Zombie crawl: night of the drinking dead

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Zombie crawl: night of the drinking dead

Zombies protest the consumption of meat and support Redwood Empire Food Bank at Stout Brothers Pub Oct. 25.

Zombies protest the consumption of meat and support Redwood Empire Food Bank at Stout Brothers Pub Oct. 25.

Tara Kaveh

Zombies protest the consumption of meat and support Redwood Empire Food Bank at Stout Brothers Pub Oct. 25.

Tara Kaveh

Tara Kaveh

Zombies protest the consumption of meat and support Redwood Empire Food Bank at Stout Brothers Pub Oct. 25.

Darcy Fracolli, Asa Hackett, Tara Kaveh and Nathan Quast, Co-editor in Chief, Staff Writer, Centerspread Editor and Managing Editor

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When you hear the siren, run. A horde of zombies is about to pay its bar tab and lurch toward you. On Oct. 24, Stout Brothers Pub in Santa Rosa organized a zombie-themed pub crawl. From 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., the undead roamed the streets and stalked the bars of Santa Rosa to raise donations for the Redwood Empire Food Bank. Nurses, doctors, shooting victims, pirates, soldiers and fairies, all tragically returned from the dead to feast on the living. Four intrepid Oak Leaf reporters set boldly forth into the chaos. These are their stories.
The designated driver
Just your average Thursday night, should I study for my test or do some homework? “You’re coming to a zombie bar crawl! We need a photographer and a designated driver.” So I let the chilling winds sweep me away to a creepy night of walking with the dead. The bar crawlers were dressed in gore galore, blood spewing from their chests and backs, faces run over by tractors and torn up by chainsaws. Many even limped and stuck their arms out like Frankenstein as they walked from bar to bar. I felt like I was filming an episode of The Walking Dead as I watched a bunch of drunken grown adults through my camera lens playing their dress up roles all too convincingly.
Every time the ringleader, who was dressed as a zombie doctor, sounded the horn, the zombies would crawl to the next bar, lunging at my camera as I struggled to get in the action without running away in fear. Since I had the camera, they revealed their theatrical sides to me without even being asked, and truly scaring me as they lunged toward me with daggers and knives sticking out of every limb, covered in blood and guts. When a zombie began to eat a limb so I would take a picture of him, I had to look away.
The crawl was a great wake up call to how awful and gruesome people look dressed up as zombies. Although you are supposed to be “creepy” for Halloween, I’ve had enough gore for this year and it’s now a toss up over whether I should be a kitty cat or bunny rabbit for Halloween, I certainly won’t be anything that involves blood smeared on my face.
The designated imbiber
One would assume an event billed as the “zombie bar crawl” would involve two of three things: zombies, bars and, potentially, crawling, depending on the amount of alcohol imbibed.
To prepare for my transformation into one of the walking dead, I purchased a cheap set of makeup crayons and a small vial of fake blood. After ripping into a shirt and a pair of jeans with toenail clippers and a pocketknife, I dragged them through the mud to give them that weathered, un-lived in look.
Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the Oak Leaf, ready to get my zombie on, to discover none of the other staff had drawn the same conclusion.
“Wait, I need to dress like a zombie? I need to get fake blood on my nice clothes? Why would I put on makeup?”
After some futile coaxing to engage at least one other person to join me in undeath, I resolved that if it was just going to be me, I would have to be the best zommascot the Oak Leaf ever had. Enlisting the help of a former staff member and theater make-up artist, I slowly decayed into a blood-soaked terror, ready to eat brains and drink alcohol.
Upon arriving at Stout Brothers, I was welcomed with stiff, open arms into the zombie horde. The other Oak Leafers received some good-natured ribbing for their lack of exposed ribs, but were otherwise unharmed by zombies.
It’s difficult to push through the other 60-70 zombies just to order a beer and barely finish it before the buzzer sounded to signal the horde to shuffle over to the next stop. Having realized this, I discovered a delightful, albeit girly, mixed drink at Mary’s Pizza called the Pear Tree. Couldn’t tell you what’s in it, but it tastes like a sweet pear and I know I had at least two – and would have been happy to stick to those the rest of the night given the chance.
Beyond that point in the night, things get fuzzy. But, watching the pink remnants of my zombie blood trickle down the shower drain the next morning, I can say with certainty that I’m looking forward to the fourth annual zombie bar crawl – if not the accompanying hangover.
The designated enabler
I don’t really care for zombies. Give me Frankenstein’s monster,
vampires, serial killers, any villain with a brain. Mindless eating machines don’t really interest me. Bars do, however, so off I set.
I gave in to the ribbing of my fellow staff members and resolved to apply some light zombie makeup. Just some green around the eyes and a trickle of blood at the mouth, nothing fancy. Unfortunately my delicate, ladylike skin rejected the fake blood and I immediately felt like I’d received a shot of novocaine in the mouth.
Au natural then. Onwards and upwards. From the moment we arrived, I was subjected to good-natured ribbing about my appearance, but felt welcomed nonetheless. The array of zombie attire was dazzling, and I have to admit I felt a bit inadequate in my plainclothes ensemble.
From bar to bar we crawled, always as a horde, always in the most unorganized fashion possible. Finally, when we could crawl no more, in part due to the inescapable douchiness of Epic, we crawled home, content to dream of severed limbs and physical decay.
The designated whiner
The only thing worse than getting eaten alive by zombies is being surrounded by people pretending to be zombies.
The words “bar crawl” always make me perk up, and Thursday night was no different. There were a few words on either end of my favorite phrase, but all that really mattered was that it was a bar crawl, and a food-driving bar crawl at that. And so, a group of “journalists” carpooled to the Stout Brothers Pub.
Outside the bar was a motley crew of pirate-fairy-zombies. Not an auspicious start.
Inside the bar was an entertaining mixture of bemused regulars and noisy zombies who probably drank too much of their own corn-syrup blood. A doctor-bartender-zombie who seemed to be in charge reluctantly handed me a bracelet, officially marking me undead.
After a few drinks and a few rules, the group took off to the bar across the street, La Rosa. The wait staff there managed to get through the crowd once every half hour, and those of us who weren’t pressed against the windows enjoyed our drinks. Mercifully, the siren signaled mass exodus in 45 minutes.
After this point the zombies became slightly too lubricated. Stumbling undead gleefully acted out their favorite cannibalism fantasies with very little regard for personal space, and at one point there was some interesting zombie karaoke.
On the whole, I recommend a night involving microbrews and actual conversation over this event. Remember, though, that this is an outsider’s view of the crawl. I can only imagine how fulfilling dressing in full bloody regalia and clawing my way to the bar for a drink could be.

 

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