Undead Anonymous

Ask Andy – The Kitchen Sink

July 6th, 2011

Ann from the land of Gmail asks:

Andy, after losing everything for a second time, do you ever see yourself picking up the pieces (so to speak) and moving on with your “life?” Do you see yourself as a zombie activist fighting for zombie rights everywhere? Do you see yourself finding love again? Can we the people and the undead alike expect a second memoir from you in the future?

First of all, as for moving on with my “life,” that might be a little tough to do if I’m not in any condition to move. In other words, if I’m strapped down to the side of a hill in Knoxville, TN, at a field research facility dedicated to the study of human decay, then chances are my options are going to be pretty limited. So let’s just leave it at that.

And yes, I do see myself as a bit of an activist for the undead. Or at least for zombies. I don’t have time to stump for the rights of vampires and mummies and other death-challenged creatures. They’re going to have to deal with their own problems.

Will I ever find love again? I’ll answer that with a poem from Emily Dickinson:

The Heart asks Pleasure – first -
And then – Excuse from Pain -
And then – those little Anodynes
That deaden suffering -

And then – to go to sleep -
And then – if it should be
The will of its Inquisitor
The privilege to die -

As for a second memoir from me in the future? I guess that all depends on how this field research facility thing works out.

Thanks for the questions.

Ask Andy – Wine Connoisseur

June 9th, 2011

This installment of Ask Andy is brought to you by Chelsey, who asks:

So Andy, what was it like having all that wine and knowing you couldn’t really get “drunk” no matter how many bottles you drank?

To be honest, it was a little disappointing. As a Breather, I always enjoyed a good glass of Merlot or Cabernet. But when you’re a zombie, your senses tend to deteriorate, especially your sense of taste and smell. So I missed the bouquet of a good wine. And I couldn’t appreciate the subtleties and nuances between a 1982 Chateau Haut Brion Bordeaux and a 2010 Charles Shaw Pinot Grigio. They all tasted like concentrated grape juice.

But there are definite benefits of not having a functioning circulatory system. Like waking up without a pounding headache or spending half the day with my face in the toilet.

Thanks for the question!

Ask Andy – UK Blues

May 10th, 2011

Rachel from Birmingham, UK, asks:

Andy help me! I have been reanimated on a plane going back to dear old England. I am in Birmingham in a night cafe using the Internet and I need to find my family! What should I do? Cardboard boxes are the last place I need under the Spaghetti Junction!

Well Rachel, that sounds like an unusual situation you’ve found yourself in. Reanimating on a plane is considered an international crime, so I applaud you for managing to navigate the challenges of air travel and customs in your new (and improved) state. The fact that you’ve gained access to an Internet cafe deserves applause, as well. Here in the United States, zombies aren’t allowed access to public venues, not to mention the Internet.

As for finding your family, I’m not sure I can help you with that. Perhaps it would help if you could remember where you lost them. So I’d start there. And having never been to Birmingham, I’m presuming the Spaghetti Junction you mention isn’t an Italian restaurant but rather the infamous M6 interchange. I can certainly understand your reluctance to go into hiding beneath that. But with the resourcefulness you’ve exhibited to this point, I don’t think you’ll have to resort to setting up a cardboard home.

I would suggest getting hold of some industrial strength formaldehyde to slow the effects of decomposition. If you can’t get to a mortuary, then I’d suggest consuming some of your favorite cosmetic products, common household cleaners, or Alberto VO5 Hair Conditioner. I’m not fond of the taste, but the formaldehyde content is pretty tough to beat.

Keep your chin up! And the rest of your body parts, too.

Ask Andy – Southern Hospitality

April 14th, 2011

Frank from somewhere-in-the-south asks:

What would your suggestion be to fellow zombies trying to etch out a life in the south? It’s really humid here and homeless are scarce in the country. Moonshine seems to slow the decay but it’s hard to find work when you smell like Charlie Sheen waking up in a dumpster.

Well Frank, having resurrected on the west coast, I don’t have any first-hand experience with the challenges of being a zombie in the south. But since heat and humidity tend to speed up decomposition, the first thing you’ll want to do is to get thick with your local mortician. You need industrial strength formaldehyde and you need it fast. Moonshine and cosmetic products will only go so far at warding off the rapid decay of your body. See if you can set up some kind of a payment plan if you have access to any money. Or better yet, do a trade. Maybe offer to bring him more business for a weekly formaldehyde fix.

As for employment, I don’t know about the southern states, but zombies in California aren’t allowed to hold jobs. So the best I can suggest is to find some zombie-friendly businesses and do some freelance work. Try telemarketing. Or phone sex. That way you don’t have to worry about how you smell.

If all else fails, then just embrace your zombie-ness, get yourself some cooking oil and tasty seasoning, and start chowing down on some good southern-fried cooking.

Ask Andy – Good Breathers, Bad Breathers

April 8th, 2011

Our next question comes from Lyndsay, who asks:

Have you ever had any supportive Breather experiences?

I’m presuming you mean have I ever encountered any Breathers who didn’t want to either disparage me, dismember me, or pelt me with expired food products.

If so, then yes. Most of the volunteers and staff at the SPCA actually seemed to care about their undead residents and tried to make us as comfortable as possible so we could decompose with some degree of dignity. Personally, I felt more accepted there than I did in my own home, where my father made it clear I wasn’t welcome.  Though I know my mother tried her best to love me in spite of the fact that she couldn’t stand to touch me.

Thanks for the question, Lyndsay!

Ask Andy – Zombie Day Care

April 5th, 2011

Mariah asks:

Is it possible for zombies to have kids of their own? Like you and Rita?

Yes, it is possible, but (and this is a SPOILER ALERT for anyone who hasn’t read my memoir, so fair warning) it’s only possible because of the regenerative effects of consuming Breather.  Preferably fresh Breather, with a good Italian herb marinade or a tangy teriyaki glaze.  Au jus is good, too, but you’ll want your Breather rare for that.  It gets me salivating just thinking about it.

Where were we?  Zombie children.  Right.  Sorry.  I tend to get distracted when I start getting culinary.

While it is possible for zombies to have children, providing the parents consume enough Breather to restore their reproductive organs, the child will be born needing to consume Breather in order to survive.  Otherwise, like the rest of us, the child will eventually decompose until he’s nothing but a pile of bones.  So it’s a bit of a challenge bringing a zombie child into the world, especially since most newborns aren’t supposed to eat solid foods.  And I’m thinking of just two words:

Creamed Breather.

Thanks for the question, Mariah.  Until next time…

Ask Andy – Formaldehyde Fixes

October 8th, 2010

This installment of Ask Andy comes courtesy of Ray, who asks:

Hey, Andy…You don’t look as dead these days. What’s your secret? I keep eating shampoo and it doesn’t seem to help.

Well, Ray…the thing about shampoo is that, unlike some of your handy household products like dish-washing liquids, fabric softeners, and carpet cleaners, the formaldehyde content in your average shampoo is pretty low. You might want to try some Palmolive dish soap or Woolite carpet cleaner and see if that makes a difference.

Or better yet, if price isn’t a factor, you might want to invest in some cosmetic products such as lipstick, fingernail polish, and concealer. If you’ve on more of a budget, Max Factor and Maybelline offer plenty of affordable options.

However, if you prefer to get your formaldehyde fixes in shampoo, I’d suggest Prell, Head and Shoulders, or my personal favorite, Suave Tropical Kiwi.

Good luck, Ray!

Ask Andy

September 22nd, 2010

Chelsea and her “friend” write in and wonder:

First, since becoming a zombie, has it been hard to control urges of wanting to eat human flesh? If so, what does Breather taste like?

And second, on behalf of my friend, (sorry) have you and Jerry ever had an awkward ”guy to guy” moment?

Well, Chelsea, first of all, yes, it has been difficult to control my carnivorous urges, though it wasn’t always a problem.  Initially, I had no craving.  Not all zombies reanimate with a hankering for human flesh.  But it’s hard to resist fresh Breather when someone cooks it on a grill with barbecue sauce and hands it to you in a sliced homemade herb roll.

Sometimes I wonder if we would crave human flesh at all if it weren’t for the expectations created by Romero at the end of the 1960s.  After all, before Night of the Living Dead, zombies were pretty much just drugged up slaves.  So I think there’s a lot of peer pressure now for us to do what we’re expected.

And how do Breathers taste?  Like brown sugar bacon.  Yummy.

As for your “friend’s” question about the awkward “guy to guy” moment between Jerry and me, the answer is no.  We’re just friends.  But we have shared the same entrails on occasion.

Thanks for the questions, Chelsea!

Ask Andy – Breather Recipes

March 22nd, 2010

Seth from the Gmail province of Google Land asks:

I’m doing an informative speech in my class about “What to do when you wake up dead” and I wanted to share and teach the class some wonderful Breather recipes. Are there any really good ones I can offer?

Well Seth, all Breather recipes are good, unless you over-cook or over-season your Breather or serve it with a wine that doesn’t really complement the dish. But the following are three of my favorites. You’ll find the recipe for Breather Casserole in my memoirs.

Bon appetit!

Breather & Potato Pancakes
For Breather and potato pancakes, mix together 2 cups mashed potatoes, 1½ cups coarsely ground cooked Breather, 1 lightly beaten egg, 1 tablespoon grated onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Shape into patties, dust lightly with flour, and brown in butter 2-3 minutes on each side over moderate heat. Serve with sour cream or a nice dill sauce.

Marinated Breather Filets
An easy way to dress up Breather filets is to marinate the steaks in a good homemade French or herb dressing and refrigerate for eight hours, then let stand at room temperature for one hour before wrapping in bacon and broiling. Serve with asparagus, rice pilaf, and a good Napa Chardonnay.

Breather Casserole
One good way to use leftover Breather is to mix together ½ pound boiled, drained macaroni, 1½ pints canned tomato sauce, 2-3 cups diced cooked Breather, 1/4 pound sautéed sliced mushrooms, some minced garlic, salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into a greased 2½-quart casserole dish, top with grated cheese, and bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes at 375 degrees F until bubbly. Makes about six servings.

Ask Andy – When You Were A Breather

March 20th, 2010

We’re back, with another episode of Ask Andy, where you get to ask the resident zombie relevant or irrelevant questions.

This week’s query comes from Harley, who asks:

What was your favorite food when you were alive, per say, aside from cinnamon rolls?

Well, according to experts (who I won’t bother to quote because I have no research to base this on), cinnamon rolls are the most alluring scent for men, zombies and Breathers alike.  Not that women should go around smelling like cinnamon rolls, but when a man, especially a zombie, walks into a shopping mall and catches a scent of freshly baked cinnamon rolls, he won’t be distracted by the temptation of human flesh.  Come to think of it, a lot of human males are the same way.

But to get to the question of my favorite food when I was alive, the answer, coincidentally, is the same as the author of my memoirs:

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.  Chunky Monkey.  Coffee Heath Bar Crunch.
Americone Dream. Phish Food. Triple Caramel Chunk.


My favorite was Chubby Hubby, which is aptly named.  I didn’t really much care for Cherry Garcia, partly because I don’t like cherry ice cream and partly because I was never really a fan of the Dead.  Which is kind of ironic, now that I think about it.

It’s one of the few food items that made me groan with pleasure.  Of course now, I groan for other reasons, but just the memory of Ben & Jerry’s is enough to bring a smile to my ruined face.

Thanks for the question!