Three From the Road – Zombie Apocalypse

Me and Earl were living south of Durham on an old train trestle over a creek.  We’d built ourselves a little hut about mid-span.  The old wooden trestle looked like it hadn’t seen any train traffic for a decade or more before the crap hit the fan, and we didn’t suppose any new trains were likely to start using it.  We barricaded and booby-trapped the tracks on either end and climbed up from below.  Them flesh-eatin’ rascals can’t climb worth a damn, and they swim like rocks, so we was pretty well protected.

Screenshot 2020-05-15 at 11.07.19 PM
Digital scribble by the author

One day we were trying to lash one of the tarps back down when we heard a ruckus from down stream.  We looked and seen these three women down there trying to get away from a few biters.  These girls musta not known how to swim or they didn’t wanna get their clothes wet or something.  Them and the zombies were all scrambling along the bank like idiots.  Earl and me was yellin’ to ’em to just get in the creek, but I guess they were too busy squealing and climbing over rocks to pay us any mind.

We came down with a couple ugly sticks and saved ’em, like knights in shining armor.  They climbed up to our place and we gave ’em some beans and they shared a can of tuna they had.

Earl and me had talked before about the risks of taking other health nuts in.  Earl musta forgot all about that once he seen Brenda.  She was in her early 30’s and was pretty in a rough sort of way.  The blonde from her last bottle of Clairol  was just about visible at the  ends of her brown hair.  I told her she shoulda cut it short by now, to decrease her grab-ability.  She said it aint easy giving up every last bit of the way life used to be, but she’d consider it.  It’s a girl thing I guess.

She was on the run from the undead along with her niece Katey and an older neighbor friend named Louise.  Katey was pretty skinny like most of us.  Her hair had the look of having possibly been last cut with a steak knife.  I’m guessing that hairstyle was Brenda tryin’ to keep her kin in pristine, unbit condition.  Seems Brenda knew bout keepin hair short for safety, just not her own. Katey kinda looked like a dandelion on account of that hairstyle as she sulked around the trestle just as moody and pissed off as any fourteen year old.

Louise wasn’t a whole lot more talkative than Katey.  She just lurked around looking kind of scared all the time.  She damn near caught herself an ugly stick upside the head when Earl thought that a Francine Flesh-chomper had somehow made it through the barricades.  Soon as she cried out and crouched down, Earl checked his swing.  After that, Louise took to clearing her throat a lot.  Zombies don’t pay no attention to post-nasal drips, so a sniffle and a cough could go a long way to keep you from getting swung on.

Our little camp got crowded that day, and I made a mental note to give Earl an earful once I had him alone. In the meantime, I tried to be a good host.

Action Hero Auditions in the Zombie Apocalypse

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[ Chapter 2 is below – if you want to read chapter 1 first, click HERE]

We made our way back out through the lobby past the plastic trees and hostess stand.  My bike had a busted shifter and only one gear of the original 10 still working.  Earl was on what they used to call beach cruiser.  There weren’t any flesh biters close by, so it wasn’t too tough to get up and moving, even with all the scavenged stuff we were carrying.  I learned from experience it aint easy to build up pedaling momentum on a one-speed if a Junior or a Sally Mae is grabbing at you.

Gas was still around if you looked hard enough and didn’t mind getting a mouthful of it every so often from siphoning.  Keeping enough unleaded in your car ain’t the only challenge though.  People just keeled over dead and abandoned things in the worst possible places.  Tryin’ to steer around a big old SUV parked all cattywampus dead in the middle of a back road could land you in a ditch with hungry visitors coming out of the weeds.

Earl had a 250 cc Yamaha for a while, but he switched over to the beach cruiser ’cause a Brenda.  She musta got bumped off of one of ’em back in high school with some boyfriend.  She raised hell with Earl about how dangerous they were.  The whole thing struck me funnier’n hell, since he was using it to avoid zombies.  Earl seems to think Brenda’s more dangerous than some old zombie –  ‘more I see of her, he might be right.

Earl told me his wife Velma left early in the game. She ended up accidentally providing dinner for one of her friends from the supermarket.  She had told Earl she was worried about this girl from the deli department who lived alone. Velma brought her over a casserole but no one answered the door. She musta pushed the door open and poked her head in.  Earl was waitin’ in the car and he saw her get yanked into the place.  Time he got up to the porch, he already knew he was too late.  He swore he’da helped her if he wasn’t out numbered so bad – she mighta lived alone, but that deli girl had no shortage of company when she died.  Earl said the living room was packed so full of zombies he could only see Velma’s one foot sticking out and twitching.  He just got back in his car and tore ass.  Anyway, that’s in the past.

I tend to believe Earl’s stories. He strikes me as the sort who doesn’t have the creative energy to tell too many lies.  Velma likely ran the show, and he was used to taking orders to keep things civil.  I know it aint right to speak poorly of the dead  -‘specially the dead you aint even met- but there’s only so many living folks around to talk crap about.

Earl and me met a ways back, long after the shit had hit the fan. People were getting sick and dying, then they were rising up and eatin’ the ones who weren’t dead or lucky.  The folks in charge were talking a lot, blaming each other like they do.  The military came rolling in, but then they left all a sudden like maybe they knew something we didn’t.  We aint seen em since, less you count the ones who show up looking to take a bite of you.  Right before the cavalry disappeared, the power went off for good.

Seemed like once there was no juice, people really lost their damn minds. No TV or internet, no smart phones or Nintendos and no more people in camo keeping the peace.  Some of these folks looked like they was tryin’ to get killed. Out there fightin’ zombies like they were action heroes.  Sure, them zombies aint too bright and don’t flinch when you swing, but if there’s enough of them, you’re gonna feed em eventually.

I was in a neighborhood looking for food when I seen two of these Schwarzenegger wannabees out in the street taking on too many zombies for their own good.  They didn’t have no business being out there, and helping them was out of the question.  I saw something move outta the corner of my eye and got my ugly stick up.  I relaxed a bit when I seen it was this big guy squatting down behind a recycling can joining me in the audience for the show out on the cul de sac.  You could spot another health nut.  We did things like squat and hide.  Zombies don’t waste energy hiding from anyone, they just stagger non-stop till they get some flesh of the living.

“Hey, I’m Earl” he whispered, “Can’t believe these mo-rons fightin zombies in the street – they sure not gone win”

Earl likely heard some cartoon character say morons that way, and it musta made quite an impression on him, because he said it plenty.  After the first fifty times, it wasn’t so funny.  Still, having a wingman aint a bad thing to help cover your back.  Compared to the two bozos out in the street, he seemed like a good candidate for the job.

Earl was wearing a Bass Boss baseball cap that had once been camo-green, but now was the color of phlegm. His pants were riding low and that plumber’s crack coulda had its own zip code.  I was a little jealous to see that he’d found a six pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon and three cans of dog food.  Zombies were staggering out of driveways and backyards for a taste of the two Rambo’s.  It wouldn’t be long.

I had found some dried beans and an aluminum little league bat earlier – this neighborhood was already picked pretty clean.  My original ugly stick was an old wooden one, with a couple of landscaping spikes through the end.  I wasn’t gonna retire it, but a smaller one could come in handy.

Earl said if I helped him carry his stuff, he’d get us out of there.  He put the beer on the ground next to the cans of horse meat and ducked around the side of the house.  I was considering taking the dog food and beating feet when I heard the Yamaha start up.  He come rolling around to where I was and said get on.  A few of the stumble-bums out in the street heard the bike too, so I didn’t squabble.

I quick put everything in my backpack, keeping a grip on the old ugly stick just in case.  Earl wasn’t too gentle with the clutch, and I damn near fell off the back right as a Junior and a couple of Francines started lurching up the driveway towards us.  We juked the Junior and tore ass across the lawn. One of the Francinces was close enough to smell so I swatted her one as we roared past.  We hit the sidewalk and got the hell outta Dodge.  We been teamed up ever since.

Holiday Greetings From The Zombie Apocalypse

In the spirit of full disclosure, I first posted this in December of 2012 – zombies were all the rage and life was simpler.  I have written several more installments because I liked Bobby, Earl and the zombies.  These have yet to be published, but will be in the days/weeks to come – I promise.   

black eyed peas
I wouldn’t want to imply that The Olive Garden uses dried black eyed peas from Goya, but it seemed more appropriate than most of the junk in my stock of pics.

We were looking for some food in the kitchen of an Olive Garden outside of what was once Durham, North Carolina.  It was supposedly December 25th – at least that’s what Earl said.  The calendar was pretty much useless by that point.  Days and nights were spent fighting the undead as they lurched and hissed all around us.  The sound of their clicking teeth took the place of sleigh bells and Bing Crosby.

I tightened the grip on my ugly stick and glanced at a zombie that was inching closer.  This one looked like she had been an obese woman in her late fifties when she turned.  Stalking the planet for the brains of the living might’ve been the one diet and exercise program which had actually worked for her.  Her clothes hung loosely on her now, she had lost one of her scuffy slippers and the remaining one was barely hanging on.  A couple of curlers hung comically from her foul, matted hair.  She wasn’t one of the fast ones.  I stole a glance at Earl.

“You telling me it’s freakin Christmas today?”

“I think so, Bobby.  I might be a day or two off, though” he replied.  “Feels cold enough to be December, don’t it?”

I shrugged my agreement to him and turned my attention back to Francine.  Earl and me took to naming them a while back.  It made things a little less tedious and could actually help if things got a little too crowded.  Housewife-looking zombies, and there seemed to be quite a few of ‘em, were usually called Francine or Edna.  Younger ones were named Junior or Sally Mae, depending on their gender.  I tried to give foreign-looking ones a name that would match up with their likely country of origin.  Earl’s not all that creative so he names all the foreign ones Saddam, whether they look Middle Eastern, Asian or whatever.  A young zombie of Asian descent would be “Saddam Junior” according to Earl’s rule book.  Naming the young zombies is real important, since they tend to move faster’n the older ones.  I know that this aint politically correct, but when you’re about to take a Lousiville slugger with spikes in the end of it across their chops, you don’t waste much time worrying about pissing off Miss Manners.  I’m pretty sure Miss Manners got herself chewed up a long ways back anyway – likely ’cause she hadda hold her pinky out when she was swingin’ her lacrosse stick at the undead.

Francine was edging closer.  She’d slowed down when she paused to look at some shiny, swollen cans of crushed tomatoes on the floor near her feet.  These zombies aint exactly like the pretend ones we used to see on TV.  They’re hungry alright, but they can be distractable.  Shiny stuff, brightly colored stuff – they’re drawn to it like lake carp.  Eventually their appetites get the better of ‘em though, and they start back on their quest for the flesh of the living.  Francine had lost her interest in the puckered cans and was heading back my way.

The beautiful thing about zombies is they got none of what you call protective reflexes.  They don’t flinch or duck or nothin’.  They’ll walk right up to you no matter what position you’re in.  I was standing there looking like a major league slugger at the plate with the bases loaded and here comes Francine.  Her head was a far sight bigger’n a softball and moving slow.  Her arms were up though, so I switched from my Sammy Sosa stance over to a modified Paul Bunyan.  I swung like I was piecing out a sequoia and one hit was all it took.

“When you’re done dancin’ around with Edna over there, gimme a hand with this stuff and let’s get back to camp” Earl called.  ”The girls’ll wonder where the hell we are.  You know how they worry”

“Her name’s Francine, Earl, and I don’t dance.”

I stepped around her, noticing for no particular reason that her second slipper had finally fallen apart.  I found a couple of cartons of dried spaghetti without too many mouse turds in them.  Things were looking up for Christmas dinner.



Just One For Old Times Sake

I know that I said in my last post that I would be writing fiction on here for the foreseeable future.  I felt that poking fun at a world at this time was both unnecessary and too easy from a creative standpoint.  That remains my intent.  I just have to get this one off my chest.  I promise that I’ll immerse myself into creating imaginary characters and putting them into interesting situations as soon as I’m done my next tele-conference

I have a request for you, my gentle readers and the world beyond: Can we please just admit that the culture of ignorance might not be one we should embrace or celebrate?

Duct tape not a good option. you want somethings more breathable (Image by

In simpler times, we have been amused by people who truly believe that the world is flat.  We rolled our eyes and chuckled at those who believe that anything small enough to not be visible to the naked eye could not exist.  We laughed at reality TV stars and how dumb they were.  In a previous post, I ranted about the legal profession defending stupidity.  Hey, we’ve all got to make a living, right?

That was then, this is now.

Suddenly the ignorance of others is not so funny.  In fact, it is downright terrifying.  Every single person has an opinion about anything relating to COVID-19.  It’s safe to say they can’t all be right.

Should I believe this guy, or that woman, or my own inner voices?  Should I just blindly believe the same people I’ve always believed?  Political leaders, religious figures and anyone with a webcam are more than happy to share their two cents with a population who has nothing to do except sit around looking for comfort.

I can only speak for myself.  I’m overly college educated.  I have my doubts about the media, and about how honest governments are being with us now (or ever, really).

You may wonder who am I listening to.  Lots of people actually.  This one gentleman in particular.  His name is Jeremy Howard He is a Distinguished Research Scientist at The University of San Francisco.  If you’d like to hear what he has to say, here is the link.  To be honest, the video starts off a little slowly, but at least you don’t have to read actual words.

If you’d care to forego the video, allow me to summarize it for you: Wear a freaking mask!  It doesn’t have to be an N-95, or any other impossible-to-get-on Amazon-type thing.  Make one out of a T shirt, use a scarf, use anything that you can breathe through. It will protect you and everyone else.  The CDC is finally coming around and advising the same.

If you want to believe that the earth is flat or that this is just an overblown hoax, fine, but could you please wear a mask anyway?

I’m Back ?!

As long time followers know, it’s been a long damn time since I’ve written anything on this blog.  My excuses are many, and none of them are worth the precious time required to discuss.  The important thing is that I am back.


Did you miss me (Did you even know I was gone)?  I apologize.  It’s like I’m one of those Dads who goes out for a pack of smokes and doesn’t turn up until 19 years later when Mom wins the lottery or junior is a first round draft pick.

oregon bent tree 1
My apologies for using old pics from previous posts, but I wanted to publish this before it got too stale. Photo and inspirational idiocy by the author

Back when I was blogging like a fiend, I was a self-admitted whore for likes and followers.  As the numbers plateaued and the same three people liked what I wrote, the buzz was wearing off.  Now I’m back, and to be fair, it is partly because of my metaphoric lottery win.  No millions in cash to leech onto, no kid in the big leagues, just you, my handful of patient readers.

When you’re done watching everything you can on Netflix*, the news makes you break out in hives, and you need a moment to get away from your quarantine mates – you’ll come to me, and welcome me back into your worlds without so much as a peep about why a pack of Marlboro Lights took me so long to find.

As for my personal quarantine, I’ll say this and this only: My people are safe and healthy, my food supplies are sufficient and I have more than enough home brewed beer to last me.

I just wanted to say hello, and to let you know that I’ll be turning out some fiction in the weeks/months to come.  My penchant for poking fun at the insanity of our times has officially become easier than falling off a log as well as painfully depressing, so I’m leaving that to others.

I hope you are all well, and look forward to writing something more.



*”The Tiger King” is viewing gold.  Every episode, every minute. As the saying goes, you can’t make this shit up.



My Dog Ate My Blog Post…and other lies

I really need to stop writing. This is an awful example of why. If the beer I brew was as pathetic as these blog posts, I would give up drinking!

nudge. wink. report.

There’s the culprit. She took my blog post off the coffee table and ate it as she sat under this Leyland cypress. She had the runs for three days after – my writing is not easily digested.

The more alert among you may have noticed that I posted absolutely nothing when it was my turn the last time here at The Nudge Wink Report.  I would’ve written, but I’ve stumbled onto something that’s bigger than mere humor bloggery.

It began innocently enough.  As you may know, I’ve begun brewing beer in earnest, and blogging much less.  The inherent risks of moving ten or eleven gallons of very hot, sugary wort without burning or breaking myself were becoming more and more clear. Not wishing to suffer a scalded hernia, I knew it was time to look into getting a pump.  As a quick aside, my long-suffering wife has been a saint in tolerating…

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Games Over

Here I am again over at The Nudge Wink Report writing a blog post just like I used to do with some regularity over here. If you promise to come over and read it, I’ll do my best to post an actual original piece over here, on my own damn blog.

nudge. wink. report.

It can be a struggle being a curmudgeon, but sometimes they make it awfully easy for me.  Take for example the “news” story I recently read which implied that there was some consideration for making gaming an Olympic sport.  To clarify, the term “gaming” does not refer to the games which already award medals to the best players/teams in a given sport.  Sports such as handball, synchronized swimming and curling are already well established Olympic fare.

This is a humor blog, and as such, I have a moral obligation to make at least one reference to this boob. (Image of actual Trump Tweet from the interwebs)

The gaming to which the article refers is the video form.  In fairness, I should disclose that the “article” to which I am referring is barely more than click bait in its depth and quality. I scanned through two or three paragraphs worth.  Someone from the gaming community was going to meet with someone…

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What’s In A Name?

Time again for another installment over at the Nudge Wink Report. For those of you keeping score, I put less creative energy into each one of these. Soon it’ll just be two or three paragraphs of incoherent drivel.

nudge. wink. report.

Not the actual cat. Image from the interwebs

Some folks in Iowa recently named a rescued kitten “Firecracker” after veterinarians determined that the feline’s facial injuries had likely been caused by some sort of fireworks. In the interest of blog humor, I won’t get on a soapbox and rail against the sadistic nature of the cretins who perpetrate such acts upon innocent, sweet animals (or even cats for that matter).

Instead, I’d like to question the wisdom of christening a cat with such an awful name.  If it was a feisty tabby with an explosive personality and the potential to tear digits to shreds, then a moniker like Firecracker might be an apt handle.  Naming this little guy after the explosive that blew his whiskers off seems a bit cruel.  On the plus side, since it’s a cat, the name doesn’t really matter as they only respond to the sound of electric…

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to be determined

It’s my turn over there at the Nudge Wink Report. I phoned this one in – busy schedule of day drinking and tom-foolery, don’t ya know.

nudge. wink. report.

There is a player on the Cavaliers who believes the earth is flat.  His name is Kyrie Irving and he was born on the other side of what he must see as giant pizza box in a place called Australia.  One might be inclined to imagine that anyone who thinks the earth is flat must have had a sub-par education.  Kyrie went to a prestigious prep school in northern New Jersey, and later attended a place called Duke University.  Either those two institutions are guilty of not providing their star athletes with the most basic of educations, or Kyrie chose to ignore the astronomy portion of his curriculum.  Kyrie may be one of the only Duke alum who thinks the earth is flat, but he’s far from alone.

Perhaps Kyrie and the others only believe in things which they can see with their naked eyes.  Despite the likelihood that he’s spent more time at thirty five thousand…

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Overdrawn at the Memory Bank

This week, despite possessing the long term memory of a sieve, I took my turn over here at The Nudge Wink Report. I’m not getting better, I’m getting older.

nudge. wink. report.

Subway is now portraying themselves as purveyors of natural, wholesome sammiches. The ad agency must be banking on the American public forgetting all about their clients having used a material commonly found in yoga mats in their bread.  One can’t blame the ad agency, after all, they’re dealing with an American public which is generally thought to have the attention span of a caffeinated flea.

Loyal readers may recall this photo from a post I wrote about a woman being served sandwiches made from her own pooch. It's a bastardized Hardee's ad with no reference to yoga mats, Subway or memory. I forget why I put it in here. Loyal readers may recall this photo from a post I wrote about a woman being served sandwiches made from her own pooch. It’s a bastardized Hardee’s ad with no reference to yoga mats, Subway or memory. I forget why I put it in here.

By the same token, I know people who haven’t been swimming in the ocean since seeing “Jaws” in 1976.  They just can’t forget about it.  If they dare to wade in past their ankles, they start hearing that music;  “Duhhhh-Dumm…duhhh-dumm…DUMM DUMM DUMM!”  Next…

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