatloaf, which was usually a safe bet. Today, schools call HazMat, three fire departments, six mayors and the Centers for Disease Control, who still couldn’t figure out what caused the rash. But nobody’s ruled out meatloaf. A mysterious chemical caused breathing problems for five passengers, closing an international airport terminal and screwing up another 9,732 unaffected travelers. Best guess is a spray can exploded, affecting all five noses within sniffing distance. But Boyfriend recognizes the work of zombies with aerosol weapons when he reads it. An anesthesiologist was pulled over by the highway patrol only to fail a sobriety test. Even if it were graded on a curve, this guy flunked big time. Getting comfy for his free ride to jail, the sleep doc decided to bang his head until he slurped enough gushing blood to spit at the arresting officers. Now everybody knows that zombies always end up in hospitals infecting all the astute medical professionals who didn’t graduate at the top of their class. Boyfriend says they’re the first to go. To a zombie, this guy was Dr. Appetizer.
There have also been random reports of bath salts causing cannibalism, if you’re stupid enough to eat them. I tried to reassure Boyfriend that my mom spent years marinating in a tub of Calgon, since it was the only brat-proof—if not zombie-proof—fortress in the house. And to the best of my knowledge, she never ate anyone. Boyfriend still wants to play it safe and has my daughter promise to shower, not soak.
Personally, I’m just glad this stuff is happening in Florida and not South Carolina. Zombies are never good for business. It’s tourist season and we don’t need any uninvited carnivores making canapes out of cash paying guests from Iowa. We have sharks for that.
Meanwhile, I’m staying close to Boyfriend and his weapons, just in case. If you haven’t got a crossbow handy, you might want to avoid meatloaf.
Jan A. Igoe is a writer and illustrator from Horry County. Share your best zombie survival tips with her atHumorMe@SCLiving.coop.