Word of the Day: contretemps

I am out of fractured nursery rhymes for now. Yes, you can stop cheering.

I am, instead, returning to an archetype strangely near and dear to my heart. I don’t exactly know why it is frequently on my mind, but, that’s the weirdness of my brain.

Today’s Word:


As in:

Zombie Apocalypse, Day 18

It’s strange to be talking about the reality of a world overrun by the undead. I had thought that if something so unthinkable as a plague of walking dead happened, I’d be prepared. I’ve studied all the great “texts” of survival, I knew that to kill them you had to destroy their brains. I knew these things.

What a joke.

I want my money back, Mr. Romero, because you lied to me.

Not that money matters any more.

Who came up with the notion that smashing in the undead’s noggin would actually have any effect anyway? For crying out loud, the thing’s dead and walking for some bizarre reason. It’s not thinking. It’s just moving. And the brain space has nothing to do with that. It’s messed up. Completely ridiculous.

Everyone knows that’s how you dispatch a zombie, until, of course, they are faced with a real zombie and that crap didn’t do a thing. Not one thing. Nope. We lost ten people to headless corpses in the first five hours of the outbreak, because they just kept coming. We were so unprepared!

After it was clear that complete ruination of the head had absolutely no effect, we tried other things. We tried all the vulnerable spots that occurred to us. We tried hitting them in the knee caps. That just made them crawl towards us with their arms. We tried, well, the other obvious soft spots. Nothing worked.

They just kept crawling. We learned that if they scratched a normal person with their hands, their filthy, blood encrusted bodies carried enough of the virus to ensure transmission. No bite necessary.

In the end, we finally removed all the limbs. They still had motion of a sort, but they couldn’t do much more than roll around, so that’s the point when they are rendered harmless. Their writhing torsos look ridiculous, but, the disembodied limbs no longer move, so finger and toe nails are no longer a threat.

If you don’t mind my French, it’s clear that the absurdity of our efforts to combat these monsters is a major contretemps.

No one has yet come up with a plan to deal with the torsos.


This one came from catching a few minutes of this ridiculous show this weekend which was named something like “The Zombie Legend”, which seemed like it was going to be a serious, in-depth study of the origins of the zombie archetype through history and culture and such. Yeah, no.  They had interviews with a bunch of people who are preparing survival plans for a zombie apocalypse, and they I thought, yeah, but, what if the zombies are *nothing* like you think? I mean, really. Anyway, that’s where this came from.

contretemps / CON – tra – tam / an inopportune or embarrassing occurrence or situation