Why books are dangerous

Because this post involves an intermission in which you will likely need to go to the bookstore before you can continue, I want to offer you an option to expedite your Thursday reading.  I have thoughtfully offered a Cliff’s Notes version of this post at the bottom, indicated by the double asterisk (**).  If you’re running short on time, feel free to skip ahead.

Last night I had a deeply philosophical conversation with one of my best buddies, Jess, that ran late into the night (or at least, I called her kinda late and so our conversation ran latER into the night).  We discussed a variety of topics, such as which parts of my current story suck (lots of it) and which parts don’t (a lesser amount) and the parts that made her go “WTF? Cinnamon?” (more frequent than you might expect).  We also discussed Matters of Great Import, such as the acquiring and properties of boob bruises and the butchering of myth in Clash of the Titans. 

And then we wandered around to my favorite/most-terrifying subject: zombies.  Specifically the latest book we both happened to be reading (unbeknownst to each other), World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.  If you haven’t heard of/heard about/read/thrown-across-the-room-after-three-straight-days-of-zombie-nightmares yet, go out and get it because it’s one of the coolest books on the market right now.  No, really—go get it now.  Don’t worry, I’ll wait…..

….so, now that you’ve got it and started reading it, I have no doubt that you will come to agree that the book, while presented in a fairly innocuous manner, is pretty damn freaky.  Brooks presents this “oral history” in an amazing manner, switching smoothly (and in a manner that inspires much jealousy in yours truly) from voice to voice as he recounts “interviews” with a multitude of survivors of the zombie war.  Each voice is unique and the persons “interviewed” range from a variety of ages, professions, backgrounds, cultures. 

One of the scariest parts of this book, to me, is how down-to-earth all of the stories are presented.  While maintaining a healthy respect/fear for the subject–rampant zombie infection and the attempts to survive it–the entire tone of the “interviews” is, if you take out the subject, one of having lived through an event that happened in the past, simple as that, like any other historical account ever written.  And that positively freaks me out because my imagination then completely overhauls my logic and says, in a calm voice, “This is entirely possible.  It could be just that easy.  You need to take the necessary precautions.” 

The only problem is that I don’t know what those precautions are in full.  Knowing that I am unaware of such things, Jess attempted, last July, to help me out and sent me Brook’s previous book, The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead.  But I haven’t yet read it all the way through because, like an autistic, ADD chimpanzee, I am unable to concentrate on things for a long while.  Yeah, I know.  Shock.

So, this all leads up to this morning when I woke up to the sound of shuffling, light clinking (which my brain interpreted as chains of some kind or a swinging metal weapon), a pause, and then more shuffling.   So my brain went into hyperdrive and I began to hyperventilate and die.  Or just freeze in terror.

These were not my first thoughts, because these would have been logical:

  • “What’s that noise?”
  • “Did Clayton get up early?”
  • “Do the dogs need to go out?”
  • “Did I not hear the alarm clock, and Clayton did and just didn’t wake me up?”

No.  My first thoughts, moving at the speed of terror, were more like this:

  • “ZOMBIES! I’mgoingtodieI’mgoingtodieI’mgoingtodie—”
  • “Jess was right!  I should’ve read the Zombie Survival Guide!”
  • “It’s going to eat my arm first because that’s the only part of me not buried underneath the covers!”
  • *the only perfectly calm thought* “My dogs are useless.  They didn’t bark once…”
  • “How fast can I get to the samurai sword next to the bed?”

Because, yes, we have a samurai sword next to our bed.  Why? For cases just like this, of course, when zombies shuffle into our bedroom to kill us in the night.  Duh.  (I brought it in one night while I was stupidly watching “28 Days Later” by myself in an empty house on a windy night, and Zack’s gun was out of bullets and therefore useless in case of zombie-mergency.  And because everyone knows that bullets are only the preferred weapon of zombie defense from a distance.)

So I bolt upright in bed and look at Clayton, who was shuffling around the bedroom, half-asleep, getting dressed.  And I have no idea what my face looked like, but it was enough that he froze with a total deer-in-headlights expression.  From one hand dangled a pair of jeans, which he’d frozen in the act of picking them up off the floor, and the other was holding his head, frozen in the act of running his hand through his hair when I sat up.  His eyes were the size of dinner plates.  Very cautiously, he goes, “Honey?” drawing the word out as if he knew exactly what my last thought had been.

I go: “ZOMBIES.”  And then flop back down and go back to sleep. 

This is a strange recollection for me, since I wasn’t aware of it until the alarm actually went off a few minutes later and I woke up.  But I remembered it very clearly (probably because of the terror), and in hindsight, I have no idea how I managed to go back to sleep when I distinctly remember my body being FLOODED with adrenaline from the moment I identified the scuffling noises.  At this point in our marriage, he’s entirely used to these kinds of outbursts on the tail end of sleep, so he didn’t say anything about it, especially since he knew I’d been talking to Jess right before bedtime and knows how our conversations usually work. 

**So, in case you got bored earlier on and decided to skip to the bottom to see if this post managed to salvage itself towards the end, let me help you with a summary of today’s post:

  • Conversation with Jess about my story, boobs, latest book
  • Read World War Z because it’s awesome
  • Samurai swords
  • “ZOMBIES.”

Go get the book, and sleep well.

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1 Comment

Filed under books, night ramblings, zombies

One response to “Why books are dangerous

  1. Leilani

    OHMIGOD – I LOVE that book! I’ve read it about dozen times and have the audioCD for road trips. SERIOUSLY GREAT BOOK…

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