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Monday, August 29, 2005
Apparently, zombie walking is the new thing.
I couldn't join in. For all my interest in zombies, I haven't really seen any zombie movies. There was that Shaun of the Dead, but it doesn't count because I felt really lousy at the time. Then there was 28 Days Later and that didn't count because I am too aghast with Cillian Murphy's comedic routine in Red Eye to properly remember it. Really, I just didn't know what wear.
The coffin girl's idea was a hoot yet it is too Martha Stewart for me. I can't even glue popsicle sticks together. Nail in the head's look was stunning, though, again, glue and me are incompatible.
But I got a lot of ideas now.
For example, the lady zombie who attacked me was dropdead gorgeous. It just takes glasses and some flour paste. Or, I could adorn myself with that most zombielicious of accessories, a chunk of meat on a leash.
I was kind of jealous of all the zombies who took over the streets and attacked bewildered bystanders.
(More Zombie Walk 2005 photos here.)
Two days later, I dreamed I was caught in a real zombie invasion. This dream followed my Old West dream, the one where I wear sexy Gone with the Wind frocks and get swept off my feet by some train bandit - he got lost on the way to his hideout (while he was kidnapping me) when I found myself on Orchard Street (near Delancey Street) in New York.
I knew there were zombie behind me, quite a way behind and giving me just enough time to find a hiding place. I went up the stairs into a cafe on the east side of the street. The proprietors appeared to be Chinese and the clientele was mixed Chinese and white.
In a panic, I explained the situation and that we had to board up the doors. They did lock the doors, a sorry defense. I struggled with some cabinets, moving them a few centimetres toward the front door, then gave up.
Everyone moved to the south of the room to watch me pushing the cabinet. That meant no one was securing the back door.
The building had an attached garage with flimsy doors and lots of glass. The back door opened on a lot with tall, unmowed grass. I made sure the weak lock was in place. I thought about pushing another tool cabinet over this door but realized the noise would wake the dead. Better to ignore it, not rub my living scent all over the place and better secure the door leading to this garage.
Just as I was about to step back into the building, I noticed one of the customers did follow me.
He was a midget, white, and staring southwards to the fence separating the backlot.
I walked over to warn him that the garage provided few defenses.
Then I saw it.
From a crack in the fence, a zombie child rushed out toward the garage.
The opening under the garage door, where the sun shined as if it was just any beautiful summer day, was large enough to admit a groping child's hand.
Immediately I turned and ran into the building, forgetting to even warn the midget, and locked the door behind me.
So there you go. Turns out in an emergency I am a coward and a double-crosser. I not only left the midget to his death, I also didn't tell the others in the diner - they might want to go back and try to rescue him, opening the door to the garage and thereby exposing everyone to danger. Besides, no one would notice him missing.
And no one did.
I didn't go back into the diner part of the building right away. I needed to find an alternate escape route. The stairs that led to the roof finished off in a tight room with a roof exit that with plaster over it. I considered using an axe and hacking the way out. Then only problem is, if we kept quiet, perhaps we could ride out the zombie invasion. Maybe they would pass us without noticing that inside this converted tenement building was a cornucopia of live humanity, ranging from the elderly to cute little five-year-old girls.
Downstairs, the clientele and owners stood at open windows looking onto Orchard Street.
"What are you doing?" I whispered in even more panic. "They'll see us."
No one answered me. They kept looking onto the street.
A parade of zombies ambled down the road, from the north, some on motorcycles, most walking. There were some zombies in the back seats of cars and the drivers appeared to be living humans - or maybe they were zombies too but less decayed or less mauled.
Across Orchard Street, others looked down from their second storey windows, dangerously close to the swarm below.
I woke up suddenly because of a construction noise somewhere on my street.
Before I awoke fully, I mistook it for the zombie mass drilling a hole into my house.
I asked myself how I wanted to die. Disembowelled or self-inflicted? I tallied up all the pills in the house, the speed at which I could access them, the time lapse until I slipped into a coma, and the pain I would miss as the zombies zeroed in for the kill. I would possibly still be awake at the rate those zombies were drilling into my house.
Well, I am here now. I thought about puppy dogs and kittens all day. I want to dream of puppies and kittens drilling into my house next.
Monday, August 22, 2005
You know you try to be a nice neighbour and then people walk all over you as if you had a synthetic gazelle stapled to your face.
I went over to Doctor Reisenbichler's house this afternoon to borrow a cup of gerbils for an experiment.
Now most mad scientists are swell. Yeah sure, a cup of gerbils and here's a handful of piranhas just in case.
Not Doctor Reisenbichler.
Just because he put the vampire into the vampire squid and gave it Meg Ryan's eyes, doesn't give him a license to be a jerk.
So Doctor Reisenbichler opens the door and screams, "What do you want?"
"Just wondered if you could lend me a cup of gerbils," I said amiably.
"Do I look like I'm made out of gerbils? Get out of here, freeloader."
I know what you're thinking. I am a serial hydrobromic acid borrower and I never return the favour.
The truth is, last year, before Doctor Reisenbichler got fanous with his vampire squid, when he was just a regular well-adjusted not-quite-mad scientist who liked one-headed puppies that didn't spit venom and Far Side comics, I gave him him three cups full of gerbils. I also lent him my favourite mass murderer brain, the one I cloned for that batch of flame-breathing rottweilers.
"Come on, Doctor Reisenbichler, be reasonable. It's just a measly cup of gerbils. It's not like you're entertaining some Buddhist movie star past his prime or anything. Besides, you owe me. You never returned my brain."
Doctor Reisenbichler lost it.
"Fool! I will destroy you!"
Then he throws a flotilla of Chiropsalmus quadrumanus at me.
I hate it when I get highly dermatonecrotic components in my eyes. To make matters worse, he pees on me.
"Fool! Everybody knows that urine causes massive discharges of box jellyfish nematocysts!" I screamed in my pain.
He slams the door on me (scratching my finger).
Eventually I crawled my way home through the briars that separate our properties.
No gerbil siamese triplets tonight. Guess the barbed wire piglets will have to do.
UPDATE: The cute Bluewyvern guessed where the mad scientists were going. Let's immortalize her words before Haloscan Comments deletes them:
Mad scientists are always being typecast, being forced to appear in the same kinds of things. I think this could be easily be developed into the pilot for a mad-scientist Seinfeld-type sitcom. Future episodes could involve being kept awake all night long by the barking of Reisenbichler's genetically modified hellhounds; your cute new date turns out to be his reanimated corpse creature; Reisenbichler hires your underappreciated henchman away from you at double his pay and suddenly you must muddle your way through without his help; parts for your doomsday device are accidentally shipped to the fortress next door; to your embarrassment, you discover that you have both planned to take over the world on the same evening.Hurrah for Bluewyvern!
Friday, August 19, 2005
Above we have Shrimp Pastry. Luckily this dish is saved from boredom with the inclusion of lard as part of the ingredients. Lard makes everything better. Just make sure you cut the ingredients as a coin.
Below is Family Reunion, the happy little party that scallops, cuttlefish and shrimp have when, tragically, they are attacked by a pinch of MSG, 225 grams of leaf fat and 0.75 grams of Ting-Mine. It's sad.
Friday, August 12, 2005
I wrote a Gravity Zero exclusive. Read it here.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Ikea is this tricky furniture store.
There are books in all the displays but they are fake books. Well, the books are in Swedish. Though we have a few Swedes left over, no one in Canada can read these books, making the books obsenely out of place.
The Ikea in Coquitlam pulled a fast one on Canadian shoppers. It has a fake bookstore filled with Swedish novels and encyclopedias. It even has a sign that says "The Book Store."
The Book Store has multiple copies of about twenty books laid out on shelves as if in a bookstore. None of the books have price tags.
To further confuse buyers, there is one English language book ("Container Gardening") both on a display table and beside the fake "cash register." These copies also had no price tag.
The only price tags in the Book Store was on the furniture.
You would think that a furniture store that opens its cafeteria for breakfast half an hour before it opens the furniture section would have reading material.
What? Are people going to learn Swedish in the toilets after breakfast?
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Crenguţă is getting better at escaping from the hamster ball. Twice this week already.
When I returned from Montreal/New York, the hamster kennel figured the only way to keep our little shrew under lock and key was to swathe the circumference of the ball with duct tape.
Our relationship has gotten so well she doesn't run away when I, the colossus, come stomping through to scoop her back into the hamster ball.
Tonight I crouched down beside her and, in a reversal from her youthful hissing, she clambered around me and over me. A bit of sightseeing, as if I were the Great Pyramid, then she ran off to explore the forbidden land of Behind the Bed. In the world of the hamster, that's the most affectionate behaviour she will ever exhibit.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Welcome to the world of Chinese festival dishes where every meal includes at least a pinch of MSG!
Let me introduce you to Wealthy Forever and All Flowers Welcome Spring's Coming:
All Flowers Welcome Spring's Coming contains 200 grams of curl, ground with two cuttlefish and 300 grams of shrimp.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Hotels think of everything.
Biscuit-sized soaps, bathtubs without shit smears, beds that don't tilt towards the floor, towels - it's all there.
Hostels don't quite work the same way.
Not that I'm complaining.
I mean, the shower stall managed to stay clean until my last morning. Heck, those brown streaks could have been chocolate.
The lack of towels was my fault entirely. I took the hostel listing the wrong way. It didn't say to bring your own towels. So I assumed they had towels. I should have gone with instinct, which told me they wouldn't have soaplets. I bought a big soap and carved out baby soaps from it, but never thought to do the same with towels.
My hostel roommate also forgot her towels. But she scored some towels from a passing tennis player. Her two mini square towels would do the trick, she said, "as long as I don't shampoo."
As soon as I realized my predicament, I went out into the New York night to find me a towel.
The first drugstore had tablecloths. They could have worked except that they were vinyl.
Next drug store, American flags. Might have done the trick as a towel turban, but the paper towels in the third drugstore seemed most promising. Double-ply, extra absorbent, nice big squares. Would have brought them if I had not remembered the face towel in my backpack.
One mini towel. For seven showers. Through shampooing and conditioning and rinsing vegetables and restuffing snowglobes. It's funny how absorbent New York makes things become.
"What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still know where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with."
I was to be reckoned with.
At the last, eighth shower, I thought I could cheat my towellessness. This bedsheet can replace the mini towel, I thought. Wouldn't want the hostel maid to recycle it on some new hostel guest.
But damn those hostels if they didn't think of everything.
The bedsheet was as slick as a sidewalk wrapped with uncooked cannelloni.