Chapters 1 and 2

Chapter 1

Even living in this crapartment — if you can call it living — and working in a minimum wage, dead end job, I hate to complain. So why am I “blogging”? I don’t really know, except I really don’t have anybody to talk to about this stuff and this seems like I’m talking to somebody who knows how to listen without interrupting and changing the subject to something they wanna talk about — like their own life. Haha! Yeah, like counseling, but without paying $100 for an hour and getting only 50 minutes. I don’t have a “blog” name yet — hell, does it hafta have a name? Besides, maybe nobody else is even gonna read it. But maybe they will. Maybe they’ll tell their friends and I’ll decide to have a contest to pick a name. And maybe I’m just talkin’ to myself. But ya know — I don’t effin' care.

It’s not like I’m saying my life is more interesting than yours. Hardly. I’m one of those people who puts on a solemn face and comes to your house — or wherever — to collect your dead loved ones and haul them down to the cremating company of their choice. Obviously, they don’t make the choice right then ’cause they’re dead. But sometime before that moment, they thought about being dead, and if they cared about what was gonna happen to their body or how it would affect their family, they made arrangements. If they didn’t care enough to plan ahead, then we might be the company of your choice. Especially if your loved one was not-so-loved, or money’s an issue, because our rates are the lowest around.

Just so you know, it’s pretty obvious when a pickup is a not-so-loved one, but it doesn’t matter to me. I figure, hey, it’s cheaper than a funeral, and it puts food on my table with a lot less manual labor and stress than most people in my position have to deal with. So I shouldn’t complain.

The company I work for calls itself “Hot Times”. I know, kinda cheesy, right? But you’d be surprised how many people will click on the link or open the envelope and check it out when it says “Hot Times” instead of something like “The Poseidon Fellowship” or “Ashes to Ashes”. It’s not a bad company to work for — just kinda tight with the cash. They don’t offer any kind of a benefits package, and the hours aren’t even predictable. There’s a call list, so you have to wait till your name is at the top. But if the people higher on the list than you aren’t available — or maybe they just ignore certain late night calls like some people I know (you might be surprised how many people die in the middle of the night) — then your name gets to the top pretty often, and if you’re like me, you go whenever they call. But I’m not complaining ’cause this is my choice.

Still, if I had the right kind of education, or thought I could pass a background check, I might be working at a morgue. You know, like in a hospital or for the city. The pay would be better, there’d be a schedule, and I could take time off without losing money. Not sick time. Zombies don’t need sick time.

Oh, that’s right, I’m a zombie, but I’ve learned that’s not the best way to start a conversation. The whites of people’s eyes start showing all the way around their irises or they get jumpy and remember things they have to go do or they just run off screaming, “AAAAAAAaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!” You’d think they’d be curious. You know, say something like, “Wow! You don’t act like a zombie.” Or, “OMG! You don’t look anything like the zombies on TV. You look normal.” Which is true if you compare me to redheads and albinos. I’m kinda pale. But other than that, I’m a pretty average guy. Besides, how does anybody know how a zombie acts? Movies? Right, because those are real.

I don’t care what those online zombie “experts” say, either. The truth is, zombies eat brains. Gross. So gross. But not guts and stuff. Those are even grosser. Why brains? Who knows? Serotonin? Endorphins? Everybody knows if you go too long without enough oxygen, you suffer brain damage. You probably never thought about it, but blood circulation when you’re undead is slower than ketchup out of a new bottle. So maybe we eat brains just to have some fresh brain cells. How should I know? I’m not a brain doctor. But I have tried other things — a #3 animal style, no pickles, for instance. The problem with that turned out to be my intestines. If undead blood flow is slow, zombie digestion is constant constipation. But not if you eat brains. Go figure.

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be human brains. Bird brains, rat brains, cat brains — I know I’m getting into some sensitive, how-dare-you-abuse-our-furry-friends stuff here, but they all work and they’re easier to get, especially in big cities or out on farms, only they aren’t as filling so you have to eat a lot more of them, and like I said, it’s gross.

But when you’re a zombie, you have this craving for brains. Nothing else will satisfy, and fresh is best. So how can you get them?

—Work is calling. Gotta go. I’ll get back to this soon. I promise.

Chapter 2

That guy musta weighed 350 pounds! Normally it only takes two of us to wrap up the body and wheel it out to the van, but sometimes we have to call for backup. I hate when that happens because not only do we have to wait at the pickup, but then we have to argue about who has to ride in the back when we’re done. Nobody ever volunteers. But you do what you gotta do.

So. Where do zombies get brains?

Did you know you can actually buy brains? Calf brains. Decent serving size.They’re considered a delicacy, for crap sake. Of course, that means they’re expensive. Not very practical for a minimum wage guy like me. Then there’s always the small critter route, as I’ve mentioned, but that involves setting traps in high class places like sewers and public bathrooms and KFC kitchens, or being really quick on your feet. You might not have to be so quick if you went after people’s pets, but… they’re people’s pets. (Are you thinking that shouldn’t make a difference to a zombie? Well, it might not to some zombies, but it does to me.) Or, you could always kill people. Like in the movies, right? There you are, shambling after some poor asshole who somehow can’t outrun you, and then what? Drag him to the ground and pry his skull open with your undead fingers? Well, maybe, if you used to climb rocks.

Imagine that. Not the rock climbing part. The killing part.

First, let me clear something up. Not all zombies are slow and stupid. As far as I can tell, the slow ones got that way because they weren’t very smart in the first place and they haven’t been eating the right stuff. Like I said, the longer your brain goes without oxygen… Unfortunately for them, it doesn’t seem to be reversible. On the plus side for you, they’re very easy to destroy. Cricket bat to the head.

We’ve all seen it in the movies, but chances are, most of us have never actually killed anybody. So now try to imagine that. There’s a lot more to think about than you probably think.

Who are you gonna kill? Someone you know? Unlikely, unless you have some serious enemies, and they might be tricky to get close to. Not to mention they might have some angry friends who’ll be looking for you after. With guns. Or bats. So you’ll probably have to choose a stranger. Serial killers seem to like homeless bums and prostitutes. Sometimes, when they get caught, they claim God told them to because those people don’t deserve to live, but I think really they just figured no one would miss them. Maybe that’s the way to go. But prostitutes usually have some badass pimp watching out for them, and there’s a better than even chance they’re on drugs or alcohol. Same with homeless bums. The drugs and alcohol. Not the pimp. Not good brain food. So maybe that’s not such a great choice. Just remember, whoever you pick, you need to find somebody who won’t fight back too hard — hopefully someone with no self-defense skills because even if you’re a normal looking zombie like me, who’s not slow and stupid, a roundhouse kick to the head can end you. So can a really bad headbutt. Ultimately, considering all this, you’re pretty much limited to old people, cripples, and children. Culling the herd, man, culling the herd.

Yeah, I can hear your righteous indignation. Chill. I’m not done yet.

Where are you gonna do it? At the mall? An old folks home? Disneyland? Too many witnesses. Too big a chance the crowd will turn into a mob and bring you to a full and complete stop. That leaves back alleys, national parks, and porno theaters. Hey, maybe you can check your traps while you’re there.

How are you gonna do it? Will you go for the long distance projectile type kill? Were you a hunter, sniper, or Monday hater? Or will you shove a 6” blade between a couple ribs, up close and personal, scraping against bone, plunging into your meal’s beating heart and holding it there while the pulsing muscle sends little seismic squeezes up the handle into your arm until it doesn’t anymore? Maybe you’ll wrap your hands or a rope or a chain around a throat and choke off your victim’s air while they thrash around, trying to claw you, push you, throw you off. Good luck with that. It might be easier to bash ’em in the head with a hammer or a two by four or a freakin’ big rock. Have you ever heard the sound a skull makes when it smacks into something harder than it is? It’s sickening. Weirdly satisfying, but sickening. Then there’s the side effect of a crushed skull: mooshed brains dripping on the ground. Kinda like runny jelly. As if they weren’t gross enough already.

My point with all this graphic shit is this: Will you really be able to do it? Personally, I can’t make myself step on any bug big enough to make a juicy crunching sound and leave a little puddle of splop. Like those ginormous cockroaches, and I hate cockroaches. They gimme the creeps. So kill a person? Sure, no problem.

I’m not asking for your sympathy, but what would you do in my situation? I’m just trying to help you see the problems zombies have to deal with just to get a meal. Besides, I’ve found my solution, and I don’t have to kill anybody.

Man, I’m starving. The room is starting to spin. I’m gonna go eat. Later, dudes.