Zombie Apocalypse? Bob Wire’s Got Your Back

By BOB WIRE

Is anyone else burned out on the zombie thing?

The mythical undead flesh-munchers come back into vogue about once every generation, usually peaking with a couple of opportunistic movies and some improved Halloween costumes. This time around, though, the trend simply refuses to die. Kind of like, well, you know…

The latest gasoline on the fire is this week’s real-life report of some miscreant in Miami chewing the face off a homeless guy. This story, coupled with a report of cannibalism in Maryland and a spate of mail-delivered body parts in Canada, has pumped new life into the silly zombie trend.

It should have ended with Zombieland, one of the funniest movies of the last ten years. It’s my favorite Woody Harrelson flick, filled with the black humor I love. And it doesn’t skimp on the gore. My wife Barb couldn’t even get past the opening credits. But my teenaged son Rusty and I have seen it several times, usually while eating gooey pizza (“Look, Dad, I’m eating your duodenum!”).

But the trend keeps lurching on. One reason is that this time around there’s the internet to help buoy this dopey fad, which instead of spiraling down the drain, just keeps ebbing and flowing like a rancid tide of putrid flesh and slick entrails.

There’s even a Missoula business that manufactures and sells “zombie weapons.” While zombies aren’t real, the 400 scoots it’ll cost you for a zombie-killing sword surely are. People are dumb enough to buy anything. Case in point: Justin Bieber has sold 15 million albums.

Bob Wire Versus the Zombies

"I hope you've been practicing your badminton swing,honey!"

It’s not that I’m immune to the repulsive thrill of the zombie culture. Hell, I’m part of the generation of kids that was scared shitless by George Romero’s original zombie movie, Night of the Living Dead, when it hit drive-in screens in 1968. I watched it from the back of a station wagon and the movie left its bloody mark on me.

My grandmother Byrdona had been roped into babysitting a clutch of neighborhood brats, and in a horribly misguided attempt to put the fear of God into us, took us all to the see the unspeakably gory flick. We got some fear put in us, all right, but not of the theistic variety. Even in stark black and white, Night of the Living Dead was full of the most terrifying images we’d ever seen. I was only eight years old, and that very night my bed-wetting career enjoyed a major resurgence. It got so bad I even went into my sister’s room and wet her bed.

I couldn’t sleep without a light on until my sophomore year in college. My fellow brats were similarly scarred, growing up to follow careers in meat packing, eel farming, sausage making, and selling bait. One kid even wound up working for the IRS.

But I eventually got over it. That’s why it makes no sense to me that the trend’s current go-round has such legs. The recent vampire boom seems to be on the wane, and there hasn’t exactly been a stampede of werewolf movies at the multiplex.

But the friggin’ zombie fascination just. Will. Not. Die.

I’m sure I’m not the first one to point out that simply chewing another man’s face off does not make one a zombie. For crying out loud, the face is probably the least nutritious part of the human body. A real zombie would probably go straight for a vitamin-rich organ like the liver or the heart. If I were a zombie, I would first check to see if my victim was clutching a sandwich. Organ meats? Eww. (Fried chicken gizzards don’t count.)

And if I were forced to choose an organ to snack on, it would definitely be the pineal gland. It’s a little hard to get to, located in the center of the brain where the two hemispheres connect, but worth the extra trouble. The pineal gland is believed to produce Dimethyltryptamine, a psychedelic substance that is thought to cause hallucinations of the “near death experience” variety.

Not to get too philosophical, but if a zombie has a near death experience, what would that mean? Zombies are already dead. Or, more accurately, UN-dead. So would gnawing on a plump pineal gland jolt a zombie out of his purgatory status and make him alive again? Or fully dead? You got me. But for a zombie, it would definitely be worth a shot.

So have your fun, zombie-heads. The Zombie Apocalypse is not upon us. A Led Zeppelin reunion tour is more likely to happen a Zombie Apocalypse. Surely this trend will eventually fade away again, only to be replaced by some other monster/fantasy/costume fad that will capture the imaginations of the easily-amused general public

I’ll be right here, monitoring the action. With the lights on.

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Wanna laugh ’til your sides hurt? These ought to do the trick: Parenting Sucks. And I Love It., For Writing Inspiration, Head to Missoula’s Bark Park, and The Guitar That Saved My Soul.

   Check out all of Bob Wire’s posts in his blogarchive.

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Bob Wire will eat your braaaaaaains.

Think of it as Gonzo meets Hee Haw: Missoula honky tonker Bob Wire holds forth on a unique life filled with music, parenthood, drinking, sports, working, marriage, drinking, and just navigating the twisted wreckage of American culture. Plus occasional grooming tips. Like the best humor, it’s not for everyone. Sometimes silly, sometimes surreal, sometimes savage, Bob Wire demands that you possess a good sense of humor and an open mind.

Bob Wire has written more than 500 humor columns for a regional website over the last five years, and his writing has appeared in the Missoulian, the Missoula Independent, Montana Magazine, and his own Bob Wire Has a Point Blog. He is a prolific songwriter, and has recorded three CDs of original material with his Montana band, the Magnificent Bastards. His previous band, the Fencemenders, was a popular fixture at area clubs. They were voted Best Local Band twice by the Missoula Independent readers poll. Bob was voted the Trail 103.3/Missoulian Entertainer of the Year in 2007.

You can hear his music on his website, or download it at iTunes, Amazon, and other online music providers. Follow @Bob_Wire on Twitter.