My grandchildren and I watched “Zombies 3” this past weekend. I was grateful for the sequel if for no other reason than it meant I would not be hearing the soundtrack from Zombies 2 on repeat whenever we were together in the car.
If you’re unfamiliar with the series, let me fill you in a bit: In Zombies 1, zombies leave their isolation and become part of the human community. For Zombies 2, a pack of werewolves joins the crowd. In Zombies 3, there was nowhere to go except to have a giant spaceship land and unleash a bunch of aliens. All of the action is set to music and there are some really high-tech dance numbers (those werewolves can really bust a move), so it has been fun being along on the Zombie ride.
Of course, it’s all fantasy. The thing that is most unbelievable to me about the series is that all of these disparate groups would elect to jump into society at the high school level. They sheath their claws and rein in their alien superpowers so they can become cheerleaders and stars of the football team (Go Mighty Shrimp!). Later, of course, crossing the goal line and enthusiastically cheering on the sidelines ends up saving the world many times over.
Such is the power of high school football.
I did not play football in high school. At the time I was (a) the wrong gender and (b) of slight and breakable build, not to mention that I was (and am) averse to being knocked to the turf for hours on end. I wasn’t a cheerleader either. No back handspring in my repertoire. I could barely eke out a cartwheel. And so, I attended the games as a lowly spectator, a role that had its own share of glorious wins and agonizing defeats.
Football games were the pinnacle of social life in high school. There were posters and pep rallies and so much hoopla that at times it seemed like the whole going-to-class thing was an afterthought. And I have to tell you, while a lot of preparation went into the plays made between the goal posts, it paled in comparison to the plays that were executed in the stands.
All week, you confabbed with your BFF over what to wear, which was of course so similar to what she was wearing that you might have been twins separated at birth. You wanted to arrive early enough to get a decent seat (which had little to do with viewing the game) but not so early that you were the first ones there and would risk having other people pass you by and choose to sit elsewhere.
Then there was your entrance. Returning a kickoff for 100 yards was nothing compared to the skill involved in crossing the same 100 yards in front of the stands. You wanted to appear cool, eyes focused ahead as if you actually were cool, and to move with a nonchalance that had to be rehearsed days earlier in your driveway.
The cheerleaders were always front and center and the rest of us who had failed at tryouts would cheer when it was socially expedient, but most of the time we spent talking with our bench mates and watching everyone else as they crossed in front of the stands trying to appear cool.
I’m sure there were zombies/werewolves/aliens who struggled like that, too. You’re just not going to hear about them. At least not right now. It will come up years later in therapy.
Hang in there, Mighty Shrimp.