Sunday, November 19, 2006
Afternoon of the Living Dead
When the weather is fine and the property is closed, would-be visitors accumulate at the locked gates. Which means that when I have to go out on closed days it resembles a scene from a zombie flick. I’ll be in the car, approaching the gate when I will spot the distinctive jackets and bobble hats of assorted ramblers, pressed up against the wooden bars, peering in to the middle distance, moaning. The closed signs are up, but they mean nothing to them. They barely perceive them. They are driven by a basic impulse, a need, a drive - to access all areas, at all times. It is a hunger. I can almost see their arms outstretched through the bars of the gate, fingers futilely grasping the distant image of the house on the horizon. Of course, if it were a scene from a zombie flick I would then stamp the pedal to the metal, accelerating through the gate, wood splintering, back end fishtailing wildly as I accelerate away, watching the shambolic horde in my rearview mirror as they stumble and turn their dusty eyes toward my disappearing taillights.
This being reality, instead I have to glide to a gentle stop, sigh, get out of the car, unpadlock the gate, open the gate, get back in the car, drive through the gate, sigh, get out of the car, close the gate and repadlock the gate. Which is a much slower process and one which affords endless opportunities for conversations like this. Sometimes if you avoid making eye contact you can just about slip past without engaging in such dialogue, but mostly there is some degree of “yes, I’m afraid so” whilst very pointedly snapping the lock shut and trying to convey “you better not be even considering climbing over these gates as soon as I’m gone, matey” with just a look.
I don't think it is a coincidence that I enjoy zombie-killing games as much as I do.