Saturday, May 26, 2007

The zombie army

These days you hear a lot about zombies. They’ve become a hot item. In demand. If you want your party to be officially hip, you’ve got to invite at least one zombie. But if you want the zombies to keep coming back, you’ve got to make sure you also invite enough victims. They could be people you don’t like, exes who done you wrong, or just random passers-by. Party crashers make perfect victims. Because of the irony.

And there are a lot of zombies, apparently. They occupy whole towns and have taken control of several cities, including Washington. And yet, they're the ultimate outsiders. They didn’t attain power using traditional methods, like the electoral process. No way. They ate everyone who was in power until there was no one left.
They have their own institutions. Like the zombie army. Which is not to be confused with the Mahdi Army of Moktada al-Sadr, the Iraqi Shiite cleric. There’s a big difference. Sadr is Shiite; the zombies are Sunni.

I was wondering if it was easy to get into the zombie army. Or is it mandatory for all zombies? Are zombies obligated to perform two years of military service before resuming their bloody rampaging of civilians? Is it a volunteer zombie army? What would have to be wrong with you to be declared unfit for duty? I mean, they're already dead, which would get you an easy 4F in any other army. Maybe you get a deferral if you’re a vegan.

They all kind of move pretty clumsily, and I can’t imagine they have the coordination to handle sophisticated weaponry, or fly planes.

Digression: What if you boarded a 747 and it took off and the first announcement from the cockpit was “This is your pilot speaking. Grrrrrrr!!!!! And then the cockpit door flings open and out staggers a headless flight attendant! “Chicken or beef?” “Chicken or beef? Arrghhhh…..”

Back to the zombie army. Let’s say a platoon of zombies is going off to fight the enemy in Iraq. And they’re out in the yard getting broken in…

SERGEANT: Alright listen up, ladies! You call yourself zombies? I mean, look at you! You’re falling apart. Blood drooling out the sides of your mouths! The worst posture I’ve ever seen. You, Jackson, pick up that part of your arm that just fell off! And Francisco, stop gnawing on that human skull! Mess hall is over! Jesus, you’re the sorriest group of rooks I’ve ever laid eyes on.

Let’s drop the zombies into a typical Hollywood World War II flick, where the platoon has an Italian from Brooklyn, a naive, blonde farm boy from the Midwest, a Southern boy everybody teases about his drawl, a laid-back Californian. And a zombie. He’s considered the “odd one.” The other recruits pick fights with him until they find out he bites.

They’re about to head into the big battle, and the zombie, who can only grunt, takes out a grimy photo of his sweetheart back home in Zombieville to show the others, and she’s absolutely hideous, with half a head and generally leprous all over, and the Italian guy looks at it and of course he’s totally repulsed, but he tries to hide it and says to the zombie, “Bet you can't get back to her, huh?”

Then the battle begins, and at a key moment, the sergeant finds himself without a grenade and he calls out to the zombie, “Grenade!” and the zombie of course fumbles it and blows the sergeant to high heaven. Later, back at base, the rest of the platoon is too grief-stricken to eat, while the zombie gnaws on a Nazi jawbone.

Now what if the zombies had other ways to organize besides the army? Like zombie medical organizations – “Les Médecins sans les Cerveaux.” Let’s say you need surgery and you have really bad health insurance. You’re strapped to an operating table and in limps your zombie surgeon. And the only implement he’s holding is a rock.

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