Salt Lake City Has Brains!

Posted by on August 10, 2011 at 7:34 pm :: 1 Comment

When we were in San Diego a couple weeks ago we were startled to find ourselves in the middle of a sudden zombie invasion. Hundreds of walking dead began ambling down the crowded sidewalks of 5th Avenue one day as we were heading back to our hotel. It was unsettling and amusing all at once. (For a clip of the footage we took refer to my Comic-Khan post.)

Jason's brother Matt and Matt's friend Tabatha were our zombie compadres. And no, I am not normally that pale though it it's probably debatable whether painting myself various shades of grey made a significant difference in my skin tone.

Upon our return home we were surprised to hear that a similar event would be taking place in Salt Lake City just a couple weeks after the one we witnessed in San Diego. Since we are dorks extraordinaire we couldn’t miss this unique opportunity to get our undead stumble on.

I had never dabbled in latex before so I was pretty proud of my initial attempt with this arm wound. Not too shoddy for a first timer.

Jason’s brother Matt and a couple of his friends joined us, and the roughly 2,000 other zombie walkers, for a mile and a half lurch around downtown Salt Lake City last Sunday. What a fun and crazy activity! This horde of corpses, which overflowed the sidewalks for blocks, closely resembled your worst nightmare. We came across many astonished bystanders whose apparent anxiousness only encouraged chasings by rouge zombies. Being among the army of monsters, in contrast to being on the menu, may seem like it would have been a relatively untroubled experience but it wasn’t as carefree as you might think.

The undead horde was waiting here to be released from Pioneer Park.

First of all, I wasn’t anticipating a little decomposing flesh and some oozing wounds turning me into a celebrity. Disgusting must be “in” because there were cameras everywhere. The vacant sneers of us maggot magnets were always met with flashes and glaring lenses…and sometimes screams. Man, if I had known the paparazzi were going to be swarming I would have worn my more fashionable tattered shirt and styled my rotting hair.

Looks like something you'd see in a post-apocalypse city; a chilling reminder of humanity's violent end.

My favorite detail of Matt's costume was his hair accessories: dead leaves adorned his ratty crown. Just what you'd expect to find on the head of someone fresh from the grave.

Secondly, shuffling through post-life may seem like an almost relaxing pursuit, I know we flesh-gnawers make shambling slowly look so easy, but let me assure that dragging one of your limbs behind you in an unnatural fashion and hanging your atrophied arms like limp fish as you stagger over the ground at a maddeningly sluggish pace is anything but comfortable. I’m certain this is why many of the undead gave up on maintaining their swagger as we neared the end of the course. I never relinquished my grotesque authenticity and I had the backache afterward to prove it.

Jason was an eager brain-seeker. He liked to spook those we passed with a lively chase or a menacing groan.

The streets of downtown were literally dripping with blood after our masses staggered through.

Besides the clumsiness and awkward notoriety, being a zombie was also frustrating because your terrified quarry often jumped into trees or over fences as easy as nibbling a toe. How are you supposed to get some brains if holding your rigid arms out in a useless fashion is the most offensive move in your arsenal? What’s a poor hungry zombie to do?

Tennis shoes, a race t-shirt, sweatbands, and a Walkman: how ironic that a runner couldn't escape the clutches of a lumbering zombie. Why didn't someone warn me that it's not a good idea to wear headphones when running in traffic or when the world is teeming with the undead?

This little girl was freaky with a leash around her waist and a brain in her mouth.

So before you start feeling sorry for yourself, and all of those other tasty humans, consider the zombies’ plight. If you tried hobbling a mile and a half in their putrid shoes you might have a little sympathy for those ghouls. After all, most of them probably have a permanently kinked neck and a rumbly tummy. No wonder they’re grouchy; we all know how low blood sugar can affect your outlook on life.

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