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post #55
bio: jen
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2/7/2005
16:40

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Beverly Hills Zombie Horror

When I first moved to Los Angeles, I spent a half-day wandering around the Rodeo (row-day-oh, not row-de-oh) Drive area of Beverly Hills. With only twenty bucks in my pocket, I was definitely down and out compared to the natives.

Nevertheless, I was able to amuse myself for an hour by peaking into shops and dreaming of a time when I could shop without looking at the price tags. Yes, that's a shallow and materialistic dream and probably not all that exciting in reality, but still, it might be fun for a few seconds.

I was also tempted to wander into a very exclusive shop, ask the sales girl if she remembered me, and then say pity just like Julie Roberts did in Pretty Woman. But that would be such a cliche, so I didn't.

After that half day, I didn't hang out in Beverly Hills. All it did was remind me of how much money I didn't have. Besides, there were other nice places in Los Angeles---beach places, mountain places.

Last week, I temped in an office near Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and came to a whole new conclusion about the municipality. I concluded that Beverly Hills is the land of zombies, and the majority of it isn't very hilly at all.

Yep, zombies.

This took me a few days to figure out, but the clues were all so obviously in front of me.

First of all, everyone drives the same car---a black Mercedes. A few people might get a little creative with a grey Porsche, black BMW or the new mustang. But the black Mercedes is abundant---like a herd of cows in a field.

Next, in the lobby of my temporary office building was a gym. On my first day, I inquired about using the gym for a day. The guy at the front desk directed me toward the membership department.

'Oh no, this is a private club.' the girl behind the desk told me with a clipped British accent.

Okay, so much for getting a convenient adrenaline buzz. But then during the week, I noticed the people leaving the 'club'.

None of them were sweating.

Maybe they took showers in the club locker rooms---or, excuse me, lounges. But then I noticed they were wearing gym clothes that showed no signs of even dried sweat. This was not just one or two yoga mutants. This was everybody.

At lunchtime, as I was walking outside, I noticed that many women were walking like zombies. I didn't know if it was because their pants were too tight or their heels were too high, but they all walked with a strange shuffle and didn't bend their knees. Maybe it wasn't just that were fashionably uncomfortable. Maybe they really were zombies.

I went into a card shop to buy a valentine for my valentine. Sure it was more than a week before the Big V day, but I'm a relationship overachiever. After finding a card that would not make a guy nauseous, I asked the guy at the register if he had sold a lot of valentines. He told me sales had been steady, but he had already sold out all the cards from mothers to sons.

'How very Oedipal.' I said, but he didn't get the reference. I walked out of the shop. Okayyy. So there's an abundance of potential Greek tragedy in Beverly Hills. The Freudians must work overtime here.

But the true zombie horror happened on friday. After enjoying a lovely ham and cheese croissant for lunch, I walked out into the warm winter air. The sun was shining. Life was fine. I felt fine. It was friday.

Then I saw THEM.

A mob of Beverly Hills zombies were coming right toward me.

Ugggg. Ummmm. Ugggg. Ummmm. They sounded like my cell phone on vibrate.

I turned and started to run, but another group of zombies were coming from the other direction. I was trapped. My mind raced. I only had seconds.

I tried to duck into a boutique, but my way was blocked by two security guys with earpieces. Damn it, why did Britney Spears have to shop on that day?

I frantically went through my purse, but the only weapons I could find were an old cigarette lighter, my car keys, and a Discover card with a sharp edge. Okay. If I was gonna go down, I was gonna go down fighting.

The zombies came closer and closer. I could smell their perfume and count their painted toenails. Call the president! Send in the troops! Invade Beverly Hills! This is where true terror festers!

Suddenly, a lone rider on a Harley broke through the line of zombies and pulled up next to me. He wore a leather jacket, sunglasses, and no helmet.

'Get awn.' He said. He sounded like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Maybe he was Arnold. What was the Governator doing in Beverly Hills?

Even though I'm not a big fan of Harleys (my preferred rescue motorcycle would be a red Ducati), I jumped on behind Arnold, and we sped away---splattering whatever zombies were in our path.

We wove through the traffic on Santa Monica Blvd and pulled into a Pavilions parking lot in West Hollywood. Arnold parked the Harley, and I jumped off the bike.

'What the hell was that all about?' I asked in my best spunky action heroine voice.

'Zombies. No longer alive, but not dead either. You are safe from them now. You are out of their zone.' Arnold responded staring straight ahead.

'Zone? I didn't know there was a zone.'

'It's important to read all posted street signs.'

'Damn, we have to go back and kick zombie ass, right?'

'Negative. They are harmless.'

'But they almost killed me, Governator.'

'They are necessary.'

'So is research and higher learning.' I said. Sure the Governator had saved me and my Discover card, but I had to get in my political beef about potential budget cuts on the university level.

'Higher learning will bring about the rise of machines.' he said calmly.

'That was a dumb movie. What are we going to do about the zombies?' I asked again.

'Don't go back there.' he said.

'Gladly, but shouldn't we worry about the Beverly Hills zombies invading West Hollywood?' I said as I ran more panic scenarios in my head.

'No. You are safe now.' The Governator said and rode away with a puttering Harley roar. As I stood in his fumes in the parking lot of Pavilions, I thought only one thing----I fucking hate Harleys.


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