Travel to any major city and you will invariably come across some jerk who insists on pointing you toward the real part of town, dismissing the well-known spots as nothing more than tourist bullshit. This "real" part of the city crammed down your throat is, of course, an elaborate front consisting of false buildings, scores of paid extras playing the part of hip locals, and a handful of trendy restaurants and shops with quirky names and carefully chosen local flair adorning the walls. At last count, there were only thirty seven people living in the actual honest-to-goodness "really real" parts of their respective cities worldwide.
Jonas lived like right across the street from one of these people. Unfortunately, that was the most exciting thing about him. His twenty five year stint in life had been wholly unremarkable and included no chance encounters or strange events worth remembering. He was pretty sure he used a public bathroom once but that might have just been something he did in a dream. Jonas slept twelve hours every night, not to escape the tedium of everyday life or for any reason that might be mistaken as interesting but simply because he was tired.
When the zombies arrived and ushered in an inescapable change for all of humanity, Jonas was glad.
His first encounter with one of them was exhilarating. The awkward gait. The once human flesh now rotting. The oddly out of place suit. The foul stench. His weekly jog with Michael Jackson had started off as it had a hundred times before. Then the zombie showed up. Catching both men off guard by emerging from a patch of bushes on their right, a red blur of a figure crashed into them haphazardly. Jackson fell to the sidewalk with a yelp, dozens of his fragile bones shattering from the impact. Thrown off balance, Jonas stumbled sideways several yards before finally tumbling over in a patch of buttercups. Lifting his head in time to see this mysterious figure descend on Jackson, Jonas was surprised to see their assailant wearing a red unitard and an oversized cat head. A sports mascot? The entertainment for a pet store's grand opening? This was all happening too fast.
The figure bellowed hungrily and slammed its oversized head against Jackson's neck in a spectacularly failed attempt to chomp into his unprotected flesh. Undeterred, it kept its head lowered and continued to try to bite Jackson. A low growl and the sick clacking of teeth emanated from within the gigantic cat head.
"Get off me, you big silly doodie head!", giggled Michael Jackson. His arms laid uselessly at his sides, but if they hadn't been broken he would have bypassed the urge to push his assailant away in favor of using them to hide his embarassingly enthusiastic erection.
Frozen in place, Jonas noted how the red costume was perforated with holes of varying sizes, and that the flesh beneath was a sickly gray. One particularly large hole in the outfit's side revealed a softball-sized wound through which several ribs were visible. Jonas had seen all of George Romero's films before, and Cesar Romero's too. He knew that the man inside the costume was undead. Not used to intense situations of any sort, Jonas got to his feet and began to back away.
"Hey look, I should get back home. Do you want me to call someone to come get you or...?"
Michael Jackson considered the situation.
"Nnngh!" the zombie groaned as it continued to hungrily press against his neck. The costume was made of a fuzzy material that was surprisingly pleasing to the touch.
"Nah, I'm good. Someone will come along sooner or later." Hopefully later, Jackson thought.
Once home, Jonas opened up the diary he had held on to since childhood and penned the very first entry. He was the only person on the planet to fall asleep with a smile upon his face that night.
Every day thereafter was increasingly chaotic. It was great. There were gunshots, car accidents, fires, Jimmy Fallon movies. There was simply no one around to stop these catastrophes which now seemed rather insignificant. Some people banded together in supermarkets and the like to wait for help, some fled for uninhabited islands, some stayed to fight the undead head on. Where, you ask, was the government in all this?
It tried to help. It really did. Under political pressure from the massive lobby group Nonviolence At All Costs, the president was hesitant to act so he called upon the Senate. The Republicans proposed a bill declaring zombies illegal, but it was blocked by Democrats due to a provision that simultaneously made zombie weddings unconstitutional and allowed the undead to carry firearms (as long as they had a permit, of course). The Democrats in turn proposed a bill making zombies "undocumented humans". According to the plan, zombies would be asked to report in to a newly formed Zombie Immigration Services bureau (cost to taxpayers: $2.1 billion per year) on their own accord every six months. Zombies who would provide their mailing addresses would receive one thousand dollars a month in financial aid and have access to a Flesheaters Anonymous Clinic (cost: $825 million a year) which would of course provide them with medicinal marijuana (cost: $4.2 billion per year). In order to prevent against discrimination and uphold the public's right to privacy, zombies who applied for these benefits would not need to provide proof that they were in fact zombies. In a surprising move the Republicans blocked this bill, presumably retaliating the Democrats' refusal to elect a conservative judge to the federal court circuit a week before. After a lengthy lunch break, the senate voted on a bipartisan bill to give themselves a considerable pay raise. It was approved unanimously.
Jonas, meanwhile, was having the time of his life. Every day brought something he had never seen before: a zombie who had apparently fallen into a pool and was unable to get out, an ice cream truck driven by nuns plowing through a crowd of zombies as automatic gunfire sprayed from the side and back windows, and that episode of Seinfeld where George has sex with the cleaning lady in his office. The very same quiet and unassuming nature which had kept Jonas from being noticed by girls kept him alive in the zombie apocalypse. He was invisible to the undead, able to stand in the middle of a crowd of them without being harmed. It was the most fun he ever had. Until the day everything came crashing down, that is. The day he lost his sister to a zombie.
Amy had driven to the store, her supplies at home exhausted. The parking lot was surprisingly clear, so she approached the storefront only to find that it had been decimated. The glass doors were shattered and inside the shelves were empty save for a few puddles of blood and a solitary clump of hair still pulled tight in a yellow scrunchy. A car pulled in behind her, probably another survivor in search of supplies. Amy turned around.
"Don't bother, there's no-", she began, but there was simply no way to end the sentence after seeing what was in front of her.
There, behind the wheel of the Porsche with custom plates reading "Dr Ace MD" was the most perfectly groomed zombie Amy had ever seen. She was conflicted. On the one hand, he was undead. A soulless husk of the man he once was, driven only by the need for living flesh. On the other hand, he was a doctor with really great hair.
"Surprised, madam? Please don't be frightened by my undead nature. I'm afraid there's nothing I can do about it, much like there's nothing you can do about your ravishing beauty."
Amy opened her mouth to reply and was surprised to find that no words had been sent from her brain yet.
"Please forgive my forwardness, and my ill manners. My name is Dr. Ace Masters, and I suppose my linguistic capabilities have caught you off guard. As you are most assuredly aware, my zombie brethren are capable of limited speech. While many seem barely able to mutter 'braiiins' in their current condition, it appears as though my demise has only damaged the portion of my brain relegated to lowering my right eyebrow. While this means that I cannot raise this eyebrow for fear of it sticking in place, I find it a fair tradeoff. I simply have to hold on to the hope that I shan't be surprised or intrigued for the rest of my existence! An existence that, I might add, is devoid of a Mrs. Masters."
Ace raised his eyebrow seductively to drive the insinuation home.
"Oh bloody hell! What a brilliant move that was. Great."
Amy remained speechless. She hadn't been on a date for over a year, and the good doctor was infinitely more sophisticated and charming than all the goofuses she had been with combined. Still... it was wrong. Wasn't it?
"Well miss, I'm afraid the fuel reserves for my automobile are somewhat limited so I must be rather blunt. Would you care to partake in my cock? I assure you I'm more interested in a caring and loving partner than a gruesome meal. I will not eat you, not even a little bit."
His eyebrow was already raised, but he raised it higher at this. Was he telling the truth? Ominous music suddenly began to play from the supermarket's loudspeakers. Well, Amy had always thought Phil Collins was ominous. At last she found the strength to speak.
"You don't plan on eating me? Well guess what buster, that's exactly what Jack the Cannibal said... and I believe him fully. It wasn't his fault he had to eat all those people in self defense."
She hopped into Ace's Porsche and drove off into the sunset. The two moved to the south of France and never looked back; purchasing a vineyard, marrying, and in time having seven beautiful children. They lived the sort of life that would make your wildest dream look like Abe Lincoln if you looked at it from an angle and squinted just right.
Once Jonas realized his sister was gone, he knew he had to end the whole damn mess. The whole zombie apocalypse had been fun at first but upon further reflection he suspected things had gotten slightly out of hand. With the military on the sidelines and no chance for a miraculous scientific breakthrough to cure the zombie infestation, Jonas had but one option left. He contacted the Shame On You reporter for the local news, whose scathing expose of the zombies put an immediate stop to their irresponsible and downright rude practices.
All the cool kids are doing it, so I really had no choice. Come take a closer look at my inner workings, but try not to get any gook on your face.
A brave pop culture addict puts his foot down once and for all.
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