Zombies and vampires. They're everywhere. Their invasion over the past few years has been so successful that it's impossible to escape from them.
Especially in movie theatres, libraries, and bookstores. The last time I browed through the young adult section of a bookstore, there was nothing on the shelves but ominous dark covers with blood-red titles dripping gore. I had to get out of there while I was still breathing.
Some blood-sucking author has even inflicted zombies on Jane Austen. Someone else has saddled Abraham Lincoln with vampires. As if the man didn't already carry enough of a burden, what with the Civil War and all.
It's enough to send cold shivers down the spine of a reader of plain old-fashioned murder mysteries where, when people are killed, they tend to stay dead. Though I have to admit I did read a zombie novel not long ago. I didn't mean to, honest. I thought it was science fiction. But by the time the zombies appeared, I was too far into the story to give up without finding out how it ended.
(Hint: the zombies didn't die.)
What I've recently discovered, however, is that the zombie and vampire invasion may be even worse than anyone realizes. The undead may have begun infiltrating humankind much earlier than we thought.
This discovery came via a message embedded in an innocent-appearing newspaper article reporting the death of astronaut Neil Armstrong. When I read it, my blood ran cold. The piece, from the Associated Press, appeared in our local paper on Sunday, August 26. Referring to Armstrong's historic first step onto the moon on July 20, 1969, it stated: "Although more than half of the world's population wasn't alive then, it was an event that changed and expanded the globe."
Of course, it's possible that what this sentence meant to say was that half of the people living on Earth today weren't yet born in 1969.
But maybe not. Maybe there really were that many zombies, all across the planet, living secretly among us. That obnoxious kid in first grade who ate all your paste? The odd guy in high school who wore sandals with socks, even in February? That weird sociology teacher your freshman year in college? Your bullying first boss? This could explain a lot of strange people.
But it gets worse. Just think about it. These are the undead. No matter what happens to them, they keep on going, like a bunch of cuteness-challenged Energizer Bunnies. If they've been around since 1969 or earlier, a lot of them are probably collecting Social Security by now.
Taxpayers everywhere should be very afraid.