There's no specific event that's brought this on, rather than the fact that I'm reading Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines, which is a book about the zombie apocalypse - with superheroes. It's an amazing concept, and a well-written book, but I can't find it in myself to feel even a frisson of the terror I used to when imagining myself being pursued by a mindless horde of flesh-eating monsters.
But maybe it started before that, because every since* I've read that article by David Mizejewski, I can't help but think, when considering zombies, why does no one ever think of the wildlife?
Mizjewski says, "The thought of being eaten alive is a natural fear, and when it's your own species doing the eating, it's even more terrifying. Relax. Next time you're lying in bed, unable to fall asleep thanks to the vague anxiety of half-rotten corpses munching on you in the dark, remember this: if there was ever a zombie uprising, wildlife would kick its ass...Birds would be especially helpful.
That's because zombies are essentially walking carrion, and Mother Nature doesn't let anything go to waste."
Many birds feed themselves by scavenging on dead things. The two vulture species native to North America, the turkey vulture and the black vulture, flock up to make short work of any corpses they find. Both vulture species are dwarfed by the massive California condor, whose wingspan can reach 10 feet and which relish carrion. A sluggish zombie wouldn't stand a change against one of these giants or a flock of vultures... Many species of gulls, known for their brash behavior when it comes to scoring a meal, would also gladly feed off slow-moving zombies."So after having had this article rattling around in my skull, it bothers me that no writer (that I'm aware of) has even attempted to discuss the scavenger issue. I suppose they could say that zombie flesh is unpalatable to scavengers (implausible), or that it's toxic to them somehow (less implausible). In any case, now every time I encounter anything to do with zombies, I imagine massive flocks of seagulls following the zombies around, and it's hard not to start giggling. Which is generally not the intended reaction to a horror movie.
So next time you see seagulls, take a moment to stop and appreciate them. Give them a nod of appreciation. They might someday save your life.**
Just don't loosen your grip on your ice cream cone.
The anti-zombie training regimen has already begun.
*The article is actually over a year old - and yes, I know that reposting Old Things on the internet is a crime more terrible than selling drugs, or stealing someone else's parking spot when they have their blinker on. But just in case you haven't read the article, give it a look. It's hilarious, but I wouldn't recommend watching the videos unless you have a strong stomach.
**But for the love of all that's holy, do not feed them. Seriously. Fritos are not part of any animal's natural diet.