Sunday, May 13, 2007

"The zombies! They changed the street names!"

Today is the Ludi Marti, a day of games to honor Mars/Ares, the god of war.

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Oh. My. Lord.

That was SO AWESOME!!!

So after Mummy and Daddy picked me up and I brought most of my stuff home, I headed down to Waltham (only got lost once! possibly twice!) to meet up with Shrewd. First I gave her her birthday gifts: a sterling silver spinning ring which may or may not fit her and a sign that says "Math Party Zone" that I made her and she loves. I had originally intended it to be a "You're going to be a MATH TEACHER, ya dolt!" kind of sign, to hang in her classrooms as a badge of geekiness, but then she changed from entering teaching to entering lower management in the college-food-service industry. But she swears it will stay over her dresser for all time anyway.

Then we went to protest ZOMBIES!!!

Okay, explanation. Every year for the past two years, three including this one, a bunch of college kids (and some parents with small children) get together, dress up as zombies, and march/shuffle/lurch/perambulate from Davis Square to Central Square, via Harvard Square so any non-Bostonians can get an idea of where we were-- near the Harvard area.

We were not going as zombies.

We were going as people protesting the zombies. Not the right of people to dress up as zombies and march around, more power to them; rather we were taking it one step further and protesting the right of zombies to march. Shrewd described it as like a "Yes, and..." comedy routine, where you take whatever the last guy said, assume it to be absolutely true, and then take it one step further.

So we made signs out of poster board and sharpies. They said:

"OUR BODIES, OUR RIGHTS, OUR BRAINS!"
"SIX FEET DOWN WITH ZOMBIES!" ~that was my idea.
"CRAWL BACK INTO THE HOLE YOU CAME FROM!" ~also me.
"GOD HATES ZOMBIES"
"WHAT WOULD ZOMBIE JESUS DO?" ~we weren't sure if this was for or against the zombies, but it was inspired by my suggesting "JESUS WAS A ZOMBIE," which we rejected as it might have been considered a bit offensive to Christians, and we hoped to focus our offensiveness towards the undead.
"[ZOMBIE SLUR]...[/ZOMBIE SLUR]" ~ This was voted "Geekiest Anti-Zombie Poster Ever"
"THEY TURNED ME INTO A ZOMBIE!!! ... (I got better)." ~This we didn't show too much because the "got better" part was too small to read, and it's really weird without it.
And the winner, which might actually wind up on the news tomorrow judging by the sheer number of pictures of it: "ZOMBIES ATE MY BABY!!!"

Meanwhile, we decided we also needed a pro-zombie counter-protest. So we designated Shrewd's diminutive friend to that role, and gave her a sign that said "DEAD RIGHTS! Equal opportunities for our non-breathing citizens, differently-living persons, and the vitally-challenged!"

So the four of us (me, Shrewd, her friend the counter-protester, and HER friend, the guy who told us about it in the first place) met up with one more protesting friend and walked to Davis Square (not from Waltham, we made the signs at the guy's house), where a large crowd was gathering, composed of probably at least five hundred people in zombie regalia.

And then we saw the other protesters. Apparently there were like three groups that came up with the same idea we did, and we quickly joined them to fight off the zombies, who were attacking us a little, and we exchanged chants of "Zombies go home!" with cries of "Braaaaaaains!" as our little counter-protester walked between us, totally in character, asking us to "Respect our undead brethren! Stop the hate!"

I was holding the "Crawl back into the hole you came from" sign, and I got interviewed by this guy doing some indie-art flick, but I couldn't stop smiling. Shrewd was interviewed next, holding the "They turned me into a zombie!" one, which he naturally asked a question about before she pointed to the little "I got better" at the bottom.

The march began, and we were off, running alongside the marchers with our signs, occasionally attempting and failing at chants like "Down with Zombies!" "No Pulse No Rights!" and "Kill the Zombies-- Again!" We were flanked by a young woman with very pink hair dressed up like a zombie slayer, who said "I'm just here to keep the peace, folks" and "People, if you provoke the zombies, I cannot be responsible for anything that may happen to you!" Meanwhile while some of the zombies were very good at their charade, others-- like this one woman in a fur coat with a "Billionaires for Bush" bag filled with fake money-- found our signs too funny to stay in character and wound up talking to us for a little while. I got smiles out of most people, especially after Shrewd ran off to play photographer and I wound up holding her "Zombies Ate My Baby!" sign. I also was informed by at least five people that they themselves had consumed the aforementioned infant. I assume I either had quintuplets or it was a very, very fat baby.

Of course, the enormous mass of marchers drove everyone not involved crazy. We were honked at a LOT. People who walked by either laughed at us, took pictures, or rolled their eyes and looked annoyed. The store owners were the most frustrated, as the zombies kept going up to their windows and mucking up the glass with their body paint. I kinda understood their annoyance. A couple of places put someone outside to say, over and over, "Please stay away from my windows. Please do not touch my windows." And when you saw the windows, you could totally see where they were coming from-- it was going to take a lot of cleaning to get off the grease.

Of course, there were plastered zombies who stumbled the whole way, and smoker-zombies who had to stop to smoke along the route or because they were out of breath, and one zombie who went up to claw at the door of a church (a bit rude, luckily no one was in there as far as I could tell and he stopped after a few seconds), and pretty much every variety of zombie imaginable-- newlyweds, nuns, priests, Waldo from "Where's Waldo," guys in drag, girls in evening gowns, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz (she ate Toto!), lots of punks (they are zombiefied at a greater rate apparently), a rapper, a geisha, some doctors, a patient, a guy in a French Maid costume (holding a "We're Here, We're Undead, Get Used To It" sign),several circus performers, and a high-powered executive who attempted to "buy" our brains. He was a very articulate zombie.

Though I had issues staying in character-- a costume might have helped me, something to make me look like a bereaved mother of a zombie-eaten baby-- and Shrewd was just a photographer most of the time, our counter-protester and her friend who originally suggested the idea almost never broke character, not even when we were done and the crowd had disbanded. That was kind of annoying, actually; I get the improv nature of the whole thing but after there weren't any zombies around to protest it got awkward. Some people drove by and when they asked what we were doing, the guy we were with replied in character, and the guy who asked got really pissed off.

After we finished and were taking some final pictures of ourselves, a drunk or, alternatively, crazy homeless man came up and started talking to us. He showed us a spot on his shoulder and said, "Zombies attacked me, you know. I almost died. Right here. But they brought me back just in time to see a cop guide a thousand zombies across the street."

Then we rode the subway back to Davis Square with a punk zombie, who was very nice, if looking a bit green. On the way out of the subway we ran into a drunk guy who thought we were supporting the Brandeis Equestrian Team, on account of the jacket I was wearing that I stole from my sister and the large posters, which we had rolled up by then. We tried to explain it, but clearly alcohol inhibits one's ability to comprehend crazy anti-zombie college kids.

Anyway, there were some great lines from the day, like, "Zombies are people too!" replied with, "NOT ANY MORE THEY AREN'T!"

And then, "How dare you make fun of what might be the most vital issue in our society today!" from the counter-protester, and "HOW DARE WE NOT MAKE FUN OF IT!" from Shrewd.

"Oh, man, my voice is dying." (This was after much shouting.) "Oh my god, they killed your voice???" "Ha ha, ZOMBIES ATE MY VOICE! ZOMBIES ATE MY VOICE" (This was rasped out.)

"We must stop the intolerance! Lifeism is HATE!" to which Shrewd replied, "They ATE my BABY!!!" (She was holding that sign then.)

While I was holding the "Zombies Ate My Baby!" sign, one guy called out, "I think dingos ate your baby, sweetheart." Ah, geeks.

Actually, speaking of geeks, there was an interesting line I noted between the zombies and the protesters. The zombies tended to be punks, goths, subculture types; either that or they were parents with kids. There were lots of those too. However, the protesters were all geeky types like myself. The freak/geek dichotomy was interesting.

But I'm all tuckered out from bein' an anti-zombie bigot. I will add some pictures of this day as soon as I get them off my camera. G'night!

1 comment:

Amishav said...

OMG! This is GREAT!!! Sometimes I miss being in college and having the time do stuff like this. It sounds like a BLAST! I wish I could have been there to see it!