Thursday, December 30, 2010

Zombie or not Zombie? That is the Question.

I often give my wife a hard time for not listening to me. Look, I understand that she has important stuff to do, but what I have to tell her is important too. If it weren't for me, she would likely have no idea that the Destroyer armor is scheduled to make an appearance in the Thor movie coming out and she would probably be extremely deficient in her Star Wars knowledge which, in this house, is of ever-increasing importance.

She may still be lacking in the arts of geek-related trivia as far as I know because I can't determine the "Uh-huh" that means she's listening from the "Uh-huh" that translates into, "Shut up you nincompoop, I'm trying to focus!" The inflection on the two sounds more alike than you'd think.

For as often as she doesn't hear me because she's focused on something more worth her time (let me stress her time) than comic books or Lego assembly, she completely tunes me out in favor of Facebook. Those are the times when I speak and receive no response. The void in her gaze alerts me to make a mental note of what I just said because I know I will have to repeat it soon. I also remind myself not to get defensive when she claims I never told her something because, with her mind off in a completely different dimension, she can't be completely blamed for not hearing me the first time.

But, while saying something to her while she's in a zone and then staring at her until she looks up from what she's doing and asks "What?" then asking her "What did I just say?" knowing that she can't answer used to be my favorite way of not so subtly calling out, "Pay attention to me!" I'm going to have to curb it a little after her performance on Christmas.

While it may not have looked like much to some of you, I put a lot of time and effort into the TGD 2010 Holiday Gift Guide. I listed all sorts of products that I thought those who would enjoy this blog would want to find wrapped under their tree. When shopping for me, my wife knew how seriously I take this blog and the gift guide in particular and decided to consult it. Perhaps she thought the whole thing was an elaborate scheme to get her to notice what I really wanted for Christmas and feel loved through well-selected presents. She would have been partially right.

But while the Gift guide was grounded in things that I found awesome, I try to do right by my readers. I listed plenty of things that I wanted that I thought my readers might also want. I listed things I already had. But I also listed items I wasn't particularly interested in but that I thought all of you might enjoy.

Case in point: I don't like zombies. I don't like watching movies about them. I don't like playing video games that feature them. I have thus far successfully avoided trying out Plant vs. Zombies even though it's all cartoony and, though I play Bioshock, I sweat profusely while doing so. And those are technically mutants, not zombies.

But I know that there exists a fondness for all things zombie and zombie lore among the geeks of the world. Were I to omit anything from my gift guide due solely to its zombie content, I would be performing a disservice to my fans, regardless of how negligible fraction of the population they may be.

So when I unwrapped The Walking Dead: Compendium One on Christmas morning, a mix of emotions washed over me. I was touched by my wife's thoughtfulness and attention, knowing that the only way she could have known of this book was by looking at my gift guide. I was awed by the mere size and weight of the over thousand page tome. There was a twinge of regret for placing the volume on my gift guide. But more than anything else, there was the palm-dappening, gut-wrenching, short streaking, gripping terror I felt as I realized I would have to read this entire thing and have to endure every gory zombie scene it detailed, because if I didn't, I would provide my wife with an eternal excuse for not listening to me.

Reading began today. I must say, it isn't as bad as I anticipated. This particular story focuses more on the living and how they deal with existing in a world full of zombies than it does the dead. Plus, my zombie fearing brain (which, as a side note, is probably the best kind of brain) isn't overloaded with zombie sensory input since I can't actually hear the groans and the sloppy sounding tearing and chewing of flesh. The onomatopoeia of THOK and SHUKK as an axe splits a zombie skull and is then removed is far less off-putting in print than the realistic movie sound would be.

But you won't see me reading it anywhere other than in a well lit room. And you can be damn sure that I'm going to rave about it to my wife and tell her she ought to read it.

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