My fellow zombie Americans, whether you’ve been bitten or not, people across the nation are infected with Zombie Mania. The alarming aspect is, no one seems to mind.
For a walker like myself, this is spectacular news. For too long, I’ve pursued citizens through the streets, only to be judged by my rotting appearance; too long, I’ve been feared for my hungry snarls. But now, people are finally beginning to open their minds and accept the loving bite of Zombie Mania.
This movement culminated in The Walking Dead Escape, May 31, at Philips Arena in Atlanta. Hundreds of citizens from around metro Atlanta and bordering states came to play at the massive obstacle course that was littered with bodies, blood and walkers.
At The Walking Dead Escape, I was herded to makeup alongside my fellow walkers as well as my editor Jonathan Copsey, who quickly became irritated with my attempts to chomp on his fingers.
Participants came from all walk[er]s of life and arrived in endless combinations of fashion, from fatigues to formal wedding dress, giving detail and life to their undead characters. Several walkers wore contact lenses to intensify their eyes and give them a post-mortem glare; other zombies donned torn scrubs or street clothes and even exchanged stories of how they became infected.
The Walking Dead Escape made good on its promise to engross participants in an apocalyptic world.
“People are running, diving and climbing through the obstacle course,” said David Isaacs, co-founder of The Walking Dead Escape. “It’s a full-on immersion experience.”
News reel footage rolled in the waiting rooms, showing us all the chaos of society’s crumbling reaction to the rise of the undead. Excitement was palpable among the walkers as we awaited the arena.
If I still had a pulse, my heart would have pounded once we were released to wreak havoc upon the survivors. Women shrieked, men shouted and everyone ran as we gave stumbling, snarling and snapping chase through varying obstacles of the arena.
Some survivors were brave enough to video their journeys through our hunger games, though few of them caught my good side. Many had the gall to laugh as I growled and snarled, attempting to tear the flesh from their bones, but only some survivors made it out of the obstacle course “alive.”
Alas, my poor editor was disposed of once he arrived at the Decontamination Zone; any survivors touched or “contaminated” by walkers were put down in order to prevent their transformation. As a zombie and a walker, this deeply offends me.
Perhaps one day, we will become a country that can accept all forms of life, including the undead. Until then, we have made leaps and bounds with such a forward thinking event as The Walking Dead Escape, where survivors and walkers can join together in peace for a little bloodshed.