Saturday, October 17, 2015

Zombies of Color

I saw an ad that really made me curious. It said, Wanted: Zombies of Color.

So I called to find out what it was all about. And the recorded message said, “Thank you for calling Zombie Finders. If you want to sign up for the zombies of color audition, press 9.” So I pressed 9 and the recorded message told me to show up Thursday at noon.

And then I did some research and I learned that Zombie Finders is a talent agency that specializes in casting ordinary folks in the roles of zombies in movies and TV shows. There’s a huge demand because the zombie apocalypse has become a hot artistic topic in recent years and nobody ever casts just one zombie. Zombies are always cast by the shitload. That’s where Zombie Finders comes in.

More research revealed that last year the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged Zombie Finders with employment discrimination. An investigation by the agency found that nearly all those who passed Zombie Finder auditions were white, which is why the shitloads of Zombies we see in movies and TV shows do not, in the agency’s words, “reflect the rich cultural and ethnic diversity of America.”

I never thought about that but it’s true. I know whenever I think about zombies I picture white males. That’s how we’ve been conditioned by our mass media

So the zombies of color audition was part of Zombie Finders settlement agreement with EEOC. I was super excited to try out because if zombie diversity was what they were after, I could deliver that big time. In no zombie movie or TV show have I ever seen a zombie in a motorized wheelchair or even a dwarf zombie for that matter. Zombies are pretty goddam homogeneous. And whereas I am not technically “of color,” I feel like being crippled in some ways makes me an honorary member of that club. And I was also super excited to try out because being cast as a zombie would be the realization of a lifelong vocational ambition. As a kid I pictured myself as everything from a boxer to an astronaut. But never in my wildest dreams did I dare imagine that some sweet day I would be paid to act like a zombie.

So I showed up Thursday at noon and got in line. I had a soliloquy from Hamlet all memorized and ready to go. But then a large man with curly red hair and a clipboard asked me to come with him. He escorted me off to a corner. “I’m sorry sir but the audition is only for zombies of color,” he said.

I explained to him that any truly inclusive shitload of zombies would contain at least a smattering of cripples. “And besides,” I said, “a zombie in motorized wheelchair would wow the pants off of the EEOC!”

“A zombie in motorized wheelchair?” scoffed the fair-skinned linebacker of a man. “Impossible. First of all, what happens when your batteries run out of juice? Do you expect people to believe that a zombie has the wherewithal to periodically stop and recharge its wheelchair batteries?”

“Well I don’t know!” I protested. “May I’m freshly zombified and I’m still running on the juice I had before I was undead!”

But the man wasn’t buying it. I continued pleading my case until he threatened to call security.

So I left. But I’m still pissed. I have half a mind to gather up some crippled brothers and picket Zombie Finders. But I don’t think it would do much good. The zombies probably won’t honor my picket line because they don’t have much job security. They can be easily replaced by scab zombies.

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