The use of zombies for the completion of otherwise mundane household chores, not to mention recreational use, is becoming increasingly popular today. But what do you do if your zombie is acting strangely? The first step, of course, is to consult the owner’s manual that came with the unit. Most such manuals include strong warnings about formaldehyde exposure, an alarmingly common zombie-ailment. Because formaldehyde is often used for the preservation of decaying flesh, zombies are instinctively drawn to it. It has short-term benefits to the zombie, such as improved skin-tone, but the long-term dangers are quite real to both the zombie and its handler—meaning you, the consumer. Despite its carcinogenic properties, formaldehyde is also commonly used in a variety of household applications, and its addictive qualities put zombies at greater risk for catastrophic failure.
So, how do you tell if your zombie is addicted to formaldehyde? Here are 13 tips:
1. Bulging veins
2. Sudden inexplicable gain in muscle mass
3. Lethargic coma (sometimes called a “walking coma”)
4. Burns in and around the mouth (this is the best means of discernment, as zombies are not adept at injecting formaldehyde intravenously)
5. Absence of foot fungus (formaldehyde is a significant ingredient in products that combat athlete’s foot; watch for missing and/or spent containers)
6. Short-term improvements to skin tone followed by rapid degeneration of the flesh (formaldehyde is used in the embalming process, but it only has short term benefits for the zombie population)
7. Heart arrhythmia (for obvious reasons, this is difficult to assess with zombies)
8. Short term passivity followed by acute and profound irritability (in can be difficult to tell whether such behavior is a symptom of formaldehyde-use or a normal symptom of zombification)
9. Wheezing and other asthma-like symptoms (also difficult to differentiate)
10. Runny, irritated eyes (ditto)
11. Chew marks on furnishings made of medium density fiberboard (because formaldehyde is significant component of MDF, addicted zombies have been known to chew on it—protect your furniture and your zombie by buying furniture made of real wood)
12. Unusually fresh breath (formaldehyde is often used in mouthwash and antiseptic rinses. As with foot fungus medications, watch for missing and/or spent containers)
13. Missing pages from #Formaldehyde: Twenty Years of Non-Conforming Short Fiction, Half-Truths, and Essays by Mackowiecki Lewis (This cringe-worthy commentary on American culture comes with its own Zombie Owner’s Manual. Don’t wait. Protect your zombie. Buy your copy at Amazon today.)
There’s a bit of everything in this oddball collection of adult contemporary short fiction: playground weddings, zombie jump starts, Gatorade showers, and Johnny West nostalgia… If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, #Formaldehyde & Other Nonsense may be it.
Do you remember that kid in grade school that you thought was probably an evil genius? He’d be the oddball kid who knew all about the inner workings of a computer but still traded Pokemon cards. In “Vadim’s Wedding,” that’s the guy who plots to humiliate the class buffoon with a fake marriage proposal and a staged-ceremony on the soccer pitch. Kids can be oh so cruel. It’s one of the completely-new stories in #Formaldehyde. Some, such as “S.C.,” (which The West Wind Review named “Best Story” of 1992) were previously published. Others, such as the title piece, are brand new. But they’re all chock full of dry humor, ironic twists, and quirky characters.
Take Sven, for instance. He can’t seem to dress himself in the morning, but his real problem is his danged English degree. It’s both a mid-life crisis and a coming of age story when he attacks his bookshelves with an X-Acto knife in search of some nougat of universal truth. “The Big Hunk of Literature” is a great bit for literary types and other lovers of books.
And then there’s “Twelve Minutes Before Recess.” No cutesy stories about Valentine’s or shoe tying here. The realities of the classroom can be as raw as a punch in the face. This “essay” meanders through such serious content as toilet paper theft, monkey bars, and doorstop regulations all in the split second it takes the protagonist to blow his whistle. Set your camera on macro for this bit of creative-non-fiction that will have you viewing school and public education through a whole new lens.
These and other bits of nonsense make #Formaldehyde an enjoyable diversion. Download your copy today.