Walkin’ With Zombies

The First Annual (I love using that term because it pisses off all the right people) Cottleville Zombie Benefit Walk took place Saturday in support of the Center for Autism Education.

As usual I sent out the call to all my family and friends to attend. Five of them did: Sister2 and husband Chuck, Tina and husband Chris, and Melissa. As for the rest of my family and friends? Cowards. Their precious, precious brains were apparently more important to them.

We signed up for the 5 o’clock all-ages run, against Melissa’s wishes, because zombies aren’t as scary in daylight. The event was sponsored by The Babylon restaurant and we were instructed to arrive 45 minutes early to sign in and get our T-shirts. Since this was the first time anyone around here had done something like this, we were expecting hitches. Our expectations were met.

The sign-in line was long and slow moving. They’ll streamline it by next year, we figured. We signed in and were designated Group J. The plan was for a van to pull up at 5 p.m. and haul people to the Dardenne Greenway Trail, where we would walk a 1-mile path back to the Babylon — provided we got past the zombies.

By 5:45 p.m. the van had hauled groups A-D to the site. There was only one van and it could only hold maybe a dozen people. We’re still six letters away. This could take all night. I am not a patient man. Especially when there’s nowhere to sit. They’ll hire more vans next year, we figured.

We talked to someone in charge and decided to drive ourselves over to the start of the trail. We had three cars so we figured we could drive over in two, then when we walked back here, we could take the third car back to get the other cars. A hassle, but better than waiting until dark when the zombies are extra hungry.

We made our way to the trail and started walking. The Son, who usually charges far ahead, held back with me, who usually lags far behind. Perhaps he could sense this wasn’t going to be our usual walk in the park. In short order the zombies started coming out of the woods. Slowly. Oh good, these are slow zombies, not fast zombies.

There were all kinds of zombies — zombie with chainsaw, zombie with lawnmower, zombie bride, zombie on bicycle, pregnant zombie. Pretty much every kind of zombie you can imagine.

Some of them tried to scare us, but most of them just ambled along and stayed out of the way. It looked like we would make our way out with brains intact. The Son didn’t seem too scared by them, probably because many of them were his teachers and aides.

When we got near the end there was a steep hill to climb and a highway to cross. Since none of us were that tired, and the zombies didn’t seem that dangerous, we decided to backtrack and walk the mile back to the cars. By the time we got back to civilization it was dark and I was grateful we had made it out alive. It seems much harder in the movies.

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