A zombie has no moral compass. That's why I
had no compunctions about eating David, my best friend, and his tuna fish
sandwich. Apparently there's something morally wrong with this, but I'm not
sure why. When I was cornered by zombies in front of his house, David let me in
and saved me. We discussed the situation while eating lunch. We didn't realize
I had been bitten until after I turned. Perhaps it was wrong for me to eat his
tuna fish sandwich, since it was his, but I was really hungry.
I was a little full when I cornered his
daughter Suzy in her bedroom. She was screaming like humans do when faced with
a zombie. I don't know why. Her mom had also been screaming when she ran out
the front door. There seemed something wrong about this, but I'm not sure whyóshouldn't moms and daughters stay together, like mashed potatoes
and gravy? But gravy is good, even ŗ
I figured I'd eat only some of Suzy and leave
the rest for later. Or maybe notóeven zombies can overeat,
and I had a lot of David in me. She was eighteen, with pale, juicy skin,
dressed in a red polka-dot party dress. Spattered blood would ruin the
aesthetically pleasing white dots. I remember many years ago my mom making
smiley faces out of my food on my plate, and I still ate it, so I guess that's
the price of eating.
"Why aren't you eating me?" asked
Suzy as I paced about, figuring how much of Suzy I could fit inside of me. I
was once a math professoróDavid and I were
colleagues at the university and we were both still wearing our tweed jackets
with the elbow patchesóand being a zombie didn't
dull my three-dimensional geometry skills. Any more than an arm or a head and
I'd burst. Of course, that would just let out some of David, allowing me to eat
more of Suzy, so there was that. I continued to pace about, opening and closing
my jaws in silent calculation. Every time I used pi in an equation it only made me hungrier.
"Professor Wills, I'm guessing you ate
so much of my dad that you don't have room for more," she said, trembling
slightly. "Am I right?" A smart child. Her long blond hair would be
convenient for holding her when I ate her, like a stick on a lollipop.
"I've known you all my life," she
continued. "I don't think you want to eat me." Perhaps not so smart
after all. For what possible reason wouldn't I want to eat her just because I'd
known her a long time? Would she avoid eating canned tuna just because the can
had been in the pantry a long time? I didn't see the logic. Even zombies digest
food, and soon I'd have room for her to join her father. V=4/3πabc doesn't lie.
"There's a program for people like
you," said Suzy. "Zombies Anonymous. It's a step-by-step program for
zombies to recover and stop being zombies. Would you like to learn more about
I vaguely remembered hearing of this, but
only as a joke spread at horror conventions. After the Zombie Apocalypse, it
might have been taken more seriously, but most of us were fixated on avoiding
zombies and staying alive, though I don't remember why. It sounded like
Alcoholics Anonymous. I stared down at her, my head tilted slightly sideways
like my dog when she wanted a treat. I wonder what canine tastes like. I held
up ten fingers, and then two.
"No, it's not like the twelve steps of
Alcoholics Anonymous," she said. "Those steps rely on God saving you.
If there were a God, there wouldn't be zombies running around eating people,
That did raise an interesting question. A
benevolent God would have hobbled people so we could catch them more easily.
But this raised a separate question. Was there any reason why I wouldn't want
to continue being a zombie? I couldn't think of any.
"There are only three steps to Zombies
Anonymous," continued Suzy. "First, you must admit you are powerless
over being a zombie."
I could agree to that. After all, I was
a zombie. Does a tuna have to admit it is powerless over being a tuna if it
wants to stop being a tuna? Did you know human brains taste like tuna? Yum.
"The second step," Suzy said,
"is to decide that you don't want to be a zombie."
Hold the tuna sandwiches! Why wouldn't I want to be
a zombie? What were the alternatives? Going back to being a human chased by
herds of zombies? Feeling pain? The constant constraints of a moral compass?
I'd managed to navigate life as a human right into adulthood, but it hadn't
been easy. Getting my PhD in math would have been a lot easier if I'd been able
to cheat on exams and eat the bad professors. But for the sake of argument, I'd
conditionally accept the idea that I didn't want to be a zombie.
"The final step," Suzy said,
"is to stop acting like a zombie."
No eating people? Learn a moral compass? That
was a bit much. Would you ask a tuna to stop acting like a tuna? Would that
change the fact that it was still a tuna?
"You won't eat me," Suzy said.
"I know it. You've been a friend of the family for years. You only ate my
dad because you were in a zombie frenzy, but you're over that now. Before you
turned, you were the nicest person I ever knew; you were my hero. You even
inspired me to get this." She held out her arm, showing me that tattoo on
her forearm of the famous math equation, eπi+1=0.
I had been a nice person, though of course
"nice" is just part of that moral compass thing. But I remember being
proud of being nice. I could still be nice. And so I took Suzy's arm in mine.
And took a big bite out of it. It was all
part of Humans Anonymous, that one-step program I'd just invented to introduce
weak, moralistic humans to the freedom of zombiehood. In just minutes, Suzy
would stop screaming, and then, together, we could hunt down her mom (mashed
potatoes!) and the neighbors, and if we still had room, maybe get a tuna