compound words

Please note that there have been changes made to the MS Word program since this story was first published, but zombies remain a problem.

(*Warning: Potty Mouth Language!*)

They sat in a booth at the Ovaltine Café taking inventory. The waitress delivering their coffee looked rough and smelled bad. Was that dry blood at the corners of her mouth? She tossed the cups across the table, then stood there staring stupidly at the two of them. Much of the coffee had spilled. After an awkward moment, mumbling something about not being able to eat the customers, the waitress walked back to her station dragging her left foot. Her ankle was fractured. The bone protruded from the skin just above the heel. She plodded stoically.

The two men watched, and then Brad said, “So, what about Nigel?”

“Zombie,” said Vincent.





“You know, Angela with the big…,” Brad said.

“Oh, yeah. Zombie.”

“Thomas with the Vespa?”





“Zombie,” said Vincent, “but he’s trying to go vegan.”

“Vegan?” Brad said, stirring his coffee. “How can you be a vegan zombie?”

“Well, that’s his story,” said Vincent. “When he’s not saying shit like ‘Brains, must eat brains’. You know, in his more coherent moments, he says eating people’s brains is murder.”

“He’s bloody well right it is,” Brad said. “But I’ll say it again, how’s he going to go vegan? I mean, is there some soy human brain analog?”

“I’m just saying. I think Alan’s come to a place in his undead existence where he’s asking himself difficult questions. Kind of existential, like.”

“Well that’s everybody then, isn’t it? Everybody we know is a fucking zombie.”

“Not everyone.”

“Then who isn’t?”

“Well Valerie and Rebecca,” Vincent said, “and Thomas with the wheelchair…”

“But they’re all dead,” said Brad. “They’re not zombies because they’re dead.”

“Well so are zombies, strictly speaking. Dead I mean.”

“Yes but Valerie, Rebecca and wheelchair Thomas are no longer sentient. They are among the very still and decomposing dead.”

“Well then they’re not zombies, are they?”

“Look,” Brad said. “Based on what you’ve just told me, we are the only two people we know of who aren’t zombies. Isn’t that right?”

“Well yes, except for Bob from Monty’s Gun & Pawn.”

“Bob from Monty’s Gun & Pawn is a cunt.”

“But he’s not a zombie.”

“Shit. Might as well be.”

“Hey,” said Vincent, “did you know that the word cunt is the only really bad swear word that MS Word spell check picks up?”


“Yeah, it’s true. When you type something using MS Word, you can type damn, hell, shit, fuck, fucks, fucked, fucker or motherfucker, and the spell check doesn’t give it the red line. But when you type cunt, it gets the red line. What’s that about?”

“Look, we’re the only two non-zombies left on the fucking planet and all you want to talk about is spell check.”

“A little conversational variety is nice.”

“Besides,” Brad said, “it’s obvious why cunt doesn’t pass spell check muster. Most people consider it to be a truly offensive word.”

“I don’t.”

“Who gives a shit?”

“Maybe I do,” said Vincent. “Maybe I give a shit. Let’s face it, if you, me and Bob of Monty’s Gun & Pawn are the only three people left who aren’t zombies, then I represent one third of the planet’s overall living population. My opinion means something. Think about it. What I buy and how I vote is suddenly very important.”

“You’re insane. What about Norman?”

“Norman who?”

“You know, graffiti Norman. Does the wall murals and railcars.”



“Yeah, he was actually one of the first. Before it got all trendy, you know.”


“Did you know that ‘spell check’ isn’t even a compound word?” said Vincent.

“Fuck off,” Brad said.

“I mean, spell check is a thing – a single thing. It’s spellcheck. Am I right?”

“Fuck off.”

“I mean, now that I’ve got some pull round here, there’s gonna be some changes made, baby.”

“Fuck off.”

“Stop telling me to fuck off.”

“Fuck off.”

“We need some solidarity, here.”

“Fuck off.”

“Want some more coffee?”

“Yeah,” Brad said.

“You know that artificial sweetener isn’t a compound word, either?”

“Fuck off.”

“Neither’s fuck off. Should be. Should be fuckoff.”

“Fuck off.”

“Gonna be some changes made, I tell ya.”


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