Zombie Fun

Over at the League of Reluctant Adults, mdhenry held a trivia contest awhile back. It was ostensibly to celebrate the release of his first novel, Happy Hour of the Damned and—I suspect—also because he likes zombies. The prize was a rubber duck of the zombie-devil persuasion and I thought to myself I like bathing, and more importantly, when it comes to zombie trivia, I have a depth and breadth that is unrivaled by any girl I’ve met.

So, because there’s nothing like feeling special over knowing pop-culture minutia that no one in their right mind would bother to retain, I was compelled to show off my Skillz. As a result, I recently received this unassailably cool duck in the mail.

duck friend

Its brain is showing. Tell me that’s not cool. Plus, it glows in the dark.

Needless to say, I was extremely pleased with the duck, and have been leaving it around for house-guests to stumble upon, but the real windfall was this:


It’s a known fact that I’m a sucker for the undead. But, and here I reveal the true depths of my nerdiness, I’m an even bigger sucker for footnotes. The. Book. Has footnotes.

If you’re bothered by copious amounts of bodily fluids, I can’t in good conscience recommend it. If, like me, you are not bothered by copious amounts of bodily fluids and you like your protagonists with great shoes and a taste for human flesh, maybe just don’t read it at the gym, because then the woman on the adjacent stationary bike will ask you what’s so funny and you will be forced to:

A) tell her
B) make up something completely unconvincing, but wholesome
C) tell her in a euphemistic, round-about way that actually, when you think about it, sort of makes a ménage-à-quatre-turned-bloodbath in a cheap motel sound even worse

Because I’m a remarkably bad liar and also find it expedient to avoid using the phrase gang-bang in conversation with strangers, I picked C. Saying that it could have gone better is being generous. The situation is, of course, compounded by the fact that Happy Hour has a pretty innocuous cover. It would not look out of place on the sassy beach-read shelf, but don’t be fooled. It’s not chick-lit, but if it was . . . well, basically, I’d read a lot more chick-lit.

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6 thoughts on “Zombie Fun

  1. I am going to chuckle over this story every time I think of it today.
    Should I tell my students to read this book? We’re doing Zombies at the end of the semester.
    And what serious zombie movie should I have them watch? Right now the syllabus calls for “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie Wars” and “Shaun of the Dead” but I know we ought to do a real zombie flick too.

    • Should I tell my students to read this book?
      The short answer is, yes-because-I-adore-it, but for godsake, vet it first.
      The longer answer is that it depends on what your coursework focuses on. While Amanda is distinctly monstrous, she’s not a zombie in the stereotypical sense that we usually think of zombies. You know, she’s not shambling around groaning–she’s drinking elaborate cocktails, caking on mortuary makeup, and being snarky. Now, if you wanted to talk about the woman-of-power as Other, beauty standards, marginalized groups, homosexuality as Other, or really, any number of social interpretations, there’s a lot of fodder. But again, for the love god, read it first.
      Huh, I don’t think I’ve ever really said this about anything before, but in many ways, this is a very offensive book.
      Now, my personal choice for a real zombie flick, especially if you’re showing “Shaun,” would be “28 Days Later,” and not just because I have a horrible geeky crush on Danny Boyle. However, it’s very graphic and I don’t know that all of your students would be comfortable watching it. There’s great social stuff going on and a weird dichotomy regarding external and internal threat, re: danger from ravening cannibals vs. danger from militant groups attempting to preserve society by any means necessary (man, this is totally what I should have done my last paper on for Debbie). But it’s quite disturbing (exhibit #1: I think it traumatized D–he nearly did serious damage squeezing my hand when we saw it in the theater).
      My instinct is to tell you to go all the way back to “Night of the Living Dead.” It’s basically canon, and late-60s-cheesiness aside, it will give you a lot to talk about in terms of gender, race, and zombification. Plus, it’s Romero–you can’t go wrong with Romero.

      • “Huh, I don’t think I’ve ever really said this about anything before, but in many ways, this is a very offensive book.”
        OMG! I think I love you. In my mother’s words, “That Amanda’s such a pill.” Absolutely, mother.
        I’d go with Dawn of the Dead, because you can never go wrong with paranoia and ugly consumerism metaphor. Of course, there is the whole race issue in Night.

        • I KNEW letting my students design the last part of the semester was going to get me into reading/watching some stuff I’d never gotten to before, for good or for ill. Now I just have to figure out how much zombie stuff to do, since before we get to zombies we are doing vampires and I’m having them read both Dracula and Robin McKinley’s Sunshine. I’m only going to have a month of the semester left, after their research papers, to cover all this fun material in!!!!
          (And of course you ought to love her. I’ve known her since I was a small child and she was a slightly larger one. She’s AWESOME.)

          • Okay, Mark has me convinced–you could basically do a whole symposium on the polemical aspects of Dawn of the Dead and its portrayal of mass consumerism. Also, the fx crew used real cow intestines.

        • Ooh, the consumerism and the tribal-warfare aspect of the biker-siege. Plus, they get to drive inside the mall . . .
          “Pill” definitely works, but to be honest, it’s not the first word that came to mind.

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