Becoming undead not without its hazards
You know, I was going to write about the election coming up on Tuesday, but I’m ready for it all to be done. Regular readers know which direction I’m leaning, and while I’d love to give you an impassioned case for the president’s re-election — if nothing else than to poke the neocons around here with a metaphorical stick — I’m fairly confident my argument isn’t going to ruin Blount County for Mr. Romney.
Besides, I’m exhausted by this bitter, bitter campaign. I’m ready for it to be done, because I’m sure that whomever wins, life will go on as it always does. Sure, some folks will have you believe that a vote for the wrong man will send the nation sliding over the precipice into apocalyptic oblivion, but let’s be realistic: The sun will come up on Wednesday, the sky will still be blue and we’ll all still be Americans. Let’s start acting like it.
Besides, there’s one menace we can all agree on, and it doesn’t vote for either party. (Unless that party happens to be dispensing free brains.)
I’m talking about zombies. The undead. And as you can see from the accompanying photo, I spent Halloween as one of them. After being bested by “Carl’s Angels” — three colleagues who dressed to please the publisher, Carl Esposito — I was victorious in The Daily Times Halloween costume contest this year, and have thus decided to go out on top. Unless it’s a special occasion (more special than your average Halloween, I mean), I’m retiring the zombie costume. Two years in a row is enough. As much as I love it, zombifying myself has its downside:
(a) Leaking guts. To get that truly undead disemboweled look, I crafted a fake stomach (complete with floating dismembered baby doll and a faux monkey skull) to go along with my artificial intestines. As much as I tried to prevent leakage, my guts managed to spring a few small leaks as the day went on, and now it appears as if I’ve butchered a deer behind my desk. Thank the Lord for a chair pad, or the bosses would be taking a carpet-cleaning bill out of my paycheck.
(b) Speaking of leaks ... they gave me quite a scare when I went to take one in the middle of the day. Picture this: I’m standing at the urinal, going about my business, when I happen to look down and see the bowl is filled with red. My mind immediately went to kidney stones or prostate cancer before I realized my overhanging guts were simply dripping, giving my urine a blood-like tint.
(c) Like real zombies, fake ones tend to flake and slough. Peeling skin hangs from the cheeks and drifts to the floor ... or in my case, into the ice bucket from which everyone filled their cups during the company dinner. Granted, I plucked it quickly, and I’m pretty sure I got it all, but my apologies to any co-worker who might have taken a sip yesterday and pulled a fake part of me from between their teeth.
(d) Transforming back to normal wasn’t quite as easy this year, either. I suspect I was misled by the online “turn-yourself-into-a-zombie” tutorial that assured me it was safe to use Elmer’s glue in the absence of liquid theatrical latex. Small wonder part of my chin came off as I was removing my fake ripped cheek at the end of the day. Yes, I have a tendency to forego common sense when it comes to achieving that truly authentic undead look.
But hey — I won the contest. I satisfied my craving to take part in the zombie apocalypse that has yet to happen. And I like to think that the experience leaves me a bit more prepared than the average individual when — not if — it does occur.
Because it’s coming. Sooner rather than later, if you believe the Obama haters out there who are convinced a second term will herald an apocalypse of some kind or another.
Either way, I’m ready — to survive or to blend in. Whatever it takes.
Steve Wildsmith is the Weekend editor for The Daily Times. Contact him at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or at 981-1144.