The television show "The Walking Dead" returns to the air tonight. Unquestionably the greatest zombie show ever — surpassing even the final two seasons of "The Waltons" — "The Walking Dead" may have been the best show of any type in 2010.
To celebrate the show's reanimation, I want to revisit an argument I had with certain "Twilight"-loving friends of mine: Which is the better, zombies or vampires?
It's not even close. Let me count the ways.
Zombies don't hide their true identity. What you see is what you get. They're not mysterious businessmen. They're not mysterious new students at night school. They're not mysterious members of the Romanian royal family.
Zombies are a menace at all hours of the day. During a zombie apocalypse, you can't go out to the mailbox in the morning or take the dog for an afternoon walk or grill an early dinner on the patio without risking death and dismemberment. You want to avoid a vampire? Go anywhere in the world during the light of day; lock your door at night. Easy.
A zombie will never use his brooding charm and timeless good looks to steal your wife or girlfriend. He might devour her entrails, sure, but there will be no hanky panky.
No zombie has ever become a teen idol.
Most zombies shuffle slowly. Some run at high speed. No zombies, however, ever turn into a bat and fly. That would be cheating, and completely unfair.
Vampires are prone to angst-ridden stretches of despair over their desire for human blood and the loved ones they've killed. It's tiresome. Zombies know what they want, know what they need, and they go for it. Simple and straightforward.
A zombie uses every part of the victim, much as the Plains Indians used every part of the noble buffalo. A vampire sucks the blood and leaves the rest of the corpse to rot; a terrible waste of nourishing flesh.
Vampires think they're better than you. They're snobs. Sure, they've got eternal life and superhuman strength, blah blah blah, but that's no reason to be an elitist. Zombies never put on airs. A zombie is just like you or me, except for the rotting flesh and the craving of brains. A zombie could be your neighbor Joe. Literally, your neighbor Joe could be a zombie.
Zombie attacks are bloodier and more terrifying than vampire attacks. No neat fang marks here; we're talking jagged strips of flesh, oozing wounds, dripping intestines. A real visible treat.
Vampires are devious and sneaky. A zombie is completely incapable of playing mind games with you.
Zombies can do comedy as well as horror. "Shaun of the Dead." "Zombieland." What do vampires have? Tom Cruise?
Vampires are immortal. They'll be around forever. Once a zombie runs out of food sources, it slowly wastes away. I think. If you can hole up in your zombie shelter for 20 years or so, you should be able to re-emerge safely into the world.
Someone has actually built a zombie-proof house by the way (Google it!). There's no market for vampire-proof homes.
Zombies can be kept as pets.
Zombies have no vanity. Every day is casual Friday. Vampires spend hours in front of a mirror … well, hours taking meticulous care of their appearance. Most vampires are metrosexuals.
A cape? Who wears a cape? No zombie would be caught dead in a cape.
Vampires are vulnerable to crosses, holy water and wooden stakes. Really? Spray a zombie with holy water, it gets wet. Stab a zombie in the heart with a wooden stake, and it won't even flinch. Hold a cross in front of a zombie, and it will eat your hand.
There are literally thousands of weapons — everything from nuclear bombs to chain saws to toaster ovens — that can, and have been, creatively used to kill zombies. It's easier than vampire slaying, but much more fun.
Mitt Romney is not a closet zombie.
Virtually every zombie outbreak is worldwide apocalypse. That's impressive. How often do vampires take over the world?
All things considered, the zombie-vampire clash is really no contest. Let the zombie apocalypse begin!
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