Monday, June 26, 2006

What I did on my summer vacation, part one...

So I’ve been gone for awhile. For this, you must forgive me, but I’m afraid that my extended absence only covered up more heinous crimes. Crimes so foul and sickening that I can barely bring myself to confess them here. You are kind people, I know, but I fear that even an audience as goodhearted as this one would be repulsed by the depths to which I’ve sunk. The wickedness at the core of my heart would try the mercy of Jesus himself, and I’ve come to believe that there are no words, no deeds, and certainly no excuses for the evil I’ve partaken in. There is only shame. Shame and regret. These will be my burden for the rest of my days, and my nights promise to be haunted by dreadful dreams in which the good in me is repeatedly and viciously struck down by my Satanic side.

Oh come on, I can hear you groaning, it can’t be that bad! But it is! As much as I hate to admit it, it is! You see, inside every human lurks the germ of corruption, inside every tender soul there is a terrible shadow. Some, if they’re weak, are driven to murder, to thievery, to all manner of vice and cruelty. And others, weaker still, fall even lower. I am among the dregs of this latter group, I’m afraid.

I have volunteered to help out with Mark Kennedy’s Senate campaign.

Why?, you ask. Why would a liberal Democrat like me do such a thing? What brainwashing have I gone through, what self-hatred and ignorance could drive such a decision? I’m glad you asked, because by explaining the steps that led up to this low state, maybe I can mitigate a few of the black marks on my character. Failing that, perhaps my story will serve as a warning to those who, like me, might be tempted down the same ruinous pervert’s road.

You see, it all started with my attempts to raise a zombie army. Now, as anyone will tell you, it is one thing to raise a zombie army, yet to raise a zombie army that will do your bidding is another thing entirely. The undead are a tricky species, I’ve found: one minute you’re irradiating a rotting corpse and the very next it’s trying to eat your brains. I don’t want my brains eaten, which means that I’m compelled either to (a) set the zombie on fire or, (b) sever its head completely from its body. As you can imagine, this is gory, frustrating work.

The problem, from my point of view, is that it’s hard for a living person to tell a zombie what to do. They don’t respond to commands, they’re deaf to pleading, and non-verbal suggestion is generally lost on them. This is the challenge that every non-undead leader of a zombie army must confront. My solution was to attempt to enlist a zombie lieutenant, a liaison–if you will–between the world of the dead and the world of the living, through which I could control the masses of shuffling, flesh-drunk corpses that would soon be issuing from my laboratory. Once I settled on this strategy, the question then became simple: who could lead a vast band of mindless, remorseless, blank-eyed, bad-smelling creatures? What dead person would wield such respect among those whose souls had long since fled, leaving only a greedy shell of rubbery, rotten meat?

I thought long and hard about this. And then I bought Ronald Reagan’s corpse on eBay.

This was, if I may say so, the worst $13.95 I’ve ever spent. Say what you want about his lackadaisical governing style, the Gipper still makes a fearsome member of the living dead. For one, he was a lot faster than I thought he would be. And rather less genial, too. The instant after I was finished bombarding him with high-frequency gamma rays, he leapt off my metal table and charged me like I was some sort of gigantic peach jellybean. I didn’t even have time to reach for my cattleprod. I can still feel his teeth sinking into my shoulder.

Now, if you know anything about zombies, you know that getting bitten by one is no laughing matter. Still, it’s a hazard you have to be prepared to accept and, as the fortieth president of the United States stumbled out to wreak havoc on my neighborhood, I laid down and prepared to pass through the portal that separates our existence from the horrible beyond. It wasn’t as hard as it seemed. All I had to do was walk into the light...

(To be continued...)