Word of the Day: lemures

May is Zombie Awareness month, which I think is right up my alley. Today, I thought I’d start to increase awareness by posting a simple Zombie identification guide. I think you’ll find it informative and useful.

Today’s Word:


As in:

How to Identify Zombies: A Field Guide

Note: Before stopping to identify a creature as a zombie, make sure you have an appropriate weapon, plenty of distance between you and the unidentified creature, and have worked on your cardio. Also, you might be thinking that zombie identification is simple, but, the consequences of mis-identification are severe, so stop rolling your eyes, Mr. Smarty-Pants, and start learning.

1. Check for signs of shambling – Does the figure pick up his or her feet or just slide them along the ground? A rough gait is your first hint that the creature you are looking at is a zombie. If the figures float, they are likely to be something more like lemures. If they move really quickly, possibly while wearing long, flowing, leather jackets that cost more than your annual salary, or sparkle, they’re probably vampires. Hope you have a stake, holy water, or a portable sun.

2. Follow that Stare – Do the creature’s eyes stare at a fixed point while they shamble along? This one is tricky. Fixed staring usually means zombie, however, it could also be a pre-coffee IT worker or refugee from a game or comic book convention. Throw something near the creature. If they follow the object and look around, think pre-coffee office worker. If not, zombie.

Also, if the creature is staring at the sky with their head at an odd angle, that’s a gimmie. It’s totally a zombie.

3. Check for crazy – This isn’t the subtle kind of crazy like your neighbor who paints their house the same color as their lawn. This is drooling, bits of flesh dangling from the teeth, bloodshot, wide-eyed crazy. Large, unnoticed dinner bits dangling out of an unclosed mouth? Definitely a zombie.

4. Rate the State – Observe the creature’s general appearance. Are his or her clothes clean and intact?  If the clothes are intact, but merely wrinkled, especially if they are of the casual variety, you could be looking at the convention refugee again. DO NOT go in for a closer look. The smell will likely not be definitive. Instead, check for large, ugly stains that look like blood. Also check for obvious wounds, missing limbs, ugly bruises or gashes that might have recently been leaking.

5. Watch the reactions – If you’re in an urban setting, are people running away from the shambler? Does the shambler have a hoard of vacantly staring chums? Go with the panicking mob. You’re looking at Zombicus Americanis. Time to get your weapon, and make tracks away from the danger.

I think we’ve learned that identifying zombies is not nearly as easy as the movies make it seem. However, if you learn these simple rules, you will be well prepared, and probably won’t accidentally kill someone who simply used to be in the chess club.

I think I have a way with the topic of zombies.

lemures / LEE – murs / yes, it’s pronounced the same way as the primates from Madagascar. however, the spelling is the difference. In this case, we’re talking about the restless spirits of the unburied dead, who usually are menacing and unhappy. It’s a Roman thing.