Monday, July 03, 2006

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

(Read part one and part two first...)

As soon as the van pulled up to the low, menacing building in some godforsaken northern suburb, my ordeal began. With the help of torches, clubs and cutting-edge electro-magnetic weaponry, my zombie brethren and I were herded into a fetid underground dungeon. There were already hundreds and hundreds of ravenous undead creatures locked up there, shuffling through the the weak light, colliding with each other, growling miserably all the while. Some were so feeble from hunger that they had fallen to the damp stone floor, where they were stomped upon by a thousand shuffling feet. Others grew feral and attacked their fellow zombies, tearing and ripping at their gray, lifeless skin as though their brains were actually edible.

I, regrettably enough, was one of these. Try to put yourself in my shoes: there I was, a youngish man with a charmed life, and one little slip up when dealing with Ronald Reagan’s gamma-irradiated skeleton and the next thing I know I’m being impressed into some dastardly hick Republican’s electoral scheme. The frustration was hard to bear. In my incoherent, animal rage, I reached out, grabbed the nearest body I could find, and started to gnaw on it. I wish I hadn’t. It tasted like dust and it didn’t come close to satisfying my desperate longing for goopy, runny, tasty human brains.

In this regard, all us zombies were in the same boat. Apparently, the Mark Kennedy campaign intended to starve us. Our foodless imprisonment create quite an esprit du corps among us. After the first week, we had gone from being merely a collection of atomized, individual zombies to a single, suffering mass of zombiehood. It was quite a change. There were no more inter-zombie cannibal attacks and now, when one of us fell, ten rushed to pick him or her up. Isolation had given us unity, given us purpose. We kind of had a sort of communist-type thing going on, which was sort of ironic, given that we were the guests of prominent Republicans. Life is funny that way, I suppose.

Anyway, it must have been around the tenth day of our captivity when a hatch opened above our heads and yummy, yummy brains rained down from the heavens. I don’t need to tell you how big a deal this was. For a few minutes at least, that smelly dungeon became zombie heaven. We feasted like lords on those brains. We reveled in their delicacy and texture. We rolled above in their juices and made passionate zombie love in their lingering afterglow. It was quite an experience.

Now, one may reasonably wonder how the Mark Kennedy campaign got a hold of a few thousand relatively-fresh human brains. At the time, however, I felt no need to ask such questions. I was merely grateful that they had.

Of course, this generous feeding was just the opening salvo in one of those devious emotional manipulation processes that Republicans excel at. No sooner had our appetites been sated than the voice of the candidate himself came bleating from the loudspeakers concealed in the walls. “Did you enjoy those brains?” he asked and some of us belched contentedly, “Good! It’s good that you enjoy brains! I want you to enjoy brains! I only wish that you could eat stringy, floppy brain meat every single hour of every single day! That’s part of my vision for Minnesota! A walleye for every lake, a hot tub in every cabin, and abundant brains for our hard-working zombie community!”

“...Mmmmm...brains...” I said softly. Others murmured their approval. We were subdued, though. We didn’t want to interrupt the man who had fed us so grandly.

His voice grew sad then. And, if my memory serves us correctly, dramatic music began to swell beneath it. “But there’s people in Minnesota who don’t want you to have brains,” he told us, “These are the same people fighting to raise taxes on simple middle-class folks, the same people who don’t care about small-town values, the same people who think that the U.S. Government is as bad as the terrorists! If they’re elected, I’m afraid there won’t be any brains for you fine people! No, no, no: the brains you’ve worked so hard to pull out of your screaming victims’ skulls will be taxed out of your hands and redistributed to zombies who don’t want to work for them! Is that what you want?”

“Braaaaaaaains!” we cried out and the candidate chuckled at our single-mindedness. Were we still among the living, it would have seemed a little patronizing, actually. But we didn’t mind. This was the guy who fed us, after all. We had a whole Pavlovian love thing going on.

“Yes! Brains! Brains in the hands of your enemies! Move-On’s brains! The AFSCME’s brains! But not your brains, oh no, we don’t have enough brains around to give to you, the people who need brains! You’re just going to have to work harder! Work longer! So they don’t have to! Do you understand what I’m saying?”

“Braaaaaaaains!” we called out again and I’d like to think that, at this moment, the high-level campaign strategists were beginning to realize that it would take an unprecedented effort to keep us all “on message”, as they say.

But, as I came to find out, they had the time and the will. They were Republicans, after all. If they know anything, they know how to connect with the bloodthirsty, the senseless and the inarticulate masses...

(To be continued...)