Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm Afraid of Zombies

I'm not afraid of riding my bike in New York City traffic. I'm the only person I know who isn't afraid of cockroaches (the ones in Florida are bigger).

But I am afraid of zombies.

Not that I've met one in real life, of course. But there are so many good ones on TV ready to eat us! And they're hard to forget. I saw Robert Carlyle in Once Upon A Time the other day and I was worried he'd kiss someone and go on a rampage like in 28 Weeks Later.

Unfortunately this fear has begun to affect my everyday life through my obsession with The Walking Dead. You know, the show about Ranger Rick and a bunch of useless women running from very realistic (though can they be realistic if they aren't modeled on real creatures to begin with? I don't know) zombies in Georgia. I know every show there's going to be some zombie that pops up, some conflict about maybe leaving someone behind, some talk about how they'd probably be better off dead, but still I watch the show anyway.

This became a problem on the way home from DC. I had just played a three-hour show at Black Fox Lounge for some amazing, gracious people and I was on an endorphine high, talking and dancing like I was on speed. Our bus left a dark parking lot near Union Station around midnight, and I was somehow supposed to sleep. (Have you ever tried to sleep overnight on a bus? Bring flip flops. Your feet will swell so big that your normal shoes feel like they're made of fire ants.)

I drifted in and out of consciousness until 3am, when we stopped in Philly. And then the bus broke down. The driver couldn't close the back door or something silly, so for 45 minutes, he'd run the engine for 10 minutes, shut it down, and try again. Finally we decided we couldn't sleep through that anymore.

"You have The Walking Dead on your computer, right?" Sam asked.

"This is probably a bad idea, but oh well," I said.

We pulled out my laptop and shared a set of earbuds for the episode. Miraculously, the bus started moving then and everyone else went back to sleep, but at 4am the deserted streets of Philadelphia looked eerily like the streets of Atlanta that weren't inhabited by rabid zombies. We were tense from being creeped out in a cramped space where we had to be vewwy vewwy quiet.

The characters were wandering around the woods when one (useless) woman got separated from the group. Some person came at her with his arms outstretched. I stared at him for a full five seconds before my exhausted brain realized what he was: A ZOMBIE!

I yelped. Loud.

Everyone on the bus rose out of their seats and started snarling like zombies.

But somehow I'm still alive.

I must have an overactive imagination.

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