The Walking Dumb

I am obsessed with AMC’s show The Walking Dead. Obsessed. I am not a zombie lore fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I cannot get enough of this business.

I think my love for this incredible show stems from the uncanny parallels to my own life. The living characters are Southern; I’m Southern. They survive hand-to-mouth; I survive hand-to-mouth (though what is in our hands is pretty different). The undead characters are shuffling, gape-mouthed beings with no consciousness of their surroundings or ability to properly communicate; I live in New York City and have to deal with tourists all the time. I can identify perfectly with the looks of terror and panic on Shane and Rick’s faces when they unexpectedly encounter a hoard of walkers. I feel the same way when I come down the steps to the subway and run into thirty Swiss or English high school tourists, milling around and making noises at each other.

Tourists are a great boon to the economy of the City of New York. We would never have survived the recession as well as we have without them. As someone who has worked in the restaurant and entertainment industries, I can tell you that neither would exist, let alone flourish the way they do without tourists. I have met many lovely people visiting from out of town and can safely say my life has been enriched by those experiences.

But whyyyyyyy must they stop right in the middle of the sidewalk completely unaware that everyone rushing around them is trying to get somewhere?

Why must they make it impossible to run an errand in Times Square?

And, for the love of God, WHY do so many not understand that tipping is a necessary part of many transactions here in the United States? The zombies on The Walking Dead only have tiny brainstems corrupted by other zombies’ spit, but tourists (I assume) are working with at least twice that faculty. Read a guidebook! I wouldn’t go to Canada (just to name a really specific example) without learning a little about your culture.I know that any of us could become tourists at any moment (mainly by traveling, rather than having an undead neighbor feast on your flesh). It’s a beautiful experience to see different cultures. But don’t be an asshole about it. Learn about the customs of your destination before you go. Awareness is the only thing separating us from zombies.


2 thoughts on “The Walking Dumb

  1. Pingback: You’ve Got To Give A Little, Take A Little | petulantpanda

  2. Pingback: I’m the Greatest Star… | petulantpanda

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