Zombies and Their Functions; Finally, an Exploration.

I consider zombies quite often. Even more so now that I’ve started watching a certain zombie-based drama whose title I won’t mention due to my ignorance of the intricacies of copyright law. Anyway, I realize that zombies are somewhat overdone. The idea of reanimated carrion feeding on the living has been the basis for horror, drama, comedy…even romance. They’ve been anthropomorphized. Their plight has been explored in various shows, books and movies. Find the human behind the monster. There are zombie stories to play to any sort of mood or rationale a human might have. The idea of shooting humans with no repercussions is tantalizing to some, I’m sure. As is the idea that society crumbles due to mankind’s stupidity. As overdone as zombies are, I’d like to sort a few things out in my own head regarding the “living dead”. Seeing as how you can just stop reading if you’d like, I’ll proceed without begging your leave.

Fant’sying myself a storyteller, I’m intrigued by what I see as the “evolution” of the zombie story. When I was younger my father regaled me with a tale of witch doctors in some far off place. I can’t remember where he said it was anymore. Somewhere that voodoo is practiced regularly, I remember he said that much at least. His statement was that the voodoo priest would pronounce a curse on someone. Then he’d bide his time. When the moment was right he’d place a bit of some special powder somewhere in the Cursed’s home and again, bide his time. Eventually the victim would touch the powder, which would be transmitted to the blood by way of the skin, and appear to die. The person would be buried for a time and then, when the priest finished a third bout of biding his time, he’d order an exhumation. The victim would, according to dad, be alive but basically brain dead, capable of carrying out simple tasks but not much else. I imagine that at some point someone ordered one of these “zombies” to gnaw on someone and tear out his guts and the story made it around the world and now people fantasize about such an horrid occurrence. I suppose many surmise the premise is a way to make a lot of money. This seems to be true. No matter how many iterations emerge, the same basic tale is told to audiences who could themselves be deemed zombies. Only these moan the word “chaaaaoooosss” instead of “braaaaiiinnnsss”.

Don’t misunderstand. I do not deride or ridicule these people without deriding and ridiculing myself. I spent a year in a combat zone and it was the closest I’ve come to a “zombie apocalypse” in my life. Surprisingly, despite the ever-present threat of death that came from all directions in all types of ways, I wasn’t ever stressed. Scared, perhaps, on occasion, and I suppose that’s a type of stress, but the solution was always simple. If things are exploding, hide. If someone shoots at us, shoot back. Follow the truck in front of you and trust the man behind you. There was never a thought about paying the electric bill or where the grocery money would come from. I didn’t have to mow the lawn. I just had to survive. And for some reason this was less stressful to me than are the daily social interactions required in the peaceful world. This, I think, is why the zombie apocalypse appeals to me so much. The stress of being chased by monsters is less to me than the stress of paying the bills or having the car fixed or finding a suitable civilian barber that understands that a military style “high and tight” haircut doesn’t include a bit of spikeable fluff just above the forehead. I yearn for zombies because their arrival signals the return of the peace of just surviving. Plus all that looting…I’d find a fortress and stock it with the most amazing things I could find, all free for the taking. So. I’m ready. Bring on the zombies.

And now we come to the problems of zombies. Just a couple of things I’ve noticed and so far I’ve never come across an explanation in book, TV or movie form. Neither have I ever discussed this with anyone. We all know zombies eat. They have to for some reason. They must fuel their rotting stomachs which somehow have the capability to process whatever they ingest and burn the calories contained within. I can accept this. If a virus can reanimate dead brains I suppose it can cause stomachs to contract. But, the human body, so I hear, is mostly water. This water must be replenished regularly to keep the blood flowing and the body moving. I’ve never seen a zombie drink. I’ve seen zombies walk through water. Maybe those drank a bit. They probably did. I’ll give them that. Maybe nobody cares enough to address the issue. And they really don’t have to. Zombies drinking isn’t dramatic enough to be any sort of movie scene. I’ll leave that one alone. What I can’t ignore, however, is the defecation problem. Unless the virus is so efficient that it uses every bit of detritus zombies consume, we must conclude that defecation is a fact of life (or death?) even for the recently reanimated. Where do they do this? Why have I never seen a zombie story character complaining because he just stepped in undead doo doo? Why have I never seen a zombie stop mid shuffle, drop his drawers and drop a deuce? Logically, they probably don’t go to that much trouble. They’re already rotting and filthy. They probably have every bloodborne disease known to man due to their lack of discrimination in dining. They haven’t, to my knowledge, formed an undead FDA. The living wouldn’t submit to any sort of fitness for zombie consumption testing and stamping even if they did. So most likely, if they defecate (which I maintain they must), they do it like cattle. They go when they have to go. This doesn’t provide a problem with the urination question. Their clothes are as nasty as their rotting flesh. Any stain could be a urine stain. The defecation, however, presents a more pressing dilemma. If they don’t drop their pants to do it, if they have to do it as often as a living person (I admit that I don’t have any theory about how often they poop, but let’s just say they have to “go” at least once a day), then within a week there should be a sizeable clumpy stain on the seat and legs of at least some of their pants. Granted it would be ever changing. Clumps would dry in stages and fall off. Some would be jolted loose by their shambling walk. But these facts just contribute to the problem. Where there are zombies, there should be piles of poop. Some day someone should address this idea in much more detail than I really care to.

And so, while this is fresh in your mind, I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…consider whether reading this was really worth the time it took you.

A don’t…dwell on the time you’ve wasted. You’ll never get it back. No sense wasting more.

Buttons and Tubs: Everyday Items or Philosophical Conundrums?

I strive, on occasion, to assign deep philosophical meaning to rather mundane or pointless analogies. It’s a challenge of sorts. Am I able to look at a given farce and find that it may, in some small way, be transformed or infused with meaning, however menial whatever meaning may be found might be? Case in point, I recently became aware that buttons spelled backward is snottub. This is utterly meaningless philosophically. Literally, it has a certain humorous aspect. A tub full of snot. Or perhaps a tub made of snot. Ha ha! Yes. So. This is insufficient. I came up with nothing. Who could philosophize about that? Perhaps Plato? Socrates? Sadly, no. These men are long dead. This realization caused my spirit to collapse under the pressure I’d placed upon it.

For many long hours my spirit and I pondered our quandary, he dejectedly, I disinterestedly, until finally we realized that by removing the S, perhaps a breakthrough could be made. Button backward is nottub. Or not tub. This could be seen philosophically because it works on two levels. Button backward is both not tub phonetically and it is literally not tub. Buttons and tubs are fairly opposite but there are similarities. Both items work to hold something back. In the case of tubs it is most generally liquid. Buttons usually work together to enclose seams that enshroud flesh thereby holding back immodesty. Both have means of disengagement that dispel whatever substance is caught within their confines. And yet they are nothing alike. When wishing for a bath, one would not logically go for a button. Neither would one reach for a tub when wishing to conceal one’s flesh or create a barrier against the cold. Although, the argument could be made that a tub could be used as a barrier against the cold in a pinch, but such an arrangement would be most uncomfortable and inconceivably inefficient.

These musings also appear meaningless until you apply the idea that the tub is good and the button is evil. They war tirelessly one with another, the tub filling to cleanse the flesh, the button becoming stuck in its hole thereby refusing to bare the flesh for washing. And yet they both serve the purpose of making the flesh socially acceptable, working together to clean and conceal. In this wise they represent the idea that there is a bit of evil in good and a bit of good in evil. In deference to my father’s abhorrence of such an idea I concede that I speak merely of fleshly beings. In no way do I intend to imply that God has evil within him. Nor do I feel the Devil has a bit of good within him. I simply surmise that even when we, as flawed mortals, attempt to be “good” it is most generally not without at least a slight selfish slant. Conversely, when we set out to do evil, do we not at some point in plotting our misdeeds have a sudden, no matter how slight, twinge of self loathing as we come face to face with our moral reprobation?

Having succeeded in my goal of assigning deep meaning to the most meaningless analogy I happened to conjure I shall gleefully bid you Adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…remember that button backward is not tub the next time you do a good deed.

A don’t…forget the lesson of the button and the tub upon your next foray into the darkest recesses of your psyche.

Highly Fragranced Philosophy

I’m incensed. Or at least, I was. I’m over it now, but the cause of my initial incensement was the term “incensed” itself. People have told me the ideas I have are rather bizarre. Being myself, I’m unaware to what extent that supposition is accurate. I suppose it would vary person to person. I’ll explain why the term incensed incensed me and you may judge for yourself the severity of my bizarrity. If you even care to bother to do so.

I was lying in bed the other night, thinking. Earlier we had burned some incense in the living room. I postulate that this is the reason it came readily to mind as I was drifting in the haze between wakefulness and slumber. It occurred to me that incense is a word that, in addition to referring to the fragranced sticks I had recently burned, could be modified to end with the letter “d” and thereby refer to being angry. This thought incensed me for two reasons. First, that the English language would suffer a word to mean “good smelling stuff” and “extremely angry”. These are two quite opposite things and I picture a very drunk Mr. Webster sitting at his desk. Fresh track marks on the insides of his elbows glow in the firelight as he takes his quill in hand. Spread before him on the blonde oak desktop is a bit of parchment, pristine but for the capital I heading the top of the page. Anticipatory sweat beads on his forehead as he thinks of the wild night of dictionary writing ahead of him. His stomach flutters as the quill approaches the page and he struggles through the fog of alcohol and drugs to remember where he left off. Oh, yeah! He writes the word Incense: and then he scratches out the definition; a bit of wood you burn that smells good. The intoxicants coursing through his system incense him. That’s it? NO! Nah, that isn’t enough. It needs…well…I mean, its just a noun. Maybe it could be more perjorative. Why, it can’t even conjugate. I’ll fix this. After all, I am the only dictionary writer in the Colonies. It’s practically my duty to give this little noun a bit of attitude. I mean, most colonists don’t even know what incense is. It’s so…Eastern. And so, beneath Incense he writes Incensed: to be extremely mad. He sighs a contented sigh and moves on to whatever is after Incensed alphabetically. Second, I was incensed because in my state of being nearly asleep I became confused as to whether I was even correct in thinking that incensed meant angry. Was I merely inventing my own language like some modern day Webster drunk on lack of sleep?

I fell asleep worried and incensed. I awoke the next morning not thinking much of it. I made it through a full day of work without thinking of it at all. But, having a day off today and being possessed of the idea that I should make some bread, my hands became busy as my mind sat idle. Many thoughts crossed my brain but none stuck until my wife began making a deal of the fact that the incense sticks weren’t burning so well. As my floury hands kneaded the warm, supple dough, my brain began to hint at becoming incensed again. I had to know whether or not I was mistaken. I set my dough aside to rise and pulled up a dictionary on the old cell phone. Sure enough, incensed can mean extremely mad. I didn’t understand why. It really doesn’t seem to make sense on the surface. A sweet smelling burning stick and anger really don’t fit together in such a way as to share a root word. Or so I thought. As I continued to take my dough through the processes of rises and punch downs, divides and rests and preheats, I discovered some connections. To be honest, I’m a bit embarrassed to present these to anyone reading as the symbology seems so simple in retrospect, but realizing this is how I came to be completely over being incensed at the word incensed so here I outline the thought process that freed me from incensement.

On first hearing the word incensed, one might reasonably believe it means to have one’s person inundated with the smoke of burning incense to the point that one emits the odor for a time after the inundation has ended. Or it could logically be construed to mean that someone had been coated in an aromatic substance. The connection between these connotations and anger still eluded me. Until my wife opened the door to let the dog out and from the corner of my eye I glimpsed the end of a burning, sandalwood scented stick on the counter top glow bright red as a puff of wind blew a streamer of ash from the tiny coal. Anger burns, I thought, so there’s a connection, but, in my case, anyway, it burns bright and hot. It flares and quickly burns itself out consuming its oxygen and fuel supply in a blast of tense feelings and ill conceived actions. It is usually regretted later and it flares. It doesn’t smolder or smoke. That doesn’t quite resemble incense. I was washing my hands when it occurred to me that perhaps incense is a fitting analogy for anger after all. In my mind it goes like this: The anger of incensement is that deep seated anger that, for those of us possessed of a rational mind, is reserved for the most heinous or egregious assaults against our morality or sensibility. It smolders, hiding from view under a layer of ash and emitting thin streamers of smoke. Just enough to keep an ember alive. The sweet scent of the smoke is our attempt to mask our shame at holding on to anger; an action known to be detrimental to the mind as well as the body. The ash is the smile that hides the gritted teeth and seals the angry words inside until that puff of wind casts it off. The ember glows, the smoke disappears as the fire begins to more efficiently consume its fuel…

And with that I will bid you Adieu…and a don’t

Adieu…look into the intricacies and inconsistencies of the English language. A question I enjoy asking of people: If the teacher from his textbook taught, has not the preacher from the scriptures praught? Etymology is an interesting, if fairly useless field.

A don’t…misconstrue my portrayal of Mr. Webster as a drug riddled alcoholic to be representative of my grasp of history. I’m sure he was a noble man.

The Unseen Benefits of Goat Owning

Hello again. Or initial hello. Whichever is appropriate. I’m thinking I’ll get some goats. Eventually. First I need to buy a house that is sufficiently land adjacent. And most likely outside the city limits. Also, I’ll have to check the ordinances and whatnot. I’m still sorting out the details. Details such as where exactly such a parcel exists within my price range. But while I search and, I ashamedly admit, perform CPR on my credit score, I jump ahead of myself to examine the benefits and pleasures of goat ownership.

I’m fairly convinced that multiple goat ownership is much more beneficial to the goat owner as well as the goat(s) than is owning merely one goat. The well being of the goat(s) being my primary concern, owning more than one goat severely reduces goat loneliness. But, too many goats can overpower a man. I suspect they probably get that hive mind thing going. Something akin to mistreated mine workers all somehow striking back at the sadistic, money hungry mine CEO’s (or whoever is in charge of mines) at the same time without any prior planning and violently making their plight known in no uncertain terms before coming back to their senses in puddles of blood with strands of intestine hanging from their fingertips and giving each other that Look. You certainly know the one I mean. The one where they’re all staring at each other as slowly it dawns on them that they’ve both venerated and condemned themselves in one fell psychotic swoop and they kind of smile and laugh and embrace one another. They apparently take comfort in each other’s gore slicked chests heaving one against the other. Maybe some of them cry. I think goats can do that. I don’t mean the crying part. They have those abominably hard skulls scantily padded with hair so coarse it could be used to strip paint from barns. And the gut stomping hooves. Two is the magic number, I think. They won’t get lonely yet they’ll be easy to quell should they ever uprise and I can jump over one without risking landing on the horns of another.

I spoke to some people I work with about the possible dangers of having goats around children. I worry about the headbutting. Someone suggested I get sheep, but I want an animal I can yell at. If the neighbors see me yelling at my goats they’ll just think something like hey, that guy is mad at his goats. However, if I were to be seen yelling at sheep, the witness would plausibly find me a most undesirable person and label me some sort of jerk.

I surmise goats could potentially be a cult repellent. I imagine myself accosted by men in black armed with pamphlets. I invite them in and suggest we retire to the back porch to enjoy an iced tea. The goats are out of their pen, chewing on the fence posts or trying to eat the driveway. I persuade the cultists to sit and make a show of admiring the beauty of the day. Unexpectedly, in a put on and ridiculously exaggerated hillbilly voice I exclaim “See that goat ov’ ‘ere by the fence? That’s Goat. And t’other goat yonder,” I pause to sip at my tea, set my glass on the wrought iron table and cross my fingers over my belly. I draw a deep breath and say with a sigh “That’s Other Goat.” I then stand suddenly and run bowlegged into the yard screaming “Hey you goat!! Quit eatin’ that fence post now y’hear? Stupid goat! Git yer goat self gone from there Goat!” No stranger to my ways could stand up to that. I guarantee it.

Goat soap. I’ve heard it can be done and I’m intrigued. Gonna try it.

I earlier stated that I worry about the headbutting. However, it occurs to me now that it could have useful applications in the dissuasion of misbehavior among children. When that age old fogeyism “Go to your room!” just doesn’t seem drastic enough, try “Go see the goat!”

And once again I bid you Adieu…and A don’t.

Adieu…consider the wonderflality of goat ownership.

A don’t…ever send your kids to see the goat in anger.

An Intro, Why Not?

I begin my first blog post with a giggle in my throat. This involuntary expression of mirth (which has now vacated my mouth and is one with the life-sustaining gaseousness of which we all must involuntarily partake) comes not from any giddiness on my part due to the fact that, for the first time in my life, I’m “blogging”; rather it stems from the word blog itself. I now participate in an activity whose nominative noun brings to mind some sort of gooey, fantastical creature native to low budget science fiction films or unimaginative novels of the same genre.

That being said and this being my blogging debut, perhaps I should set the stage for whatever readership I may be fortunate enough to enjoy.

Firstly, I refuse to refer to myself as a blogger. This term makes me think of coffee shops, laptops (keep an eye out for future posts about how a laptop makes a good potpal {certainly in no way a drug reference}) and “hipsters”; a label to which I have no particular affinity or aversion, just so we’re clear. However I do not intend to use this blog as a soapbox from which to tout my own personal propaganda or plug my favorite bit of theater (Be warned, however, that if the day ever comes I may use it as a platform from which to plug a novel or perhaps even an internet video fraught, if I do say so myself, with hilarity) or to blast the most abominable politician or political action. This blog is a whimsy meant primarily to help my own (alleged by those close to me) oddly wired brain sort out the thoughts that cause me sudden fits of anger, cynicism or uncontrollable laughter. There may not be another human being in the universe that will find my thoughts, rantings or ramblings the least bit helpful or entertaining. For these reasons I dub my self a “bloggist”. A term that, to me, lends a more technical appearance to what I’ve decided to do. I suppose “blognician” would also be acceptable nomenclature.

Secondly, be forewarned, and this goes for myself as well, if you intend to be a faithful, or even just occasional, reader of my blog; you’ll most likely be offended by something at some point. Bear in mind I hold no one’s ideas against them, so long as they don’t act upon the evil ones. I simply ask that you, as a reader, will afford me the same consideration. I’m as docile as a blind, deaf, mute quadruple amputee even if some of my posts may make me sound as psychotic as a psychopath. But sometimes my own ideas very nearly offend me. For an example of this, check back periodically for a post concerning my assertion that it is improper to ever refer to a male as a virgin. Your brain will implode from the thinking of it and your sensibilities will be offended even after structural integrity has abandoned your gray matter. I don’t condone most of the things I will eventually blog about.

Thirdly, I have fairly thick skin and will not take personally any comment anyone may wish to post (especially untaken personally will be those comments I sense are meant to be taken personally) although if a comment is particularly hair-raising I may find myself enticed to keyboard as withering a reply as I can muster.

Fourthly, by way of introducing myself to you more personally, I say simply this; I enjoy many things, dislike equally as many, and my likes and dislikes flip flop on a regular basis for barely any reason at all. Therefore, if you and I have nothing in common at the moment, it is nearly a certainty that at some point we will agree on something. We may as well say we are and always shall be potential friends. If we can interact on that basis, I say “Welcome to my blog” For an example of how my likes and dislikes swap status and how easily said swap is accomplished, keep an eye out for a future post regarding the professional baseball team that made me laugh derisively shortly before stealing my heart. Figuratively, of course. Never in the past or present have I blogged from beyond the grave, although if I ever can I certainly will. And when that glorious day arrives, as I am now convinced it will, I demand you refer to me as a “blogghost”. Now I’m excited to die! But that is another post entirely.

And now, person with perpetual friend potential, I say in closing; Be this statement our sign of parting, Reader Potential Friend, I type upstarting:

“Thanks for reading. I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…check back on a weekly basis if you feel you’d enjoy trying to swallow whatever tripe I may happen to heave towards you.

A don’t…bother checking back if you’ve been bored to tears by my rambling so far. Although if such is the case I belittle you for sticking around as long as you have. You might as well check back next week anyway.