Forensic anthropolgists have made a startling breakthrough in the quest to understand the invasive species posing the biggest threat to the soma-fueled life we so enjoy.
Working with linguists, this team of scientists has been able to decipher the rhythmic, swaying groan of zombies.
"Thrurrnn bihnnnk chrrrrnnnt" translates roughly to a common phrase recently heard with increasing frequency across the Rogue Valley.
Three Buck Chuck.
How else to explain the overnight lines that recently stormed the unopened doors to Medford's long obsession with societal inferiority.
Three Buck Chuck. ... Three Buck Chuck. ... Three Buck Chuck.
Zombies have invaded incrementally (as if they had a choice), and now are everywhere, including in Our Fair City. The zombie "lifestyle," so to speak, is actually the perfect alternative for our culture.
We have taken a good look around and decided that thinking for ourselves — not to mention thinking about the presidential race (well, not just yet) — is too fraught with dangers.
There's a great comfort in surrendering free will; zombies are relieved of the need to think about where to go or what to do. And they're willing to stand in line overnight in front of an unopened REI or Trader Joe's to achieve those goals.
Yuuuuup, there were our fellow Rogue Valley Southern Oregonians of Jackson County, swaying obediently in the dark for the doors to magically open and allow them into the aisles and checkout lines of the newest Must-Have Nirvana like so many walking undead scrounging for brain food.
Chaco sandals? ... unrhuhn ... Three Buck Chuck ... thrurrnn bihnnnk chrrrrnnnt ... Designer bottled water? Really? Do yourself a favor "… spell Evian backwards.
"They been talking about this for a million years," one observer said at the opening of Trader Joe's, perhaps not recognizing the relevance of agelessness to zombie culture.
Halloween is just around the corner — which is good, because the zombies were starting to run out ways to stay busy.
Well, not "run," exactly; zombies don't move with any noticeable effort resembling speed. They tend just to plod along mindlessly in a designated direction no one understands. It's like road-diet driving, without the expanded bike lanes.
They head where they head and want what they want because ... well, it's unlikely they could answer you even if you had the time to ask.
Zombies want Windows 8 and a smaller iPad, cellphones that talk to you and wearable cameras that record your location every 30 seconds — not because they need such things or that it will improve their lives. As George Romero taught us years ago, zombies are nothing if not natural consumers.
Eating brains doesn't make zombies smarter; it just tastes good. Why is Windows 8 greater than Windows 7? Basic math.
Maybe the zombification of the valley is disorder caused by something added to the municipal water systems ... although that wouldn't explain Shady Cove. As if anything could.
Yes, it's a scary world out there — The Rapture Index (www.raptureready.com/rap2.html) was at an all-time high of 185 this week, even before FrankenStorm hit the East Coast — so there's obviously a comfort in groupthink easier to digest than deciphering the Zombie Preparedness landing page on the federal Center for Disease Control website.
Stripped of humanity, devoid of the need to stand out, zombies follow the crowd because ... well, that's where the crowd is going.
"Individuality is fine," the esteemed sociologist Frank Burns once noted, "as along as we all do it together."
Zombie training centers have been set up under the guise of dance studios ... as 30 years after the original music video, folks fearful of literally losing their minds are learning the "Thriller" dance moves in order to fit in.
Voters now reflexively grunt talking points and Internet memes. Heard a good bayonet joke lately? Or one about binders filled of women? Or talking to empty chairs? ... thrurrnn bihnnnk chrrrrnnnt ... The presidential race (or death march) has reduced the nation to the world's largest zombie stroll.
The question on what's left of our minds isn't "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" it's "Are we there yet?"
There are at least eight daily tracking polls, and a half-dozen aggregate sites of those polls, all of which indicate the election is going in different directions. "Fact-checking" sites are busy fact-checking each other. FOX News was voted both the most-trusted and the least-trusted TV journalistic source "… in the same survey.
President Obama argued this week that it's not time to move in a new direction, while Gov. Romney said that the best hope for the country is "change" — and the irony was lost on the electorate, landing with a thud as though it were a Donald Trump bombshell.
Where's Abraham Lincoln when we need him? This summer, he was fighting zombies in movie theaters.
In this goofy plutocracy of ours "… where there are Mickey Mouse arguments over whether the rich should pay less and the poor should pay more in taxes "… where redistribution of wealth is un-American (unless you're talking about Social Security) "… where trust in politicians is at record lows "… the citizens of the United States rose up, vented their spleens ... Thrurrnn bihnnnk chrrrrnnnt ... and donated more than $2 billion to the presidential campaigns.
Forget about the CDC protecting people from zombies. Who's going to protect the zombies from us?
Mail Tribune news editor Robert Galvin will be dressed as the invisible man for Halloween. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org