Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bandana Power

Continued from “First Sighting of Zombies”

Gonga stared at him in bewilderment.

The man with the orange bandana wrapped around his arm brandished his nerf gun impatiently. “Come on, hand over your ID so we can input you in the system. You’re dead, game over.”

I shifted uneasily inside my gorilla suit. ID? What did this strange nerf gun wielding college student want with my ID? I don’t care how big his gun is. He doesn’t need my ID unless he’s law enforcement of some sort.

“And what’s with the costume?” The gun wobbled menacingly. “Didn’t you read the rules? No face masks this time around. You’re not allowed to hide your identity.”

That was it. No college student was going to demand my ID and see it without showing some sort of badge to go along with his request. I lunged to my right, darting towards the columns, and the howling mass of people milling around Jesse Hall.

“Dude, come on! Seriously?”

I kept running.

One of the milling figures on the outskirts of the crowd pointed my direction and shouted.

Instantly, a horde of people wearing bandana’s tied around their heads charged surged away from the main group and came pouring towards me.

I froze for a second, unsure of where to turn. Then I realized they weren’t running at me; they were running towards something behind me. I turned and saw my nerf gun toting pursuers faltering. The leader took two more steps. Then he shouted something angrily, shaking his fist in my direction before turning and skittering away as the first of the horde reached me.

“Ha-ha, look at those stupid humans run!” someone in the crowd shouted in delight.

“Zombies rule, zombies rule!” someone else chanted.

“Cool costume.” A girl with a pink and black camo bandana tied around her head paused in front of me, hands on hips. “You look like a real zombie with that mask and everything. But you know they’ve changed the rules, right? You’re not supposed to wear masks. Don’t let the mods see you or they’ll get your ID and have you suspended.”

More talk of IDs! What was this crowd’s obsession with IDs? No one was going to get my ID. Nor would I get suspended for doing something I am paid to do. Namely, walk around in a gorilla costume advertising for a bookstore.

Of course, the T-shirt was turned inside out at the moment. And I wasn’t exactly “on-the-job.”

If you had to choose between a detour and a frolic, it would be hard to convince the courts that this was merely a detour from work and I should be compensated for any injuries received as part of my job.

I decided it was time to find a way out of the horde, away from the nerf toting bands that circled the perimeter of the horde, and go back home. Getting hurt on the job was one thing. Getting hurt because you were pretending to be on the job when you really weren’t was quite another.

I took off my bandana and stowed it inside my costume. That seemed to be the key. Now I was invisible.

Gonga strolled away from the Zombie horde circling Jessie Hall. He passed invisibly by the nerf gun toting Humans darting around the fringes and continued a blissfully uneventful walk back to his house. That was more than enough adventure for the night!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

First Sighting of Zombies

Gonga had just finished a long day of playing the accordion at Speaker’s Circle to advertise for his employer. I was ready for adventure, anything out of the ordinary. But Gonga simply trudged home and stowed the accordion under his bed. He sat for a minute with his head in his hands, replaying the events of the week before. One night on top of the engineering building was enough for him.

I remembered Yellow Bandana, shouting at Pete to go home and get his gun.

It was all like a bad dream, quickly fading away.

“A yellow bandana,” I smiled to myself and looked in the mirror. Gonga’s shaggy face peered back at me with his typical plasticized expression. I kicked open the door of my closet and reached into a box on the top left shelf. A bright blue bandana came out. I rolled it on itself and wrapped it around my head.

Gonga looked good in blue. He grunted appreciatively at his reflection, remembering his days as a youngster in his home country, dancing late into the night, decked in bandanas of every hue.
He walked out of the house, breathing deeply of the night air.

A light fog trailed through the alleys, giving the street lights an eerie glint. Gonga looked up at the full moon doing its best to outshine the lights. Even the moon looked green compared to normal.

Gonga drifted along the streets, gravitating towards the columns on campus; his favorite spot on the whole University.

Then he heard it.

A roar.

Of some tortured thing.

Or many tortured things. It was pulsing through the air, varying in intensity, but never ending.
He paused at the north end of the quad, looking towards Jesse Hall. Indistinct shapes surged around the building on all sides. The roar continued. Gonga eased closer.

People were milling around Jesse Hall. At least, they looked like people. But they were growling, roaring, howling, as if they were mad.

Unconsciously, the hair on the back of Gonga’s neck rose. He sank to the ground and blended into the shadows.

“Die,” someone hissed out of the darkness. A flurry of foam darts followed the statement, pelting Gonga.

In surprise, he leapt to his feet.

A band of five darkly dressed figures with bandanas wrapped around their arms brandished nerf guns.

“You’re dead, hand over your ID,” one the figures declared, stepping forward and holding out his hand.

To be continued.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Destructivity of College Students

College students are the most creatively destructive people I have ever encountered. Children in adult’s bodies, they have yet to experience the weight of true responsibility. Meals are provided at little to no effort. Everything is within walking distance of their dorm. And, if waiting around the laundry-mat in the basement of their respective dorm gets too tiresome, they can always take their laundry home to Mommy who will do it for them over the weekend.

Given the amenities of life, college students have little need to improve their lives through practical improvisation. Instead, those creative tendencies get turned elsewhere.

Students, bored with life, created Facebook, which now consumes countless hours of productivity in the workforce as well as filling all those empty college student hours it was originally intended to fill.

Internet adventures cease to enthrall at some point, and students turn towards real life experiences. They take paper plates and have plate shredding contests. Others have food eating contests which result in food wasted both through half-eaten throwaways and up-chuck. All students buy textbooks by the bucket-load only to sell or burn the books at the end of the semester. College students consume gallons of water in excessively long showers and suck up tons of electricity to fuel their night-owl habits.

They have even been known to become zombies just for the sake of a little fun.

I’m serious!

College students have been known to transform themselves into Zombies for nothing more than entertainment.

Don’t tell me you haven’t heard about “Humans Vs. Zombies.”

I am incredulous.

Well. I don’t have time to tell you about it today. Go Google it!

I guess this means I have to tell you how I first discovered the game. Rats. I was hoping you wouldn’t ask.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Results of Eating Donuts at Midnight

Continued from “Yellow Bandana”

After a quick walk around the perimeter of the roof, I had to admit that the way we had come up was also the only way down. Apparently the designers had not been too concerned with redundant escape routes. Perhaps it would be good to insert a little paranoia into engineering classes. It would make things simpler for all of us.

So there I was, trapped on the top of the engineering building, disguised in my Gonga suit, with someone going to get a gun. Oh, there was a girl too. And both of us were in trouble if I didn’t figure out something fast.

Something fast scuffed on the next roof over. I whirled. The security guard was pacing slowly towards the corner of the adjoining roof. I motioned toward him frantically, ripping the gloves off my suit so that the white flash of my hands would catch his attention.

He paused.

“We need your help,” I hissed, motioning below and hoping my voice would carry no further than the rooftop.

The security guard moved his head in what might have been a nod, or a sneeze, or simply the motion of someone talking to himself. I waited in agony as he disappeared.

“Who was that?” the girl whispered.

“A security guard,” I said with forced conviction.

Thankfully my conviction didn’t really have to be forced. A few minutes later a lock clicked and a window in the penthouse slid open. The security guard motioned us inside and we clambered over the window sill.

“I saw them chase you up the ladder,” he said simply; then he led us down a circuitous route to a door which let us out on the opposite side of the building, facing the columns.

“Thanks, bye,” the girl said, lifting her hand as she darted off into the night.

“But don’t you want an escort home?” my words faded into the darkness. “Thanks,” I said, turning to the guard.

“Lose the costume,” he said, “it makes your suspicious.”

I nodded as he closed the door and locked it behind me.

There I stood, abandoned on the quad, an entire building between me and the Yellow Bandana and company.

Then I remembered. Pete had gone to get a gun.

I didn’t know what route he had taken, or how he would return. But I decided it might be best to avoid finding out. So I scampered home as fast as my gorilla legs would carry me.

And so that was the result of eating 15 donuts and three cups of coffee right around midnight. A stunning adventure, a daring rescue and a story no one would believe.