Saturday, November 01, 2008
This Thursday night downtown Grand Rapids was overrun with the undead. A 20 year-old community college student named Rob Bliss organized the largest zombie walk the world has ever known! The turnout of well over two thousand people mutilated the previous record held by Portland. I am very proud to say that I was amoung the hoard shuffling our way around the city. Check it out.
I heard about this event on Facebook. At first it seemed impractical. I didn’t expect many people to show up and I thought that it would just be a small group of goofy ghouls walking around downtown. But my friend Joel told me that he was going and so I eagerly decided to tag along. Playing dead seemed like a great way to spend my Thursday night. We busted out the make-up and went about making ourselves look grotesque. We bloodied and ripped old clothes and painted our faces white and our eyes dark.
“You look horrible!” Joel said sweetly.
“Thanks. You too.”
Then we plopped ourselves into a vehicle and headed downtown. After we parked our car and begin walking towards the meeting place, I saw some groups of zombies congregating, but nothing could prepare me for the sea of dead that was waiting in Rosa Parks Circle.
Rob Bliss then gave a short introduction culminating in the fact that we had just broken the world record! everybody moaned enthusiasticly. Then it was time to walk the walk. With the chorus of Michael Jackson’s Thriller (of course) blasting over loud speakers, the mob of people shuffled out on our walk over several city blocks. No obstacle stood in the way of zombies. Cars and pedestrians were not spared. Any vehicle that had foolishly attempted to navigate those streets that night was immediately set upon by the living dead. Stage blood and greasy make-up were streaked on all.
This was my first experience in a mob of people that huge and it was truly aweinspiring! Onlookers were astounded. Some citizens were angry that their night had been impeded, but most found it comical. I did feel bad though when I saw a young girl strapped into a carseat in the back of a minivan scared poopless. Some zombies were much more energetic than others. As I moped about moaning and purposefully running in to things, I saw a city bus that was stuck in the sea of people. One crazy zombie scaled the back of the bus and jumped onto its roof. This acrobat did a handstand and then flipped up. His antics were encouraged by a loud collective moan for “BRAINS!” by the crowd.
The walk came to an end near the B.O.B. Here there were several news stations interviewing and gathering footage of the event. I heard that even the Discovery Channel was there! This night of the living dead was very exciting and unique. It still amazes me that a huge event like this was organized just for the heck of it by a guy my age!