View Mobile Site

Bell sounds start of new Zombiegeddon

Text Size: Small Large Medium
POSTED August 6, 2014 1:09 a.m.

The zombies are back.

You will see them today after 2 p.m. roaming the streets around high schools.

Try to look them in the eye, but you can’t. Their eyes will be glazed over focused on a smartphone. A few will be throwbacks to the Zombie Bud Era walking around oblivious to the living world while ear buds are plugged into iPods.

A final bell warns the world they are on their way, pouring out of campuses at Manteca, East Union, Sierra and Lathrop high schools. 

They stroll as if they are invincible, neither looking at traffic nor pausing before they step off the curb. They are especially thick along Yosemite Avenue and Center Street to a lesser degree. They seem to practically dare vehicles to hit them but in reality they simply don’t acknowledge them. Vehicles and others are part of another world. 

Zombies, you see, just don’t text. They breathe to text. 

Texting is their lifeblood.

Drive a stake through their Android or iPhone and you kill the very reason for their existence. 

Not all zombies text while hoofing it. Some text as they pilot a skateboard, shooting off curbs from behind parked cars and into busy streets. Others seem to start texting automatically when they get behind the wheel of a car and turn the ignition.

Regardless of how zombies text, they are under the spell of minuscule letters and numbers. Their hunger for texting is only exceeded by their appetite to pile up LIKEs – Look I’m King of Everything. As the story goes, zombies need LIKEs to gauge their self-worth against other zombies.

As such they go into a frenzy to compile LIKEs when they are released from their daily tomb as classroom lights go dark.

Zombies, unfortunately, aren’t the only danger lurking on our streets now that the bell has tolled.

Parents – eager to drop off and pick up their munchkins – turn Manteca streets leading to elementary campuses into combo grand prix race courses and demolition derbies in the making.

They complain loudly to police about their munchkins’ safety from those that speed, roll through stop signs, double park and pull in front of other cars in and around school zones.

They are oblivious to the fact they are one of “those” that they complain so bitterly about.

Much like zombies, they are in their own little world, wrapped in a cocoon of 3,000 pounds of steel complete with smartphone connectivity in an acoustically perfect sound chamber to crank up the tunes while drowning out noises such as screeching brakes and pedestrians yelling as they jump out of the way.

Nothing stops them on their appointed rounds to drop their precious cargo off at school. Speed limits and other traffic and pedestrians are meant to be ignored. Scaring and, when they strike pay dirt, hitting others with your car when it happens is a bonus.

Zombies and the parents of munchkins aren’t the only ones on a mission to turn the day into the realm of the living dead oblivious to anything and anybody outside of their own little world.

There’s a little bit of zombie and self-absorption in all of us, especially when we climb behind the wheel and slip into auto pilot mode. Gone are the days when California Rolling Stops and Distracted Driving were the exception and not the rule.

We curse at others for slipping into another dimension when “they” drive but in reality we all do it. 

There is really no such thing as an accident. We use the world because it’s much more soothing than the truth. Accidents are caused by inattentiveness, recklessness, and making a conscious decision to do something else other than drive.

We fear dying at the hands of some homicidal maniac or from a stray bullet from gang members who couldn’t take out a million gallon water tank with a rocket launcher at 50 feet. The reality is much different. The Center for Disease Control in 2010 noted there were 33,783 deaths from traffic accidents.  There were also 31,460 deaths by firearms. But here’s the kicker: Of those 31,460 deaths there were 19,392 suicides by guns and the other 11,078 either were a homicide or accidental.

Those of us not intent on killing ourselves are three times more likely to get killed in an auto accident. And we’re 361 times more likely to get injured in a vehicle accident – there were 2.24 million such injuries in 2010 – as opposed to sustaining a gun wound that came in at 62,000 the same year.

The carnage we can all prevent is what takes place every day. It is the “crime scene” we rubberneck at on freeways and not the ones blocked off with yellow tape.

School is back in session. Make an effort to learn to drive more safely. And try to use the surefire antidote for slipping into a zombie-like coma when you’re navigating street behind the wheel or on foot by paying attention.


This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.  He can be contacted at or 209.249.3519.

Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...