I finally did it.
I watched the first episode of The Walking Dead.
I was dreading it as much as I imagine Catherine Howard dreaded copulating with King Henry VIII (he was ridden with pus-filled boils by that point in time AND suffered from an ulcerated leg wound- do NOT Google that, you will regret it). Why, you ask? Because a horse dies. I was still working at The Silver Snail when The Walking Dead first hit the shelves, and in an effort to spare my delicate disposition, all of my co-workers warned me not to pick up the first issue. Obviously I thumbed through a copy while I was working the front cash, because I’m still prone to the juvenile predisposition of wanting things I can’t have (like Batman and/or Khal Drogo because apparently they’re “not real”). I instantly regretted it- probably as much as you now regret Googling images of ulcerated leg wounds. I told you not to.
I was recently at The New York Comic Con with a few friends who just so happen to be big fans of the show. Outside the Javits Center hung a huge poster advertising the program, and I confessed that I refused to watch it because-
“THAT guy lets his horse DIE. How am I supposed to care about the plight of someone who let their horse get eaten? Good riddance, I say!”
They both staunchly defended Rick Grimes’ honour, assuring me that he “was surrounded” and in a delicate state to boot. I, however, remained dubious.
They told me I should give the show a chance, and even went as far to show me this photo-
in an effort to reassure me that the horse was, in fact, still intact. I, however, was having none of it. Yeah, I’m one of those people. I can’t even watch Humane Society infomercials, and so I remained adamant.
Until I saw the first episode of the second season.
It was so good. It was so good. I was in my hotel in New York, packing for my flight home, when the encore presentation just so happened to come on. My clothes and souvenirs remained strewn about the room as I sat in bed, enraptured. By the time it concluded it was nearly midnight; I had yet to truly begin packing and was forced to visit the front desk in search of scissors (for the purpose of packing- not protection). When I entered the lobby, it was deserted. There was no one sitting in the business area- and the doorman and the concierge were both notably absent.
Clearly, I had walked straight into the onset of a zombie apocalypse.
I backed away slowly, thinking of the policemen stationed literally right down the block (we were staying in a hotel in the financial district- and every night they would form a blockade to prevent the protestors from surrounding Government buildings). More than half of them were mounted, and I was about to run outside with a potted plant as my only weapon in an effort to spare a few horses when the concierge finally appeared (visibly weary but not undead).
I headed over to the desk and requested scissors, only to be informed that he “wasn’t allowed” to lend them to me. In an effort to assure him of my good intentions, I said- “I’m not going to murder my roommate, I promise.” For some reason he was not convinced, so I elaborated: “I need them for bubble-wrap! I was here for the New York Comic Con and I visited the HBO store yesterday and bought two “Game of Thrones” steins and I’m flying out tomorrow and I bought an entire roll of bubble-wrap but I have no way of cutting it and-“ and he gave me the scissors.
I made my way back upstairs, carefully packaged my steins (Stark and Targaryen, in case you were wondering), and hurried to return the scissors before the Concierge began to suspect foul-play. On my way back downstairs, I realized my jeans were undone (who seriously buttons their pants in the privacy of their own room?)- and was busy attempting to do them up one-handed when I stepped into the elevator. The doors had just begun to close behind me when I caught sight of someone- something– in my peripheral and reeled around, shrieking, scissors raised and button forgotten.
The man standing in the elevator was alive, however, so I refrained from severing his spinal column (thanks, Andrea!).
That was the first time The Walking Dead nearly landed me in prison.
Last night was the night I finally decided to watch the series premiere. I’d been following the second season since New York, and felt it was high-time I played catch-up. By the time it was over I was suffering from the worst tension headache I’ve experienced since University (I covered my eyes like a child- as far as I’m concerned, the last six minutes didn’t happen). I had done it, though. It was over. I breathed a sigh of relief, and had just begun to catch-up on my e-mails (far less thrilling), when I heard it.
A tiny whimper.
You know that moment in Fellowship of the Ring when in the midst of the council of Elrond fracas, Frodo pipes up with- “I’ll take it!”- and Gandalf has that beautiful moment where he just closes his eyes and sighs inwardly? No?
Cassie, my special needs fur-baby (I’m not being insensitive, she has allergies and she is prone to ear infections- at the moment she appears to be suffering from the mange, on account of her bald patch), had decided, at one thirty in the morning, that she had to pee. I immediately thought of Lam Kendal, warning Rick Grimes to keep away from the windows- because the “Walkers” were more active at night and drawn to light and OH GOD NO.
I ventured out into the hallway, looked down at her and asked- “Are you serious right now?”
She wagged her tail and trotted happily to the door (and simultaneously, I was certain, her demise). I warned her that it was every man for himself out there- that she was on her own if we were attacked. She’d be useless in the event of zombie apocalypse. Her response to threat is to show her belly. I even told her to brace herself for the most gruesome belly-rub of her little LIFE but she still seemed pretty determined to pee. So, I pulled on my jacket, put on my running shoes, got a knife from the kitchen and a bag in the event of poops.
What was that?
Oh, a knife.
Yeah, you read that right. I got a knife.
Despite my threats, I wasn’t actually about to let my dog be turned into a zombie. Who do you think I am? Rick Grimes? To get to her those Walkers would have to get through me, and honestly, that probably wouldn’t be that hard, but it’s my duty as a loving parent.
So I flipped on the porch light, held my breath for a moment, then slowly open the door- just enough to peek outside. Thankfully, no one seemed to be meandering mindlessly. I ventured down the stairs first (skunks are just as terrible as zombies), then let Cassie out. She pranced up the street, oblivious to the danger we were currently in, and I followed, making it down the block without incident (well, I nearly shanked a pylon, but that hardly counts).
While I surveyed the street like Batman she proceeded to roll in a leaf-pile, chew on a stick, itch, clean herself, and attempt to steal my mitten. I was beseeching her to pee when one of my neighbours turned the corner. I was relieved to see a person I recognized, and played it nonchalant; concealing the knife in the sleeve of my jacket (I cannot believe I just typed those words) as I followed him home. I bet he never even suspected he was being used as a human shield.
Thankfully, Cassie pee-peed before I stabbed anyone, but seriously. I awoke this morning to the dawning realization that I had been patrolling my street with a KNIFE mere hours prior, and for a moment contemplated adding The Walking Dead to my Married Movies List (a compilation of films/TV shows I will only watch when I have someone to share a bed with- not because I don’t feel I’m capable of defending myself, but because when I was little I told my mother I’d get married one day so that “the monsters would have another option”), but quickly dismissed the notion.
It’s just too good.
I wonder if I’ll get AMC in prison.