The Truth Hurts When You're Dead

"I don't know how to tell you this," Stanley began, then paused waiting for the words to come, "you've been turned into a zombie."

"WHAT? That's ridiculous," replied Dean, shocked by the outrageous accusation made by his friend.

"Unfortunately not. You're a zombie alright."

"What makes you think I've turned into a zombie?"

"Well, for starters, your skin is going grey."

"So I don't get out in the sun much, that doesn't make me a zombie," Dean argued.

"Avoiding the sun makes your skin pale, not grey."

"Pale, grey, whatever. It still doesn't mean I've turned into a zombie," protested Dean.

"Fine, if that doesn't convince you, what about the fact that you're eating that guys leg."

"What -- this?" Dean innocently questioned as he pointed to the half eaten leg in his hands. "I was really hungry, and this guy was just laying here dead, with all this tasty meat on him."

"Can you hear yourself? Doesn't that sound like something a zombie would say?" Stanley said, trying to get through to his friend.

"Oh, like you've never eaten meat before," Dean said, becoming more defensive.

"Not human."

"What's the difference? A dead animal is a dead animal."

"He was dead because you tore his head off."

"Yeah, I feel kinda bad about that," said Dean, with only a slight hint of remorse in his voice, "I'm not sure why I did it -- it just seemed like the thing to do at the time."

"Because you're a zombie."

"If I'm a zombie, how am I able to have this conversation with you? Aren't zombies really stupid and slow."

"That's a common misconception. Zombies are only brain dead if they were dead too long before they were turned, or if their brains were eaten by another zombie -- they love eating brains, so that happens a lot," explained Stanley.

"I'm not saying I believe you, but if I were a zombie, what then?" Dean asked, starting to accept the possibility that Stanley might be right.

"Well," Stanley hesitated to tell Dean the truth, "I think I might have to kill you."

"Zombies are already dead."

"No, I mean really kill you."

"You would do that to me? I thought we were friends," pleaded Dean.

"I don't think I can be friends with a zombie. You might sneak into my room in the middle of the night and eat my brain."

"Your puny little brain, what would I want to eat that for?" teased Dean.

"My little brain? You're the one who lost thousands of dollars to that Nigerian email scam."

"Well, you're the one who couldn't spell psychosomatic."

"That was a grade four spelling bee," Stanley contended, "and besides, I wasn't the one who let himself get turned into a zombie."

"Fine, I'm sure you're brain is nice and big, but I ..." Dean trailed off as he got distracted by thoughts of Stanley's brain, "... I wouldn't eat your brain."

"What was that?" demanded Stanley.


"You were just staring at my head -- practically salivating."

"No I wasn't," Dean said, then he felt a drop of saliva run down his chin, "at least, not much."

"See, that's why I can't be friends with a zombie."

"What if you slept with a garlic necklace on?" Dean suggested, hoping to convince Stanley that they could remain roommates without having to kill each other.

"Garlic keeps vampires away, not zombies."

"Oh ..." Dean thought for a moment, "what if you covered yourself in peanut butter. I have a bad peanut allergy."

"I don't really want to sleep covered in peanut butter."

"So it's all about you now, eh?" Dean began, trying to make Stanley feel guilty. "You're willing to kill me just so you don't have to sleep in peanut butter."

"Aright, I'll think about it." Stanley begrudgingly offered.

Just then, a girl -- walking past the alley that Stanley and Dean were arguing in -- recognized her two friends and went into the alley to say hello. "Hey guys," she called out, "what are you doing in the alley?"

"Hey Betty -- Dean has turned into a zombie," Stanley explained.

"Wow," Betty said as she looked over at Dean, "now that you mention it, he does look a little like a zombie." Then Betty looked closer at what Dean was doing. "Are you eating someone's leg?"

"He was just laying here dead ..." began Dean.

"Because you killed him," interrupted Stanley.

"Well, yes, but I can't change that now, and there's no point letting all this yummy flesh go to waste," Dean rationalized.

"Makes sense to me," Betty said in agreement.

"Really? That makes sense to you?" Stanley asked, amazed that Betty could go along with what Dean was saying.

"I'm not saying I would eat a person," Betty clarified, "but if I had accidentally knocked over a cherry tree -- I would feel bad about what I did -- but there would be no point in letting all the cherries just rot away, so of course I would eat them."

"I don't know if you can compare eating cherries to human flesh. Plus I don't think you can accidentally tear someone's head off, so it isn't really the same thing at all," asserted Stanley.

"You can't blame Dean for being a zombie. It's not his fault that he wants to kill everyone and eat their flesh. That's just what zombies do."

"I don't know -- I think I can blame him. Who else should I blame?" asked Stanley.

"Blame the stupid comet that started all this zombie craziness," proposed Betty.

"You want me to blame a cosmic event for the fact that Dean killed this poor guy."

"Maybe someone sent the comet on purpose," Betty suggested. She was well known for always imagining the most outlandish hypotheses for every scenario.

"So you're suggesting that Dean is just a victim of some comet maker's evil zombie plans."

"It's possible. It's also possible that Dean didn't do anything wrong. Maybe this guy wanted to die."

"Well, I guess that's possible," conceded Stanley, "but I doubt he wanted to be eaten by Dean."

"Who knows, some people are into weird things," Betty said from experience.

"I'll agree that some people are definitely weird," Stanley said looking over at Betty, but she didn't get his subtle insinuation.

Then Stanley looked over at Dean, who was eating the last remaining parts of the corpse. "Come on man, don't eat that part. That's just gross," Stanley said in disgust.

"Yeah, you're probably right, I don't know where this guy's been," replied Dean, as he got up from his meal.

"Maybe we should get out of this alley," suggested Betty.

"Good idea," replied Stanley.

So the three friends left the alley and walked together down the street.

"You realize that Dean is staring at your head and imaging eating your brain." Stanley said to Betty after a short while.

"Yeah, but I'm sure he won't actually try to eat it. I'm just happy that he's not staring at my ass for a change."

"So what do you want to do now?" asked Stanley, after realizing that they were walking with no particular destination in mind.

"We could go to campus, there are a lot of tasty brains ..." Dean stopped to correct himself, "... I mean, cool people there."

"I know what you want to do. You don't get a say," Stanley said dismissively.

"I just picked up some new albums at the old record store. We could go listen to them on that sweet sound system of yours," said Betty, holding up a bag full of recently purchased records.

"Yeah, Okay. I just need to make a stop at the grocery store on the way." Stanley said, and then he looked back at Dean who was still staring at Betty's head, "I'm going to need a lot of peanut butter."