I don't understand all the fuss about how to survive a zombie apocalypse. I've survived plenty of zombies.
Even the Pentagon seems a tad nervous. A report earlier this year reveals that Department of Defense document CONOP 8888 lays out a strategy to combat a planetwide attack by the walking dead. U.S. Strategic Command insists it's really just a training exercise to sharpen skills for actual emergencies.
My friend Michelle from Wisconsin said she overheard her boys debating how to survive a zombie apocalypse. Then they asked her about her preparations to counter the threat.
''I said that I don't believe in zombies so I'm not worried. Perhaps a better answer would have been that I'll just wing it and use my awesome super mama powers.''
Don't believe in the living dead? I encounter them all the time.
Dictionary.com defines a zombie as ''the body of a dead person given the semblance of life, but mute and will-less ...'' That sounds like the creature I saw first thing this morning. I opened my eyes and there she was, a zombie, mostly dead, but shuffling, drawn forward by some unseen force.
The zombie dragged out the bedroom door, trailed by a low and haunting moan: ''Caaaw ... feeee.'' So much for mute.
From my new spot under the bed, I tracked the sound of the creature's plodding across the dining room and into the kitchen, followed by clinking and clunking. Something gurgled. Beeps. Splashing. A pause. And then, ''Ahh.''
Three minutes later, my wife - smiling and beautiful - floated into the bedroom. The weird thing was that other than the steaming mug clamped in both hands, she wore a robe exactly like the zombie's.
I squiggled out from under the bed. ''What happened to the zombie?''
''Oh, her.'' Terry sipped from mug. ''I don't suspect she'll be back until tomorrow morning.''
My dad insisted our house was full of the living dead, especially at vacation time. Dad insisted the family be on the road by 5 a.m. I never heard any alarms. I'd wake up at 8:30 a.m. in the backseat of the car beside my two snoring brothers. All of us were still in our pajamas.
''What a bunch of zombies,'' Dad muttered.
I peered bleary-eyed out the car window. I didn't see any zombies. I went back to sleep.
It wasn't until college that I began noticing zombies. I always ran into one in the dormitory shower, looking over my shoulder in the mirror. I dove back into bed so fast that my own reflection never registered, only the zombie's. Around noon, I peeled back the covers. The zombies were gone. And so were all my morning classes.
My first job required me to be at work at 5:30 a.m. The place reeked of zombies. I felt pretty dead myself and blended right in.
At 6:30 a.m., that perky employee danced in, full of sunshine, smiles and cheery hellos. The zombies' faces contorted into even more ugliness. But as soon as one of them pulled out a pillow to smack Little Miss Perky Sunshine, the rest of the zombies attacked the pillow. For mute creatures, zombie snore pretty loudly.
That's how I learned the secret to surviving a zombie apocalypse: Sling blankets, pillows and coffee. It's no big deal. Unless they want to dance to ''Thriller.''
---- Wake Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.