Zombies turn out to be friendly, really good at board games and able to make a killer non-alcoholic cocktail.
‘I just can’t praise them highly enough’, said government spokesman, Clem Distant. ‘Zombies are upbeat, have a can-do attitude and are a real whizz with computers’.
The zombie apocalypse began with the undead climbing from their graves; ‘which was nowhere near as bad as we thought it would be’, said Distant. ‘The undead are all flexible and obedient workers, and they have effortlessly integrated themselves into today’s dynamic, highly competitive marketplace’, particularly politics, which is running ten times more efficiently with flesh-eating politicians, and the entertainment industry which, according to Steven Spielberg, ‘is now producing some of the best fantasy and police dramas I’ve ever seen’.
Critics have complained that it is almost impossible to tell the difference between zombies and ‘realies’. Upper-managers, second-home-owners, private dentists, celebrated academics, aging rock-stars and estate agents are nearly all members of the shadow army, but with zombies very often being well-educated and immaculately turned out it seems that anyone could be undead. The government responded by issuing a spotter guide which states:
- Despite great variety in appearance and opinion of zombies, behavioural individuality is low.
- Pronounced reduction in sensory acuity, spontaneity, empathy and insane generosity.
- Ability to communicate simplified and low in subtlety, even amongst the educated.
- Worship children, yet all their children are miserable.
- Function well in a team, but intimacy and social bond between members is weak – the only observable loyalty is to whoever feeds them.
- Although Zombies are docile, numbed and fundamentally empty, they can be provoked to psychotic rage by reminding them that they are undead. In fact the very presence of the living annoys or unsettles them, so tread carefully.
- Note the eyes. There is a quality of stiff inflexibility in the zombie eye. This is particularly evident in the aged zombie, whose life-wrinkles betray the use of no more than a handful of emotions.
- Despite being undead, zombies are actually terrified of death, worship what they call ‘life’ — mere existence — and will do anything to ensure it never ends.
The guide finishes by warning people to be very careful, but not to be suspicious. The ability to spot the undead is dependent on being alive, which means going in open and trusting. This openness will deliver the instinctive sense of danger needed to tell man from monster.
Government Health & Safety Commission set to Ban Ground
A special government body set up to make the world ‘a safer place for us all’ has released a report blaming the ground for most accidents
John Bratt, Minister for Workforce Protection, yesterday issued a press-statement blasting the ground. ‘It’s lethal’, he said, ‘a silent killer that we ignore every day of our lives, but which is responsible for literally millions of accidents a day, from plane crashes to badly falling over’.
Bratt called for an end to the horrors of the ground. ‘If we are serious about living in a world in which nobody ever hurts themselves or dies,’ he said, ‘our only course of action is to get rid of the ground completely. We don’t need it’.
Bratt told the press that the government are to consider proposals for a safer, more appropriate alternative to the ground and that suggestions so far include the ocean and space. ‘Until then’, he said, ‘we’re all going to have to wear huge inflatable smart body suits forever.’
Critics have complained that the new body suits are unnatural, expensive, suffocating, society-destroying and system-enhancing prostheses, but Bratt’s response has been unequivocal; ‘survival is mandatory’.
This Month’s Stars: Libra
You are in a dentist’s waiting room with your eighteen year-old daughter, who everyone says looks just like you did at that age. A good-looking man, in his late-thirties – around your age – walks out of the surgery and glances your way, except he doesn’t look at you, he looks at Meg, your daughter. You get a repulsive shot of fear; a realisation that you are aging, that your looks, and your power, are slipping away… but so much worse, a feeling of jealousy washes over you, that all you had is now in her hands. All of this you immediately suppress, push it out of your mind, and, to take the nasty taste out of your mouth, you take your daughter’s hand and squeeze it lovingly, but, actually, falsely.
You can read the rest of your zodiac year here.
These are all edited excerpts from my absurd cartoon magazine, Belly Up!