Hollywood has an incredible imagination when it comes to the end of the world. From asteroids to earthquakes, floods to solar flares, you can always trust the wild minds of LA LA Land’s script writers to find new and interesting ways of decimating the world’s population.
Viral diseases are the big one though. They’ve been through a bit of a renaissance in recent years, triggering a surge of fascination in the Zombie Apocalypse that’s spread like the very same plague into TV, book and videogames.
When it only takes a little scratch or nibble to turn even the most dedicated vegan into a sausage-munching undead monster, there’s plenty of scope for Hollywood to get carried away, the virus spreading from host to host like wildfire. But I think I’ve spotted an untapped delivery method, a device yet to be written into a Hollywood blockbuster – car park barrier tickets.
You know the credit card sized pieces of plastic that you slip into the machine to raise the barrier? When you jump in your car where do you put it? Hold it in your hand while fumbling for your seatbelt? No, too fiddly. Pop it onto the dash where it could slide away and disappear beneath a pile of old CDs? Not likely. Do you pop it in your mouth? Hmmm, tasty.
So just think for a minute what’s happened to that sliver of plastic before you clamped it between your teeth. Cue flashback graphics as we wind the clock back a few hours.
Jim, the bus driver, has had a bit of a bad tummy, and just before he handed the card over to you he’d had to make an emergency dash to the toilet. Trouble is, his hygiene isn’t great so he forgot to wash his hands before he rushed back onto the bus. He might not be licking the ticket, but by God, you don’t want to know what he’s added to it’s shiny surface.
Now we go further back in time to see the previous user of the ticket. We’ll call him Bob. He’s a large, sweaty bloke, who keeps everything in his trouser pockets. That includes the car park ticket, which sat nestled against his moist gentleman’s area for several hours before he popped it into his own mouth during his dash for the barrier.
Uh-oh, flashback again, and there’s Barbara. The day before Bob had the ticket she’d chucked it into the bottom of her handbag, where it mixed with manky old chocolates and other unmentionables that haven’t seen the light of day for years. Oh, and there she goes, gripping the card with her teeth and drooling a little as she struggles to fasten up her seatbelt.
Flashback to an attractive blonde who still manages to look glamorous even when she has a plastic card poking out from between her pouting, red lips. Further back, through old lady, stressed businessman, mum with screaming kids. All so desperate to get out of the car park as quickly as possible that they didn’t think twice about what they were putting in their mouths.
Somewhere at the start of all this is Patient X. He’s a part-time laboratory assistant who accidentally mixed two strange formulas into one petri-dish, before spilling some on a familiar piece of white rectangular plastic that he’d chucked onto his workbench. The rest, as they might say if they hadn’t all been turned into mindless zombies, is history. Wind the clock forward to the present day and Bob, Barbara and the others are now all flesh-eating undead, having transferred the vile virus to one another by licking contaminated saliva from that one piece of plastic.
So what’s the best way to stop this zombie plague from spreading? Simple. Don’t put the damned tickets IN YOUR MOUTH. It’s a disgusting habit anyway.
Picture credit – Zombie Horde by Joakim Olofsson