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Atlanta and Zombies Go Together Like a Coke and a Smile

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So apparently I’ve been living on another planet.

When I signed up to go to Bloggy Boot Camp in Atlanta, I was really looking forward to visiting that fine city again.

Sure, I’ve been to Atlanta before. I’ve enjoyed the friendliness of Atlantans, the wonderful shopping, the fine aquarium, and the World of Coke museum.

But, no one told me about the zombies.

On our drive into downtown Atlanta, my friend Chloe, who was riding with me, began pointing at the five lanes of oncoming traffic that had ground to a halt while attempting to exit that great city, just as we were attempting to enter it. She pointed toward the silhouette of the skyscrapers that make up the skyline of Atlanta, and that served as the backdrop to the parking lot of oncoming interstate traffic that stretched out before us. And then she began babbling something about zombies.

 Now, my friend Chloe has a number of interests that I don’t share, and it’s safe to say that vampires and zombies are among them. So, I humored her, responded politely but somewhat distractedly to her references to the zombie apocalypse and the CDC, and tried to pay attention to the ever thickening traffic that was closing in around us on our side of the highway, as we entered the city.

I think this might be the image she had in mind.

Little did I know then that the zombies were coming for me.

When our blogging conference was over,  two days later, we stayed an extra day in Atlanta, just to have some girlfriend time with our friend Anne. We also met up with our internet friends  Kristy and Kris, who happen to live in the Atlanta area. During the course of a lot of walking around Lenox Mall in Buckhead, my dogs began barking. (That’s southernese for “my feet were starting to hurt”. I’d worn the wrong shoes.) So by the time we got back to our hotel room that night, my dogs had pretty well commenced to baying the Hallelujah chorus, but we still needed to go out again, to eat dinner. Anne and Chloe very kindly offered to drive out to pick up some food to bring back to the room.

 But before they left, they turned on our TV to the AMC channel, because they both wanted to watch the first episode to the second season of a TV show called The Walking Dead. Apparently, this show is hugely popular, if you live on a planet that is other than Planet Boonie. My orbit, up to this point, had been zombie-free.

If only the zombies had never landed.

So, picture this:

I am left very much alone in a strange hotel room in downtown Atlanta. All by myself, alone in the dark, in a big city that happens to be the location of the CDC (Center for Disease Control), where crucial parts of the plot line of The Walking Dead have occurred. The TV is on. The scene of cars parked on the interstate and the skyline of Atlanta flashes on the screen. Zombies begin shambling menacingly toward the survivors of the zombie apocalypse, who themselves are cowering under the abandoned cars that litter the highway. Meanwhile, back in my hotel room, the darkness outside my hotel window has deepened. Strange creaking sounds emanate from the hallway outside my hotel room’s door. The zombies on the show rot and glower over their shrieking, terrified victims. My blood pressure soars.  Zombie brains spurt on the screen, as arrows fired by the survivors pierce their skulls.

Zombie TV is NOT for the faint of heart at any time, but particularly, not for the faint of heart and queasy of stomach, who have been left alone in a dark hotel room in downtown Atlanta.

I made it out alive: but only because I closed my eyes at certain crucial points, covered my face periodically, and turned my head completely away when it got really bad. All survivors of horror movies know how critical it is to close your eyes when the going gets rough, and the stupid babysitter opens the basement door to go downstairs alone. Stupid, stupid, stupid move. Stupid babysitter.

And by the way, since my toe is messed up, I’ve taken to shambling around, much like a zombie.

 But I haven’t caught the zombie virus. (I don’t think…)

And it’s not because I’m easily influenceable. I mean, it’s not like I’d watch some stupid zombie show, just because my friends do it.

I’d be the lemming with the life preserver on.