They insisted there was a perfectly natural explanation, that the damage wasn’t anything that should cause alarm. But I knew better. How else could you explain the gruesome demise of thirty young, healthy, vibrant hostas cut down in the prime of their lives — their tops gnawed clean off by one or more ravenous, undead savages.
Zombies. Yes, zombies. Vegetarian zombies. Who knew?
Now where is CNN? Or Fox News? With a half dozen cable news channels chasing Miley Cyrus around, you’d think they’d spare one of their washed-up, ethnically-ambiguous anchors to cover the most important story of this century. Their silence is deafening. And I fear it is all part of a larger, darker, more herbivoracious conspiracy of swiftian proportions.
Now hey there, please don’t mistake me for one of those sc-fi channel watching nimrods posting zombie survival strategies on Reddit. I even watched AMC long before The Walking Dead made them hip and trendy, back in the nineties when they played — movies. AMC was the cable channel every grandmother loved the grand kids to watch after their visit to the local podiatrist. How wonderful! We can watch the Brigadoon marathon together all afternoon while my bunions heal. And now generations of family therapists can never hope to profit from those precious, repressed memories.
Yet, had the savage beheading of my cherished hostas been an isolated incident, I might be inclined to politely swallow this innocent explanation like a cracker full of lukewarm hummus. But no. At a recent cocktail hour in the presence of an abundance of passed appetizers, I watched three adults who I presumed to be of sound mind and body, skip over scallop-wrapped bacon in favor of the spinakopita. Spinakopita? Really? Pass over the, luscious undisputed king of all cocktail hour delicacies in favor of…spinach? It was unnatural, and twisted, and instantly raised my acutely-sharpened suspicions perfected by hours of cable news watching. Something was dreadfully wrong, here. But what was it? What had changed? What was the key? Something was perverting the meat-eaters of our nation, and I was determined to get to the bottom of it for the sake of innocent, professionally farmed and landscaped vegetation everywhere.
And then it struck me. (OK, so maybe that was just a backhand from the asylum nurse… but stay with me here.) I suddenly knew who was responsible for the carnage.
Oh, I can hear your eyes rolling. But at the precise moment my hostas were first attacked, Taylor Swift, the rich, famous, adorable and most beloved icon in the country music universe, uprooted her decadent, opulent life to move into a new home in (of all places) Westerly, Rhode Island.
Yes, Westerly. Seriously? Was it for the burgeoning surfing scene?
Now relocating to Westerly should have been suspicious enough — even people from Rhode Island don’t go to Westerly — but it was the ever-present rumors of her vegetarianism that were far more telling and terrifying. (Almost as terrifying, in fact, as one of those skeletal, teenage girls you see volunteering at seemingly EVERY veterinarian office with the pointy chins and giant foreheads. Eeek!)
There it was for all to see: armed security guards, beach patrols, paparazzi, helicopters and Taylor Swift cruising for pumpkins in the produce aisle at Narragansett’s Stop and Shop. These were not chance occurrences. As everyone knows, pumpkins are the least cerebral of all the garden vegetables. They are the village idiots of the backyard vegetable patch — profoundly bad parents who allow their offspring to grow up in the most dangerous spots only to be later left to be degraded and humiliated by other species. Unlike corn, a pumpkin is the perfect evil minion.
But corn is no innocent bystander. Corn, you see, is far more clever and not as easily manipulated. Corn fields act more like socialist news pundits with a well developed power to communicate. If you don’t believe me, read Stephen King’s Children of the Corn or go watch Field of Dreams. And this was long before the agricultural biotech company Monsanto genetically engineered them into a vegetable master race. So when corn has something to say, you darn-well keep your ears open. And once Ms. Swift arrived on the scene, Southern Rhode Island’s cornfields welcomed her with open arms.
Now I don’t mean to give the traditional brain-eating zombies the cold shoulder (sorry), but I have learned that the vegetarian zombies are far more dangerous and elusive. You won’t find the conventional evidence of torn, blood-stained clothes and random chunks of human flesh scattered about. Instead they’ll sneak up on you ahead of a trail of Panera-acquired bread crumbs, latte cups, plantain chips and empty packages of gluten-free pasta. (It is important at this point to note that some vegan zombies don’t consider vegetarian zombies to be “real” zombies, but perhaps we can explore that in a subsequent post.)
It is evidence of the apocalypse, and it is coming. And if anyone driving a Mini Cooper tries to tell you that sun dried tomatoes make an excellent substitute for bacon, it may be too late. The apocalypse may well have arrived.
Hosta la vista, baby.