This post courtesy of Alex Berg circa 2006.
Although it may not be readily apparent, some zombies are in better health than others. Last year nearly 80% of zombies suffered from corpserot, maggot infections, or missing limb syndrome-all preventable maladies. The North American Zombie Association (NAZA) seeks to educate zombies countrywide on the benefits of and methods for maintaining proper zombie health, in hopes of having the healthiest and happiest possible population of zombies. Today’s article is about death.
Death is medically defined as the full cessation of life functions in an organism. For zombies, however, this may seem nonsensical, in that zombies are, by definition, already dead. Nevertheless, there is a point at which zombies pass from being undead to truly dead, and it is this transition that NAZA hopes to help zombies identify. Death for zombies occurs with a complete cessation of brain function, or when the hindbrain stops transmitting signals to the spinal cord.
With the circulatory, pulmonary, endocrine, immune, integumentary, lymphatic, and reproductive systems already having ceased to function, the termination of function within the nervous system stops any function which may remain in the digestive, muscular, and urinary systems of a zombie. Severe head trauma, such as that resulting from an axe wound, shotgun blast, or baseball bat appears to be the only cause besides decapitation which can cause death in zombies. Even in the case of severe head trauma, it is possible that shock, and not death, has occurred.
- Inability to move
- Complete lack of metabolic activity
- Advanced putrefaction
- Liver mortis
- Decreased body temperature
- Secrection of gases and liquids from remaining organs
- Swelling or bloating of skin
- Increased autolytic decomposition
- Decreased appetite for brains
If you think you may be dead, you are not. If you were truly dead, you would not be able to think. Therefore, if you think you are dead, you are in shock. Shock is much less serious than death for zombies, and most zombies recover from shock in 5-7 minutes. In some extreme cases, however, full recovery can take many years, and will only be happen if there is a chance to settle a vendetta.
For zombies, there is no treatment for death. If you or a zombie you know has died, take comfort in knowing that this death, unlike a previous death you may have experienced, is everlasting.
Alex Berg performs regularly at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in LA with the house Harold Team, Sentimental Lady and his own three-man improv group, Convoy. You might also see him on TV. Thanks, Alex!
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