By NIM VIND
Coronavirus continues. Variants spread as countries try to resume some kind of normality. Nim Vind lives in Vancouver, Canada, a country whose borders are still closed, and as I type this there is nothing to report about reopening. By the way, yes, I’m Nim Vind talking in the third person. There will be no consistency on that, my grammar is sub par, and my spelling is worse. Thank Satan Rue Morgue has an editor and it isn’t me.
4:17 am Tuesday, May…June 10th? 11th? Whatever. Who cares. WHO CARES!!! I stare at my reflection wondering how much I’ve aged. Were those lines always there? Remember when I was on acid and I saw alphabet letters in every crack of every surface and then I went to Church? Fuck…I’m paranoid. Is lockdown over? If I go outside, is everything gonna be normal or a fucked-to-death sports riot on bath salts? How long can I go on isolated like this? Hell, I was isolated before this; now I am like a guy in a coma who can hear everyone talking about pulling the plug on him. Listening to his betrayer friends joke with pretend sadness about who gets his stuff. “Maybe he’ll wake up?” Maybe I’ll wake up. I would love to wake up at the morgue like Jim the bike courier wakes up from a coma at the hospital in 28 Days Later. I’d show up at their houses while they’re jamming on my guitar and on the phone with my girl and give them a heart attack. I’d then slowly strum the chords to the Everly Brothers “Cryin’ in the Rain” while they jettison off this mortal coil, soon to be zombified and hit with a hammer. What year would it be? Would my hairdresser still be alive? Am I saying this all out loud?
Back in reality, there’s now a heat wave! The mental temperature of the human race is rising like an inflating blimp that will soon fly around dragging the message “Run, you Idiots.” Flash mountain floods are flowing from melting glacier ice (mass wildlife extinction, fires) while even crappier pop music blares at an ominous sky. I know what’s coming next and so do Horror fans. Is it another Friday the 13th Movie? No, but it’s just as inevitable – The Zombie Apocalypse!! Don’t you dare groan, “Not someone talking zombies again…”
The Coronavirus is the closest we’ve come to the “Z” Apocalypse. You know zombie nerds everywhere are thinking this and you better hope they’re wrong. Those nerds are following the Coronavirus lockdown rules because they’re preparing for what they’ve always known – or hoped – would be lumbering into our lives dragging in the drool and stink. Somebody called me a “square” for not traveling during Corona by the way. Me. A SQUARE! I’ve smoked enough weed to impress Snoop Dog during this thing. I’ve worked a job with a full-on two-week Xanax withdrawal complete with aural hallucinations. For a solid seven days of that shit, I really believed I had a parrot. I’ve gone through Russian customs holding my friend’s sweat-soaked hoodie while he wandered the Moscow Airport, high out of his mind on speed, looking for a place to piss. I showed up to the Vans Warped Tour in a hospital gown with no back and a container of yogurt that I think I stole from a kid in a hospital waiting room, and I was playing that day! I ain’t no square.
Most things are hilarious and should be made fun of, but not this. The music has stopped. The USA is trying to restart it, but it’s kind of like eating soup with your hands at the moment. We need to solve this shit and get the speakers blasting again before everyone realizes what everyone else looks like in the light and wants to go home. Corona and these crazy world events are the beta test and we need to pass. We can’t afford to wonder if we’re ready for the first announcement of biters. Do our leaders have a plan? I do: I’m going straight to the nearest pharmacy with a hammer and getting all the Codeine I can carry. I’m getting Codeine, Caffeine, Tramadol, Klonapin…all the ‘pams, all the ‘cets. If I’m taking on the undead, I’m gonna get my mind on their level, plus I need shit to trade. I’ll have a hammer for brain bashing and one of those ceramic Japanese knives for beheading. Still, I wonder what my friends in music are doing, or did, to pass the time in lockdown. Are they ready for World War Z after Cold War C? Get it? Cold War COVID?
I called Argyle Goolsby from Horrorpunk heroes Blitzkid first, because along with being a great musician and horror aficionado the guy has his own personally scored version of the 1922 classic Nosferatu. Mark Hamill (yes Luke Skywalker) does the intro! At least…I think he does. The heat, the COVID, I’m not even sure I’m Nim Vind right now. Anyways, if anyone will know what to do, it’s “Gools.”
“Yo! Are you still in lockdown?” I ask. “What did you do to pass all this time?”
“Time’s passing?” he responds.
No true artist has a sense of time. None. We all think we’re vampires living forever at 25 years old, until we get up to walk and a leg snaps and dust blows all over like my broken vacuum. Surprise! You’re 200! You were working on your new single for 55 years and died endlessly remixing that tambourine part. All the salty food you ate on tour somehow preserved you for 120 years more.
So, I ask Gools what he’d do in a Zombie Apocalypse.
“I’ll use my Dungeon & Dragons mage skills to assemble them as my own personal army.” Smart thinking Goolsby. Your use of Horrorpunk Magic is the kind of sorcery that will see you survive and thrive. May the force be with you. Also, get me Hamill’s autograph. It’ll be a great bargaining chip in the Z event. Trust me. Star Wars will still be important even then. Not the latest three, though. Or the prequel three.
So far so good. If most of my friends are like Goolsby then we’ll all probably meet up and start the post-Apocalypse Z music industry. Horrorpunk will reign, plus we’ll deal with with the zombified cast and crew of American Idol once and for all. If Simon Cowell ain’t a zombie by the time we catch him, too bad, we ain’t waiting. But what about my more senior friends? An old dude with a machete can still do a lot of damage, but it could also be an easy meal for the undead. I called Jonny Zazula – yes, the guy that started Megaforce Records and put out the first Metallica album. That dude, he’s been my friend for years and manager a couple of times, but I remember when he tried to run across a busy road and ended up a literal rolling stone. He declared, “Nim I don’t remember the last time I ran. I think it was when I ran for class president.” I have to check on Jonny with this zombie thing. The dude might need my help.
“Jonny what have you been doing all this Corona time?” I inquire.
“Listening to mucho musica!” he answers.
Always a man of few words. Jonny is a very chill dude. Snoop Dog would like him. I bet he’s been listening to a whole lot of musica. Hell, half the bands I listen to started with Jonny. He’s the real deal.
“What are you gonna do first when the Zombie Apocalypse hits?”
“I’m gonna practice being dead.”
Of course Jonny would know what to do, no running necessary! Genius. From Metallica’s “Motorbreath” to Jonny’s patented fake-your-own-death, he’s an oracle and a gangster. Anyone with a life-size Cruella Deville in a car at his front door would know what to do. Keep practicing, Jonny! It worked in The Walking Dead I’m pretty sure, but then again I’m stoned so I could be wrong.
So I figure I know what the underground is doing through Gools, and now what the Legacy Metal guys are doing through Jonny, so who else is there? Slash? Maybe. I know his bass player Todd Kerns. Todd’s a multi-talented, multi-instrumentist, incredible singer and fellow Canadian. Beside’s his gig as Bassist and back-up singer for Slash’s solo band, he sang in Age of Electric and plays in Vegas with a revolving cast of righteous rock n’ roll rebels….or at least he did before COVID showed up. Todd will give me the word on the circuit. I called him, ’cause last time I called Slash someone kept asking for my order. I think it was a fake number unless they were saying “slush” – that’s Canadian for Slurpee. Actually, Todd also plays in a band called Toque, which is Canadian for beanie. I want a Slurpee now. Anywho, with a fresh Slurpee-induced brain freeze (is that a way to escape zombies?) I asked Todd:
“Dude what have you been doing during this whole virus thing?”
“I switched my entire focus to studio, once I get off the couch that is.” he says
Canadians…we just have it too good up here. The air is so fresh. We smell trees. We just can’t imagine a slobbering dead guy in those same beautiful bushes. It’s just too easy to stretch out on the couch and hope for a Sasquatch over a human. You have anywhere from a 1 to 65% chance of Sasquatch depending on where in Canada you are.
“Dude, what would you do in a Zombie Apocalypse event? This whole pandemic virus has gotta have you wondering…” I press.
“I’m the indoorsy type,” he says. “My favourite vacations have to have a good wifi.” Like I said, Canadians…
He continues: “I’d have to figure out the whole apocalypse thing or I’d be written out of the script pretty fast.” Jesus! Earth calling Todd! This is why Canada is in trouble in the Z event. We’re just too relaxed. He’s worried about the script! Dude, they plan to eat your brain! You can still enjoy your morning green tea crème frappuccino in your robe, just keep a shotgun handy…or a sword…or at least a piece of corn if Stephen King wrote the script (I love Stephen King, that’s not a diss in any way, shape or form). Canadians need to get American in this sort of thing and start throwing Black Friday cola sale punches. Listen to me I’m trying to help!!
Fuck it, maybe Horrorpunks will have to take this shit over and run the place. We are used to living in an evolving state of disaster, just look at our tours. We wheel and deal and get the job done, even when the pilot is desperately asking if anyone on the plane has any medical training…yes that happened…yes I put up my hand…no they didn’t let me do anything….even though I said I was a pro at the Hasbro game “Operation”. Anyways, so I’m calling Jackal from Germany’s coolest Horrorpunk band The Crimson Ghosts.
“Jackal what are you doing to pass the…ah fuck it, what would you do in the Zombie Apocalypse? You know it’s next!”
I’ll just go ahead and summarize his response because Germans are, well, Germans. They’re very thorough people. That’s why they make the best headphones. That’s why Jackal shreds on guitar and i’m sloppier than your grandma without her teeth in. He said he’d start a group and have everybody bring their skills to the table and create a superstrong survival unit. Ya hear that, Kerns? Germans are so prepared it’s almost boring. I’m going to have to keep this interesting (aka silly) by asking an American Horror Rock band that smiles more than a 60-year-old at a strip bar – Calabrese!!
I called Davey Calabrese just as the temp hit 75, which is boiling in Canada. “Davie, I’m getting woozy in this heat. Corona…heatwave…need water… zombies…peanut butter jelly sandwiches…”
““I’d become the King of the Zombie Apocalypse!! Reigning supreme with Bobby ‘n Jimmy of course!”
Just so you know, the Calabrese band is three actual brothers – Davey, Jimmy and Bobby. They’re named after Double Dragon game characters. This is my assumption. Anyways. See, he knew what I was trying to ask, and his answer is parallel to Goolsby if you can remember the first guy I called in this article. How have Horrorpunks not unionized by now? They all understand the value of teaming up and demanding longer break times and free muffins.
Ok. To summarize, the Zombie Apocalypse is next. The key to survival is making friends with a Horrorpunk band…preferably from Germany…but any one will do.