Things I Wrote As a Child With Explanatory Academic Footnotes: Horror Show IV: Crazy Kid
The year 21501 was not a good one for the zombies. They were defeated2 by a kid named Jeff Ancho.3 Here is how it happened:
Jeff Ancho was mad about Burlap.4 Twenty of his relatives5 lived there. So one day he made a machine6 that turned zombies7 into ordinary people.8 He rode his dirt bike9 to Burlap.10 He found the leaders11 who started it all12 and shoved them13 into the Atlantic Ocean.14 The others he turned into people.15 Jeff was known and loved all over the world.16 He even turned Aliens17 into people.
1. This story takes place in the distant future, which is weird, because “Horror Show III” takes place in the present day, or at least, in 1988. You remember Bush and Dukakis talking up the “zombie problem.” Willie Horton was a zombie.
2. Employing the Palahniuk Method: “Well, things sure did go to shit. Now we’re at the end, so let me tell you how we got into this craaaaaazy mess.”
3. One day, Jeff Ancho will one day a woman named Mary Jane Chipotle, and together they will make gross sauces known and loved all over the world at Applebee’s.
4. In “Horror Show III,” we learned that the great state of Burlap, after it was legally proclaimed “The Zombie State,” was kicked out of the United States.
5. In “Horror Show III,” we also learned that zombies had completely taken over the world, meaning Jeff Ancho’s relatives—precisely 20 of them—were zombies. 2150 is awfully far into the future, so that’s some impressive genealogical research on the part of Jeff Ancho. To have that skill and those resources, Jeff Ancho is a Mormon. His ancestors are no longer zombies, because Jeff Ancho found out who they were and retroactively baptized them, allowed them to increase their ranks. (And thus, many decades later but retroactively, Jeff Ancho, great destroyer of zombies, was born.
6. It’s just that easy! A machine that turns you away from being zombies—must be an opposite television, am I right, purveyors of lazy clichés and jokes?
7. The frequent but unnecessary use of the word “zombie” suggests this story might have originated as an exercise in learning to make a cursive “z.”
8. But still Mormons.
9. I really wanted a dirt bike at the time. But not the dirt bike you’re thinking of, the one that is actually called a dirt bike. No, I wanted a regular, non-motorized children’s bicycle fitted with all-terrain tires, which I thought was called a dirt bike, probably because my dad told me that’s what it was called, and he is a man who consistently calls things by either the wrong name, a made-up name, or a ridiculously outdated name. He calls pants “britches” and Asian people “Orientals,” for example.
10. What with the Mormons, Burlap has to be Utah. Also, Burlap and Utah are the same color.
11. Burlap is a very small state, and one with accessible, accountable leaders.
12. They “started it all,” meaning the zombie apocalypse, more than 150 years prior, but they’re zombies, so they’re still around.
13. The zombies are very easy to kill. It’s unfortunate someone waited that long to do it. Also, I don’t know how tides work.
14. So then not Utah. A future, zombified version of colonial Rhode Island then.
15. Jeff’s want and execution of bloodlust is justified but inconsistent. Why punish the leaders and not the others? Why hold them accountable more than the others, if all are in a zombified state of mind anyhow? Reader, I hope this sparks a lively debate in your household about free will versus predestination.
16. By zombies though. The world is comprised of zombies, Jeff.
17. The movie Aliens, apparently.