October 20, 2012 7:16:16 PM
Adele Elliott - firstname.lastname@example.org
We have read much news lately about the "Zombie Apocalypse" that is about to invade our country on a rampage of brain-eating terror. I haven't seen any zombies stumbling down Columbus' Fifth Street or attending football games in Starkvegas. But the word is that they are on their way. It is difficult to tell how it all started. A Halloween hoax, perhaps? However, even the federal government is taking this seriously.
The Huffington Post (Sept. 17, 2012) reports that "The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is ready for a zombie apocalypse. Gun owners got prepared for a zombie apocalypse. Now, the military and law enforcement are getting ready ... next month they'll begin training." Really? Aren't gun owners around here always ready to shoot something? So what if it is already dead?
According to "The Huff Post," (quoting Military Times), "Security firm HALO Corp. announced that about 1,000 military personnel, police officials, medical experts and federal workers will learn the ins and outs of a zombie apocalypse, as part of an annual counter-terrorism summit."
These are actually big-boy games (and we know how boys like their toys) in preparation for a virus outbreak, one that may lead to panic, violence and fear. To create the scene, "zombies" will invade summit grounds in San Diego. (Ah, the joys of role-playing!)
But the term "zombie apocalypse" has gone viral. So much so that no less than the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University has investigated the estate and income tax law as they relate to the undead. People in vegetative states, the victims of strokes, or Alzheimer's disease, may be medically alive, but certainly zombie-like. What will this mean to their heirs? The lawyers will sort it all out for us, God forbid.
Zombies originated in Haiti. There, they are real. Vodou practitioners have been creating zombies for hundreds of years with a combination of toad skin, herbs and a poison extracted from the puffer fish. Most are no real threat to the living. They are drugged into a semi-catatonic state to be used as slaves on plantations. (Oh, that 1 percent always finds a way to keep the poor in check.)
Don't believe me? Look up the case of Clairvius Narcisse. It is fascinating, and documented by Dr. Wade Davis, an ethnobiologist from Harvard. (ABC Science, 2004)
Of course, with the use of any drug, there may be side effects, like, well, death. It takes an expert to concoct just the right potion. That is no different from many of the drugs we all take. If we pay attention to the disclaimers on television commercials, we would probably stick to nothing but aspirin and chicken soup for the rest of our lives.
Those who want to learn more about zombies could just rent one of the 100-or-so movies made about them. Funny, how they have starred in so many, but we never see them on the red carpet. Hmmm.
I've said it before; this is my mantra -- never believe anything that comes out of Hollywood.
These days, we have so very much to frighten us: the economy, health care, killer bees. Do we really need the government to add another worry to our list? Of course, it is all tongue-in-cheek. Who knew the feds had a sense of humor? So, pleeze, do not panic. It will probably be a very long time before zombies invade the Golden Triangle. Mississippi is often late to catch on to a fad.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.