So I'm, outside cleaning off the last of the icy areas on my frozen driveway.
It’s been a hard winter around here—actually around a lot of "wheres"—and the fact that we're only a week into February is not a very comforting thought.
The groundhog announced another six weeks, guaranteed, and if you can’t believe a little furry rodent, who can you believe?
I find it best at times like these, endlessly hacking away at chunks of ice and snow, to just disappear inside my head, but only as a last resort, when my neighbor’s head, which is way more interesting than mine, is unavailable.
I had just finished smashing up a particularly troublesome encrustation with an ice chopper, when I turned back to grab my shovel and, speaking of encrustations, what do I find standing within inches of my nose, but one of the Zombies across the street.
Now, normally, I wouldn’t have been surprised by this, having grown used to the Zombie's lack of awareness when it comes to respecting personal space issues, but I can usually smell them coming…unless of course, as in this case, the thermometer is well below freezing, which tends to mask the de-comp.
Anyway, there we are, nose to nose…or nose to…whatever remains where a nose used to be…and to make matters worse, he’s smiling…and if you’ve ever seen a Zombie smile…well, let’s just say that in itself can be unsettling.
“Hey there…uh, you…whatcha been up to,” was all I could think to say, which was not very smart since I’ve learned it’s best to not to really know what a Zombie has been up to, plus, once you engage them in conversation, you could be stuck there for hours trying to make sense of what they’re trying to communicate. I think it’s because they try to avoid sibilants in conversation since they’ve learned the hissing sound tends to disturb people.It’s always the same old issues with Zombies—I won’t bore you with the details— but this time I was actually a little surprised by what this Zombie was looking for.
In a nut shell, he wanted me to take him to the mall and help him do some Valentine’s shopping for the Mrs.
Yep…you read that right…Valentine’s shopping.
Apparently things have been falling apart between him and the little woman for a while now, ever since…well, ever since things literally started falling apart between them.
A finger here, an ear there…even the aforementioned nose.
And, despite what you might think, Zombies aren’t that much different from the rest of us when it comes to vanity. Once the sagging and the drooping sets in…well, you know how disquieting that can be to one’s self esteem…especially if you have to listen to all of those “Ghoul” whispers, everywhere you shuffle.
Like I said, it can be difficult to understand Zombies, so it took me a few minutes before I gathered that the heart shaped drawing he kept waving in my face was some sort of a clue.
Sure, I know what you’re thinking…what kind of an idiot can’t equate Valentine’s with a heart shape, but, in my defense, Zombies suck when it comes to symbolism, and this particular heart shape drawing was anatomically correct, right down to the mitral valve…and to be honest, the more I thought about it, I was lucky it was only a drawing.
‘The mall?” I said. “Are you sure you want to try the mall again? That didn’t exactly work out for you, the last time.”
Again, like I said before, Zombies have a problem with personal space issues, which sometimes translates into cutting lines, and then, before you know it, there’s a ruckus at the soft pretzel stand that turns into—
You know, what’s done is done. No sense digging it up again.
I can see I’ve hit on something now because the Zombie excitedly flops his head up and down in affirmation, which always makes me feel a bit anxious, because…well, you just never know.
“Okay...I’ll take you to the mall. What are you thinking of buying?”
The Zombie just shrugs…I think.
Great, I thought to myself…this is going to take all day….
Then he starts doing this odd thing with his hands on his hips, which I take to mean he might be interested in some sort of lacey lingerie, which I find a little creepy, but hey, who am I to judge.
Live and let live…or, well…you know.
Turns out, it’s a good thing I didn’t say anything because that wasn’t even the case. One of his hips was actually popping out of its socket, which happens with Zombies, and he was just pushing it back in.
“Okay…hop in the car. I hope you have money for parking.”
The Zombie just looks at me.
Right…when has a Zombie ever sprung for parking?