the zombie mailbag

Welcome to the Weekly Guest Spotlight

Dan DeWittTonight’s guest is writer Dan DeWitt. For more about Dan, click on his photo to visit his website. 

In honor of Halloween, I’m reprinting Dan’s guest post from March.

My fellow zurvivors: 

Another St. Patrick’s Day is almost upon us, and I think that it’s important to honor a great man for his epic accomplishment of single-handedly saving the Emerald Isle from aggressive beasts. Now, legend would have you believe that the beasts were snakes but, as the zoological record indicates that Ireland has never had snakes, legend is wrong. This is most likely not a result of intentional misinformation borne of malice, but of the caretakers of such knowledge being afraid to pass on the truth for fear of nationwide panic.

I think it’s finally time to tell that truth.

I’ve been in possession of a handful of St. Patrick’s letters; I will never reveal how I obtained them.

There may or may not have been sex involved.* 

“St. Patrick getting ready to open up a big ol’ can of whoopass.”St. Patrick was, in fact, the world’s foremost dispatcher of the undead.

With that in mind, I want to pay tribute to St. Patrick for everything from his hard-earned knowledge (which has literally kept me alive this long) to his indirect involvement in the creation of the Shamrock Shake. The best way I know to do this is to help you out as best I can. Many of you have managed to get messages to me in one way or another, so here are some answers. (Paul in Louisville, the carrier pigeon was missing a leg when I found him. Scout’s honor.)


From Jen Lyn: “Would animal meat distract as well as human? Should I sacrifice the neighbor’s dog or the neighbor?” 

Jen, it’s important to note that sacrificing only works in chess and the occasional pagan ceremony. Zombies will only eat what they or one of their kind has recently killed. They can sense the difference between a fresh kill and plain old dead flesh. Having said that, unless your neighbor is exceedingly skilled at something, spare the dog. Dogs are a great early-warning system. Also, I’m glad I’m not your neighbor. 

From Erica: “Can the zombie virus be transmitted through kissing?”

Sounds like a helluva party. Anyway, there’s no scientific or anecdotal evidence that I’m aware of to suggest that a person who hasn’t yet been reanimated can pass on the virus through saliva or other bodily fluids. On the other hand, if someone’s kissing an actual zombie, well … they’re really not going to have much time to worry about it.

Laurence asks: “My zombified wife is chained up in the basement, and her incessant moaning is keeping me and my new girlfriend awake. Any soundproofing tips?”

First of all, congrats on moving on. Your wife would want you to be happy. Possibly. Regarding soundproofing, I can’t help you. However, if you have electricity, I have a simple workaround: hook up a DVD player and set it to repeat. Even in undeath, female zombies still manage to sob uncontrollably during “The Notebook.” Slainte! 

D.C. (the person, not the district) wonders: “Will a zombie chew on its own arm if it gets bored enough?”

Hmmm. I had to think about this one for a while. Zombies don’t get bored like you or I do, because they are driven by the need for palatable flesh. But, I suppose if they ran across an insurance salesman or Joan Rivers they might start at their own fingernails and just keep chewing.

Question from Warren: “I found a misspelled note telling me that Lawry’s Seasoning Salt wards off zombies, and that I should cover myself in it and go out. Thoughts?”

That’s an obvious trap, Warren. The only substance on Earth that can mask the living from the undead, if only for a short time, is patchouli oil. If it can cover up decades of hippie stank, it can cover up anything.

Next question from Jeremy: “Our farmhouse is just about surrounded, and we’ll have to run soon. How do I identify the slowest person in the group, because I really only need to outrun them, right?”

Listen closely, Jeremy. I want you to look at all of the other people you’re with. Everyone has a role. Leader, Fixer, Cook, Wiseass, etc. So you want you to find the Slowest Bastard Among You? Everyone else does, too. If you haven’t figured out who that person is by now, I have some bad news. You are that slow bastard. If I were you, I’d start convincing everyone that it would be safer to stay and fight.

Dave asks: “Can a zombie infect you if they wear dentures, or does it have to be with their real teeth?”

Great question. The virus is transmitted via saliva through open wounds, so if the dentures are still capable of drawing blood, I think you’re screwed. Regardless, if we ever bounce all the way back, I’ll be heading up Poligrip’s new ad campaign.

Finally, a lament from Penny: “I understand that it’s difficult to find time to shave during the zombie apocalypse, but I hate that all of the men have Paul Bunyan beards.”

Preaching to the choir, Penny. My other neverending battle is the one against my own hirsuteness. Fun fact: The very first thing to truly die in the zompoc is metrosexuality.


Until the next time…good luck, and don’t be sorry for zombie rockin’.


* Not with him. You’re nasty.

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on October 27, 2012 .