Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Every one of us has, lurking in our deepest heart of hearts, a Dark and Secret Fear.

As children, we are terrified of the Monster Under the Bed, or perhaps the Boogey-Man that Lives in the Closet. We dare not sleep if the closet door is open even a crack, lest the Boogey-Man escape to do foul and unmentionable things to us while we sleep.

Most Childhood Fears, ridiculous as they are, have a thread of reasonableness running through them. We fear the Monster Under the Bed and the Closet Boogey-Man precisely because there are evil people in the world, people who would harm us if they could. As a child, I feared mushrooms (yes, mushrooms)...because I knew that one had killed the old Elephant King in Babar the Elephant. [An unintended consequence of learning to read at the age of three, when the ability to discern fiction from nonfiction is not yet fully developed.] Cautionary Tales and folk memories may indeed serve a survival role in their own convoluted way.

When we grow older, many of these Childhood Fears diminish in intensity, in some cases disappearing altogether. My childhood dread of mushrooms is long gone, as is the one I had of horror movies.

And then you have those fears that persist.

Whether stoked by the Hollywood Myth-Machine or simply by our own perfervid imaginations, there are those things we dread as adults that we know are unreal, and yet...and yet...

Eric has copped to a fear of zombies. It’s a reasonable enough bête noire to have, I suppose: animated corpses with a hunger for living human brains. Or at least it would be reasonable, provided such things existed.

And if zombies walked the earth infused with not a mere hunger for human brains, but for penetrating the tender Nether Regions of living, breathing, screaming victims, why, that would indeed be something to regard with abject terror.

As disturbing as it may seem to Eric, I believe I have unearthed (disinterred? dug up?) evidence that these fell creatures may exist after both sinister varieties. Be very afraid. And learn to tell them apart, so to avoid a Fate Worse than Death.

Regular Zombie
Regular, garden-variety zombie.

Cornhole Zombie
Brokeback Zombie.

But meanwhile, as we lock ourselves behind our Zombie-Proof Doors to bed down for a night of nervous, one-eye-open sleep, I propose that the Semi-Official Beverage of this year’s Yellin’ in Helen be - as a supplement to the traditional Chatham Artillery Punch - nothing other than the Zombie.

Zombie Cocktail
  • 4 ounces or 8 tablespoons or 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 ounce or 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 ounce or 1 tablespoon sugar syrup
  • 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons golden rum
  • 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons white rum
  • 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons 151-proof rum
  • 1-1/4 ounces or 2-1/2 tablespoons spiced golden rum
  • 3/4 ounce or 1-1/2 tablespoons Cherry Heering
  • 1/2 ounce or 1 tablespoon Falernum syrup
  • 2 dashes or scant 1/2 teaspoon Pernod or other anisette-flavored pastis
  • dashes or scant 3/4 teaspoon Grenadine
Shake with 4 ice cubes, then pour into 1, 2, or 3 highball glasses that have been filled with crushed ice. This will make one extremely deadly drink - as close to the original Don the Beachcomber version as you can reasonably get - but feel free to break it up into smaller portions, as it is deadly...the cocktail was named for its ability to make its consumers stumble around like zombies for hours. Regular or “Brokeback” zombies, the recipe does not say...

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