Turns out, zombies are real. And we have one in captivity.This is an interview with an actual zombie, who was born, raised, died, and raised in Haiti. On Sherman Avenue’s latest manatee-hunting excursion, we found a zombie, named him Mr. Nibbles, and took him home to be our new pet. This interview was conducted through the bars of his cage (in the bedroom of Sir Edward Twattingworth III), as we fed him centipede brains from Plex and Cheerios from Hinman.
Sherman Ave: Tell us, Mr. Nibbles, how did you become a zombie?
Nibbles: Well, it started out when I went to the Bokor to get some pot.
SA: What’s a Bokor?
Nibbles: Our resident witch doctor. You know how whenever American thugs want to cut a bitch, they cut the bitch? Haitians just go see the Bokor and he curses the bitch. He also deals things.
SA: So what was different when you went to buy from him this time?
Nibbles: Well, I told him that my last trip had been more painful than teaching wildcats to play sports. So he gave me something new to try. Said it came from pufferfish.
SA: What did the pufferfish stuff do?
Nibbles: It knocked me out. I apparently looked pretty dead.
SA: How long did this go on?
Nibbles: Long enough to be buried alive. Can I have some more Cheerios?
SA: Not until you’re done with the interview. What was being dead like?
Nibbles: I wasn’t dead, I was just unresponsive.* When I eventually came to, I felt worse than freshmen sorostitutes on a post-Keg Tuesday morning, and I had a mad case of the munchies. Basically, the Bokor had knocked me out and then given me a dose of datura, which is just your run-of-the-mill potentially toxic hallucinogen.
SA: Can you describe the effects of datura?
Nibbles: Well, it walks a foggy, fucked-up line somewhere between hallucinogen and near-death experience. I’d done it before I was zombified on it. You kinda mumble around tripping massive crusty balls. Side effects are extreme suggestibility, amnesia, diaphragm paralysis, and sometimes aggression. There are Youtube videos of state school Motherfuckers immortalizing each other’s bad decisions on datura. But essentially, you’ve just been roofied by the Bokor.
SA: So in a stereotypical zombie, the drooling, moaning, slurring, limping, and aggression is probably because of the datura.
Nibbles: Exactly. And because zombies are pretty complacent most of the time, they usually get put to work in the field. But I’m sure there are Bokors who get more creative with their zombie slaves.**
SA: Do you identify with the common stereotype of a zombie?
Nibbles: I mean, in some ways. I definitely lost a lot of brains due to asphyxiation while I was buried alive, as a lot of zombies do. I think that oftentimes that disappointment that you’ve just died a little on the inside manifests itself in the aggression caused by the datura. You just want your brains back in whatever way you can, and you end up trying to nom on anyone normal in the area.
A huge part of zombification is the mental adjustment. When you’ve been buried alive and you wake up feeling more fucked up than the lovechild of Tom Cruise and Charlie Sheen, a common question to ask is, “What’s wrong with me?” But the question never comes out right. You end up with something like, “Hn wclch trchk blm nnnnng?” And when the answer from your friends and family is “HOLY FLYING FUCK, I THOUGHT YOU DIED,” at some point you do start believing you’re a zombie. It’s like your crotchety black uncle who’s convinced he’s a Democrat because he’s a minority, despite his right-wing stance on every fucking issue on the platform. It’s like having anorexia and participating in the Stanford prison experiment. There’s this impossibly perfect standard of what a zombie should be, and you have zombies becoming someone else to try to fit into those roles.
SA: So what you’re saying is that you felt pressured by the cultural expectations of zombies.
Nibbles: Yeah. I started hanging around graveyards, I lumbered around slower than the frustrating Motherfucker in the dining hall who’s obliviously in your way when you’re hauling ass to the cookie bar line, I didn’t say anything but “NNNNNGGG” for a year or two. I mean, what kind of a word is “Ng”? The stereotyping and idealization of zombies in the media is a dangerous cultural phenomenon, and it goes unquestioned and unreported. Every time you watch a George Romero film, I beg you to please remember that not every zombie can tear the limbs off of a pair of dumbass lovers trying to make a kamikaze run for their lives. And not every zombie wants to.
SA: Are there any portrayals of zombies in movies that you’d like our readers to watch?
Nibbles: Yeah. There’s a Spanish foreign film*** called Rec, off of which the American piece of shit Quarantine was based. If you’re going to watch a zombie movie, Rec is significantly more heinous. Please honor Latin America with the concession that this movie might be the one thing we don’t do as well. Also, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island. Hanna-Barbera gets enough zombie facts right to be legit.
SA: Thank you. Nibbles, I think this concludes our interview. We really appreciate your input on the subject. It’s been a heinous time.
*Like the side door of Annenberg.
**Interactive question for readers: What would YOU do with a zombie slave?
***There are subtitles. Get over it, you’re reading things right now. But apparently they mistranslate the foul language, so whenever you hear the word “mierda” you’ll have to either get off your lazy ass and onto Spanishdictionary.com, or rely on whatever AP Spanish remains accessible behind the stacks of quotable South Park episodes in your brain. See? You knew being bilingual was good for something. You can power trip over your ability to point out inconsistencies in the translation of profanity.