March 21, 2010

The Perfect Zombie Dinner Party

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Zombies are not known for being good dinner guests at the best of times. They often drop by unexpectedly, they're slow to leave, and they always eat with their hands. If you must have zombies over for dinner, however, follow these tips for hosting the perfect zombie dinner party.

1.) CHOOSE THE RIGHT DINNERWARE

Don't bother setting out utensils or glassware. Although every book on dining etiquette devotes at least a chapter to the proper arrangement of utensils and utensil protocols, zombies don't know a salad fork from a spleen. Zombies are just going to dive in hands-first and shovel your delectables straight into their slack-jawed mouths. To best prepare for this eventuality, focus your efforts instead on other more functional dinnerware. Rather than ruining your linen Italian table cloth, throw down luscious red industrial tarp on the table instead. Also, invest in some thin translucent plastic sheets to drape over your walls and windows to catch back-spatter. Zombies are known for combining the messiness of eating finger food with the sloppy self-expression of finger painting. While the table tarp and wall tarps keep your dining room clean of gore stains, the back-spatter on the wall tarps will double as post-modern art for after-dinner discussion.

When choosing your dinnerware, remember that zombies are quite narcissistic. Despite their rotting faces, they just can't stop looking at themselves (why do you think they travel in such large packs?). Cater to the undead's ego with zombie-themed dinnerware. For example, Etsy merchant Soule produces zombie plates that would be perfect for any zombie dinner party. After your guests have cleaned their plates of entrails and guts, they'll see a zombie looking back at them, which is guaranteed to provide them with some post-meal self-affirmation.

Check out Soule's Zombie Plates at her ETSY SHOP.

2.) LIMIT DIETARY CHOICE

Zombies are neither good decision-makers nor eaters with discerning taste. When faced with multiple food options and decisions (such as an array of appetizers or a professional wine selection), zombies tend to become confused and violent. They may just as easily turn on you if it is easier to drink your blood than decide on a bottle of Sangiovese, Chianti, or Barolo. In terms of food, zombies also have no sense of taste. They will just as easily eat your brains as the brain of the dead cat in the alley behind your house. Therefore, offer a limited menu to your zombie guests to meet their basic needs. There's no need to get too fancy. A simple selection of eyes, intestines, hearts, and brains will more than satisfy your zombies without confusing them.

Also, don't prepare too much food. Zombies have no concept of "full". According to Rob Sacchetto's The Zombie Handbook (review), "zombies actually only need about one-tenth of what they devour, but they lack any neurological trigger to feel 'full'. If allowed unlimited food, they will continue eating until they burst." Keep in mind that the zombie is always eating. Unlike human guests, your zombie friends are not saving their appetites for the dinner party. Your undead guests were probably eating before they came, were probably eating on the way over, and will most likely continue eating after they leave. Knowing this, be cautious in selecting your portion sizes. You don't want that half-steak of calf flank to be the meal that finally pushes a zombie over the bursting point. If your guests do experience some explosive indigestion, your table and wall tarps should protect your family photos and carpet from excessive splatter.

3.) TALK TO THE DEAD

While the majority of your zombie guests will be speechless or moaning corpses, some of your zombies may have retained the capacity for human speech and conversation. While the rest are greedily slurping down entrails and gnawing on gristle, make conversation! When conversing with zombies, remember the following rules:
  • Be a Good Listener: Many of your talkative guests will be missing portions of their faces, lips, or even tongues, which makes speech a laborious task. Be a keen listener to avoid confusion or miscommunication. Pay specific attention to the language of the zombie's body (or what's left of it).
  • Talk about Brains: Just as asking about a guest's children is a sure-fire icebreaker for living people, broaching the topic of brains is a no-fail way of starting conversation with the undead. Zombies will talk about brains until their jaws fall off. The taste of brains, the texture of brains, the size of brains, the brains of celebrities and public figures -- prepare yourself for more conversation than you ever thought possible about grey matter.
  • Avoid Controversial Topics. If there's one way to end up on your own menu, it's offending your guests. The Living Impaired can be quite political. They are quite passionate about a variety of causes, but they don't tend to encourage debate. They are more likely to eat the brains of those who disagree. To keep on the undead's good side, avoid topics such as the popularity of head-shot training courses at your local YMCA, the use of zombies for medical and governmental experimentation, the similarities between zombies and vampires, and abortion (the latter applies to any social situation).
By following these simple guidelines, your dinner party will go from being a bloody massacre headlining the evening news to the talk of the town in the most influential zombie circles. Should you ever need to host a Zombie Dinner Party, know it can be done without losing life or limb (at least not yours!).