Creativity Drain: Top 5 Signs that Someone Has the Zombie Virus.

Despite the CDC’s denial that there is any evidence of a zombie outbreak, alert citizens know better.

Zombie Virus 2.0 has been festering ever since the economy crashed in 2007. On the one hand, we’ve seen a swell of entrepreneurial mojo. As the economy sank, creativity rose. But there is a flip side to this D.I.Y. tide.

Modern zombies aren’t always violent and dramatic, like in the movies. Sure, some of them still insist on moaning and eating brains. Showboaters. But don’t be fooled. The zombie virus can lurk, unnoticed. Here are a few of the warning signs that someone you know just might be a zombie.

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1. Who, Me?  If possible, she still lives with mom. Such a sweet girl. She might get a job or take a few classes at college, but nothing really sticks. She’ll tell you she doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life. Anything. Nothing. Maybe she tried something once and got disappointed. Maybe she never tried at all. Nothing ventured, nothing lost. Maybe she’s just shy, or has low self-esteem. Maybe she’s a zombie.


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2. Worky-Worky. She’s there, doing it, for 10 or more hours a day. When she gets home, she’s a limp rag, Still, they’re in her head so deep, she can’t stop thinking about work unless she bludgeons her brain into submission though punishing workouts, TV, alcohol, video games, or binging on food. Her boss feels free to call her cell phone at all hours of the day and night. Advanced case: she doesn’t want to stop thinking about work, because there’s just a couple more things she needs to get done for “the team.”

She used to have dreams of her own. These days she’s just grateful to have a job, even if her boss is eating her brain. She can’t lose the lease on the beamer!

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3. Entertain Me!  Whether partying every night, zoning out in front of the TV, playing video games, surfing the internet for cute videosphotosjokes to spam email to everyone he knows, shopping, or endlessly farting around on Facebook, he is simply starved for something to stuff into that gaping brain hole. He may find his work and relationships suffering, but it can’t be because of that. If it’s not illegal, it’s not an addiction, right? He thinks and talks a lot about going to school, or getting back to work on that musicmoviebookstorypaintingbusinessidea. Any day now.

“Mommy Zombie” collage by Lamaga

4. Mommy Zombie. (Yes, there are probably daddy zombies, too, but that doesn’t rhyme, now does it?) When her school-aged children call, she goes running to find out what they want. God forbid they should interrupt themselves to walk to her. They breast feed until they start shaving, and then she serves them three meals a day plus numerous snacks, hoping to find something they will agree to eat. Her time revolves around their hobbies, social lives, and moods. They talk to her like a servant, but she lets it slide. She loves them SO much. There’s simply no time left over for her creative projects. That would be selfish.


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5. Paranoia Will Destroya. He watches TV, surfs the Internet, or reads newspapers obsessively, tracking how they are ruining everything, and lying to us about it. It’s so upsetting that he feels physically ill most of the time. He doesn’t actually do anything about it except complain; he’s not a social or political activist, or anything. Besides, they are too big to fight. Way too big. What with all this stress and the immanent collapse of all that is right and good, there’s really no point in creating anything.

Bonus Tip: This probably goes without saying, but virtually every politician in D.C. is infected with the Zombie virus, and about 50% at the state and local levels. Both sides. Now that you know, doesn’t it explain so much?

Keep an Eye Out For Zombies in Your Town

As you can see, they could be lurking anywhere. According to renowned zombie expert S.G. Brown, “zombies have been taken out of their proverbial archetypal box. No longer are they just the shambling, mindless, flesh-eating ghouls we’ve known and loved for most of the past four decades. They’re faster. Funnier. Sentient.”

Fortunately, the Zombie Virus is not highly contagious or else we’d all be zombies right now! But it can be transmitted with prolonged contact, so choose your friends wisely.

Zombies Need Love, Too

My intent is not to persecute or judge, but to shed light on this little-understood problem. The Zombie Virus can infect even the best families! If you suspect that someone close to you has become a zombie, take heart. The condition is completely reversible with proper treatment, and before you know it, your zombified loved one will be living life with creative zest and enthusiasm once again.

Further Zombie Reading:

You may be wondering, ‘Is there any quality literature out there that portrays zombies as they truly are?’ I’m glad you asked.

In my opinion, the best description of modern zombies can be found in “The Hortlak”  and “Some Zombie Contingency Plans,” from Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link. You can read or download these stories for free because Link released the book under the creative commons license. Read it immediately. Take notes. Sleep with it under your pillow and thank the stars that you have it, now that the Zombie Virus has come to pass. And Kelly Link knew it. She knew it all along.

You might also try the novel Zone One by Colson Whitehead. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s gotten many rave reviews from such luminaries as The New York Times, and Jeff Vandermeer, who said in Locus Magazine “Whitehead knows his zombies, and in Zone One this amazing writer produced a near-perfect zombie epic.”

Have you observed any other signs of  Zombiehood in anyone you know? If so, please share your insights so that we might all be better prepared. And stay tuned for future articles on curing the Zombie Virus.

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