Never Go Full Zombie

Zombies, movies, writing, humor, Modern Philosopher, Tropic ThunderOne of my favorite lines for Tropic Thunder, Ben Stiller’s brilliant documentary about the Vietnam War, Modern Philosophers, is when Robert Downey, Jr. advises Stiller’s character to “Never go full Zombie”.

He was way ahead of his time talking about the Zombie Apocalypse during a war that took place long before the Undead would ever shuffle across our planet, but he sure as Hell knew what he was talking about.

As several of you have pointed out in worried emails to me during the week, I haven’t posted anything on the blog since Sunday night.

I appreciate your concern and your desire for more material.  To the one person who angrily demanded a refund, I’ll once again point out that there is no charge to read this blog, but if you are paying for the privilege, we should probably talk about how you can send those payments directly to me.

It’s just been a long and very busy week, Modern Philosophers, and the blog got bumped down my list of priorities.  It’s not that I don’t love the blog and writing for you guys, but back when I was seeing my therapist, she stressed the need to prioritize.

This week, other projects had to come first, and even then, trying to squeeze everything into my schedule led to my almost ignoring Iron Man’s advice.

That’s right, Modern Philosophers, I almost went full Zombie.

humor, writing, The Nite Show, movies, life, zombies, Modern PhilosopherMy top priority this week was The Nite Show.  We had a taping on Wednesday night, so I had three days to write a ton of monologue jokes.

With it being late October, that meant scores of jokes about Trump, Clinton, Halloween, and Election Day.

I was totally in my element.

I didn’t want to ignore my new screenplay, though, so whenever I took a break from figuring out creative and funny ways to skewer the Presidential Election while also linking it all to Halloween, I was hard at work on the last act of my first draft.

Jumping back and forth between genres prevents me from getting writer’s block and challenges my brain to pump out better material.

So I’d craft a crucial scene in which my screenplay’s protagonist finally kills the antagonist, and then go back to killing it with the Trump and Clinton jokes.

I was in Writer’s Heaven.

running, health, fitness, writing, Modern PhilosopherOf course, I didn’t want to mess with my new running routine, so I made sure to get in my morning runs on Saturday and Sunday.

Even legged out my first four mile run of the year on Saturday.

Running is a great time to get mental writing done.  On Saturday’s run, I plotted out the pivotal action screen in my screenplay.

On Sunday’s run, I wrote monologue jokes in my head.  Writing always comes so easily to me, but for once, it made me break a sweat.

Just a little horrible writing/running humor.  I did warn you that I almost went full Zombie, so you should’ve been prepared for a line like that.

Don’t worry.  Much better jokes were written for The Nite Show.

Since I’m a total overachiever, I didn’t want to pass up on the five hours of overtime we’re allowed at work, even though I had to leave early on Wednesday to go to my other, much cooler job making TV Magic.

So I got up early and stayed at work late to put in the extra hours.

Of course, on Monday, I needed to avoid social media all day to dodge spoilers for the Season Premiere of The Walking Dead.  That wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be because I was already so exhausted and didn’t really have time to surf the web.

The Walking Dead, Negan, Zombies, writing, humor, Modern PhilosopherMonday night, while already feeling extremely Zombie-like, I carved out an hour to watch Negan take batting practice during the Zombie Apocalypse.

That was a rough show to watch, but it was awesome writing, and inspired me more.

That meant that while I grieved the passing of Glenn and Abraham, I got out the laptop and wrote even more jokes because I wanted to create quality TV, too.

As I watched the cast of The Walking Dead relive the powerful episode on The Talking Dead, I fought off fatigue and wrote jokes about politicians and trick or treating.

Tuesday was another late night while I finished up the last batch of jokes.  Wednesday morning it was up early to get to the office.  I was running on pure adrenaline at that point, excited to get to The Gracie for The Nite Show.

Once I was at the theater, my inner Zombie was shoved into a dark, quiet corner where it could do no harm, and I was in full Writer Boy mode.

Congressman Bruce Poliquin was shaking hands in the atrium on his way backstage.  He came up to me, immediately recognized me from our chat after his last appearance on the show (that was when I confessed that I was the one who wrote most of the harshest jokes about him), said, “Oh, it’s you!” and then smiled and vigorously shook my hand.

The Nite Show, humor, writing, monologue jokes, Modern PhilosopherThe taping is a blur, but I do remember that it went very well.  Danny used many of my jokes, although he did pass on my two favorites, so I sense the Sunday Rejects making a comeback this weekend.

I was on such a Writer’s High that I didn’t fall asleep until well past midnight.

Then it was up early to go back to work because I didn’t want to lose my overtime.

I barely made it through Thursday.  I was running on fumes, and I hate being chained to my desk when I have the overwhelming urge to write.

And an undeniable need to sleep.

But both my laptop and bed would have to wait.  The Other Melissa plied me with Rum and Coke, and talked me into going to the mall.

For the record, The Other Melissa prefers to be called Mel, but as I explained to her on the drive to the mall, this is her character name because it better advances the narrative due do its similarity to The Sweet Irish Girl’s name.

Besides, Mel is a short, fat, old, bald, male Jewish accountant, who has been doing your family’s taxes for the last three decades.  The Other Melissa is far too attractive to be a Mel.  And with her Math abilities, you’d never want her near your taxes.

The last time I’d been to the mall was five months ago with The Sweet Irish Girl.  Back then, I was too in love with the woman holding my hand to notice my surroundings.

Mallrats, relationships, friends, humor, writing, Modern PhilosopherThursday night, however, with The Other Melissa, I noticed how desolate and pathetic the Bangor Mall had become.

The mallrats who roamed the place were a decade younger than my companion, and I doubt any of them had ever heard of Jay and Silent Bob.  It made my head hurt.

Of course, that could’ve been more because I was overtired, my brain was empty, and The Other Melissa pours a very strong Rum and Coke when she needs me to do something that she knows will bore me to death.

As much as I hate to admit it, the busy week had turned me.  Even though I’d been warned ages ago by Tony Stark in blackface, I still allowed myself to go full Zombie.

It wasn’t at all pretty, and I have the photographic proof.

Brace yourselves, Modern Philosophers.  This material is intended for mature audiences only, and the blog is not responsible for any heart attacks or nightmares it may cause…

Zombies, The Walking Dead, Halloween, humor, writing, life, Modern PhilosopherZombies, The Walking Dead, humor, life, writing, Modern Philosopher







What happened to my handsome face?  Why had I pushed myself so hard this close to Halloween?  Did I really need to run and work overtime when I was trying to finish a screenplay and write monologue jokes?

Of course, I’d do it again if the situation presented itself.  I say that because I know if I keep kicking ass with the writing, I’ll eventually be able to do it full time.  When that happens, I’ll never have to worry about going Full Zombie again because I never feel more alive than when I’m writing…

Thanks for missing me.  I have returned from the dead to write for you again!

Follow me on Pinterest, or I’ll bite you and make you turn, too!

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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