CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I posted a question on Facebook last week looking for Halloween-related stories, or maybe something on zombies, since they're all the rage."Can someone please explain this zombie apocalypse nonsense?" one woman asked. "Are people for real?"While I'm not among those who believe such a thing could happen, I've been getting the biggest kick out of the recent rage for the undead.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had a blog post on how to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, although theirs was done tongue-in-cheek (a term that sounds appropriately zombie-ish) and geared toward teaching people how to prepare for natural disasters.For example, "Plan your evacuation route. When zombies are hungry they won't stop until they get food (i.e., brains), which means you need to get out of town fast! Plan where you would go and multiple routes you would take ahead of time so that the flesh eaters don't have a chance! This is also helpful when natural disasters strike and you have to take shelter fast."The overwhelming success of the CDC's blog post (so many hits that the site crashed repeatedly) prompted other agencies to climb on the bandwagon. For instance, the website for a wildlife resource group in Missouri posts tips for staying safe in the woods when zombies are on the loose. Among their recommendations was one to avoid cauliflower fields, since mature cauliflower looks far too brain-like, and brains attract zombies.The Weather Channel published a mock-serious article on "How To Weather the Zombie Apocalypse" with questions like, "Do zombies run faster in warmer temperatures?"
The tax revenue potential prompted Adam Chodorow, of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, to recommend that legislators enact special tax laws for the undead that would have the undead categorized the same as those in a persistent vegetative state.Still, it wasn't long before spoilsports began to dampen the fun, and the CDC's "endorsement" of the zombie apocalypse was rescinded. CDC spokesman David Daigle saying his agency "does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead or one that would present zombie-like symptoms."Somehow, a split has occurred between those who get the joke and those who believe with all their heart that the dead can be reanimated. According to Google, "zombie apocalypse" is the third-most-frequently-searched phrase trending right now.Thankfully, the humorous side of the undead continues, and my favorite new trend involves couples choosing to have zombie weddings.Said the pastor at one recent wedding, in an interview with MSN, the couple came together to "celebrate one of the scariest moments of their lives."It seems an appropriate way to recognize their undying love.Although I wonder if they rewrite that one particular wedding vow: "Till death us do part."Reach Karin Fuller via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.