Friday, January 30, 2009

Fueling the Fire

I know I promised more excerpts from Dead in the Family, but I thought it was important to share a breaking news article with you, which you can click HERE.

"Zombies! Run for your lives!"? Bad enough. "Nazi zombies", much, much worse.

We have friends in Austin. The message for them should be "Zombies, run for your lives!", as this attempt to further demonize us will no doubt lead to even more anti-zombie violence in Texas. Notice how the article talks about the crime of vandalizing the road sign, but makes no mention of the message being an anti-zombie hate crime? That's because--guess what--there's no such thing as a hate crime against zombies!

I received an email stating that there was a white van parked about a half mile down from the road sign, but I have no way of verifying whether or not that story is true.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dead in the Family

Another fifty people have joined the Wall in the past week...we've got enough for a zombie walk!

Did anyone catch the program Dead in the Family that ran on one of the news networks the other night? It was a profile of three families with who have dealt with the death and return of a child. Two of the families did not take their zombie child back while the third did. The program was fairly well done, and I think there was a lot to be learned from one the people profiled had to say, no matter which side of the issue you come down on.

I'm going to transcribe excerpts from the interviews over the next few days.

Dead in the Family, Excerpt One

The first excerpt was conducted with the "Joneses", "Steve" and "Erin" (not their real name), from Verona, Wisconsin. The Joneses look to be in their early forties, moderately well off (He has an IT job in Madison, she has a local state job). Their sixteen year old son "Rick" was killed in a car crash and returned as a zombie the next day. The interview is conducted in their house, which looks to be a comfortable upper middle class suburban home. They have another boy, "Steven Jr.", age 13. The camera occasionally pans to show him tossing a ball with a large golden retriever in the back yard. The woman conducting the interview is never shown and the camera remains fixed on the couple except for these few shots of the boy and his dog.

How did your son die?

Steve: Rick was killed in a car accident, along with two other boys, his best friends. They were on their way to a party. (pauses). Alcohol was involved.

Was Rick driving?

Steve: No, one of the other boys was. Josh. All three were drinking, though. (Pauses)He and Rick were co-captains of the school's wrestling team.

(His wife, Erin has begun to cry)

When did Rick come back?

Steve:(With irritation) That's the wrong term. I hate it when people use that term.

I'm sorry. What word do you mean?

Steve: "Come back." Rick didn't "come back". Rick left the moment he and his friends hit the parked car.

I'm not sure I understand.

Steve: Look, there's no such thing as "coming back". When someone dies, they die. Whatever those...those...zombies are, it isn't someone's deceased child returning from the dead. It is something else entirely. I think you people have to stop planting this false hope in people's minds.

Something else? What?

Steve: (Folds arms. Erin is drying her eyes with tissues) I've got no idea. All I know is that it isn't our children. And when you say "coming back", it makes us out to be the monsters, like we abandoned our children or something. But that thing was not our son.

Erin: We knew as soon as we saw him.

Could you tell us about the first time you saw him after the car crash?

Steve: It was the day after the crash. The call we'd been dreading came from the hospital the day after the crash, and the woman that called us said the same thing you said; "Your son has come back". Like we were supposed to be happy about it, or something. They told us to come down to get him. So we...

Excuse me. We?

Steve: Yes. Erin and I.

You didn't bring your other son. Steven Jr.?

Steve: No. Why would we?

Erin: He...the body had been damaged in the accident.

Steve: We didn't want our son to have nightmares for the rest of his life. Which he'll probably have, anyway. When we got to the hospital they brought us to this room in the basement. The zombie was there. They'd put a hospital gown on it.

Erin: His arm was broken. And his face...

Steve: They'd cleaned the body up some, but not entirely. (Pauses) I think it is disgraceful, what these people put us through. Bad enough that we have to live through the trauma of our son's death--now they want us to have to see that...that mockery of him? And they barely even clean it up first? It isn't right. It isn't right at all. (Pauses). They're lucky we don't sue them. I'm thinking that we should.

What went through your mind when you saw the zombie?

Steve: That it wasn't my son. That it wasn't my son at all.

I'll post the second part of the excerpt with "The Jones" in a few days.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sticks and Stones

A comment Annette (and why aren't you on the Wall with the 352 other zombies and friends of zombies, Annette? Join us...join us...) made the other day on the yeti blog reminded me of a blog topic I wanted to write about.

Why is it whenever there is a stofy about zombies on a television show, that the newscaster always wants to make some smarmy joke at the end of the story? I realize that they have to put a bow-tie on their stories (how else would we have closure?) but do they have to be so coindescending and insulting?

Here are a few I've written down in the past few weeks You can imagine the air quotes over the appropriate words:

After a story about a zombie-fronted punk band: "Well, Jane, I guess I'm surprised they are such fans of live music."

After a story a group of teens who cast a zombie in their youtube video serial: "That won't be making the jump to the Lifetime network.

After a story a group of teens who who created Zombie Zine, a magazine about zombie culture: "Would you call that a lifestyle magazine, Marianne?"

Look, I like a good joke or pun as much as the next dead guy. If Karen or Phoebe or someone said one of these, I'd probably laugh. I just can't stand these fake plastic people, most of whom probably couldn't stand to be in the same room as a zombie.

And then there's this comment, the absolute worst, that ran on a local news station after a story about two zombies hunted down and reterminated in Pennsylvania(their murderers have yet to be identified): "That's life!"

As a great man once said, common sense isn't so common.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Attack of the Yeti

Global warming seems to have given Oakvale a hall pass because we've had three solid days of snow. What, you might ask, is the favorite pastime of differently biotic youth when it is snowing outside? Making snow zombies? Cross-country skiing?

Nope. Snowball fight.

Snowball fights are pretty fun when you A). Don't get tired B). Don't get hurt and C). Don't get cold. We had pretty much the whole Haunted House crew out in the Oxoboxo woods bombarding each other. Tayshawn is pretty darn good with a snowball; he must have pasted me a dozed or so times.

The fight lasted for hours. One of the funniest things I think I've ever seen is when Kevin and I took refuge behind a snowbank to ambush Popeye and Tayshawn, only it wasn't a snowbank--it was Mal. He'd must have been hiding there for hours waiting for someone top come by, and when he rose up out of the snow, frost and ice clinging to him like a second skin, we were so startled we kind of just both flopped on our backs. Kevin had just enough time to scream "Yeti!" before Mal dropped boulder-sized snowballs on us. Mal paid the price later, because he's so huge all you have to do is throw a snowball in the same zip code where he's standing to hit him.

I guess it is supposed to stop snowing sometime later today, just in time to get the roads cleared so those of us that go to school can get there. Joy.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Word About Adam

A number of you have asked via blog commentary how Adam was doing, something that I'm sure he and all of us here at the Haunted House greatly appreciate.

I'm not going to lie to you. Things are really, really difficult right now. I've been asked to respect his family's privacy so I won't go into any further detail.

But we all remain hopeful. The ability to hope is perhaps the most powerful ability that humanity, living or dead, has, after our ability to love. Exercise both abilities frequently.