Writer and zombie afficionado Chuck McKenzie recently posted this true story to the Southern Horror Yahoo Group — a tale of an ordinary life with zombies, travel, perceptive children and Michael Jackson.
I’m generally not the sort to bore others with anecdotes about my kid, but I feel compelled to share the following conversation I had with my 5-year-old son this afternoon while he and my wife were driving me home from work. If nothing else, it goes some way to explaining why I’m … like I am. I get it from my kid, obviously … And no, I promise I’m not making any of the following up:Max (looking out the window at a passing graveyard): Look Dad! A graveyard! (Pause) That’s where zombies come from, isn’t it?Me (looking guiltily at wife): Um. Yeah. Kind of. Just in stories, though.Max: Is James Brown buried there?Me: Who?Max: James Brown.Me: Who’s James Brown?Max: You know, the man who sings the ‘I Feel Good’ song.Me: How do you know about James Brown and ‘I Feel Good’?Max: Is James Brown buried there?Me: Um, no, he’s buried in America.Max: Oh. (Pause). Where?Me (in best ‘end-of-coversation’ voice): I don’t know.Max: Oh. (Pause). Is James Brown dead?Me: Yes. That’s why they buried him.Max: Oh. (Pause). If James Brown was a zombie –Wife (in a warning tone): Max…Max: — would he sing disco, or eat people?Me: Um, no, he, uh … James Brown sang soul music, mate. That’s, uh … a bit different to disco music.Max: Oh. (Pause). You like disco music, don’t you, Dad.Me (Cautiously): Um … yes?Max: And you like zombies, don’t you, Dad?Me: Yes.Max: If James Brown was a zombie —Wife: Max, can we stop talking about zombies?Max: — would you write a story about it?Me: Um. I don’t know. Maybe.Max: Oh. (Pause). You like to dance to disco music, don’t you, Dad?Me: Um. Yes. But I don’t any more. It upsets your mother.(Max begins giggling to himself).Wife: What are you laughing at, Max?Max: Daddy dances like a nob!Me & Wife: Max!Me: That’s not true!Wife: Well …Max: Your dancing gives everyone the shits, Dad.Me (angry now): Max! Where did you hear that?Max (after a pause): Mummy.(Silence in car for well over a minute).Max: Dad!Me: YES!Max: Is Michael Jackson a zombie?Me (giving up): Yes. Yes, he is.Max: That’s so cool!
Last year Chuck wrote a highly entertaining zombie tale online, adding new content diary-fashion over the course of the year. It traced one man’s experience of the zombie apocalypse in a suburban setting, one day at a time. Unfortunately that work is no longer available, but the good news is he has started a new one for 2009, Deadwalkers: Life After the Zombie Apocalypse, which you can read here. This is definitely worth following, people, as Chuck — apart from being a very funny man — knows his zombies and has a knack for targeting the humorous, everyday absurdities that bring a story alive.