This entirely true story of the Zombie Apocalypse came to be all because of a little lady named Samantha. Her friends call her Sammy.
Let me introduce you to her!
Oh I’m sorry. Were you not expecting a rodent? Not many do. So here’s how Samantha unintentionally led me to the town formerly known as Grunthal Manitoba.
Sammy is not my rat, she belongs to my daughter’s best friend Cindy, and she has a growth (Sammy has a growth, not Cindy – let’s be clear. As the story unfolds it will be clear that nothing is clear.). One that I learned on Thursday was apparently treatable and removable by Cindy’s aunt in Grunthal. The problem of course is Cindy is only 13, can’t drive and no one in her family has much interest in the goings on of her life or the life of the animals under her care. But I digress.
Well, what the hell I tell my kid. I’m not doing anything Saturday. We will take Sammy to Grunthal. And that set the ball rolling for what was to become the most bizarre afternoon of my life.
I was pretty stoked for the drive, looking forward to the big prairie sky, wide open highway and fresh country air.
About 20 minutes south of Winnipeg, I open the sun roof, roll down the windows and inhale the glorious smell of…poo. It was so overpoweringly wretched, as though someone placed a huge steaming pile of excrement on my engine and it was blowing full force into my mouth. I nearly barfed. Quickly rolling up the windows and sunroof, I learned that I can hold my breath for 47 MISSISSIPPI’s while driving without losing consciousness.
As we roll into the town of Grunthal, I start making small talk with Cindy who is showing increased anxiety over the uncertain future of her rat.
I asked her questions like, “Is your aunt the Vet out in Grunthal?” and she responded with answers like, “No, she’s a painter, but knows a lot about animals”.
We drove on in silence as I tried to wrap my head around what in the hell I just got myself, and my new bff Sammy into.
Pulling into the parking area of the aunt’s house, my initial gut reaction is holy shit, we need to get out of here. Serial killers lurk in shadows like these. The house looked as though it was pulled out of a horror movie and dropped next to Granny’s Poultry. It looked a lot like this, but with dirtier doors, and more falling down fences.
The next thing I notice is the horses in the distance. And as I reluctantly step out of the car, my thoughts of the place being haunted are reaffirmed by the appearance of a big filthy white dog on the porch. A dog named ghost. Great.
We walk in and I am immediately assaulted with the overtly pungent smell of a house with too many cats, not enough litter boxes, a kid drinking a beer and a few other soldiers littering the table. Next thing I see are count ’em 1,2,3,4,5,6 more dogs! 4 poms running loose, and 2 poodles who I’ve been informed are registered purebreds valued at $1200 a piece. The 2 curly dogs are in their kennels because there is an 8th dog who is staring at me with what can only be described as a please, please, please get me the fuckouttahere, look in her eyes. Her name is Amber. She’s a bitch in heat, just dropped off and there are 2 Poms fighting to knock her up. Great.
I tread gingerly (shoes on, she didn’t say to keep ’em on, but I ain’t walking on that floor) and sit on a chair that is more duct tape than chair and I stare in fascination at the woman I have already decided is NOT touching the damn rat and ask her what she thinks.
She examines the rat as I watch 2 dogs making coitus and the male dog continues to miss it’s mark. Frustrated, he hops around to the front of his lady and starts humping her face while the other even smaller Pom is growling and jumping trying desperately to plant his seed.
Enthralled that people actually live like this I start peppering her with questions. She has 7 dogs, 8 cats, 3 horses, 1 cow, 20 chickens, geese and a turkey.
I don’t think any of the animals are fixed and she often breeds her dogs which makes me so angry I want to feed her to the pigs I’m assuming she has in the back to eat the bodies of her unsuspecting neighbors.
An hour has ticked by. She has given no diagnosis, and I am literally itching to get out. She is convinced it’s an infection but of course has no antibiotics. Cindy can’t afford the vet which is why we were out in Looney Toon country to begin with. So, after driving 75 KM ONE WAY and sitting in animal filth for 60 minutes the verdict is in. This is WHAT SHE ACTUALLY SAYS
“Penicillin comes from mold. Feed the rat moldy bread”.
And just like that, we’re fucking out.
Wait! You’re saying (if you’re still with me. I know you’re still with me, we haven’t touched the Zombies yet)
Cruising back into the entirely vacant town of Grunthal, I squeal into the deserted parking lot of Grunthal Grocery, burst through the doors and holler at the cashier “Lead me to your hand sanitizer and lint rollers please!”
One looks at me slack jawed, unmoving, unblinking and the other wordlessly points to my desired items. Before I even hit the till I’m scrubbing the everlovinghell out of my hands, elbows, eyes and mouth relishing in the burn of the alcohol.
Eying the produce, I figure I’ll grab a few apples for the girls for the ride home. Upon closer inspection the bushel of Macintosh apples are so old and wrinkled the skin is literally puckering away from the flesh of the fruit. I hazard a glance up at the limes. Dried and puckered. The kiwis have more wrinkles than an octogenarian convention and it dawns on me that I have yet to see another living soul.
I nervously pay for my goods, keeping a safe distance from the what can only be an undead cashier (I’m telling you, a piece of flesh fell FROM HER FACE) and run out to the car.
I throw the hand sanitizer in the car, lint roll the equivalent of 6 pygmy horses off my shirt and tell the girls I think the town of Grunthal has been taken over by zombies.
Looking up and down the street we see no one. No traffic, no people, no life.
Laughingly, I remember I saw the fire department on the way in. Surely, they could save us. As we creep up, the parking lot is littered with empty pick up trucks, all garage doors are up, turn out coats are flashing in the sunlight and we see no one.
HOLD ON GIRLS! I yell as we tear down the highway and on to safety as Eye of the Tiger plays on the radio.
That is how we discovered and survived the Apocalypse.
Oh! Later, I found a blow up doll in a tree.